Sky are introducing a new content block service called Broadband Shield. The Open Right Group published a very interesting article about this including a set of questions given to Sky and the replies from them

To us the most interesting was in regards to how the blocking is being carried out. It is clear from the questions and answers that Sky are implementing a blocking solution based on the host-name (see question 6). and they are doing this by the use of DNS redirection. In short when you request a name which is on the banned list, instead of getting the real IP address for the server to connect to you get given a fake address which is the address of the 'This page has been blocked' web site run by Sky.

This might seem like a good solution but it is so trivial to get around that it becomes pointless even setting it up. It works on the assumption that the Sky Broadband user is using Sky DNS servers, if this is the case and no one ever tries to change anything that this 'might' work. However as soon as a tech savvy 12 year old logs into their home PC they will change the DNS settings to something like 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4. which are the public DNS servers provided by Google and bang all blocks implemented by Sky are circumvented.

If you can't change the settings because you're using a mobile device, then access your favourite website via one of the many thousand proxy servers available for free on line, or better yet set up your own on a £5 a month VPS you can set up in under 10 mins.

We have stated before that this sort of blocking is all hype, it doesn't work, it is trivial to get around for anyone who has a tiny amount of technical ability and Google!

Worse it gives parents false hope that their children are protected which of course they are not, because the kids are the ones who will be able to circumvent the blocks with ease.

To lazy to Google it for yourself? That's ok, we have even done the hard work for you and spent 5 minutes finding useful links.

Here is how to change the DNS settings on a windows machine, information kindly provided by Microsoft.

Using an iPhone or iPad, then you should refer to this site instead for changing your DNS settings.

Using Android instead? That's ok this site will give you all the information you need.

And that is why DNS based blocked is pointless!