If you want to block certain domain names (including their sub-domains and sub-directories) or keywords (that appears in a webpage) using your router completely, then lets check out in this post how to do so?

Note: I have a Netgear wireless router and it allows me to block any domain name or keyword instantly. If you have a router from some other manufacturer like Cisco, Linksys (Belkin), D-Link, TP-Link, Huawei etc., then you should check its manual to know whether your router supports content filtering feature or not.



Follow these steps in order to completely block a domain name (including its sub-domains and sub-directories) or keyword using your router:

1. Access your router’s settings page by entering its username and password. Once you are successfully logged in look for Block Sites option in the top header or in the sidebar and click on it:

block sites netgear

2. The immediate next page may ask you to select following things as per your blocking requirements:

  • Blocking Schedule/Keyword blocking.
  • List of domains/keywords that you want to block.
  • List of IP addresses that can bypass the block.

3. Under blocking schedule/keyword blocking, if you select:

keyword blocking

  • Per Schedule then the block will be active for a specific period of time, which you can set on the immediate next screen.
  • Always then your block will be permanent for all domains/keywords.
  • Never then the block will be removed completely. After the block has been removed all computers and mobile devices connected to your network will be able to access any website without any restrictions (however restrictions imposed by your ISP may still apply to your connection).

4. Under Type keyword or domain name here, enter a domain (with .com, .net, .org, .in etc.) or keyword which you want to block and click on Add Keyword Button. Keep in mind that you are not required to enter http:// or www when entering domain names:

block domain

Note: Just enter the main domain of any site that you want to block. Your router should automatically block a domain’s sub-domains and sub-directories.

5. Under Block sites containing these keywords or domain names, you will see a list of all domains/keywords that you have entered using step 4 above. If you want to remove a particular domain or keyword from the list, then select that particular domain/keyword and click on Delete Keyword button:

list of blocked domains

In case you want to empty your entire list, then just click on Clear List button.

6. If you check the box in front of Allow trusted IP address to visit blocked sites, then you are required to type the IP address of a computer/mobile device which can bypass all blocks. Make sure to double check the IP Address of a computer/mobile device before entering it:

allowed ip address

7. Click on apply button and it’s all done! Whenever someone in your network tries to access a blocked site or a webpage which contains blocked keywords, he will see following message in his browser:

website blocked

You can also see Netgear’s in-built firewall/content filtering feature in action in following video:

Important notes:

  • The blocking feature may not work with domains/sub-domains which are using https:// (like Facebook, Google, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube etc.). In this case either try blocking the site using your hosts file or you may want to get a free/paid parental control software for your computer/mobile device.
  • If you are going to block keywords using your router then enter the keywords very very carefully, because if you are not careful then your router will block many legit/safe for work websites based on the keywords present in a particular webpage. For example, you intention was to block all NSFW sites which contains the word Breast, but your router will also block ALL webpages/domains which contains words like Breast Cancer etc.
  • After you have blocked certain domain names from your router, their mobile applications may also STOP working in your Android/iOS (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) powered mobile and tablet devices, as you have restricted the communication to their server from your router.

Conclusion: Content filtering feature present in almost all modern day routers can be considered very useful in blocking unwanted/addictive websites, adult/porn websites and sexually explicit keywords/profanity.