Parental controls is hard when it comes to blocking websites on Safari on your iPhone/iPad. You can look hard and long but there's not one setting that will help you block particular websites from being accessed.
But as is always the case, it's not impossible. While the solutions aren't straight forward or simple as we expect, they work just fine. I've provided some thoughts about each method of blocking websites on your iPhone/iPad so you can pick your preferred method more easily.
Blocking websites on the iPhone/iPad without actually doing an internet-blackout on the device isn't hard or complicated. It's just that there are a few extra steps you need to take.
Update: Unlike in iOS 6, iOS 7 lets you block individual websites. Here's how to block websites in Safari on iOS 7.
Before diving into that, if you want block certain websites from being accessed on your iPhone/iPad and the solution “block all web browsing access” is okay with you, try this:
- Go to Settings → General → Restrictions
- Disable Safari (turn it OFF)
- Disable Install Apps (turn it OFF) – this step is so that the user does not install Chrome or Dolphin or other browsers from the App Store [Also check this tutorial to see how to prevent your kid from installing apps]
Stuff like Wi-fi etc. can be enabled easily so those restrictions are the ones you can target.
Now, internet-blackout isn't going to be the right solution all the time. You might want your kid to be able to access websites but prevent the bad ones from showing up.
To do this, you have two solutions:
1. Configure Wifi DNS so it blocks bad websites automatically
2. Use a separate browser that comes with parental controls
1. Configuring DNS
Services like OpenDNS offer parental controls when you use their servers. To configure your Wi-fi network to route through their servers, do the following:
- Go to Settings → Wifi
- On the Wifi that is connected, tap on the blue arrow
- Now, change the Router and DNS servers to the ones given by OpenDNS (or any other service that you prefer) OpenDNS servers are: 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199
- Tap on Renew Lease (or switch off Wifi and switch it back on)
2. Use a third-party Browser
There are browsers like the K9 Web Protector that comes with a Safari-like interface but provides parental controls to block certain websites, to track websites that are accessed etc. I haven't seen many popular alternatives like these but the K9 Web Protector, as far as I've heard, works just fine.
I hear that iOS 7 brings a lot of enhanced Parental Controls. While we check on if iOS 7's parental controls bring the ability to block websites on Safari, you can use the above methods or share with us any new method that works for you.