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Filter a Windows Computer that Connects to the Internet via Mobile Hotspot

Does your family primarily connect to the internet via a mobile hotspot?  This video will show you how to set up filters on a Windows laptop that connects to the internet via a wi-fi network broadcast from your mobile phone (a mobile hotspot).  We've also included step-by-step screenshot instructions below.



1.  In your Windows search bar, type "Wi-Fi" and select "Wi-Fi Settings"


2.  Click "Change Adapter Options"


3.  Right-Click the Mobile Wi-Fi Network being generated by your mobile hotspot.  Then click "Properties".


4.  Select "Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4), then click "Properties"


5.  Click the circular radio button beside "Use the following DNS server addresses:".  Copy and paste the "Standard DNS Servers" from your FreeFiltering Settings page into the fields labeled "Preferred DNS Server" and "Alternate DNS Server".  Click "OK".  (NOTE:  Use the "Standard DNS Servers" from YOUR Settings page - they may be DIFFERENT than the addresses pictured.)


6.  You have just instructed Windows to use FreeFiltering DNS when connected to your mobile hotspot network. 

There is one major caveat with this method, however!  We use your IP address to recognize which user is making DNS requests - this allows us to respond with the specific filter settings you have specified in your account.  Each time you log into your FreeFiltering Settings page, we automatically detect your IP address and register it to your account.  You'll note in the image below that there is a red arrow beside the "current IP address" that was automatically detected when we just logge in to FreeFiltering.  In this case, it says the IP address comes from T-Mobile, since that is the mobile carrier we used to broadcast the wi-fi signal via the "personal hotspot".

When FreeFiltering receives DNS requests from this IP address, we know which user's filter settings to respond with (e.g. perhaps you only want "moderate Safe Search" and "NO YouTube filters enforced").  The problem that occurs when using a Personal Hotspot as your primary internet connection is this:  your IP address will change just about every time you toggle your Hotspot OFF and back ON.  If you don't log into your FreeFiltering settings page every single time you toggle your Hotspot back ON, we won't be automatically notified of your new IP address, so we won't know to respond with your specific choice of "Moderate Safe Search" and "NO YouTube filters enforced.

BUT, do not be alarmed!  In those cases where we don't recognize the user making DNS requests, and we cannot respond with your specific filter settings, we provide basic filtering anyway.  So, you will receive basic filtering if you use this method of adjusting the DNS in Windows for your hotspot-enabled wi-fi network, even if your IP address has changed and we haven't been notified by you logging into your FreeFiltering account.


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