Best DNS Filtering Services for Businesses

To save you time in your search, we have provided further information on two of the best DNS filtering services for businesses. These DNS filtering services allow you to control the types of web content your employees can access and improve your security posture by blocking web-based threats such as phishing, malware, viruses, and ransomware.

Phishing is the leading cause of data breaches and scams are now so sophisticated that it is almost impossible to distinguish phishing emails from genuine messages. Phishing emails direct victims to websites that are virtual carbon copies of the websites they spoof. Spam filters will block the majority of these messages, but the tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) being used by threat actors are constantly changing. It is therefore inevitable that some messages will be delivered to inboxes.

DNS filtering services add an extra layer of protection against phishing and prevent employees from visiting websites known to host malware and ransomware. DNS-based web filters also allow businesses to carefully control the types of websites their employees can access, both on and off the network, through category-based and keyword-based and URL filtering.

DNS filtering services allow employers to block access to NSFW websites, illegal content, and websites that are a major drain of productivity and provide safe, family-friendly Wi-Fi access for customers.

DNS filtering is the easiest and most cost-effective form of content filtering. The best DNS filtering services are easy to deploy, require little management, and have highly granular controls that allow accurate filtering. DNS filters are also highly scalable, require no software downloads or hardware purchases, and filtering occurs with no latency.

There is a huge range of DNS filtering options available to businesses. Most cybersecurity vendors have developed a web filtering service to block online threats. While these solutions are effective at blocking web-based threats, usability and the level of customer support can vary considerably. We have whittled down the options available and have selected what we believe to be the two best DNS filtering services for businesses to save you time in your search and avoid web filtering headaches.

Best DNS Filtering Options for Businesses

Listed below are two excellent DNS filtering solutions for business use. Each provides a high level of protection against the full range of web-based threats and will keep your employees protected on and off the network. The first is arguably the best DNS filtering service for SMBs and MSPs serving the SMB market. The second is one of the best DNS filtering options for large enterprises with complex security needs.

WebTitan Cloud

TitanHQ is the leading provider of cloud-based web-filtering for SMBs and MSPs serving the SMB market. The company’s cybersecurity solutions are consistently rated highly across online business software review platforms and are praised for the level of protection provided, ease of use, ease of management, and industry-leading customer support.

WebTitan Cloud has extensive coverage and filters 6 billion webpages on 500 million websites, which are categorized into 53 different filtering categories. The filter covers websites in more than 200 languages which are filtered on the fly. In addition to WebTitan Cloud, TitanHQ offers a purpose-built multi-tenant Wi-Fi filtering solution for Wi-Fi providers and MSPs – WebTitan Cloud for Wi-Fi. WebTitan Cloud is also one of the best web filtering solutions on the market in terms of price, with a cost per user of around $12 per year.

WebTitan Cloud is a particularly good choice for managed service providers serving the SMB market. The MSP program – TitanShield – offers excellent margins, strong support with dedicated account managers and support engineers, and the solution is easy to integrate into MSP systems through the TitanHQ API. In contrast to many other solutions, WebTitan Cloud can be supplied in white-label form ready to accept MSP branding and there are multiple hosing options, including the option of hosting within an MSP’s own infrastructure.

Cisco Umbrella

Cisco Umbrella is a powerful DNS-based secure web gateway used by many enterprises for blocking web-based threats. Cisco Umbrella is the market leading web filtering solution for enterprises and is powered by Cisco’s leading threat intelligence service and advanced research into malware threats.

Cisco Umbrella is an enterprise-class web filtering solution designed to provide the highest level of protection for enterprise clients and it gives IT teams high visibility into threats targeting their organization. The solution is highly customizable to suit the diverse needs of large enterprises and unifies a firewall, secure web gateway, DNS-layer security, cloud access security broker (CASB), and threat intelligence into a single platform. Implementing the solution can be a little complex, but once up and running the solution is easy to manage.

Cisco Umbrella is undoubtedly a highly accomplished and powerful product that is well suited to enterprises looking for a comprehensive security solution to protect them from highly sophisticated, targeted cyberattacks.

The level of features provided with Cisco Umbrella come at a cost. Cisco Umbrella is one of the most expensive DNS-based web filters on the market with a cost of around $38 per user, per year. The starting price only includes basic product support, so if telephone support is required it must be purchased separately and added onto the price. That said, Cisco Umbrella is one of the best DNS filtering solutions for large enterprises and the cost can be justified for the level of protection and features provided.


What is the difference between a DNS filter and a web filter?

A web filter is a broad term used to describe a solution that restricts access to certain web content. A DNS filter is a type of web filter that filters the Internet at the DNS layer – when a DNS lookup is performed to determine the IP address of a URL to allow a computer to find that resource.

Why is DNS filtering the best form of web filtering?

The main benefit of DNS filtering is speed. Filtering content at the DNS layer requires no content to be downloaded so it is fast, secure, and there is no impact on bandwidth or internet speed. It only takes around 5 milliseconds to determine if content can be accessed.

Is DNS filtering difficult to set up?

No. To start filtering the Internet, you only need to point your DNS servers to the service provider’s DNS which is a very quick and simple process. Then you login to the service provider’s portal and select what content you wish to block. With category-based filtering – blocking pornography, hate speech, gambling etc. – you just select the checkboxes of the categories you wish to block. It is that simple.

Can DNS filters be bypassed?

Yes. No DNS filtering software can prevent determined and skilled individuals from bypassing the filters, but it is possible to make that as difficult as possible and to detect bypasses when they happen. To prevent DNS filtering bypasses, lock down your DNS settings and block anonymizer services.

How can I temporarily access restricted web content?

With WebTitan Cloud, administrators can generate cloud keys that allow a user to access administrator-defined content that would normally be blocked by the DNS filter for a set time period. These are useful as they mean you do not have change a user’s standard DNS filtering settings and then change them back again.