Private DNS is a new feature in the Android operating system that allows you to install protection via an encrypted internet request system. This is available as a feature for devices running Android version 9 or later. Not sure what Android version a device is running? You can check inside the device's Settings app > About phone > Software information > Android version.

1. Download the Safe Surfer app

Once you have available the Android device you would like to protect, unlock it and tap the Play Store app on the home screen. If you can't see the Play Store app, try looking inside the device's app draw (that is, the app library). You can access the app draw by swiping from the middle of the screen to the top on the home screen. From the app draw, you can scroll between pages by swiping left or right.

Once you have opened the Play Store app, tap the search bar at the top. Type "safe surfer" and then press the search icon on the keyboard. Our app listing as pictured should be at the top of the list. Tap the "Install" button.

2. Open the Safe Surfer app

The Safe Surfer app will appear inside the device's app draw once it has been downloaded to the device. In the screenshot below, the Safe Surfer app is sitting on app draw page 3.

3. Go through preliminary setup

Once you have opened the Safe Surfer app, tap the box next to "I agree" to acknowledge the presented information, then tap the "Get started" button. Enter a name for the device that you're protecting, then tap the "Next" button. Sign in with your Safe Surfer account (as a parent or accountability partner), then tap the "Next" button. Once the device registration process has been completed, tap the "Finish" button.

When the app asks you "Who's using this device?", tap the "Protected Person" option. After this, you can scroll and select from our list of categories that can be toggled for blocking on this device. A category is blocked if the toggle button next to it is coloured red (as opposed to a greyed toggle button signifying a category that is not blocked). If you would like to read details on what kind of content applies to any specific category, tap the three dot icon at the upper right, then tap "Show descriptions".

Once you have finished selecting categories, tap the "Next" button to proceed. You can set a PIN code on the following page to protect the app from having its settings changed. Once you have chosen a PIN, tap the "Confirm" button.

The next time you open the Safe Surfer app, the interface will be protected behind the PIN you installed. If you ever need to, you can reset the PIN code with your Safe Surfer account credentials by tapping the "Reset" option on this screen.

4. Install Private DNS protection

Tap the "OK" option to acknowledge the presented information on the prompt that comes up. Tap the "OK" button to acknowledge the presented information on the connection request prompt that comes up. Turn off protection, then tap the grey "Sign In" button.

Sign in with your Safe Surfer account credentials (as a parent or accountability partner), then tap the "Register" button. Tap the three bar icon on the home screen, then tap the "Settings" menu. Tap the "Enable Private DNS" menu. Tap the "Copy" button, then tap the "Open" button.

Once the Settings app is open, tap the search icon next to the profile icon. Search for "private dns", then tap the "Private DNS" menu setting. Tap the "Private DNS" menu. Tap "Private DNS provider hostname". Long tap the text box, then tap the "Paste" button. Tap the "Save" button.

Go back to the Safe Surfer app and tap the "Revoke Account Access" menu. Tap the "Revoke Access" button. You can now safely close the Safe Surfer app.

5. Protection complete

To check if filtering is working, try visiting in a web browser. This is a safe website designated for testing if pornographic sites are being blocked successfully. This site should be blocked.

Alternative installation option: configure basic Private DNS

This mini guide shows you how to configure basic free filtering over Private DNS.

Tap the Settings app
Tap Connections
Tap More connection settings
Tap Private DNS
Tap the Private DNS provider hostname option

From this menu you can configure your Android device with our DNS provider. Use the following hostname: (or your custom DoT link from the Safe Surfer dashboard).

Once you have entered our hostname, tap Save.
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