TalkTalk launches HomeSafe website filterFree service blocks malware and offensive content

09 May 2011

talktalk logo

TalkTalk has become the first UK internet provider to offer network-level online security and website blocking.

The new service, called HomeSafe, is a free opt-in service for its broadband customers. It offers three separate types of protection and control:

  • Virus Alerts – detects infected websites and blocks them if a computer attempts to visit one.
  • KidsSafe – allows the account holder to block offensive websites, such as those containing pornography, violence or gambling.
  • Homework Time – allows parents to block popular social networking sites (e.g. Facebook) which could be a distraction from homework.

HomeSafe works by anonymously recording the URLs visited by TalkTalk users, scanning the pages for threats and unsafe content, and then creating blacklists and whitelists. One of the main advantages of the HomeSafe system is that it will work on any device connected to the home network, not just laptops and PCs. That includes smartphones, tablets and games consoles.

For these reasons, TalkTalk believes HomeSafe offers superior protection to traditional methods, though it stressed HomeSafe isn't a replacement for traditional security software or parental supervision.

'Of course, it’s not a silver bullet and it doesn't absolve parents from the responsibility of knowing what their children are up to online. But our research shows parents understand this. They don't want their ISP to control what content they can or can't access online – they just want their ISP to give them the power to implement settings that are right for their family,' said Tristia Clarke, a TalkTalk spokesperson.

See how members rated TalkTalk in our broadband reviews

How to follow the latest Which? Tech news

Are you a Twitter user? Follow WhichTech on Twitter for regular tech tweets.

Prefer RSS? Don't miss a thing with the Which? tech RSS feed

For just the main headlines in newsletter form, sign-up to our weekly Which? tech email.

Apple iPad 2 3G data plans compared - find the best 3G plan for your iPad
Best Android tablets round-up - we look at the best iPad alternatives around
Best cheap laptops for under £500 - find the best laptop deals