How does it work?

Net Shield automatically filters your internet against inappropriate content based on predefined categories. It’s a simple way to keep everyone safe online.

For even more control of what you can filter against, get Net Shield Premium and enjoy peace of mind knowing everyone in your home is protected online. Net Shield Basic is also an option and it’s free for Spark broadband customers.

Get Net Shield

Not with Spark broadband yet?

Choose a Spark broadband plan. Once you’ve got it up and running, just turn on Net Shield from your MySpark online account.

Note: Net Shield cannot be activated via the MySpark App, only MySpark online

Already have Spark broadband?

Switch on Net Shield premium for $4.95 per month or get Basic for free. Activate Net Shield from MySpark online.

Note: Net Shield cannot be activated via the MySpark App, only MySpark online

Basic – FREE

Net Shield Basic is a free internet filtering service that includes these features:

Instantly block websites with harmful content

Safe Search

Premium – $4.95/mth

For even more control, select Net Shield Premium. You get all the features of Net Shield Basic, plus:

Instantly block websites with harmful content

Safe Search

Block websites by specific categories

Block or allow specific websites

Customise what gets filtered at different times of the day

Allowed websites only

  1. How do you block websites?
      We use DNS and IP addresses to help protect you. When you turn Net Shield on at home, Net Shield becomes your DNS for routing traffic from your entire home and out into the internet. When you type in a website or IP address, it compares that to the list you have chosen to give it of websites that are approved, and either lets the request through, or redirects you to our splash page to let you know its blocked.

  2. How do I set it up?
    1. Basic - You can activate Net Shield on your MySpark dashboard. To activate our free service you turn filters ‘on’ and the set pre-defined categories will automatically work.
    2. Premium - We have built all of the Net Shield functions into your MySpark dashboard, and made it as easy as possible. There are categories of websites grouped together by type, and you can turn on Net Shield to filter out each category, or leave it off to let that category through.

  3. How safe is it really?
      Whilst Net Shield cannot provide 100% coverage across all internet traffic, we are confident Net Shield is a step in the right direction. Combined with the right education and some personal monitoring, you can be comfortable that your children should be well protected from the vast majority of the content you don’t want them to see.

  4. Can my kids get around it?
      Often we are asked this question. This is because a lot of parental control programs and apps out there require installation on a device, and can be turned off or removed by more enterprising young users. Since our Net Shield product sits outside of your home, and back inour network, it endeavours it to protect your entire home at all times. Once someone is connected to your home WiFi network, the Net Shield rules apply. And you can then choose the level of filtering yourself, even when you are away from home!

  5. Do you record information about me?
      Your privacy is of utmost importance to us. You can rest assured that Net Shield is not spying on you, nor is it providing any information to third parties. It performs the same function as a DNS service - it receives requests from you to direct traffic, and it will respond to you with the website or a special splash page.

  6. How do I get Net Shield?
      Net Shield is available to all Spark broadband customers who can access MySpark online.

  7. What devices does Net Shield work with?
      Net Shield works with any device connected to your Spark broadband home network using WiFi or Ethernet cable, including smartphones, laptops, computers, tablets and games consoles. If you're browsing with 3G or 4G, you won't be protected by Net Shield as you'll need to be connected to your home or business network. As it works across all devices, you don’t have to change the settings on each one individually. Remember: Net Shield is not an antivirus application so we recommend you install dedicated antivirus software for each of your devices.

  8. What doesn’t Net Shield protect me from?
      Net Shield will not work for devices roaming on 3G/4G networks or if you're on a WiFi connection outside of your Spark broadband network. Net Shield will not block access to search engines, so unsuitable sites may still appear in search results. We can't guarantee that it will stop every inappropriate site or online bullying/grooming.

Below you will find a list content categories that will be blocked with a High, Medium or Low Filter.

Net Shield Basic applies the Low Filter only.

Net Shield Premium allows you to select a High, Medium or Low filter. You can also create your own Custom Filter and select the content categories you'd like to block.


Content Categories

Description

High/Restricted Filter

Medium/Mature Filter

Low/General Filter

Custom Filter

Basic Filter

Safe Search

When Safe Search is on, it helps block explicit images, videos, and websites from Google and Bing Search results. The Safe Search filter also includes YouTube restricted mode which will hide videos that contain inappropriate content including, drugs and alcohol, sexual activity, violence, terrorism, war and crime, profane and mature language and incendiary and demeaning video content.

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Alcohol and Tobacco

Here we’re talking about any site which glamourises, sells or otherwise encourages alcohol consumption or tobacco use. Everything from the big corporates to do-it-yourself guides. This category also covers alcohol and tobacco related sites which specifically target children.

Y

Y

Y

Weapons

Weapons - this category contains Web sites from military organizations/companies and sites about weapons of any type.

Y

Y

Y

Anonymisers

These are sites which tout tools, tricks and advice on how to get access to the online places commonly blocked by businesses, schools and – yes – parental control software.

Y

Y

Y

Gambling

Gambling covers a huge range of sites and forums which teach, train or allow you to get involved. Some of the more obvious examples include online casinos, poker tournaments, sports gambling and various games of chance. We’re also talking about lotteries and any other forms of charity gambling or fundraising.

Y

Y

Y

Chat and Forums

This covers a fair bit. It includes online forums, bulletin boards and Q&A sites (both monitored and unmonitored) plus the wide range of instant messaging services and virtual chat rooms.

Y

Y

Abusive content

This covers a wide range of online content – none of it good. It includes child abuse, cyber bullying, graphic violence and hostility to anyone based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity. It also covers sites which glamourise or advocate self-harm. And those that promote property damage or other criminal violence.

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Illegal activity

Another big category which takes in any site providing advice, resources or equipment to help commit a crime or avoid being caught after the fact – everything from burglary to illegal wiretapping. It also covers any sites specifically related to drugs, hacking and plagiarism.

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Dating

Sites which promote - or claim they provide - what you need to begin a romantic relationship. That includes online dating advice, as well as personal ads and more commercial dating or marriage services.

Y

Y

Y

Entertainment

There’s a lot to cover here, like official sites for TV, film and music, books and graphic novels. Then there’s celebrity gossip. Plus, festivals, nightlife guides and the many virtual online communities. This category also includes specific mobile stuff like apps, ringtones, music and games.

Y

File sharing

Any sites that allow file sharing and the transfer of files for download over the internet, e.g. Dropbox, WeTransfer.

Y

Y

Gaming

Casts the net over a vast range of sites that promote, review or offer PC and console videogames. Shoot-em-ups, puzzles, role-playing, simulations and much more. Also sites that offer cheat codes, downloads and patches. Plus all the related forums, run throughs, conferences and expos.

Y

Adult content

Adult content is different from outright pornography, but can still be sexually explicit. It means online forums and advice sites which discuss sex and sexuality, and some men’s magazines. Also online places which emphasise or aggressively promote physical ‘attractiveness’ – anything from cosmetics to major plastic surgery.

Y

Y

VoIP

Sites you can use to make calls over the internet, or where you can download the software to make calls. This includes audio-only calls as well as video calling software and services, e.g. Skype.

Y

Pornography

It’s worth being clear that this covers all types of static images as well as video, webcams and live shows. It also includes graphic and erotic fiction.

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Social media

Already big and still growing very fast, the social media category includes the names we all know like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, along with more niche virtual communities and school or university related networks.

Y

Y

  1. Net Shield helps protect every device connected to your home or business broadband from known online threats, with no software installation required. Net Shield gives you greater control over which type of internet content you wish your household to be exposed to while using our broadband services.

  2. Net Shield is available to all residential and business customers with a broadband plan with Spark and who have access to MySpark. If you cancel your broadband service to which Net Shield is connected, your Net Shield subscription will also be cancelled.

  3. Net Shield can be purchased and activated online via MySpark only, unless otherwise agreed by us.

  4. Once Net Shield has been activated, it covers every device accessing the internet through your broadband network. It is not possible to isolate specific devices.

  5. You can turn Net Shield on or off through MySpark

  6. Spark has identified some websites that are always accessible via the Spark global list. This list is subject to change at any time.

  7. Net Shield does not interrogate your traffic to filter viruses or spyware, instead it blocks access to content at a DNS level.

  8. There is a limit to the number of websites that can be blocked or allowed. Residential Broadband customers are limited to 10 and Business Broadband customers are limited to 20.

  9. Spark does not categorize website, instead categorization is managed by a third-party partner of Spark. Therefore, Spark cannot make a website be part of a specific category.
    1. On rare occasions content can be accessed if it has not been categorized by the third party, even with “Allowed Websites Only”

  10. Net Shield does not cover you, if:
    1. You are connecting to Wi-Fi via any Wi-Fi other than your home or business broadband which has the Net Shield activated e.g. Spark Wi-fi
    2. Your internet connection accesses the Internet with a non-Spark DNS (like Open DNS)
    3. You use a proxy server or VPN to connect to the Internet
  1. Terms
    1. Please read these Terms carefully as they explain how Net Shield works. Spark may be referred to in these Terms as 'we' or 'us'. Spark may be referred to in these Terms as ‘we’, ‘ours’ or ‘us’. These terms together with Spark’s Standard Residential and Residential Broadband Terms form part of the contract between you as a customer and us as the provider of the Net Shield service. By activating Net Shield, you acknowledge that you have read and understood these Terms and agree to be bound by them.
    2. These Terms prevail to the extent that they are inconsistent with the Residential and Residential Broadband Terms or Spark’s Business and Business Broadband Terms (as applicable).

  2. Options
    1. There are two options available to both residential and business customers:
      1. “Basic” option - this option is included free with a Spark broadband.
      2. “Premium” option – this option is available at a charge of $4.95 per month inclusive of GST
    2. You can elect the option you wish to activate online via MySpark. You can switch between these two options at any time.

  3. Minimum Term
    1. If you exercise your right to terminate “Premium” option, charges will be pro-rated for the month.

  4. Exclusions
    1. In no event will Spark, its related parties, and third-party suppliers (and our respective directors, officers, employees, agents and contractors) be liable for any direct, indirect, special, or consequential losses or damages of whatsoever kind arising out of your use of or access to Net Shield, whether based on breach of contract, tort (including negligence), product liability or otherwise.
    2. Except as expressly set out in these Terms, Spark excludes all warranties which may be implied into these Terms by law, to the extent permitted by law.
    3. In addition to the above exclusions, the exclusions and limitations on Spark’s liability that are set out in Spark’s Standard Residential and Standard Business Terms also apply and you should read those carefully.

  5. Other Terms
    1. Spark will provide the Net Shield service using reasonable skill and care. However, it has to be noted that no filtering of the internet is perfect or fail-safe. Net Shield does not replace parental or management supervision of internet use and is provided on a “best efforts” basis. Net Shield cannot provide 100% coverage across all internet traffic.
    2. Net Shield does not:
      1. control apps that your child can download;
      2. control apps that your child can use;
      3. block in-app purchases;
      4. control screen-time;
      5. read text messages;
      6. provide locator or location history services;
      7. provide notifications when someone enters a specific location;
      8. provide device identification; or
      9. provide profile specific Firewall, VPN, Anti-virus, Anti-malware.
    3. Spark is unable to provide specific performance guarantee or otherwise represent that Net Shield will be a perfect or fail-safe internet content filtering service.
    4. We may amend these Terms, or introduce new fees or change existing fees for your use of Net Shield, by giving you at least one month’s notice before any changes take effect. If we change any Terms, your continued use of the service concerned indicates acceptance of the changes.
    5. Spark reserves the right at anytime to modify, extend or discontinue, either temporarily or permanently, all or any part of the Net Shield service upon provision of reasonable notice to you. Spark will not be liable to you or any third party for any such modification or discontinuance of the service.
    6. New Zealand law governs these Terms, and any other terms that apply to the provision of Net Shield service and the New Zealand courts shall have non-exclusive jurisdiction over any dispute arising.
    7. All notices relating to Net Shield service should be sent to MySparkSupport@spark.co.nz