What can I do with Net Shield?

Net Shield Basic is free for Spark broadband customers. This includes blocking harmful content and searching safely. For even more control over filters, get Net Shield Premium for $4.95 per month.

Block harmful content


Basic filters that block pornography and illegal/abusive content like extremist propaganda.

Search safely


Prevent explicit content being found on Google, Bing or YouTube search results.

Set content restrictions


Restrict access by category with filters including weapons, alcohol and gambling.

Time of day control


Turn filters on/off at scheduled times.

Block specific websites


Choose certain websites to be blocked/allowed.

Lock down internet use


Restrict access to the internet at certain times or allow access to certain websites.

1. What does Net Shield block?

Net Shield blocks websites by category. For example, the alcohol and tobacco category blocks all websites that sell or encourage the use of alcohol and tobacco. Premium users can choose the strength of the filter, while Net Shield Basic uses a Low Filter.

Other categories include weapons, gambling, chat and forums, abusive content, illegal activity, dating, entertainment, file sharing, gaming, adult content and social media.

Website categorisation is managed by a third-party partner of Spark. Some websites are always accessible, including Spark-related websites, public service and government websites. Spark defines and manages this list. This list is subject to change at any time. On rare occasions content can be accessed if it has not been categorised.

The level of protection you set on Net Shield works across any device connected to your broadband network, so you don’t have to change the settings on each one. This does mean it’s not possible to change the settings for specific devices.

2. Can my kids (or staff) get around it?

Net Shield is managed by you from your MySpark account, so settings can't be changed. However people will be able to use mobile data, apps or a VPN.

3. Do you record information about me?

Your privacy is important to us. Net Shield isn't watching what you're doing. It doesn't provide any information to third parties. In fact, it performs the same function as a Domain Name System (DNS). This means that when you load internet content, you will see either the website or a warning page from Net Shield.4. What devices does Net Shield work with?

Once Net Shield has been activated, it protects every device that’s connected to your Spark broadband network via WiFi or Ethernet. This includes:

  • smartphones
  • laptops
  • computers
  • tablets
  • game consoles

Note: Net Shield can't protect you if you're browsing using 3G or 4G. Net Shield isn't a form of antivirus. We recommend you install dedicated antivirus software for each of your devices. For Windows, try McAfee from Spark.

4. Who can get Net Shield?

Net Shield is available to all residential and business customers with a Spark broadband plan. If you cancel your broadband service, your Net Shield subscription will also be cancelled.

The number of websites that can be blocked or allowed is limited:

  • Residential broadband customers - 10 websites
  • Business broadband customers - 20 websites

Learn more about Net Shield

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. Terms

These Terms of Service explain how Net Shield works. These terms are part of the contract between you as a customer and Spark as the provider of the Net Shield service. By activating Net Shield, you acknowledge that you have read, understood and agree to these Terms.

In these terms, Spark may be referred to as we, ours or us.

Spark’s Standard Residential and Residential Broadband Terms also apply:

See Standard Residential terms

See Residential Broadband terms

If Net Shield terms conflict with Spark's other terms, the other terms will override the Net Shield terms.

2. Options

There are two options available to both residential and business customers:

  1. Basic: This option is free for Spark broadband customers
  2. Premium: This option is available for $4.95 per month, inclusive of GST

You can pick which option to activate from your online MySpark account. You can switch between these two options at any time.

3. Minimum Term

If you are using the Premium option and then terminate it, the charges will be pro-rated for that month.

4. Exclusions

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.

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.

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. Please read all terms carefully.

5. Other Terms

Spark will provide the Net Shield service using reasonable skill and care. However, no internet filtering service is perfect or fail-safe. Net Shield does not replace parental or management supervision of internet use. Net Shield is thus provided on a “best efforts” basis. Net Shield cannot provide 100% coverage across all internet traffic.

Net Shield does not:

  • control apps that your child can download;
  • control apps that your child can use;
  • block in-app purchases;
  • control screen-time;
  • read text messages;
  • provide locator or location history services;
  • provide notifications when someone enters a specific location;
  • provide device identification; or
  • provide profile-specific firewall, VPN, antivirus or anti-malware protection.

Net Shield does not cover you, if:

  1. You are connecting to any WiFi network besides your broadband
  2. You use a non-Spark DNS (like Open DNS) because Net Shield works as a DNS (Domain Name System)
  3. You connect to the Internet via a VPN or proxy server

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.

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 Net Shield service indicates that you accept the changes.

Spark reserves the right at anytime to change, 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.

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.

For all notices relating to Net Shield service, contact Spark customer service.

What can I do with McAfee?

Spark offers McAfee to broadband customers. Browse, shop, download and email safely and securely.

Stop viruses


Frequent computer scans keep you safe from dangerous emails and risky web content.

Real-time protection


Risk-detection features flag suspicious web addresses and block stealthy botnet software.

Two-way firewall


Additional security for your PC prevents hackers from stealing your personal information.

Portable device scan


Before letting you access portable devices, McAfee scans USB and other removable drives for malware.

Pre-install scan


When you install the software, it scans and removes viruses, trojans and rootkits.

1. Who can get McAfee?

The following customers with an Xtra Mail account can have up to five McAfee licenses for free:

  • Spark broadband customers
  • Spark Mobile Broadband customers with a Pay Monthly plan (excludes Spark Prepaid and Pay Monthly casual rate plans and all data extra plans)
  • Some Spark Internet account holders are eligible for a McAfee licence as long as they remain account holders.

2. How do I install McAfee?

Log into MySpark and go to the security section. Download the Spark Security Suite and follow the on-screen installation instructions.

Not all computers can run McAfee from Spark. Please ensure your computer meets the minimum system requirements:

  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows Vista SP1 or higher (32-bit and 64-bit) or Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • RAM: 1GB RAM for Vista and Windows or 2GB RAM for Windows 8 and above
  • Hard drive: At least 500MB free drive space – the install package is 150MB
  • Processor: At least 1GHz processor

McAfee will not work on computers with Apple macOS or phones.

Please contact Spark's customer service team if you experience any difficulty downloading or installing McAfee. Contact Spark customer service

The Spark Security Suite is described in:

  • These Spark Security Suite terms (describing any service limitations and what charges may apply)
  • The Spark Security Suite product pages (describing the service)
  • The questions and answers about Spark Security Suite pages (describing the service)

Together these Web pages make up the "Service Description" for Spark Security Suite. Your use of the Spark Security Suite is subject to these and to the McAfee End User Licence Agreement. Spark’s Standard Residential and Residential Broadband Terms also apply:

The Spark Security Suite is designed primarily for home users and small or home businesses. You will need a separate licence for each computer, laptop or device that you want to protect using the Spark Security Suite.

You must keep the default option of having the updates automatically enabled in the Spark Security Suite to ensure your computer has the most up to date protection the Security Suite can provide. Remember, all data downloaded, including the initial download and these updates, will have an impact on your internet plan's monthly data allowance.

Spark does not guarantee or otherwise represent that all Internet Security threats will be detected, prevented and / or removed.

Spark reserves the right at any time to modify, extend or discontinue, either permanently or temporarily, all or any part of the Spark Security Suite without notice. Spark will not be liable to you or any third party for any such modification or discontinuance of the service.

Spark is unable to provide specific performance guarantees due to the limitations of the technology on which it is based and may be adversely affected by network performance and other operational factors beyond Spark's control.

Join Spark Broadband

Not with Spark broadband yet? Choose a Spark broadband plan. Once you’ve got it up and running, turn on Net Shield and McAfee from your MySpark online account.  

Join Spark