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Learn about Net Shield

Get answers to common queries about Net Shield.

While Net Shield can't cover 100% of all internet traffic, we're confident it's a step in the right direction. With education and monitoring, it should protect your family or staff from the majority of the content you want to restrict access to.

A lot of cyber security programs and apps need to be installed on a device. These can often be turned off or removed by knowledgeable users.

But Net Shield sits outside of your office environment. This means there's no risk of it being disabled without your permission.

Your privacy is important to us. Net Shield isn't watching what you're doing. It also isn't providing any information to third parties. It performs the same function as a DNS service. It receives requests from you to direct internet traffic. It will respond to you with the website or special notification page.

Net Shield works with any device connected to your Spark broadband home network. This could be via WiFi or ethernet. This includes smartphones, laptops, computers, tablets and game consoles. If you're browsing with 3G or 4G, Net Shield won't protect you as you need to connect to your home or business network. As it works across all devices, you don’t have to change the settings on each one.

Net Shield isn't a form of antivirus. We recommend you install dedicated antivirus software for each of your devices.

If you can still access a website you chose to block, it's likely the website's cached by the browser. There may have been an error and it's in the blocked list.

You can try:

  • Checking if filtering is on
  • Checking the website's URL is correct
  • Refreshing your browser
  • Restarting your modem
  • Checking if the website is on your allowed list

If you block a site that uses a secure connection (https), it stops Net Shield from showing the blocked page screen.

Your customised filter is a feature that's applied 24/7.

Websites are categorised by a third party. So if you think a website should be blocked, check that the filter settings are correct, for example low or medium settings.

You might also see sites you think should be blocked if you've made recent changes to settings. Changes to settings take a few minutes to take effect.

You can choose a number of websites to block and allow. Business customers can block and allow 20 websites. Personal customers can block and allow 10 websites. These websites will override any other filters you've set up. Follow the onscreen instructions to block and allow

Spark allows spark.co.nz and other Spark-related websites, public service and government websites. Spark defines and manages this list.

If you've blocked websites and set up category filters, the following priorities apply:

  • Priority one: Websites you've blocked
  • Priority two: Websites you've allowed
  • Priority three: The website categories you chose

Here are some example scenarios that show how the priorities work:

  • Blocked website: twitter.com. If you haven't applied any category filters, twitter.com will continue to be blocked
  • Blocked website: youtube.com and the safe search category is on. Result: youtube.com will blacklist. Search engines like google.co.nz and bing.co.nz will continue to safe search
  • If you have twitter.com on both your blocked and allowed list, twitter.com will be blocked

There are home and business categories. Learn about the website categories

Allowed sites only is a setting where you block most access to the internet. It will allow only Spark’s global list and your allowed website list. This feature works well for times where you want to have very limited access to the internet.

If you didn't get a notification, check your contact details and preferences. If your details are correct, try checking back later.

Net Shield will not impact your internet speed, but if your internet is slow, you can troubleshoot your connection through MySpark. Test my internet

This website might be blocked by one of Net Shield's categories. Learn about Net Shield's categories

If you can't connect to your work VPN, you'll need to upgrade to Premium and add the VPN server address into your allowed website list.

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