K9 Web Protection

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K9 Web Protection is content-control software created by Blue Coat Systems.

Windows/Mac versions[edit]

K9 Web Protection for Windows and Mac OS
Developer(s) Blue Coat Systems
Stable release
4.5, according to the release notes[1]
Development status Active
Operating system Windows and macOS
Type Content-control software
License Proprietary; free for home use
Website www.k9webprotection.com
As of August 2016

This section describes the Windows and MacOS versions of the software.

The software operates without downloading a database to the PC and instead looks to an Internet-based database. This means that the PC only needs a very small piece of code and the user can take advantage of the database being updated constantly. On the other hand, if the computer can't connect to this database for any reason (such as a firewall blocking the connection), all web access will be disabled.

K9 Web Protection is proprietary software which is free for home use. It is possible to have multiple licenses, and every computer needs a separate license. Its primary purpose is for parental control, but it is possible to use it for protection of their computer against computer viruses or malware, or for self-blocking of pornography (with an accountability partner).


The software is very difficult to disable or remove without an administrator password. The uninstaller requires the administrator password to run, and if the service or process is stopped all web access is disabled. Similarly, attempts to modify the program from the windows registry or file system will also lead to all web access being disabled.

However, in Windows 7 at least, it is straightforward to disable the software. This can be done by going to Device Manager, View menu ➢ Show hidden devices, then, in the "Non-Plug and Play Drivers" group, locating the "bckd" driver selecting Properties, and in the Driver tab, under Startup, under Type:, selecting "Disabled". After a Windows restart, the driver will be disabled and K9 will not work, without affecting Internet access. Enabling the "bckd" driver again and then rebooting makes K9 work normally again.[citation needed]

There is a bug where K9 kills the Internet connections of some tools (VLC media player, for example) (with error 10053: "Software caused connection abort"). This bug appears to occur only when K9 is installed on a 64-bit platform.


Ken Cooper from Family WebWatch praised its ease of use and clean interface. Cooper also praised K9 for not bogging down system performance because it uses an Internet-based database.[2]

On the other hand, Neil J. Rubenking, lead analyst for security for PC Magazine criticized the filter's inability to create custom filtering for individual family members, while praising the fact that he could not find a way for children to disable the filter without also disabling access to the internet.[3]

Cnet gave it a 4 (out of 5) star rating, and ranks it #8 in Parental Control. Cnet criticizes "the lack of a chatware filter" which "leaves some holes for predation".[4]

Mobile versions[edit]

K9 Web Protection mobile browser
Developer(s) Blue Coat Systems
Development status Active
Operating system Android and iOS
Type Content-control software
Website www.k9webprotection.com
As of September 2014

K9 provides its Web Protection Browser for iOS and Android. On iOS, one can protect an iPhone or iPad by installing the app and disabling Safari browser via Settings > Restrictions.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Release Notes". K9 Web Protection official website. Blue Coat Systems. Retrieved 2017-03-14. 
  2. ^ "Review: K9 Web Protection". Familywebwatch.com. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  3. ^ Rubenking, Neil J. "K9 Web Protection 4.0 Review & Rating". PCMag.com. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  4. ^ "K9 Web Protection - Free download and software reviews". CNET Download.com. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 

External links[edit]