K9 Web Protection

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K9 Web Protection for Windows and Mac OS
Developer(s)Blue Coat Systems
Final release
4.5, according to the release notes[1]
Operating systemWindows, macOS Android (operating system)
TypeContent-control software
LicenseProprietary; free for home use
Websitek9webprotection.com (archive.org)
As ofAugust 2016

K9 Web Protection is discontinued content-control software developed by Blue Coat Systems. In 2016, K9 Web Protection was acquired by Symantec as part of the company's purchase of Blue Coat Systems.[2] In April 2019, Symantec announced that K9 Web Protection would be discontinued and would no longer be made available for download or purchase. Technical support for the software ended on June 30, 2019.[3]


The software operates without downloading a database to the computer and instead looks to an Internet-based database. This means that the computer 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 not 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.


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.[4]

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.[5]

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".[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Release Notes". K9 Web Protection official website. Blue Coat Systems. Archived from the original on 2019-04-04. Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  2. ^ Smith, Jake. "Symantec acquires Blue Coat for $4.65 billion, will have new CEO". ZDNet. Archived from the original on 2020-11-08. Retrieved 2020-11-09.
  3. ^ "K9 Web Protection (archive.org)". Symantec. Archived from the original on 2019-04-20. Retrieved 2019-04-20.
  4. ^ "Review: K9 Web Protection". Familywebwatch.com. Archived from the original on 2013-10-17. Retrieved 2013-11-15.
  5. ^ Rubenking, Neil J. "K9 Web Protection 4.0 Review & Rating". PCMag.com. Archived from the original on 2020-08-07. Retrieved 2013-11-15.
  6. ^ "K9 Web Protection - Free download and software reviews". CNET Download.com. Archived from the original on 2020-08-07. Retrieved 2013-11-15.

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