K9 Web Protection

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

K9 Web Protection was content-control software created by Blue Coat Systems to help parents protect their children while using the Internet. In 2016, it was bought by Symantec.[2] It was offered for free for many years and as of April 2019 has been removed by Symantec and is no longer available for download.


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.[3]

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.[4]

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".[5]

See also[edit]


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

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