Advanced Search

Audio Downloads MP3
  Living On One Income

  The Mother's Companion
    Cover Letters
    Volume 1 (1995)
    Volume 2 (1996)
    Volume 3 (1997)
    Volume 4 (1998)
    Volume 5 (1999)
    Volume 6 (2000)
    Volume 7 (2001)
    Volume 8 (2002)
    Volume 9 (2003)

    Children's Health
    Child Training
    Esther's Diary
    Parenting Young Adults
    Pregnancy and Early Years
    Rachel's Diary

  Sample Articles
    Woman to Woman
    Titus 2 Mentoring
  Meet the Family
    Family 2001
    Update 2004
    Update 2005
    Update 2006
    Update 2007
    Update 2008
    Update 2009
    Update 2010
    Update 2011
    Update 2013
    The Aardsma Weekly
  Election 2016
    Election 2016

Dr. Aardsma's
Educational Products

  Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill
  Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill
  Dr. Aardsma's Saxon Math Checker

Helen's Farm Journal
  More Info

  MC Vending Machine

  Mulberry Lane Farm
    Canning Supplies & Bulk Foods

  The Author
    Helen Aardsma
    Helen's husband
  Aardsma Five 
    Aardsma Five
  Jennifer (Aardsma) Hall's Blog 
    Treasuring Home
  Our Family Tree
    Family History

Contact Us
  E-mail us


What is the History Behind Dr. Aardsma's White Knight?

The following brief narrative is by Dr. Aardsma.

We first encountered the Internet back in the mid 1980s. We lived in Canada at the time, in a suburb of Toronto. We used to take our family for a weekly swim at a free-to-the-community indoor pool. On one of these visits we encountered a newly installed computer terminal in the main lobby of the pool building. We used it to look up the weather forecast, as I recall. It was an interesting novelty.

Over the next few years the Internet began to make its way into homes. We determined to keep it out of our home. We had, long before, determined not to have a television in our home, because of its generally negative impact on godliness and family life in general. We lumped the Internet in the same category.

I was surprised, however, in the mid 1990s, when the pastor of the church we were attending spoke somewhat enthusiastically about the Internet. "But what about all the pornography they say it contains?" I asked him. He replied, "It's only there if you go looking for it."

Well, that was somewhat reassuring. Still, if you know males like I know males (being one) there was still the question of what it was that would keep a guy from the temptation of looking for it, especially in the privacy of his own home. But I left that question mute at the time.

Not long after I visited a university library. I was there to gather materials for research I was doing related to science and the Bible. The library contained several dozen computer terminals. They had displaced the old card catalog system for finding books and other materials, and that was their primary reason for being there. But they were also networked to the Internet.

I walked over to one and surveyed its home page. It contained, among other things, a fairly short list of topics which one could click on to launch off in that direction in an Internet-wide surfing expedition. I don't remember what all the topics were, but one topic, "nudism" caught my eye. I thought it strange that "nudism" would show up in such a short list of apparently general-interest topics.

I naively clicked on the "nudism" link, expecting to find something akin to an encyclopedia article on nudism. Boy, was I wrong. What flashed to the screen was not a scholarly discussion of nudism by any means. What flashed to the screen was a crass, pornographic display of nudity.

I was embarrassed! I was married, with seven or eight children of my own by that time in my life, so I wasn't seeing any anatomy which was new to me. But this was a public library, with lots of college-age students, male and female, milling about.

I quickly clicked the X, up in the corner, to close the window. But rather than closing the window, this resulted in an outpouring of more windows containing yet more explicit, hard-core pornography. I panicked, and began madly clicking X's all over the screen. Some windows closed, others spawned yet more windows... It must have been the better part of a minute before I had managed to close all the windows, thus extricating myself from my naive little experiment.

Dr. Aardsma, with his wife Helen, and their five children
still living at home. Photo taken Dec. 2009.

I had learned an important lesson. Pornography saturates the Internet. I had had a first lesson in the fact that, far from being there only if you go looking for it, you can only avoid pornography while using the Internet if you take very deliberate steps to do so.

Another decade later we were finding the Internet to be indispensable to our home business. This brought the Internet unavoidably to our home. But I would not have it in our home unless it was somehow filtered to remove objectionable content of all types. Thus began a whole new learning experience with Internet filtering.

Fortunately, in contrast to television, it is possible to filter Internet content. This allows one to take advantage of the good which the Internet has to offer without simultaneously being exposed to all the trash it spews forth.

Initially we were using a telephone modem to connect to the Internet. We found that provided filtered Internet access via the phone. Though we would end up having to pay long distance charges each time we used the Internet, we signed up with them, as local providers offered only unfiltered access.

Experience gained with taught me a lot about Internet filtering. Most importantly, I learned that blacklist-based filtering --- where the user is allowed access to all but blacklisted websites --- had intrinsic faults for the home environment. Its main fault was that it allowed surfing (i.e., looking around at the multitude of allowed websites to see what one might find). Not only was this generally a tremendous waste of time, if one looked long enough they were bound eventually to bump into titilating content since no blacklist is ever perfect.

A second intrinsic fault was that control of which sites should be on the blacklist was necessarily out of my hands. It would have been impossible for me to maintain my own blacklist. The Internet is ever changing, with millions of websites. The blacklist was necessarily being maintained by a collection of people, which meant that others were deciding what was or was not appropriate for my children to be exposed to in my home. It was clear at the outset that, as responsibility for what my children were exposed to rested with me, I needed to be in complete control of which sites my children could or could not access.

Eventually business needs dictated a more high speed Internet connection, at a more affordable price than was available through the phone line. This forced us away from

The new, local Internet provider did not offer any sort of filtering. This meant that we needed to provide our own filtering.

We knew what we wanted by this point. We wanted a Gateway computer (i.e., a computer which acts as a gateway between the home network and the Internet) which would use a whitelist (i.e, a list of allowed websites, all others being blocked by default) to filter all Internet traffic. In short, we wanted what White Knight is.

My eldest son, Mark, worked in our home business at the time. He had responsibility for maintaining our computers and our home/business network. He set up a Linux computer as our Gateway, and implemented a simple whitelist using Linux ipchains firewall rules. This was rather clumsy. The whitelist was hidden down inside the depths of the machine, and was ip based, not domain name based. A given ip could easily be cleared multiple times in the whitelist, making it necessary to remove it multiple times should you wish it to become blocked once again. And it was frequently necessary to clear multiple ip's before a site would become fully accessible. But the price was right and it served us adequately for several years.

Then our home business fell on hard times. We were forced to let Mark go and scale everything back. We moth-balled the Linux Gateway, which only Mark knew how to maintain, and began a quest for other, commercially available filtering options.

Over the next several years we looked into multiple options and tried out several alternatives: Webwatcher, D-Link SecureSpot, and a D-Link router with filtering ability. All looked good going in, but all ended up having unanticipated issues.

Webwatcher involved a substantial learning curve for our gatekeeper (my wife, Helen), and turned out to be difficult to keep configured properly as a result of upgrades at Webwatcher. More alarmingly, however, was its tendency to flake out entirely from time to time, due to issues with the web. When that happened it would leave our home computers wide open to the Internet --- precisely the thing we most wanted not to ever have happen.

SecureSpot wouldn't let us use https, to access bank accounts for example, when operated in whitelist mode. We were thus forced to use it in blacklist mode. This resulted in return of the issues discussed above in relation to And it too would flake out from time to time, leaving our computers wide open to the Internet.

We went to using WebWatcher and SecureSpot together --- paying two subscription fees to accomplish the same basic task --- to minimize the likelihood of failure. This, however, turned out to be a bit of a nightmare for the gatekeeper: if a site would not open which should have opened, who was responsible, WebWatcher or SecureSpot?

The D-Link router we purchased sported whitelist filtering ability, but turned out to have room for only eight websites in its whitelist! In actual use, even a modest whitelist will contain hundreds of websites.

We knew we didn't want to get involved with either the cost or the time required to install and maintain filtering software on our individual computers. We wanted a network-wide whitelist --- maintained on a single machine, and applicable to the entire network. In our home, at least, it is mandatory that this filtering task be kept simple. Our gatekeeper (with principle roles of wife and mother) simply does not have time to keep track of individual lists on individual computers, or to review screen shots or other logs of individual use on anything approaching a regular basis. We wanted the gatekeeper to be able to update the whitelist with ease. We wanted this filter to be foolproof and unbeatable, and we wanted it to run quietly by itself with virtually no need for any user intervention month after month and year after year.

What we wanted was White Knight, but we had not yet begun to even think of building White Knight, and we could find nothing similar to it commercially.

We came close to a solution with ComSifter. I spent some weeks back and forth with the ComSifter Sales Department, exploring ComSifter machines and options. But when I asked whether the ComSifter machines could be operated successfully in whitelist mode, I got back the surprising answer that they had made a mistake and could only sell their machines to libraries and schools! I suspect the knowledge that I would not need to pay their annual subscription fee for their blacklist cooled their interest in me.

Finally, in 2008, I decided I had no option but to build my own in-house filter. The result is what we use today in our own home and business, and what we make commercially available to other homes and businesses. We call it our White Knight.

30 day money back guarantee!

White Knight is sold only on eBay.

Simply log into eBay. In the search bar, type
"Online Web Blocking Content Filtering Parental Controls" to find our listing.


Copyright ©1996-2017 Aardsma Research and Publishing. All rights reserved.