There are several solutions, some more elaborate, others easier and more immediate, which allow you to block some sites on your PC or to limit the browsing time on those sites that waste time at home or at work. In this guide we will report all the free or free trial tools that we can use for block websites on PC, so as to make surfing the Internet aimed only at study or work.
How to block websites on PC
To obtain the desired block we can rely on some programs that are easy to install on a PC or some extension for the browser, to which we will still have to support a block of the apps (otherwise just change the browser to get around the block).
BlockSite – Website Blocker (Chrome and Firefox)
If we are looking for a level of protection integrated within the browser on the location to be blocked, we recommend that you immediately try the extension BlockSite, available for free for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
By installing this extension we will be able to choose which sites to display and which to block instead, using a whitelist-based approach (i.e. block everything except) or a blacklist-based approach (allow everything except). The settings can be protected with a master password, so that no one can circumvent the limits imposed and, for greater security, the extension is protected from uninstallation and replicates itself on all the profiles present (in fact it is not possible to circumvent it once installed on Chrome). The extension obviously also works incognito, to block sites for anyone trying to circumvent the bans in the anomalous mode.
To make it truly effective, however, we will have to work alongside an app blocking system, so that anyone who uses that profile can only start Chrome as a system browser; in this regard, we invite you to read our guide on How to block programs with passwords on Windows PC.
If the problem concerns our children’s PC, one of the most effective tools to monitor and block unsolicited websites or limit their use time is definitely Norton Family.
By installing the program on the PC it will hide from view and will be started as a system service, so that it cannot be easily deactivated (even when changing users). By accessing the program interface (via a master password) we can add the blocking profile to be implemented to our children and choose which sites can visit, which sites cannot visit (both with blacklist and using a whitelist), decide the time of use of the PC (dynamically excluding study hours and night hours) and monitor every activity carried out on the computer, including open programs (which can also be blocked).
In the home it is probably the most powerful and effective solution, but it is not available for free: we can test its functionality for 14 days, then it is necessary to purchase a user license in order to continue using it.
Other parental control programs similar to this can be seen in our guide Parental control and family filter on PC and internet: 5 ways to keep children safe.
If we are looking for something more oriented to use in business, to prevent employees from opening Facebook or other “distracting” sites, we can rely on the free program NxFilter.
With this advanced Internet traffic analysis and management tool (also based on DNS requests), we will be able to apply DNS blocks to all PCs present in our network or managed by a single administrator, which completely prevent the opening of sites we don’t want to open during business hours. With this program we will be able to configure both a whitelist (all blocked sites except those useful for work) and a less effective blacklist (all allowed sites except those listed).
In order to fully exploit the potential of this tool, we will have to prevent changes to network settings (to change DNS) and the installation of new programs (such as DNS Jumper); to do this we can use local group policies, as seen in our guide on How to use the Windows Local Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc).
If instead of a generic block of websites we are looking for something that blocks the Internet connection in certain time slots (study, work, night etc.), we can rely on a completely free tool such as InternetOff.
This small but effective tool allows you to set continuous programming for the times and days when Internet access is allowed; during “forbidden” times it will not be possible to open any website, since the connection will be blocked. To prevent changes or desired closings, this tool can be installed as a system service and also allows the creation of a security password, also effective for preventing uninstallation (however, we recommend that you use a program to block software or system menus ” dangerous”).
For block dangerous sites on a Windows or Mac computer, a good program that you can find is URL Blocker.
the program does not require installation, which means that all you have to do is run the file after downloading it. Operation is simple and without too many options, with the sole purpose of limiting access to specific sites, indicated in a list, so that it is not possible to visit them.
Until recently, an effective website blocking program called K9 Web Protection was available: unfortunately its development has ended and it is no longer possible to use it. The free alternatives are not lacking and allow you to block all requests for sites that are not allowed or out of hours: unfortunately, to obtain the same level of protection offered by K9, we will have to combine one or more tools together or focus on an effective paid solution such as Norton Family.
In another guide we showed you how check what is done on computers on the network (at home or, better, in an office).
To protect minors from browsing the web we can also use some programs that prevent browsing on dangerous or adult sites.
Another very effective method for for prevent the browser from opening some websites requires editing the hosts file, but requires no doubt some familiarity with Windows settings.