Why you should consider blocking some websites on your computer? Because there are websites which can spam you with explicit content, may try to use your personal data or can spread viruses. Now, you may know how to avoid these websites, however if there are people other than you who use the same computer you may wanna consider blocking certain websites.
There are several methods which can help you bock websites. You can opt for blocking websites only on specific browsers, on your network router or on the entire OS of the computer.
Follow these instructions:
Block websites on Computer
If you want to control to which websites someone can access from your computer, then you should set up block at the OS level. This is really easy method to block websites and will work across all web-browsers.
The anchor of the Internet today is the DNS system which serves to translate easy to remember and type names like www.yahoo.com into equal IP addresses (126.96.36.199). As you use the DNS servers to visit websites, your computer uses something known as a HOSTS file which sometimes can store this information on local level. And by using the HOSTS file you can disable access to certain websites. We have tested this method and works for Windows 7 and 8.
- First of all ensure that you have administrator access on your computer. You can do this by signing in to your computer using administrator account. After that go to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\
- Select and click on the file “hosts” and then open it with Notepad from the list of suggested programs to open the file. Press OK. Note that the last two lines of your hosts file should read “# 127.0.0.1 localhost” and “#:1 localhost”.
- If you cannot edit the file, you will have to right click on the file called “hosts” and choose properties. Now press on the Security tab, click on the administrator account and click Edit.
- Once a pop-up shows, choose the same account again and mark “Full Control”. Now press Applyà Click OK in all shown pop-ups.
- At this point, at the end of the file, you can write the address of the websites you want to block. To block the websites, simply add a line at the end of the file, along with 127.0.0.1 and after that just write the name of the website you want to block. In this way that site name will be redirected to your personal computer.
- For instance, if you want to block Yahoo, just add “127.0.0.1 yahoo.com” to the end, without typing the quote marks. With this method you can block unlimited number of sites; however you should know that you can add only one per line.
- Now if you have decided which sites you wanna block, just repeat the previous step as many times as necessary
- After that close the hosts file and press on Save. You will have to Reboot your computer in order for the made changes to take effect. Once the Reboot is complete all the websites that you have listed will be blocked.
The process of blocking websites on OS X is slightly different.
- You will need to have administrator access on your Mac. After that open Terminal. This can be found under ApplicationsàUtilitiesàTerminal
- Write sudo nano /etc/hosts and press enter. You will be prompted to enter your user password.
- After you have logged on the file etc/hosts will be opened in text editor. Write the name of the website you want to block in the following format “127.0.0.1 websitename.com “(don’t add the quotes). Now for every website that you want to block, just begin a new line and enter the same command with replacing only the website name. Once you have finished adding the websites you want to block, press Ctrl+x and after that press Y to save the changes.
- Now type in the command sudo dscacheutil –flushcache. After that press Enter or restart your Mac computer in order for the changes to take effect and the websites to be blocked.
How to block websites on browsers
To block a certain website on any web browser is really simple.
For example, on the browser Firefox, you can simply install an add-on that is called BlockSite which will allow you to block any website.
The procedure is something like this:
- Get the add-on installed and press simultaneously ctrl+shift+a and press on Extensions from the menu on left. After that click on Options which is under BlockSite. A pop-up will be shown. From it click on Add and write in the name of the website you wish to block. Repeat the same step for each website you want to block. Press OK.
- The websites which you have added in the previous step will now be blocked in Firefox. It is also possible to add a password in BlockSite to prevent other people from editing your list of blocked websites. You can do this from the options menu that we have described in the previous step.
You can block certain websites on Google Chrome too.
Blocking websites on Internet Explorer is probably the easiest.
Follow these instructions:
- Launch Internet Explorer and open Tools (alt+x)àInternet Options. Press on the Security Tab and after that click the red Restricted Sites button. Click on the sites button which is bellow the Restricted sites button.
- A popup will be shown, in here type the names of the websites you want to block. Add the websites one by one. You need to click Add after you finish typing the name of each site. Once you are done, press Close and Click on OK in all other windows. Afterwards, all the websites which you have added will be blocked in Internet Explorer.
How to block websites on a phone or tablet
There are some excellent parental control tools in Apple’s devices which can enable you to block certain websites. Just follow these instructions:
- Open Settings General Restrictions
- Press on Enable Restrictions. Add your Passcode for restrictions. Note that it is recommended that you place a different Passcode than the one which you use to unlock your phone
- Once you set the Passcode, go down and tap on Websites. From here you can either choose to limit adult content or to allow access to specific websites only.
- If you select access to specific sites only, you will see a short list of allowed websites in which Disney and Discovery Kids are included, however you can also add sites by just tapping on Add a Website.
- If you press on Limit Adult Content, Apple will block those sites that seem to be objectionable, however it is possible to white list WebPages by just pressing on Add a Website right under Always Allow, or you can blacklist those websites by tapping on them under Never Allow.
- If you have blocked a certain website and later you try to access it, a message will be shown telling you that the webpage is restricted. To visit the page, go under Allow Website and tap, and add the Restrictions Passcode to open it.
If you are Android user who wants to block websites, then first you will have to edit the hosts file on your Android device to redirect sites you want to block. A file Manager and a text editor will be required for this. You can use the ES File Explorer which is an app that allows you to do both things at once.
- First, get ES File Explorer and install it. After that Open ES File Explorer and press on the “/” button which is on the top. Now, Tap on System—etc.
- A folder will be opened where the hosts file is. Tap on it and on the pop-up menu tap Text. When the next pop up comes, tap ES Note Editor.
- Now tap on the three dots button which is in the top right and then tap Edit.
- At this point you will be editing the file, and in order to block websites you will need to redirect their DNS. To redirect the DNS, start a new line, and type “127.0.0.1 www. websitename.com” (do not type the quotes, and on place of websitename, enter the name of the website you want to block). You will need to enter a new line for each website you want to block. For instance, type “127.0.0.1 yahoo.com to block Yahoo.
- Now Reboot your Android device
If you find this method a bit complex then you can simply install an anti-virus app like Trend Micro which will allow you to block certain websites.
- Install Trend Micro. Open Options Safe Surfing
- Navigate to Parental Controls and press on Set up account. Create a new account and you will be shown an option called Blocked List. Tap on it, and after that tap Add. Add the Websites which you want to block. Add each one at a time. Once you finish this, you will no longer be able to access those sites from your Android device.
It is not possible to completely block websites on Windows Phone; however you can download the AVG Family Safety Browser. This app will enable you to block sites that have explicit or malicious content and if you go and buy the AVG anti-virus license and create an account, you can even customize the list of your blocked websites.
How to block websites on your network
If you have Wi-Fi network in your home, then you can set up a block of undesirable websites thru your Wi-Fi router. The majority of the current routers do not have user friendly interfaces, so this can be a bit difficult to do, and the procedure is slightly different for each router, however the general concept is similar for all, so if you are persistent, you can set up the block on your network.
However, remember that if you alter the wrong setting you can accidentally deactivate your Wi-Fi connection, so if a problem occurs, you should contact your ISP immediately.
- During our testing we have used a Beetel 450TC1 router provided by MTNL in Delhi, and a Binatone Router provided by Airtel. The procedure was the same for both routers. To begin with, you are required to go to the settings menu of your router. To do this, start any browser and enter 192.168.1.1 in the address bar. Press Enter. There are routers that use different addresses so if this address does not work, you should check the manual for the router as well as the documentation of your ISP
- You will be prompted to enter a username and password. By default they should have been already set at the time of the installation of your connection. The defaults normally are – Username—Admin and Password—password.
- As we have already said before, some interfaces may be different. In the MTNL router which we used we have discovered that we can block the websites from Access Managementà
- There is a drop down menu that is called Filter type selection. Just select the URL filter and type the website you want to block in the provided URL field below. Above that field there is an option that is called Active. There are two buttons there, Yes and No. Select Yes and press Save. In that way you will block the website on your network.
- It is possible to create up to 16 lists of blocked websites, and each of them can contain 16 websites with this method. That means that the total amount of blocked websites is up to 256 websites. Still, as I have mentioned before, this may vary for different router models.