Would you like to be able to block all users of your system from accessing certain websites, regardless of the browser they choose to use? Well, it’s a relatively simple process that can be done by editing the Windows HOSTS file. This is just one of a number of different options you have available to you.
That said, check out the various methods I have outlined below, each method has its own pros and cons, so do choose wisely.
Block a Website in Windows
Note: When you use this method to block a website, the block will only apply to the computer you implement this method on. Any other computer, laptop or mobile phone that is connected to your network, will be able to access the previously blocked site.
It is possible for you to block a website within a Windows environment by editing the HOSTS file (as I have previously mentioned). To do this, simply do the following:
1. First you must boot into your computer with a user profile that has full administrative rights.
2. Then press Windows Key + R, type %SystemRoot%\System32\drivers\etc\hosts and click on OK.
Note: For Windows 95/98/ME users, the HOSTS file can be found in the following location: %WinDir%\hosts
3. An Open With dialog box should appear, simple select Notepad and click on OK.
4. Once the HOSTS file successfully opens, navigate to the bottom of the file, just below 127.0.0.1 localhost, then type the following (replacing sitetoblock.com with the site you would like to block):
5. Then click on File -> Save and close the file.
Note: Access to the website will now be blocked on your system, on all internet browsers. When a user attempts to access the blocked site, they will be redirected to localhost instead.
Block a Website Using Software
Note: Just like with the first method, using software to block a website will only block access to website on the system that has the installed software. All other systems on the network will still be able to access the blocked site.
That said; you can block a website by using a filter or <a href=”http://www.compuchenna.co.uk/use-windows-firewall/”>software firewall</a>. Most internet security suites will come with a firewall as part of the bundle or at least give you the option to access one, AVG and ZoneAlarm being two good examples.
Software filtering is another option, which you should be able to acquire from the same developers that make internet security software. Configuring these applications varies depending on the brand and version, so check the application manual for further information.
Internet Browser Blocks
Blocking a website on a browser is probably the easiest way of doing it, but certainly not the most efficient, since the user need only change browser to access the blocked website.
That said, in order to block a site on Google Chrome, I’d recommend you downloaded and installed Block Site.
1. Once you have installed the plug-in, simple click on the top-right Options Icon, and then click on Settings.
2. This will take you to Chrome Settings, from here, click on Extensions, then click on Options under Block Site.
3. To block a website, simply put in a URL, and then click on Add page, under List of blocked sites.
Note: It’s also possible for you to block access to websites based on certain keywords. Which can prove to be a more efficient way of blocking websites, with the downside of it being a little too gung-ho at times, but that depends on the keywords you specify.
Time blocks is another cool feature of this tool, most ideal for those that would like to restrict access to certain websites during a period when they know someone other than themselves will be using the computer, such as children or a parent etc.
That said, when it comes to other browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari, the same rules apply, simply download this plug-in (Block Site) and restrict access to the websites of your choice.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website; find solutions to a plethora of computer problems on his site at Compuchenna.