How to easily restrict access to certain websites with these utilities if you share your computer with other people

Internet has become an integral part of one’s life these days. With everyone following the online route, more and more people are getting hooked to Internet including children. Besides the good and positive things that the Internet offers, there are also several parts that may have negative impact on one’s lives.

While one cannot prevent the Internet from distributing material that are considered as not safe by many, there are ways to block access to such websites from the computer.

In this article, we bring to you three utilities that are expert in limiting the access of PC users to doubtful domains, mainly adult-oriented websites: HomeGuard, Qustodio, and Simple Porn Blocker.

Read below to understand how you can easily enable and disable these apps, as well as how to add any websites you want to the blocklist.

HomeGuard

At the end of the installation, HomeGuard will ask you to enter a password that is required for getting access to the program and configuring settings. It automatically starts to observe your web browsers and blocks access to unsuitable websites once it is launched. They will get an error about the network connection every time someone attempts to load such a site.

Even after the main window is closed, the tool runs and there’s no hint of it in the taskbar, systray, Task Manager or quick launch area.

To add your own websites to the block list, open the Options menu in the main app window and access Monitoring Settings. Go to Internet -> Websites, enter a domain in the dialog box before the Add button, and click Add to insert it into the list. In the next step, you can add more websites, and click Ok once you are done. In order to Block all except these URLs (tick this checkbox, instead of Block these URLs), you can also create a whitelist instead of a blacklist.

If you want to program HomeGuard to block the websites only at specific times (not always), go to Internet -> Websites -> Schedule and check Block at these times to keep the websites blocked only within a given time frame, or Block except at these times to keep the websites blocked all the time, except within the given time frame.

By setting the starting and end time (From: and To: boxes), a detailed schedule can be made for any preferred days or daily. Click the Everyday menu before From: to pick a day of the week (or leave Everyday), click the From: and To: boxes to type the starting and end time (click the up and down arrows to increase or decrease time), and click Add to insert the time frame for the specified day in the list. You can add as many entries as you want with time frames within the same day or different ones. Overlapping time will be amalgamated. Click Ok to continue.

Then, click the Stop Monitoring button in the main window to disable the HomeGuard service without uninstalling it.

Qustodio

This is a parental control app that authorizes the remote control (via a web browser) of any computer that has this program installed. It’s well-suited with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Kindle. The tool offers to auto-close any running browsers (required) during installation. However, to get started, it is essential to sign up with a Qustodio account.

To do this, tick the ‘I don’t have a Qustodio account box’ in the Welcome wizard, and put in your credentials in the following stage: Name, Email address, Verify email address, Password, Verify password. Click Next to continue and enter a Device Name to remotely recognize the current PC. Optionally, if you do not want the PC users to know they are being watched, you can tick the Hide Qustodio on this device box.

Next, you need to instruct the app Who uses this device by Typing a name and choosing the Birth year, Gender, and Avatar. Go to my Family Portal in the web browser once setup is over, and Log in with your Email address and Password to gain access to the Activity summary of each user, in addition to the Social activity, Web activity, and Activity timeline.

To check what kinds of websites are allowed and denied by Qustodio, go to Rules and choose the Web browsing rules tab. You can control this by clicking on a type (like Search Portal, Religion, Games, Gambling, Webmail, Alcohol or Tobacco) to open a menu and choose Monitor website’s category or Block website’s category.

To create a list of Website exceptions, proceed by scrolling down this page. Enter the URL and pick the action from a drop-down menu between Allow, Alert, Block or Ignore. If you want to block access to any websites that are not on the blacklist or whitelist of Qustodio, then go to the Uncategorized websites column on the right, and clear the Allow unknown websites option.

You can also schedule Time usage limits. To disable Qustodio temporarily, click its tray icon on the computer, choose Disable temporarily, enter your Email address and Password, and select the Duration. Only if you uninstall the tool, then can it be permanently disabled.

Simple Porn Blocker

This is a forthright tool that has two buttons you can click to Block Porn and Unblock Porn. As the tool alters the Hosts file to tell Windows what domains to block, it is of no relevance as to which web browser is being used. Changes should be immediately applied. However, if it appears that it is not working, you can restart the web browser.

The application can be closed to the desktop, because it does not have password protection as it doesn’t require to be run at all times. On the other hand, you should ensure that the PC user you are trying to protect doesn’t come across Simple Porn Blocker to click the Unblock Porn button. Therefore, it may be a good idea to uninstall the app after blocking the websites. After the removal of the program, the changes are not automatically undone. So, if you wish to unblock access to the websites (or restore the original Hosts file), you have to install Simple Porn Blocker again.

Also, you can open the Hosts file (in C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc) with a text editor, if you wish to add more websites to the blocklist. Then, scroll down until you see the #PORN SITES BLOCKER – START# and add any other domains by sticking to the format displayed (0.0.0.0 link). Ensure that you are inserting new lines before #PORN SITES BLOCKER – END#. Before doing so, you should create a backup of the original Hosts file (just copy and paste it into another location). Further, just overwrite the Hosts files with the backup to restore the backup.