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How To Block Websites In Google Chrome

by Sagnik Roy on May 10, 2014

Entertainment websites or social networking sites distracting people in the work environment and hampering work efficiency is a steadily growing problem. So is underage kids gaining access to mature content websites as it is all openly accessible and for free. Google Chrome by default blocks a lot of malicious websites, but it does not block websites by content. To block such websites, Google Chrome has a customization setting in the browser which helps to keep a check on children and to keep work environment healthy.

BLOCKING WEBSITES IN GOOGLE CHROME

  • First launch Google Chrome, and go to the customization option by clicking on the Chrome menu button. This is located in the far right of the address bar and the icon is denoted by three stacked horizontal lines.
  • Then click on “Settings” towards the end of the menu which will open the settings tab.
  • Once in the settings page, scroll down towards the bottom of the page and click on “Show advanced settings” to expand the page and view other customization settings.
    chrome_advanced_settings
  • Scroll down to the ‘Network’ sub-heading and click on “Change Proxy Settings”. This will open up the Internet Properties dialogue box.
  • Under the ‘Security’ tab, select ‘Restricted Sites’ and click on the ‘Sites’ button just below it.
    restricted_sites
  • This will open a popup where there is a field to enter the URL of the website which is to be blocked. After typing the URL, press enter. The website will be added to a block list. There is also a field below it, where the list of all the blocked websites are displayed for user to unblock if required.
    block_facebook
  • Close the windows and exit.

This process is simple and temporarily it seems like it works, But it’s actually just a gimmick and is not remarkably effective. Let’s discuss why.

  • The main reason is that it is practically impossible to block a particular category of websites or block sites by keywords. This means blocking a particular type of content is not possible as users will have to enter specific URLs for every site they want to block. And there can be innumerous sites catering to similar content.
  • The block is too easy to bypass. For starters, where there is an option to block sites in Google Chrome settings, there is also the provision to unblock them. To add to that, there are a number of online anonymizers available which easily let users to pass such bans.
  • This way of blocking sites is naturally not universal. Any other browsers in the same computer will not be subjected to this ban and will allow users to surpass it. Moreover, if the user merely signs in with a different account into Google Chrome, the block list doesn’t apply. There is also provision of incognito browsing and that too does not affect the sites put in block list in a particular account.
  • This process can just block the main webpage. Any other subpages or sub links are not blocked. For example, if ‘facebook.com’ is blocked, users can easily login by visiting a page such as ‘facebook.com/computers’.

CHROME EXTENSIONS FOR BLOCKING WEBSITES

There are also a number of Chrome extensions which help in limiting or blocking the usage of unwanted websites which take away a chunk of time. These are more efficient than the process mentioned above. Let’s check out three of these productive Google Chrome Extensions.

Chrome_step_1

 

StayFocusd – Users can browse to the respective websites and click on the StayFocusd icon to block that particular site. The settings are very powerful, personalized and can be used to block entire websites, selected parts of it or to allow access to selective parts of a website. Users can set the maximum amount of time that a particular blocked website’s access will be allowed. There is also a provision to set a difficult challenge which user will have to complete to gain access to a block site.

TinyFilter – One of the simplest extensions available in Chrome store for blocking websites. It does not provide with complicated customizable settings and gives just two options, either to allow a site or to block it. Other features include searching websites using a keyword, and there is a profanity filter with pre-defined list of words and users can also add to the list.

Both of these extensions serve the purpose of blocking websites, limiting access and blocking profanity. But the only drawback is that these extensions can be easily disabled or uninstalled by anyone thus rendering the whole effort worthless. However, there is another extension which in my opinion is much more concrete but comes with a price.

Block Site – After adding a website to the block list, trying to access the particular website will redirect to a special page with an interactive mascot. It serves the purpose and also adds a humorous twist to it. The context menu provides with all the settings for the extension and can be accessed by right clicking anywhere in the screen. Block Site also blocks profanity, lets user allot fixed time and days to make a website accessible and also works in the incognito mode. There is another very effective feature of Uninstall protection, which makes this extension password protected and uninstallable. This means no one else can disable or uninstall this extension without the password. This provision makes this Chrome extension to block websites very effective and has a onetime cost of 4.99$.

But yet again, these fixes will work only on Google Chrome and the blocked sites if accessed from any other browser will open automatically. It is also possible to block a number of sites completely from a computer irrespective of what browser is being used. To read more about these methods click here.

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