Aug 10, 2018 @ 2:41 am

How to block specific website URLs from your computer?

Have you realized that frittering away your time by adhering to some websites is directly hindering your progress and work efficiency?

Have you noticed that it’s obstructing your success path by controlling the mind & ultimately affecting your productivity to a great extent? If yes, then how about blocking these time-killing websites from your work laptop or desktop?

In this post, we have explained how to Block specific URLs from your Computer and Increase productivity.

Highlights: This article has depicted the ways to block particular URL on Windows, Chrome browser, Mozilla Firefox, Linux OS, Mac OS, Wi-Fi networks and LAN respectively. So, scroll to the desired section as per your requirement. But first, we let us convince you on blocking websites from your system, because most of you don’t think that it is needed.

Why Block Websites which Distract You from Work?

Social media, entertainment sites and other side interests are good, but up to an extent. After that, these are harmful for your career and even life. But reluctantly or non-reluctantly, we remain engaged with them.

block websites that distract you at work

We think that we will reduce spending time on our favorite unproductive websites but cannot, because it’s a habit now. The simplest way to get rid of this bad habit of overusing internet is to involve some external source to help us.

In this scenario, blocking these websites or URLs from your laptop, desktop, may help. Or if you think that your employees or students are killing time, you can block the most destructive URLs from your network too.

Here are different Methods of Blocking websites, web pages and URLs:

How to Block specific URLs in Windows on a system level?

If you are a Windows user, the easiest way is to block certain URLs from your device is through the HOSTS file.
The procedure includes reaching to the host location, which is:

C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc

In this folder, you will find ‘HOSTS’, which is a system file.

hosts system file

Now, open ‘hosts’ file with notepad or any text editor. Keep in mind that you should be having administrators’ rights to edit this file.

Do not modify anything which is already present in the file, but reach the end of this file.

To block a website or web page, you will have to add this line to ‘hosts’ file:

127.0.0.1         www.example.com

Here, example.com is the website which I am trying to block and 127.0.0.1 is address of the localhost.

You just have to copy the URL of the website to be blocked:

select the site you want to block

 

And add to the file in the end:

edit hosts file

You can add any number of websites to this list by appending their URLs here. Follow the same steps recursively. This file can be edited in any text editor, like Notepad++, WordPad, Notepad, Dreamweaver, etc.

Unblocking websites from Windows

To unblock the website, you can remove these URLs from HOSTS file, whenever you want to.

Blocking websites on Browser Level

Blocking a website on system level is very effective but it blocks or unblocks website forever. What if you want to block a particular website for the time when you are working?

  • How to Block specific URLs on Chrome?

There are several extensions, which you can use to save your time by blocking certain URLs temporarily.

You can search for URL blockers on Chrome web store. Add the most pertinent after checking their ratings. Some of the good URL blockers are StayFocusd, Work Mode, Chrome Nanny, Tinyfilter, etc.

Always add extensions from the chrome web store and not from external sources, otherwise, it would further corrupt your files instead of helping you.

The process

Type ‘chrome://extensions’ in your browser’s URL bar and this tab will open up –

chrome extension - website blocker for chrome

Now you can search for the right extension (or pick one from our suggestions).

This is how an enabled extension looks like (icon could be different):

Enabled Extension in Chrome

You can block sites, set it on work mode, or adult blocks.

  • How to Block specific URLs in Mozilla Firefox?

If you are using Mozilla Firefox as your browser, you will have to find add-ons for your browser, in order to block websites.

block specific URLs in Firefox

Next, you need to go on add-ons and type block sites. A list will appear. Depending upon priorities, you can download accordingly.

firefox addons

After this, add the URL in the add-on and rest focused on your work. Make sure the extension you are adding is reliable and won’t affect the efficiency of your system or browser.

How to Block specific URLs in LINUX?

If you work with Linux, you can ban URL particularly or for simplification, you can make IP sets and block those sets. Latter will allow you to block multiple URL in one go.

For this, you can use iptables tools and Netfilter firewall.

Update iptables rules after constructing IP sets using combinations of multiple IP addresses using a tool called ipset.

You can install ipset on Linux Mint, Ubuntu or Debian by giving it the written command

$ sudo apt-get installipset

For Fedora or RHEL 7/CentOS, you can use:

# iptables -A INPUT -s 195.84.92.105 -j DROP

Using IPSet Command, you can ban multiple IP Addresses. A hash:net type IP set uses hash to store several CIDR blocks.

Mainly, to block an IP address in Linux you need syntax:

iptables -A INPUT -s IP-ADDRESS -j DROP.

How to Block specific URLs in MAC?

Use MAC blocking tool to limit the URL by blocking the distractive ones.

MAC blocking tool

Process is:

  1. Open Terminal
  2. Type: “sudo nano / etc /hosts” and run this command.
  3. Type your Mac’s password and proceed.
  4. Bring the cursor to the “bottom” of the page
  5. Type “127.0.0.1” as the local host address and press “Tab”
  6. Enter the URL of the site you want to block, press the “Return” button.
  7. Press ctrl “X” and “Y” and then press “Return”.

How to Block specific URLs on routers for Wi-Fi networks and LAN?

As a company head, if you don’t want to let the malicious distractions affect the work of your team or as parents, you want to restrict your child’s usage of the internet. So in this case, you can block URLs on the network level.

Though it may differ according to the interface, the basic process is similar for all the Wi-Fi routers.

  • Go to the routers “Setting”.
  • Open a browser and its address bar and type 192.168.1.1. Tap “enter”. IP address may vary, you can check in in ISP documentation.
  • Type your username and password that you had set while installing the connection.
  • Reach to “Access Management” make a selection of your “Filter type” from “drop-down menu”.
  • Type the URL, which you want to block and SAVE.

The process may vary a little but the primary process is this only. It would allow you to block a maximum 256 URLs. For LAN, you can block the required URL using “Firewall” or the simplest system level block can be of help.

This is how you can block particular URL’s you wanted to on various levels and increase your productivity.

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