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A friend of mine (who is not a geek) asks me how to stop her little brother from playing web games on her computer. She is currently using Chrome and IE, and I have never done that before, even on FF.

I would prefer a solution that is simple and does not require additional applications.

Although it seems unlikely, is there a solution that works for all browsers (i.e. do it once and I never have to fix it for a new browser)?

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List the router info, you can block sites there from hitting all the browsers on the computer. –  random Sep 28 '09 at 2:23
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8 Answers

up vote 17 down vote accepted

If you know the names of the sites, edit the hosts file (c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts) and put

127.0.0.1       www.site.com
127.0.0.1       site.com

This should stop him from visiting the sites.

That aside, there are many plugins available, but they would be easy to get around. I know if you use OpenDNS as your DNS provider (may need to change a setting on your pc or the router), If you sign up for a (free) account, I believe that you can filter games.

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Signing up for a free account will let you filter/block games sites, as well as other sites. You can also black list sites of your choice. However solutions such as these also limit your ability to play games. –  tgbarnett Sep 28 '09 at 2:44
    
a lot of routers have this support built in now too but this will affect the entire network unless the specific router has ip range support for the blocking –  Chris McGrath Dec 29 '12 at 18:27
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  1. The OpenDNS way is a good idea -- a reference.
  2. PeerGuardian is a good application to check -- here is a review.
    • This is a good option if your router cannot be easily configured for the purpose.
  3. ProCon Latte is a firefox specific addon (and brOOzi is another experimental addon)
    • would not be good for a system wide filter (for any browser)
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You can edit your C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\host file to mess with the DNS settings for this.

For example - add a line like so:

1.2.3.4    localhost

where 1.2.3.4 is the IP address of the gaming site in question. Assuming the little brother in question doesn't have admin access to the box - he shouldn't be able to change it.

Also - this will work for ANY network connection to the site (assuming the little brother doesn't go directly by IP).

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No. That's in reverse. You want to set the gaming site domain to the loopback IP address, not set the localhost domain to the gaming site IP address. –  TRiG Dec 5 '12 at 22:01
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Proxomitron is one of the most efficient web filtering applications under the sun.

on Siski's website you'll find well maintained configuration files.

Proxomitron is freeware and works for any browser.

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You could disable the flash plugin...

Also there's a throttle plugin for IE and FF I've used to tame many a sibling.

Those are both hacky solutions, a better one would be to log into your router/modem, and see if it has a filtering service (most modern ones do).

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Most linksys routers have an access restrictions settings. This is a easy and simple way to limit access to websites. It's also surprising the level of control you can set for each restriction. It may require a more technical person to set up, but it doesn't require any extra software as long as you have a router.

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Untangle for Windows might be an interesting solution to this. I've not used it (I do, however, use Untangle's "normal" firewall and love it) but it looks reasonably simple to setup.

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I don't see an operating system mentioned. One possibility is to create a separate account for Little Brother either in Windows, MacOS, or Linux, and in that account use the various child-protection applications mentioned in other answers. That way Big Sister isn't affected and can do what she wants. Of course she'll have to change her own password and not tell Little Brother.

Unfortunately this solution isn't compatible with editing the Hosts file, since that affects all accounts.

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