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A friend asked me to block a website on his computer, and not tell him how I did it. He knows about the hosts file, and ends up just unblocking the site himself if it's blocked from the hosts file.

Is there a simple way to block a website that my friend (who is average as far as tech literacy goes) won't be able to easily reverse? I'd prefer not to install invasive child-monitoring software if possible. I believe he's running Windows 7.

Edit: He's a student, and is on-campus pretty often. I think he has control over his home network, but just blocking it on his home network will only be mildly helpful.

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is this blocking facebook for him? Because i did this pretty much every semester in school hahaha – im so confused Jan 30 '13 at 15:54
@AK4749: No, but you're close :P It's not an embarrassing website, I just prefer to give as few details as possible when it's someone else's privacy. – Matthew Pirocchi Jan 30 '13 at 15:55
hahaha of course, I completely understand. just assumed from my previous experience lol (also had to block imgur and reddit lmao) – im so confused Jan 30 '13 at 15:57
Assuming your friend has physical access to his own computer, whatever you come up with will be reversible. I'm not sure polling for ideas your friend won't think of is a good fit for this site, but let me throw in a suggestion on a helpful note: route add -p [website IP] mask metric 1 if 1. – Marcks Thomas Jan 30 '13 at 16:30
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Install K9 Web Protection from BlueCoat and set it to block whichever site you want.

Since this program is installed on the machine, you don't have to worry about networks and the like, it's a device based filter, and believe me it cannot be removed without the master password.

So set a long and secure password, and use your email address to register the license and installing the software.

Stay safe

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Are you saying that you can't uninstall the program without a password? If so, I would not trust the app! – Dave Jan 30 '14 at 10:20

You could always block the site on the router itself. This process will vary depending on which router you have, but assuming you have a LinkSys/Cisco router (which seems to be a standard company people go with), look for something like:

Access Restrictions

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Great suggestion, but he's a student (often on-campus), so I'm trying to find something that follows his laptop, rather than only working at home. – Matthew Pirocchi Jan 30 '13 at 15:54
@Matthew As far as on-device blocking, I believe that the HOSTS file and third party software would be your only option – Kruug Jan 30 '13 at 15:56

I guess your best bet for on-device blocking might be a firewall app that provides parental controls, so you can lock its settings and prevent unauthorised modification of the site block rules you've set up.

For example, Comodo (not an endorsement of a specific app since I've never used it):


Of course, if he has admin access to his laptop there's no real way to prevent him from disabling/uninstalling the app.

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OpenDNS has the ability to block individual domains: up to 25 of them with the free account

From their help: OpenDNS provides Web content filtering at the individual domain level, which enables administrators to Always Block (adds domain to the blacklist) or Never Block (adds domain to the whitelist) the Internet domains that you specify. When you manage domains directly, these settings override any specified through category filtering.

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Is OpenDNS something that I set up on his computer, or on his network? I.e., will it follow his laptop to school? – Matthew Pirocchi Jan 30 '13 at 15:57
you will actually alter the DNS settings of his connection. setting them to the OpenDNS servers will get that part set up, and creating an account will let you set up the filtering. If he needs the block at multiple locations, then OpenDNS may not be suitable, as to protect more than 1 network you need a paid account – SeanC Jan 30 '13 at 16:00
OpenDNS also has an updater that makes sure everything is running smooth. This allows you to connect the account to the required filtering you want. Of course this application can also be closed I suppose. – Ramhound Jan 30 '13 at 16:10

Long story short if he has physical access to the computer there isn't anything you can do to prevent him from getting access to anything he wants. It's one of those rules of computer security.

"Law #3: If someone has unrestricted physical access to your computer, it's not your computer anymore".

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Sure, but I'm not dealing with Kevin Mitnick here. He just wants it difficult enough to enable his self-control. – Matthew Pirocchi Jan 31 '13 at 3:16

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