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I'm looking for some free parental control software for Windows XP that will allow restriction of applications (MSN, Internet (IE or FF)) based on time of day and or hours used.

E.g. no MSN or Internet after 9pm or for only 1 hour/day.

I realize there are many commercial packages out there, however I don't want/need extensive keyword filtering, content filtering, logging etc. just simple time limits.

Any suggestions or personal reviews of applications appreciated.

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Your children are smart, they will pass those kind of software lock fast. The best way is to limit them yourself. – Michael B. Nov 3 '09 at 4:26
@Livinloud - my children are indeed smart ;-) - however the PC in question is not targeted for my kids - and the simplest of solutions would not be defeated. – scunliffe Nov 3 '09 at 13:01
Other people's kids are always dumber than yours, it's well known :-] – Gnoupi Nov 3 '09 at 13:44

It may seem like overkill, but upgrade to Windows 7! Perhaps Improved Parental Control would be another reason to upgrade from XP. That said I do realize there would be a cost.

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Unfortunately that isn't an option in this case. Its an old XP machine that likely wouldn't run Win 7 or Vista. – scunliffe Nov 3 '09 at 12:59

Some home routers have access controls built in so that you can limit internet access. If you have a home router, you might want to check your documentation or explore the configuration to see what is available. I know the Linksys WRT54G has such controls.

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AFAIK, Most that I've seen will let me block IP's and Ports, but nothing time/date based. – scunliffe Nov 3 '09 at 14:24

Doing it in the router with software like dd-wrt is probably your best bet, but there are easier methods if you're not worried about them being bypassed.

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