I'm looking for a way to block all internet access during specific times -- including websites, instant messaging, email programs.

Features I'm looking for:

  • Block internet access during specified times of the day,
  • Block all internet access on my work pc, not just browsing or certain websites,
  • Keep the pc accessible to the internal network (for file sharing and printing),
  • Define certain exception programs (such as Windows Update and anti-virus updates) so that these can access internet.

There are already a lot of questions regarding this, but the answers range from disabling IP address to software programs that only limit websites to web browser plugins. None of these have all the features I'm looking for.

I've already spend significant time on this problem, and a couple of weeks ago I thought I had found the solution with Internet Access Controller. However, the company doesn't respond to my emails, their forum is filled with spam and their last changelog update was more than two years ago -- suggesting that they've discontinued their business operations.

Which software program or Windows 7 feature can I use given the features I'm looking for?

  • Take a look at OpenDNS. It does what you're looking for. It requires your router to support it, but there's a chance your router already does (for example all Netgear wireless N routers do). – Hassan Jun 8 '12 at 7:11
  • Thanks Hassan, that's not a bad idea but using it would also mean that outer computers and devices connected to router have their internet access blocked (from my technical understanding of it). I want to block internet access on my work pc -- I've updated my question to reflect that. Sorry, should have been more clear about that. :) – Jura Jun 8 '12 at 8:10
  • Well, it is possible to block only on certain computers, as far as I know. But the answer you just got also looks promising. – Hassan Jun 8 '12 at 8:49

What kind of router do you have? It may be possible to simply log into the administration panel of your router and disable all internet access to the specific computer from there. You may even be able to do it for certain time periods. If you provide the make and model of router, we can look it up, see if it is possible, and give you the exact steps you would need to follow.

For example, with the Linksys WRT160N, you would simply go to the Access Restrictions page, and create a new Internet Access Policy. You would click the Edit List button to include the PC in question (by it's MAC address), then set up the time and days that it was allowed to have internet access.

As far as Windows Update and Anti-Virus updates are concerned, you could set both of those programs to get their updates at a time when no one was actually at the computer (say, 3am?) and then set the Internet Access policy to give that computer access to the internet at that time only.

  • Thanks Bon. I have a Netgear RP614v4, which has indeed an option to block services during a specified time interval according to the documentation. The question now is: where can I find which program uses which port(s), or from another perspective, how can I block all ports without the LAN ports? Do you might have an idea? :) – Jura Jun 8 '12 at 14:52
  • @Jura25 from what I read in that manual, it only blocks internet services... meaning it shouldn't affect traffic on the same port between computers on the same LAN (hosting a web server on a blocked computer, port 80, should still allow other computers on the lan to access the server on port 80). From what I see, the Service Type offers common programs (and thus ports) to choose, but you can just block EVERYTHING by selecting a port range of... say... 10 to 65535 and then schedule the blocking to be every day, from 4 am until 2 am. – Bon Gart Jun 8 '12 at 15:54
  • Thanks for your help Bon! It works indeed by blocking all ports for a specific IP address for a given schedule in the router. And when the router blocks these ports, the pc is still accessible to the network. I'm very happy with this - thanks again! – Jura Jun 9 '12 at 11:13
  • @Jura25 Excellent! Now it is just a matter of setting up Windows Update and your AV suite to update during a window of time when no one is there... which means leaving the computer on when no one is there... – Bon Gart Jun 9 '12 at 12:38

That should be easy. Uninstall all the browsers from your PC except for IE.

After that, block IE from the internet. Look at this guide:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/how_to_disable_internet_explorer.htm (When I tried this my IE and Firefox can't access the internet, but Opera and Skype can...)

Alternatively, you can block IE in your firewall...

  • Thanks for responding user1111261. :) This might work, but as I've said in my question I'm already aware of browser plugins which do the same (such as Leechblock for Firefox), and I'd also like to block instant messaging and email programs. Off course, I can block each of these programs in the firewall, but that would mean I'd have to change the settings in the firewall for multiple programs multiple times per day, which would not be a real solution in practice. – Jura Jun 8 '12 at 9:02
  • Browsers these days are more than just tools to surf the net. They can be used for all sorts of things, plus you may still want to be able to browse intranet pages. So this is clearly not a solution for Jura25's problem... otherwise you may as well say "just rip out that blue cable". – Amos M. Carpenter Jun 8 '12 at 9:59

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