My GF is from a country X. She is now living abroad but is addicted to internet and often spends many hours per day on her laptop browsing "nonsense" information by websites from that country X, or written in a language used by people from that country X.

She hates this habit of hers, and asks me to block as many possible URL from that country as possible.

As she is using her laptop at many places to browse the Net, I think that setting up a DNS Server to filter URL is not practical.

Using OpenDNS is not possible also, I've tried to change the DNS Servers to the ones recommended by OpenDNS.com ( and 220), but after changing, I could not even ping any website.

At the same time editing the Windows/system32/drivers/etc/hosts file is not also practical, since the list in that file must be very long, and some websites appear with many different names (e.g. w^3.xyz.com, hxxp://w^3.xyz.com, hxxp://news.xyz.com, hxxp://xyz.com, hxxp://chat.xyz.com) which should be all blocked.

Any smart way to do this blocking? I can do the programming with C++/Java/Shell/Batch if needed. If you recommend some third-party software (on Windows), I'll have my doubt if they bring malware to that laptop.

I prefer something with regular expression, wildcard, or IP range blocking (so that I could block many sites from one country)

Thanks for your time and help

  • Wouldn't she just find different sites to surf even after blocking known ones? :) If it truly is an addiction. – Troggy Sep 29 '09 at 17:36
  • What browser is your girlfriend using? – innaM Sep 29 '09 at 17:43
  • Firefox as browser, sorry not to mention that – nemcuon Sep 29 '09 at 17:50
  • My HOSTS file is 800KB and has 18000+ entries (16000+ come from mvps.org/winhelp2002 ) and works perfectly well. It's the best way to block any host site. – PA. Nov 3 '09 at 8:13

Actually, you might just want to try giving your significant other Firefox + a blocker add-on.

Setup a blocker to block sites based on keywords - and then type in the name of Country X so that any site with Country X mentioned will be restricted.

You could try the FF add-on ProCon Latte or just search for "block" on the FF add-on site.

P.S It's good to know about the country one is staying in - not a bad habit, and potentially can save your life/time/money. Besides, it's probably only the initial euphoria of being in a new country. Give your GF some time in that country, and she'll be yawning at the news.

  • Helll ProCon Latte simply rocks. I'll test that more. Thanks My GF has a problem with integrating into the Western Society, she is from Asia, she both misses her country and doesn't want to miss that country – nemcuon Sep 29 '09 at 17:57
  • 3
    I am Singaporean, and was in UK and Australia for about 5 years total. Yeah, you'll miss your home country, and will be eager to know about what happens there. Give her some time, keep her occupied, and the pace will relax after awhile. Not good to block sites though, in case really important news happens and she needs to find out about it. – caliban Sep 29 '09 at 18:03
  • Hi Caliban. I might sometime later unblock for her. Currently a rude policy first, then harmony might come later. Thanks. She read news, chat on forums, ... too much, and she hates that :) – nemcuon Sep 29 '09 at 18:45
  • Seems to be fine with ProCon Latte. Now, if I want to block also her desktop (also XP, with VMware running other Windows or other OSes (Linux, BSD,...), and I don't want to export/import between the list I have made on the Procon Latter on her Laptop. What is the smart solution? My Linksys router has one option to block the site, but it's provided list is TOO limitted (4 sites and 6 keywords) – nemcuon Sep 29 '09 at 20:27
  • I too have some experience with changing countries. Brutally blocking her out will just send her into depression. I advice against. – harrymc Oct 1 '09 at 13:59

I'll have my doubt if they bring malware to that laptop.

if your concern is malware related, try a different approach:

have your GF using Sandboxie. run any web-related application inside an isolated environment and be done with the 'culture of fear'.

  • How trustable is Sandboxie ? – nemcuon Sep 29 '09 at 18:44
  • if you use it consequently, VERY trustworthy, hard to beat. even better in the registered version. if you have some memory to spare, use a RAM disk as container. if you don't mind a rather restrictive solution, then use DeepFreeze (not free). – Molly7244 Sep 29 '09 at 19:13
  • 1. How can we tell a closed-source software is very trustworthy? 2. Sandboxie helps to avoid a browser from making unwanted changes to our system, by putting that browser into a sandbox, and wipe that sand box off after using the browser. This does not help me with the fear "to install/run a URL Blocking program" – nemcuon Sep 30 '09 at 9:58
  • ah well, that was a misunderstanding on my part, i thought you were worried about certain websites causing harm to the computer. but you're abviously afraid that software to avoid just that will infect your computer. no cure for that. – Molly7244 Sep 30 '09 at 13:53
  • No prob. Molly. Thanks also for sandboxie, never heard of that and I am alsy now playing with that. Seems to be a great app. – nemcuon Sep 30 '09 at 14:41

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