I'm looking to set up something on my iPhone and iPad that works like SelfControl on my Mac. I get distracted by Facebook, and would like to restrict my access to it except during certain times of day.

I've looked into a few methods of doing this, and was wondering if anyone on here had any input, any other ideas, or any experience doing something similar to what I'm trying to do.

  1. First idea: use a VPN. I have a DigitalOcean droplet that I could deploy this on. My question is--is there an easy way to do access restrictions on a VPN, and how would I go about that? Would it be feasible to use IPtables?
  2. Second idea: Apple makes a product for enterprise deployment of iOS devices called the Configurator. After doing some preliminary research, it doesn't look like it's capable of the time-based restrictions that I'm looking for. Does anyone have experience using this?
  3. The built-in parental controls. But, again, looks like time-based restrictions are not an option.
  4. Use a proxy. But I don't think that would work with SSL connections.
  5. Use some sort of custom DNS provider to redirect requests from Facebook somewhere else during certain times of day. Is there a service that does this?
  6. Jailbreaking. I'd like to not jailbreak if I can avoid it. But if that's my only option, I'd consider it. It looks like there's a package called AppCap that can restrict the number of times an app is opened in a 24-hour period. Or I could edit the hosts file.

So, thoughts? Feedback? Any other ideas I haven't thought of?

Thanks in advance!

closed as off-topic by fixer1234, Steven, mdpc, DavidPostill, Deltik Mar 12 '16 at 11:35

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question is not about computer hardware or software, within the scope defined in the help center." – fixer1234, Steven, mdpc, DavidPostill, Deltik
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.


If you are looking to limit notifications, you can configure the Do Not Disturb feature which can be configured for certain times of the day. If you want to outright disable access, I would suggest setting up a proxy.

To do this on the iPhone, go to Settings -> Wifi -> (click on connection) -> HTTP Proxy

Many proxy applications will allow you to control access based on a schedule. Squid would be one way, but the setup is not super simple.

You may also want to simply configure your local internet router to block access to certain sites during a schedule, most cisco/linksys routers have this functionality.

  • Thanks, Michael. I've disabled notifications already and am just looking to limit access. Would the squid proxy work for SSL connections? And would that be enabled on all wifi profiles? The router setup would be ideal, but I'm looking for something that would work everywhere, not just on my home network. – davidmerrick Jul 25 '14 at 4:17

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