4

On Windows 7 and 8 Microsoft Family Safety included the feature where you could block access to all websites except those explicitly listed in a whitelist at the Family Safety web site. With Windows 10, this feature has been removed, although Microsoft says that they are planning to return that feature at some point in the future (see https://account.microsoft.com/family/faq/).

In the meantime, is there a way to achieve similar functionality with another program or service? This service should work regardless of which browser is used.

6

If it's OK to block access for everyone who uses that computer, you can edit the HOSTS file to null-route non-approved websites, redirecting them to an IP address that doesn't exist (or, if you want to be annoying, redirect them all to something like nyan.cat).

As an admin, press Win+R and type

%systemroot%\system32\drivers\etc\

in the dialog box, and press ENTER. On the list of files in Explorer, right-click on "hosts", click "Open With" from the context menu, and then open it with Notepad. Once you're in, you can edit it like this:

#allowed sites
173.194.33.128 google.com
198.252.206.16 superuser.com
#blah blah, more sites here

#blocked sites
<paste the contents of http://pastebin.com/63hfPx8M here>

This null-routes all TLDs (.com, .net, etc.) and only allows through whitelisted sites.

To whitelist more sites, add a line for each website to the HOSTS file by putting the IP address of the website (see below), then a space, then the website name. Don't put "http://" in the name, or anything after the .com/.net/whatever TLD the website has.

To find the IP of a website, first do Win+R, then "cmd", then Enter. When the black box comes up, type ping <website> and press Enter. (Again, don't put "http://" or any of that stuff in.) Some stuff will show up, but what matters is the IP, which is in brackets:

C:\Users\Me>ping google.com

Pinging google.com [173.194.33.128] with 32 bytes of data:

So Google's IP is 173.194.33.128.

  • Is that new for windows 10? I can see that being useful in some cases. – Journeyman Geek Oct 19 '15 at 5:35
  • That behavior is not new, as far as I can tell. It's always been possible to null-route domains in the hosts file. – bwDraco Oct 19 '15 at 5:42
  • @JourneymanGeek It's not new, this works through like windows 98 or something. I know it works in XP and greater. – MilkeyMouse Oct 19 '15 at 7:08
  • 1
    @JourneymanGeek - Did you just ask if editing the hosts file was a new feature of Windows 10 :$ The problem with this solution is that companies like Google update server configuration daily. You are not directed to the same physical server every day and thus the address will change slightly when that happens. – Ramhound Oct 19 '15 at 11:07
  • Oh, that you could whitelist stuff. Then I realised what he was doing. – Journeyman Geek Oct 19 '15 at 11:31
0

You could use K9 which is a software that acts like a firewall. Good software and the best is that it is free.

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