View Full Version : Tech Question: Blocking Internet


Yaaziel
03-08-10, 12:14 PM
Hi,

I work at home, and I've been trying to figure out how to limit distractions, and I recently came up the idea of creating a new user account on my PC that blocks access to everything but Microsoft Word (I'm a writer).

The problem is, it still seems to let IE8 work. I'm trying to figure out a way to block all Internet access for the special user account that I use for writing. I've tried the Windows Live parentla control thing, but it has been very buggy/won't let me log in. Is there an IE8 setting that I could do, or some other setting to cut the wires for one user, but not the main account?

Betelgeuse
03-08-10, 12:40 PM
Before all of this make sure your account is an Administrator. Then change it to a limited account with your other "Administrator" account after this is all done so that you can't change it back ;)

(1) Now Open Internet Explorer. Sorry, but this can only be done via IE... it will not work in firefox, opera, safari, etc.

(2) Go to: Tools -> Internet Options -> Connections [tab] -> Lan Settings

(3) Under "Proxy Server" check the box to enable it.

(4) Set Address as: 127.0.0.1

(5) Change Port from "80" to "90" (if it is blank, insert 90)

(6 & 7) Press "OK" (twice)

(8) Press the Windows "Start Button" -> Run -> gpedit.msc

(9) You will now need to drill down through the following values...

User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Internet Explorer -> "Disable the Connections page"

(10) Select "Enabled"

(11) Press "OK"

(12) Press "File -> Exit"

(13) Remember to change your account to "Limited Access" by using your other Administrator account

driftingintime
03-08-10, 12:49 PM
If your emphasis is keeping yourself off the internet, I might have a couple further suggestions.

Another option you may want to consider is access restricting access to the actual internet. If you use a router, many give you an option to limit access. This can be as specific as blocking a few sites, or as general as completely blocking internet access at specific times.

Another option that I have used is changing my DNS server, and limiting net access. Services like openDNS opendns.com let you selectively block access to the internet.

For me, these worked better than trying to limit access to the actual browser. I would always end up finding someway to get on the internet and BAM, day is gone.

Good luck.

Betelgeuse
03-08-10, 01:19 PM
If your emphasis is keeping yourself off the internet, I might have a couple further suggestions.

Another option you may want to consider is access restricting access to the actual internet. If you use a router, many give you an option to limit access. This can be as specific as blocking a few sites, or as general as completely blocking internet access at specific times.

Another option that I have used is changing my DNS server, and limiting net access. Services like openDNS <http://www.opendns.com/ let you selectively block access to the internet.

For me, these worked better than trying to limit access to the actual browser. I would always end up finding someway to get on the internet and BAM, day is gone.

Good luck.
This is definitely another way. Most routers allow you to block certain ports or IPs at certain times. The internet is port 80 for your reference.

The only thing is... it's just as easy to change this back after you do it as it is to go around the browser blocking the internet (maybe easier since it's faster).

Maybe have someone else create a password to the admin account or to the router depending on which route you go.

Yaaziel
03-08-10, 01:26 PM
I have Windows 7. I don't see anything about making it a limited user account, just Admin or Regular.

Betelgeuse
03-08-10, 01:53 PM
I have Windows 7. I don't see anything about making it a limited user account, just Admin or Regular.
Regular is the new limited. XP and maybe Vista, I don't know I only used Vista for a month or so before the beta of 7 came out, have Limited.

You just dont want your account to be able to install programs is all. It may help a bit since you won't be able to install another browser to get around it as easy.

gnbeg
03-08-10, 02:09 PM
There are internet safety applications that limit time on the internet. I think Safe Eyes or Netnanny do this, but I'm not 100% sure.

Parental controls works for me on Vista. You need an admin password to unblock a website.

Yaaziel
03-08-10, 03:12 PM
Regular is the new limited. XP and maybe Vista, I don't know I only used Vista for a month or so before the beta of 7 came out, have Limited.

You just dont want your account to be able to install programs is all. It may help a bit since you won't be able to install another browser to get around it as easy.

Thanks! I did what you suggested, though I don't understand what the LAN changes had to do with settings for a particular user. But it worked. No Internet for the Writing account. I let you all know if it works.

There are internet safety applications that limit time on the internet. I think Safe Eyes or Netnanny do this, but I'm not 100% sure.

Parental controls works for me on Vista. You need an admin password to unblock a website.

In Windows 7, it allows you to block programs (except for IE, strangely) and games, but to block the internet, you have to join Windows Live to get the nanny software, and it wasn't letting me sign in, and I didn't want the bloatware anyhow. The above fix seems sound, so far.

Betelgeuse
03-08-10, 03:43 PM
Thanks! I did what you suggested, though I don't understand what the LAN changes had to do with settings for a particular user. But it worked. No Internet for the Writing account. I let you all know if it works.

If I am understanding y ou correctly, you are wondering why you changed the proxy settings in IE8? By doing that you "point" your computer to your LAN/computer vs. connecting outside to the internet when using IE8.

The second part just gets rid of the "Connections" tab in IE8 so you can't set it back.

I suggest you just "lose" this thread so you can't come back here and undo your changes :p. Or, maybe I'll just edit my post ha!

dugup1254
03-08-10, 07:18 PM
I dont understand... if you dont want IE8 to work... then unplug the ethernet cord? Disable your wireless card. Plug it in after you switch accounts. You could also purchase a program like "NetNanny" where you can easily choose categories so that you may still use your Internet for researching; however, limited to only research and not games, forums, chats, sports, or anything of the sort. Those programs usually only run around $50 buck and may be the best option so that you can still use it for research.

mhyper790
03-08-10, 10:55 PM
Did you try to look at your Local Security Policies, this is how they block your internet if say they don't want specific user accounts to access the internet period.. Like at work..

Also setting security settings from a browser level, is easy to go around as some already stated, if you disable it from the web browser level, ensure you have it so that that user can not install programs I am pretty some have already stated this in this thread I apologize for the repeat.

Remove all browsers, and have it so that the user can not install programs.. Also if you decide to go the router route, ensure that you also disable port 443 (https) otherwise you may find that http is disabled but you are stall able to access https sites.
But this too can be worked around by simply switching your cables to go directly into your computer and or even by setting up proxy services.

In my view the best bet is go and restrict on a user level versus browser and router level...Wonderful Ideas by the way.

I hope I made sense, I have not worked with a windows system in a while as I use Linux (Mint). ;)

dugup1254
03-09-10, 12:16 AM
I hope I made sense, I have not worked with a windows system in a while as I use Linux (Mint). ;)

I don't really have the patiance to sit around and look through all these settings; however, if you are using Windows XP Professional there is a tool called the "Group Policy Manager" that allows you to make limits on user accounts (the correct way). You can access it by doing the following:

Open the run command by clicking start --> run.
Type "gpedit.msc" without the quotes and click ok.

http://vlaurie.com/computers2/Articles/group_policy_editor.htm
that is a good tutorial on how to use it. You can restrict everything from the control panel entirely, to restricting access to your system time. My bet is that they have something in there for Internet access as well, and that would be fairly easy to change. Take a look, see if this helps you at all


P.S. - hyper a thanks, not so much for the post, but because you use a Linux machine hah, that's awesome. Probably what's goin on my personal PC before too long.

DTownDave22
06-04-10, 11:05 AM
Personally, OpenDNS has been of help to me. It's helped me get out browsing habits. It's not convenient for me to type in a site that I want to go to, see a blocked page, then have to go to OpenDNS and put in a password and change up some settings.

Another key part was that it was relatively easy to set up--other suggestions I've found online that some posted above like changing some internet settings, were a bit above my knowledge and even when I thought I did them right, and followed the directions, it didn't seem to work, but I wouldn't discourage anyone else from trying them.

Yaaziel
07-26-10, 09:21 PM
Well, I ended up trying a couple of options...a netnanny called K9 Web Protection, which worked very well, but I ended up shutting it off because I hit a slow work period, and then got a project that required a lot of Net research. Will likely go back to it.

Frankly, the most effective tool has been a gadget that jst shuts down the whole computer...