You can completely block a certain website in your computer using the Windows hosts file. But this isn’t one of the easiest techniques to block a website, you have to repeatedly open the Windows hosts file from My computer > Windows > System 32 > drivers >etc > hosts.
This is how the default hosts file of Windows look:
To block a website, simply append 127.0.0.1 www.domain.com domain.com at the end of the hosts file and the site is blocked in your computer.
Using the hosts file to block a website has it’s advantages as well as disadvantages. The advantage is that the website(s) is blocked and won’t open in any browser. The disadvantage is that to unblock the website, you have to find the host file again and remove the line manually. This can be tiring, because you may not remember the location of hosts file that easily.
Another good idea may be to block websites from your browser, this includes Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome to name a few.
How to Block Websites from Internet Explorer
You can block websites in Internet explorer using Internet explorer content filters. Following are the steps:
1. Open Internet Explorer, click Tools from the menu bar and select “Internet options”
2. Switch to the Content tab and click “Enable” to enable the content advisor.
3. This will open a pop up window where you can add a list of sites to block or unblock in Internet explorer. Switch to the “Approved sites” tab and add the sites you want to block, as shown below:
In the above example, the blocked site is shown by a red symbol whereas the allowed site is shown by a green symbol.
To block a site in Internet explorer, enter the full address in the text box and hit “Never”. To allow a site to be opened in Internet Explorer, enter the web address again and select “Always”.
5. In the next step, you will be asked to choose a password for the IE content advisor system. This is to ensure that no one else can remove the block from Internet explorer, in your absence.
Using the content advisor in Internet explorer can be useful, when you want to block or allow specific websites to be viewable. If you have kids using your computer, it will be a good idea to block pornographic or vulgar content using the IE content advisor tab.
Note: The website which has been blocked in Internet explorer will open in other browsers. However, blocking the site using the host file will block the website completely and it will not open in any other browser installed in your computer.
How to Block Websites From Firefox
Unlike Internet Explorer, Firefox does not have a default option to block or unblock websites from the options panel. However, you can install the Blocksite Firefox add-on to completely block specific websites in Firefox.
After the extension is installed, go to Tools > Addons >Blocksite > options and enter the list of websites which you want to block in Firefox.
The best thing about the extension is that you can import a list of URLS from a text file. So if you have a large number of sites to block, you can simply import all the URL’s using a text file rather than typing them one by one. The list can also be backed up using the export feature.
The extension supports password protection, hence no one else can override the your settings.
How to Block Websites in Google Chrome
You can completely block a website in Google Chrome by using the Blockit extension for Google Chrome. After the extension is installed, head over to the extension options and you will see a login screen as shown below:
For the first run, leave the password as blank and hit the Login button. You will enter the extension options, where you can add the websites you want to block in Google Chrome.
The extension makes it dead easy to block or unblock multiple websites in Google Chrome with a single click. You can password protect the extension options and choose to display a custom message when anyone tries to open a blocked site. (related: create password protected user profiles in Google Chrome)