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Windows 7: I need something to block URLS

09 Oct 2014   #1

I need something to block URLS

The computer I maintain has one user account without a PW. This is to allow residents of the facility to use the computer occasionally. I have had to remove some virus's from the computer. I suspect that the playing games ( which I have seen them do) might be the source of those virus's. I have decided and convinced management to put in a blocker so that the users cannot get to suspect sites. I guess I need two items a blocker and a list or lists that can be imported. Does anybody have any good ideas?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2014   #2
Macbook Pro

Modified Windows 7, Windows Professional, 32bit

Use localhost to block a website

that blocks it from any browser on your computer

Hosts File : Use in Windows 7 / Vista
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2014   #3

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit

Most firewalls have an option to enter URLs you want to block. Many AVs do too, like AVAST for instance, and settings can be protected by enabling the option to require a password to change them.

Another option is to edit the hosts file so that any undesired URL maps back to (the local computer).

The browser checks the HOSTS file before querying your ISP's DNS server for the matching IP of any website you visit (or that a program requests). So if you list "" in the hosts file along with their IP address, you will get to Yahoo! much faster b/c the browser won't have to query a server for the IP. If, OTOH, you map your own localhost IP of to, you won't reach the site at all b/c your browser will redirect you to your own computer. So to block a website, you can list it in the HOSTS file, mapped to the localhost address.

To Edit HOSTS file:

1. Navigate to c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\

2. Select HOSTS file, and CTRL+C to copy.

3. Click on Desktop, CTRL+V to paste

4. Go back to the /etc folder and rename HOSTS to Hostsbackup

5. On Desktop, dbl click HOSTS file and open with notepad.

6. Text following the "#" hashtag are comments. Edit the file as necessary by adding website names mapped to the address of choice. Follow the examples already contained there.

7. Save and close. Then Drag/Drop back into the original .../etc directory.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Oct 2014   #4

Windows 8

Parental Controls which is a feature already built in Windows gives various options to limit what users can do : what programs they can launch, which types of games they can start, etc..

Some tutorials exist on these forums explaining how to set it all up :
What can I control with Parental Controls? - Windows Help
Parental Controls - Setup and Use
Parental Controls - Set Time Limits
Parental Controls - Set Game Restrictions
Parental Controls - Allow or Block Specific Programs

To restrict Internet access you can either use the Content Advisor but afaik it will only affect Internet Explorer or use the Hosts file.
Internet Explorer Content Advisor - Allow or Block Specific Websites
Hosts File : Use in Windows 7 / Vista
Limit the content that children can view on the web

Another good option might be to use OpenDNS which can filter what your PCs can access from the Internet. You'll have to change your DNS in Windows or in your router settings.
DNS Addressing - How to Change in Windows 7
Home Parental Controls | OpenDNS
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2014   #5

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18.2 MATE, W10 Home, #All 64 bit

Here is a Host file picture showing a redirected URL (as mentioned in earlier posts).
The highlighted section is "blocked".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2014   #6

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
Games site blocking

Hosts file: It doesn't prevent connection if a user types the website's ip address.


Blocked domain in my HOSTS file:

I need something to block URLS-hosts-emeditor.jpg

Can still visit site if ip address is used:

I need something to block URLS-hosts-ip-address.jpg

So that's fine on a home computer with a sole user.

Blocking games sites - could take a fair amount of work but you'd need some sort of monitoring tool to see what sites are being visited as well as the ability to block them.

Take a look at this software - free and paid versions:

WFilter deployment, online user manual and guide, WFilter documents.

Take a look at how to block games sites:

Block online games of network computers - WFilter Enterprise

User Manual: WFilter Enterprise Manual 4.1

Take a look at deployment examples and see if it makes any sense to you. If not - ask for help. It's not something I know much about so other members might know more.

If you don't decide to use it at least it should give some idea of the kind of measures neeeded.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2014   #7

W7 Pro SP1 64bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by blockie View Post
The computer I maintain....
It might be less work for you if you learn/use a tool like:
ToolWiz Time Freeze ToolWiz Software

Or pick an alternative tool.

Toolwiz Time Freeze has been around for a while. (I've not used it - yet.) Here is a thread from 2011 that is still being posted to in 2014. The authors of this tool are mostly in China and South Korea - if that matters to you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2014   #8

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Callender View Post
Hosts file: It doesn't prevent connection if a user types the website's ip address.
Great to know and now that you say that, it makes perfect sense. Thanks for that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2014   #9

Windows 8

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by remm View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Callender View Post
Hosts file: It doesn't prevent connection if a user types the website's ip address.
Great to know and now that you say that, it makes perfect sense. Thanks for that.
But that's because there's already a tool in Windows to block directly IP adresses. The Hosts files takes care of redirecting hostnames to manually configured IP, Windows Firewall blocks/allow specific IP adresses.

Via the Advanced Security feature, you can create outbound rules and block some IP, and apply it to all programs, all ports.

Add or Edit Firewall Rule
Windows Firewall with Advanced Security
How to Create Advanced Firewall Rules in the Windows Firewall

Since some websites use pools of IP (sometimes changing all the time), this can be a pain (ex: Windows Update).
The easiest solution would be to allow only few IP adresses and block the rest (some schools do that), but you severely limit the usefulness of Internet with such a policy.

If think you're better off blocking hostnames via Host file, Content Advisor/Parental Controls or OpenDNS, and log your users Internet activity (Parental Controls can also help in that with the detailed report feature : If some users bypass your security with direct IP then use Windows Firewall or your router's firewall.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2014   #10


I thin I have enough info to decide what to do. Let's call it SOLVED. Thanks guys.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 I need something to block URLS

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