Can I block my computer from the internet during certain hours?

I have no willpower. Instead of working on my novel, or cleaning the kitchen, or doing sit-ups, I spend hours online, filling my mind with fascinating but mostly non-productive tidbits of information and stranger’s opinions. Are there any parental controls out there that will work with my computer’s clock to block all internet access during certain hours? Barring that, give me some tips on improving my willpower. Help me do something productive with my time!


I use windows XP and explorer, if it matters.

I think most routers have such features. You’ll also get some firewall protection in the bargain. On sale they go for well under $50, and you can probably pick something up a lot cheaper on ebay.

Almost all of the manuals are available online, so you can confirm it will do what you need.

Never used it myself, but Software Time Lock (30-day free trial, $30 to buy) looks like it will fill the bill.

There’s also the option of the arcane device known as a “power switch.” Your manual should have instructions on how to use it to limit access to the Internet.

Unplug your modem perhaps?

In all honesty, any type of block that you put in place can also be removed by you. Perhaps search the web on how to improve your willpower and put that to work. You will probably benefit in more ways than one.

Yeah, but then we won’t reap the benefit of the OP posting intriguing questions… :smiley:

The concept of willpower is a crock. You can’t focus yourself on not doing something - you’ll just drive yourself crazy wanting it more. You need to find a way of making the other activities you mentioned more attractive to you such that you want to do them more than you want to surf the 'net. This way the problem solves itself (but it requires a change in perception, and that’s never necessarily easy).

Sygate Personal Firewall has a timer type feature that can do what you are looking for. You set the times you would like to have certain programs have access to the internet.

Version 5.6 is the last version that was free before Symantic bought it, but that would do the trick.

Simply get a friend, spouse, kid, etc. to put in a password so that you can’t change it. I’ve occasionaly tried several solutions (including setting to in my hosts file) but inevitably, i just change it back when i’m looking to procrastinate.

But if you get someone else to lock it with a password, and only to give you the password when you absolutely need it, then that should work out.

Most of the family-friendly net filters include a timer for access, the better to make the kids go to bed, and so on. If someone else had the password, that would do the trick.

You can buy an inexpensive on-off timer used for lights etc. Use it to set the times of computer use. Set it and forget it.
Only you can control you time online, the timer is a help to establish regulart times of PC use and all other time is to be used for the work of the day!
Best wishes for an established routine.

This is what I was planing to do. I can’t have the computer turn off completely, because the goal is to get my novel written, for which I need the word processor. Thanks for all the replies so far. I’m going to look in to the net filters and QED’s solution.

This may be, but there is no way cleaning the kitchen or doing sit-ups is going to be more appealing than reading the 'Dope. I would just be nice to eliminate the option of surfing the web during certain hours. Call me weak, but I’m pretty sure I am not the only one out there who uses the web to procrastinate. :slight_smile:

  1. Work harder.

  2. Sell the novel.

  3. Hire a cleaner and a personal trainer!

As a comment on some suggestions to have passwords set on your system so that other people can unlock things when you need them: Don’t do this. Speaking as a network admin who has to remember more passwords than would seem reasonable, never put a password on anything that’s a pain in the neck to get an admin to unlock for you (i.e., if you have to find another internet connection to contact their technical support so they can snail mail you your new password on account of you can’t get to your email = VERY BAD).

I second the option to unplug the modem, if you still need the rest of the computer to work when you’re trying not to surf.

Or, if you have DSL or Cable, consider downgrading for dialup. It will cut your SDMB surfing to a standstill, let me tell you…

As someone with a similar problem to the OP, I can take a bit of issue with this. If the pw is emailed to herself or a close friend, then it’s not inaccessible, it’s just annoying to find. The catch here is that if you don’t have the pw yourself, you may not be able to get online during that time for an “emergency”. You have to weigh for yourself if that’s ok.