Networking/Computing Tips/Tricks

Aside from the challenges of blocking offensive content (see the separate article on that subject), you may desire to simply block access to certain sites.  A common question I am asked is how can I block my kids from using Facebook and other similar social networking sites when they are supposed to be doing homework?  Well, aside from the deep discussion we have on Parenting the Internet, here is a quick way you can use your home or small business router to block certain sites, or even block on key words.  We use the Linksys router platform as our example.

Step 1: Log in to your router web interface.  Usually this is done by opening a browser and typing http://192.168.1.1 in the URL.  You should be prompted for the username and password.  Make sure you keep this login info private so others cannot undo the steps below.  You should be at the main screen:

RouterCap1

Step 2: Now click on the Access Restrictions Tab.

RouterCap2

 

You will get the following screen:

RouterCap3

Step 3: Now click on the Internet Access option:

RouterCap4

You will be presented with the following screen:

RouterCap5

 

Step 4: Now this screen has several options:

  • You can limit access to the network by time.
  • You can limit access to the network of certain computers on the network.
  • You can block certain services (such as web browsing or email or telnet)
  • You can block access to certain URL addresses (ah-ha the thing we want)
  • You can can block certain phrases/words
  • Finally you can combine some of these rules, but you have to be careful when combining.

I encourage some experimentation with these powerful capabilities.  However, let's say we want to block Facebook usage for a particular PC.

First, we must select the policy number (note that you sually have a limit of the number of policies, but since this is our first we will select 1().

RouterCap6

 

Step 5: Let's configure the rest of the Policy.  First, select the ENABLE radial button, and let's give the policy a name "Facebook".  Like this:

RouterCap7

 

Step 6: We can edit a list of the PC's we want to effect next.  Click the Edit List of PC's button and you will get a pop-up with the following:

RouterCap8

If you know the particular IP address or MAC address of the PC in question, configure them here.  Alternatively, you can enter a range of addresses.  Keep in mind that if IP addresses are assigned dynamically, selecting a particular IP address may not work 100% of the time.  MAC addresses, on the other hand, are usually more reliable, though I should warn that a quick search on "modify my MAC address" reveals ways around that as well. 

Click the Save Settings button.

 

Step 7:  Once you save which PC's you wish to affect with your policy, it is time to configure the web site URL we want blocked.  Enter "www.facebook.com" in one of the fields as shown:

RouterCap9

Step 8: Click on Save Settings, and you are done!  Access to all web sites EXCEPT Facebook has been accomplished.

 

A couple of important notes:

  • You can use wildcards in the URL entries such as *.facebook.* to cover URL fluctuations and variances.
  • Using keywords can be problamatic at times.  For instance, adding the keyword "face" or "book" could block content you do want to see.  Experiment with this.
  • You can always disable an access control restriction and then re-enable it later.

We hope this helps!

 

 

Comments powered by CComment

Find by Tag

4G Networks 5G Networks 6LoWLAN 6LoWPAN 802.11 802.11ah 802.11ax 802.11ay 802.11az Addressing Analysis Ansible Architecture ARP AToM Baseline BGP Bloom's Taxonomy Broadband Cable cat CellStream Cellular Central Office Cheat Sheet Chrome Cisco Cloud CMD Coloring Rules Computer Consulting Customer Support Data Center Data Networking DHCPv6 DNS Docker Documentation Dublin-Traceroute dumpcap ECMP Ethernet Ethics Evaluation Field Operations Fragmentation G-MPLS GeoIP Git GNS3 Google GQUIC Hands-On History Home Network ICMP ICMPv6 IEEE 802.11p IEEE 802.15.4 India Interface Control Internet IoT IPsec IPv4 IPv6 IRINN IS-IS L2VPN L3VPN LDP Linux LLN LoL M-BGP MAC Macro Microsoft mininet Monitoring MPLS mtr MTU Multicast Name Resolution Netcat Netmiko NetMon netsh Networking Network Science nmap Npcap NSE Observations Online School OpenFlow OSPF OSPFv2 OSPFv3 OSX OTT Paris-Traceroute Parrot PIM PMTU Policy POTS POTS to Pipes PPP Profile Programming Project Management PW3E Python QoS QUIC Remote Desktop Requirements Resume RIP Routing RPL RSVP Rural SDN Security Service Provider Small Business SONET Speed SS7 SSH SSL Subnetting SYSCTL T-Shark TCP TCP/IP Telco Telecom 101 Telecommunications Telephone termshark Testing TLS Tools Traceroute Traffic Engineering Training Travel Tunnel Ubuntu Utility Video Virtualbox Virtualization VoIP VRF VXLAN Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 4 Wi-Fi 5 Wi-Fi 6 Windows Winpcap Wireless Wireless 5G Wireshark Wireshark Tip WLAN Writing Zenmap ZigBee

Twitter Feed