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How To Block a Website in Firefox
Firefox may be a little behind Chrome and Edge in terms of features and security but it is still my browser of choice. As the only browser of the three to not harvest and sell my data, it is also the browser of choice for many security professionals I know too. All that aside, Firefox offers a lot of control over browsing with one cool feature being the ability to block a website.
If you want to learn how to block a website in Firefox, read on!
The internet is freedom right? The freedom to go where you please, say what you like and access information in any manner you choose, right? Yes and no. If you’re an adult, using your own computer, the internet should be open and free. But what about children? What about at work or at school or college? What about if you want to ensure security?
Most people know enough about the internet to be careful where they go and what they download. Most adults know there are places you just don’t go online. The same cannot be said for everyone though and if you have people to protect or productivity to maintain, blocking websites is a legitimate way to go about it.
So that’s the why, now to the how.
For most situations there are three ways to block a website in Firefox. You can use Windows parental controls, manually block websites in your host file or use a Firefox addon. Each gets the job done but vary in their ease of use. Addons work fastest, but involve downloading an addon and running it. Parental controls come next but aren’t foolproof. The hosts file is the most involved but is less obvious to someone wanting to circumvent your restrictions.
Unfortunately, Firefox doesn’t come with parental controls built in so we have to use Windows instead. To make this work you will need to set up a child account within Windows 10. While it is referred to here as a child account, you can use it for any reason you like.
These settings work inherently with Edge but Firefox checks the settings each time it is loaded and abides by SafeSearch settings.
Firefox has a wide range of addons you can use to block specific websites. These may be more suitable for situations other than protecting children but can be circumvented if the user knows what they are doing.
There are dozens of addons that do a range of things as well as block a website in Firefox. Each differs in exactly what they do and how they do it so check reviews before trying.
The final way to block a website in Firefox is to edit your hosts file. A host file maps IP addresses with domain names and is checked by Windows before visiting a particular website. It is a good way to block specific sites without using parental controls or addons. The downside is that you will need to change the entry if you want to access a particular site as it blocks them permanently for every user.
Now every time you attempt to access one of the websites you listed you should see the unable to connect page in Firefox. By directing a URL to 127.0.0.1, you are sending it to your computer’s loopback address. This means the browser will never reach the website in question.
The downside to using the hosts file is that you have to manually block each website. The upside is that most users won’t know how you did it.
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Feb 2, 2017
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