With so many apps claiming that they can block the internet, it can be challenging to find one that actually works, can’t be easily bypassed by kids, has a customizable schedule for when the internet will be blocked, and won’t share or sell my kids’ data to third parties.

I tested over 30 internet blockers, looking for the ones that fit all the requirements. Many of them were a waste of my time. My kids easily bypassed them, either with a VPN or simply by deleting the app from the phone or computer.

Out of all the internet blocking apps I tested, Qustodio stood out as the best option. I could block the internet after my kids used up their screen time limit, create a detailed daily schedule of when their devices are locked, and block internet access from specific apps and websites. Best of all, I found a special deal that extends the typical 3-day free trial to a 30-day free trial, with no credit card required.

Try Qustodio Free for 30 Days!

  1. Qustodio: The #1 internet blocker gives you multiple ways to block the internet, including a screen time limit, device restriction schedule, a block internet button from the dashboard, and app and website blocking. You can try Qustodio free for 30 days with no credit card needed!
  2. Norton Family: Create a schedule for what times the internet should be blocked and use the School Time feature to block non-educational websites, but the schedule works in 30-minute blocks.
  3. Bark: A screen time routine offers the flexibility to select specific time periods for internet blocking and allows you to pause the internet at any moment through the remote dashboard. However, it does not provide general screen time limits.

Try Qustodio Free for 30 Days!

1. Qustodio: Fully Customizable App for Blocking the Internet, Specific Websites & Apps

I installed Qustodio on my son’s phone and the family laptop, and it impressed me with its internet blocking capabilities. It has a range of features that gave me total control over my child’s access to the internet.

One of the key features is the ability to create a schedule for when the internet will be blocked. This means I can set specific times during the day or week when my kids are not allowed access to the internet, ensuring they stay focused on other activities.

Screenshot of custom schedule

Customize a schedule for when the internet will be blocked

Another great feature is the ability to remotely pause the internet from the parental dashboard. This is incredibly handy when I want to quickly halt internet access for any reason, such as during meal times or when it’s time for bedtime routines. It gives me the flexibility to manage their online time even when I’m not physically present.

Screenshot of quick actions to pause the internet

Use the Quick Action to remotely lock the internet

Qustodio also allows me to set both general and app-specific time limits. I can define how long my kids can spend on the internet overall, as well as specific time limits for individual apps or websites. This helps me strike a balance between allowing them some internet usage while ensuring they don’t spend excessive time online.

Screenshot of time limit

The app is blocked after the screen time limits are reached

What sets Qustodio apart is it gives me the option of what kind of access my son can have when he uses up his screen time. The two options are:

  1. Lock Navigation: Blocks the apps and all internet access
  2. Lock Device: Prevents using the phone or computer for non-internet related activities, such as apps or watching downloaded movies.

Having this type of control is very important to me, as I can decide whether I want to just block the internet, but still allow my son to use his phone or play offline games,or lock the device completely so he has to out it away and find something else to do.

You can try Qustodio free for 30-days with no credit card needed. It will give you enough time to test out its internet blocking capabilities and other features before committing to a subscription.

Try Qustodio Free for 30 Days!

2. Norton Family: Use Screen Time Schedule to Block the Internet at Any Time

  • Use the Instant Lock feature to block the internet
  • School Time feature blocks most websites from opening
  • Lock screen has a link for the child to request more internet time
  • 30 day free trial

I installed Norton Family on our family computer and connected it to my son’s user profile, to see if I could block the internet for his profile without affecting my profile. This worked really well, as long as my son doesn’t know my password to switch profiles when his internet connection is blocked.

I like that I’m able to activate the Instant Lock feature from the dashboard to block the internet at any time and from anywhere. It gives me the convenience and control to instantly restrict internet access whenever needed, even if I’m not physically near my child’s device.

Screenshot of instant lock

Use the Instant Lock button to block internet access

Additionally, the Instant Lock feature allows me to go a step further by blocking access to the entire device. If you use this on a smartphone, you will need to add at least one emergency contact, so your child can call someone in case of an emergency. The only way to unlock the internet is either through the parental dashboard or with a secret 4 digit PIN.

Screenshot of block devices with PIN

The screen lock prevents kids from bypassing the internet blocker

Norton Family also provides the option to create a custom schedule for blocking the internet. While this feature is useful, it does have limitations. The scheduling feature only works in 30-minute time blocks, which can be somewhat restrictive. However, it still allows me to set specific periods during the day when internet access is off-limits, helping my child stay focused on other activities.

Screenshot of block internet at specific items

Create a schedule for blocking the internet

I like that the internet lock screen on Norton Family has a link that allows my child to request more internet time. This feature encourages open communication and negotiation around internet usage. It enables my child to express their needs while giving me the final decision-making authority, maintaining a healthy balance.

The School Time feature is a great way to block most of the internet, while still allowing the child access to educational sites. I enabled it during school hours and when my son should be doing his homework, and only allowed certain apps and websites that he needed.

Screenshot of school time

Use School Time to limit internet access to specific websites

The 30-day free trial offered by Norton Family is an excellent opportunity for you to test the internet blocking features risk-free, although you will need to add a credit card to activate the account. It gives you access to all of the premium features, so you can make an informed decision before committing to an annual subscription plan.

Try Norton Family Free for 30 Days!

3. Bark: Pause the Internet Connection Remotely from the Parental Dashboard

  • Use the screen time routine to block the internet at specific times
  • Block VPNs and proxies that are used to bypass the rules
  • Try Bark free for 7 days!

While Bark doesn’t have the same comprehensive internet blocking features as Qustodio, it is still good enough to be on my list. The easiest way to block the internet with Bark is to open the dashboard, go to the Screen Time section and press Pause Internet. Then, I had to choose whether I wanted the internet to turn back on after a specific time period or if it would only turn on when I manually go back to the dashboard and restore the internet access. It’s important to note that there is no option to block the internet for specific devices, it pauses the internet on any device that I connected to my son’s account.

Screenshot of pause all devices with single click

Use the Pause All Devices option to block the internet

The second way to pause the internet is through the screen time routine. The routine is made up of three time segments, each with their own set of rules for what websites and apps are allowed. Since there is no option to block the internet for one of these time segments, I went into the web filter rules for the Default screen time, and blocked access to everything. This essentially blocks the internet, since my son was unable to open and use any app that required internet access.

Screenshot of set screen time rules

Customize the web filter rules to block the internet

Once I had the rules set, I chose what times I wanted to activate the default rules, and I could relax knowing that my son couldn’t use the web. The advantage of using this method over the Pause Internet option is that it does it automatically, and I don’t have to remember to block or restore the internet every day.

I primarily tested Bark on my son’s tablet, but I also used the Chrome extension for the computer and was happy to see that the results were the same. You can try Bark free for 7 days and see how the internet blocking features work for you.

Try Bark Free for 7 Days!

Features Qustodio Norton Family Bark
Remote Internet Blocking
Customizable Scheduling Yes, fully customizable Yes (30 minute segments)
Device-Level Blocking
App-Specific Time Limits
Compatibility PC, macOS, Android, iOS, Kindle, and Chromebook PC, macOS, Android, and iOS Android, iOS, Kindle, Chromebook, Browser extensions for Chrome & Edge
Free Trial 30-day free trial 30-day free trial 7-day free trial

Free apps may appear tempting when it comes to blocking the internet, but they often fall short in providing reliable and comprehensive solutions. One key limitation of free apps is their limited functionality. They lack the advanced features necessary to effectively block the internet and prevent bypassing. Additionally, free apps often come with ads or require in-app purchases if you want to unlock the features.

Some other problems I experienced were excessive battery drain due to poor coding, which had a negative effect on the device performance. I also noticed some privacy concerns as the free apps collect and sell user data, posing risks to protecting my children’s online activities. Lastly, free apps can be easily bypassed or overridden by tech-savvy individuals, rendering their internet blocking features ineffective and undermining the goal of creating a safe online environment.

When it comes to protecting our children from online dangers and distractions, relying solely on free apps may not provide the level of control and security we desire.

Qustodio stands out as a premium internet blocking solution with a comprehensive set of features designed to meet the needs of parents. I was able to create custom schedules to block internet access at specific times, remotely pause the internet from the dashboard, set time limits for general usage and specific apps, and even lock the internet or the entire device when necessary. It provides a robust and reliable system that effectively blocks the internet and empowers parents to have control over their child’s online activities. Best of all, you can try it completely free with their 30-day free trial.

To thoroughly assess and rank apps for internet blocking, I installed more than 30 free and paid apps on different devices. I then challenged my kids to try and bypass the rules. This hands-on approach allowed me to evaluate the effectiveness and reliability of each app in real-world scenarios.

During my testing, I focused on several key features to determine the app’s suitability for blocking internet access. I looked for apps that offered flexible scheduling options, allowing me to create custom time frames for internet blocking. The ability to remotely pause the internet from a parental dashboard was also a crucial factor, providing convenience and control.

Furthermore, I prioritized apps that allowed for specific time limits both for general internet usage and for individual apps. This feature helped ensure a balanced and controlled online experience. Additionally, apps that offered device-level blocking or locking options garnered higher rankings as they provided an extra layer of protection.

Apps that offer a free trial also factored in my rankings. These are valuable as they allow users to experience the full range of features without committing financially. This way, you can thoroughly assess the app’s internet blocking capabilities and determine if it meets your specific needs before making a purchase.

Taking all these factors into account, the one app that stood out in my testing was Qustodio. Not only did it meet all the criteria I was looking for, but it also offered a 30-day free trial, allowing users to explore its internet blocking features with no upfront payment required. This combination of comprehensive features and a free trial made Qustodio my top app for effective and reliable internet blocking.

Try Qustodio Free for 30 Days!

Are there any free internet blocking apps?

No, at least not if you want an app that works and is safe. I tested the leading free apps with internet blockers, and I couldn’t find one that I would use. The main issues were they lacked the necessary features, were easy to bypass or uninstall, drained the device battery, and I couldn’t trust they weren’t selling my kids data to third parties.

The best free option is to create a Qustodio account and get a 30 day free trial. This will give you access to all of the premium features, so you can see for yourself how well it blocks the internet.

Can internet blocking be customized for different users or devices within a household?

Yes, if you use the right blocking app. Qustodio is compatible with PC, Mac, Android, iOS, Chromebook, and Kindle and you can add user profiles for each child. When setting the rules, select the child and device, and customize your internet blocking rules for each device. You can try Qustodio free for 30 days – no credit card required and install it on all your online devices.

Are there specific features to look for in an internet blocking tool to ensure its effectiveness?

The two most important features are an instant lock option and a screen time schedule. The instant lock gives you the flexibility to block the internet from a remote dashboard, which is perfect if you need your child offline right away. The schedule is helpful because you can automate the process, and lock the internet at set times, such as school, meals, homework, and bed, every day.

After extensive testing and experimentation with both free and premium apps, I discovered that the free apps just ended in frustration. I encountered limitations in their functionalities, inconsistencies in performance, and vulnerabilities that could be easily exploited.

I had more success with the premium apps and found several that could effectively block the internet and prevent my kids from bypassing the rules. At the end of my tests, I concluded that Qustodio was the standout option. With its wide range of tools, user-friendly interface, and reliable performance, Qustodio proved to be the most effective parental control app for blocking the internet. Through its customizable scheduling options, remote pause functionality, and device-level blocking, it provided the level of control and security I was seeking. You don’t have to take my word for it; try Qustodio free for 30 days – no credit card required – and test its powerful internet blocking features for yourself.

Try Qustodio Free for 30 Days

#Internet #Blockers #Work

Original Publisher: https://www.wizcase.com/blog/best-internet-blockers/