Parents, librarians, business owners, and anyone concerned about inappropriate and adult content on the Internet may want to check out The Web Blocker from Webstart Studios. TWB is freeware that lets you filter and block inappropriate content, monitor Internet use, and build customized Block Lists for various users, situations, and content.
We downloaded, extracted, and opened TWB's installer, which prompted us to create, confirm, and enter a password to begin the installation. During the installation, a pop-up message stresses the importance of making sure that none of the users who will be affected by TWB's filters has administrative privileges. The program's interface is quite unique, with an array of boxes for handling primary functions, a side panel with several controls, and a basic file menu. The Help file is a link to a Web-based support page, but TWB is designed to be extremely easy to use. TWB opened with all our PC's users displayed in its User List; we clicked on a nonadministrative user, and the name appeared above the Internet History box. Clicking the User History button displayed the user's Firefox and IE history; selecting any URL and clicking Add To Block displayed the site in the user's Block List box. A Block Address feature with a blank field let us type or paste URLs directly, too. It's also easy to remove blocked sites. The most interesting feature is Content Filtering. We were easily able to filter social-networking sites, online gambling sites, adult content, games, proxy searches, and video-streaming sites simply by clicking check boxes. When we logged on to the restricted user's account, TWB wouldn't let us browse to blocked sites. The White List feature let us enter Allowed Sites, which is handy for limiting access to just a few sites for small children. Clicking Block Template called up a dialog for creating individual user templates for blocking specific content. Another button let us change passwords.
We found TWB to be flexible, easy to use, and perfectly capable of filtering and blocking a wide range of inappropriate or unwanted online content. If you ensure that users subject to TWB do not have administrative privileges, they will be unable to defeat it.