Take a timeout with Romaco Timeout

Limit Internet and computer use with this comprehensive tool.

Both kids and adults sometimes need help to keep their computer use under control, and this can come in the form of limiting the amount of time spent on the computer or blocking specific Web sites or programs. Romaco Timeout performs these tasks and more, providing a comprehensive tool for limiting time spent on the computer.

The program has an attractive tabbed interface that's easy to navigate. We were first asked to create a password to restrict access to its configuration settings, and then we went about exploring what Romaco Timeout is capable of. There is a variety of tools for controlling not just Internet use, but computer use in general; you can set a daily quota timer, allowing, for instance, a total of 1 hour of use per day, or a session timer that limits the length of time the computer is used in one sitting. These can be combined, too; for example, a user could have access to a total of 1 hour a day, in sessions of no more than 15 minutes.

Romaco Timeout also lets you restrict access to certain hours of the day, block specific Web sites, and block programs on the computer. The Web usage monitor records the amount of time that Web browsers are running. Romaco Timeout can be set to perform a variety of actions when time is up, including shutting down, logging off, and hibernating, as well as performing custom commands.

An online Help file was quite comprehensive, though we found the program quite easy to figure out without guidance. Our only complaint about Romaco Timeout was that it was impossible to access the main menu from its icon in the system tray; every time we tried, we got an error message. We eventually had to quit the program using the Task Manager in order to restart it and access the menu. (To its credit, it restarted automatically, and didn't lose track of the time it had been keeping).

Romaco Timeout installs a desktop icon without asking and leaves a folder behind upon removal.

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