CNET Editors' review
Freedom is a free, ironically named application that's designed to increase productivity by temporarily disabling networking on your computer so you won't be able to visit Web sites, send or receive e-mail, or get distracted by anything else over the Internet.
In Freedom's simple, spare interface, you set the number of minutes that you want your computer to be offline (totaling anywhere between 5 minutes and 8 hours), and you decide whether you want to allow access to your local network (for tasks like printing and file sharing) or completely disable all networking. In recent updates, Freedom now saves the time you select as the default, and it also better handles apps that require network access (such as apps that use your network for antipiracy safeguards).
The only way to circumvent the time limit and restore networking is by restarting your computer. Overall, this is a seemingly silly app--it's trivial to turn off networking on your computer manually--but many users may find that Freedom is a useful tool for limiting tempting distractions. For the truly inspired, the developer will even create a custom version of the app (with a five-seat license) for $250--if, for example, you absolutely need e-mail and Last.fm while you're working.
From Fred Stutzman:
Freedom is an application that disables networking on an Apple computer for up to eight hours at a time. Freedom will free you from the distractions of the internet, allowing you time to code, write, or create. At the end of your selected offline period, Freedom re-enables your network, restoring everything as normal.
Freedom enforces freedom; a reboot is the only circumvention of the Freedom time limit you specify. The hassle of rebooting means you're less likely to cheat, and you'll enjoy enhanced productivity.
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All versions:3.0 stars
out of 1 votes
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"Freedom is NOT Free"
Version: Freedom 0.5.2
It does what it says it does
Although I dont mind paying for a program that I find useful and I will probably pay for this one, it is NOT FREE at all. You get 10 free uses which makes it shareware not freeware.
Version: Freedom 0.4.1
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
This has the potential to be a very useful program, but its fundamental operational principles are not well-documented: when you specify the amount of time you want to be internet-free, you are not specifying a countdown, but rather the actual amount of time your computer will be used before networking is restored. In other words, if it is 2pm when you specify 2 hours, your computer will only have networking restored at 4pm if you've actually used your computer for 2 hours during that time. Since sleep does not count toward computer usage, you never know exactly when networking will return.
When I inquired about this, the developer replied that this was a design decision and would not be changed. The program should accommodate both the current approach and a simpler one, where the user specifies a time interval during which networking isn't available (say 2-4pm). Since the developer is not responsive to this need, I would not contribute money to this project.