A Simple Free Productivity Tool
Faq: are you going to make leechblock available for other web browsers.
LeechBlock is available for Mozilla Firefox , Google Chrome , Microsoft Edge , and other Chromium-based browsers such as Brave, Opera, and Vivaldi.
There are currently no plans to develop it for Apple’s Safari browser.
For a blocking solution that works across all of your browsers and devices (Mac, Windows, and iOS) check out Freedom .
How to Really Block Time-Wasting Websites: 3 Tips That Work
Finding yourself unproductive because of distracting sites? Block time-wasting sites with the help of these tips and tools.
When you're trying to get some work done online, you might find the web too big and too fascinating a distraction to ignore. But you can sideline it with the help of tips and tools that block time-wasting digital content for you. Let's explore them below.
1. Install a Blocker App or Extension
Before you can block your sources of distraction online, you need to pinpoint them. That's where time management apps like FocusMe or RescueTime come in handy. They give you a detailed breakdown of your digital habits.
Each day, you learn how much time you have spent on which apps, websites, and activities. This data, in turn, helps you redirect your time and effort towards online activities that matter.
What about the activities that aren't as important, but you have trouble giving up? How do you deal with them? Blocking trivial activities is the next step. Here, you'll find quite a few browser-based solutions: services that block specific sites for as long as you need.
There's StayFocusd , which lets you block websites in Chrome and even barricade specific in-page content such as videos.
If you're a Firefox user, try the Leechblock extension instead. If you use Safari, install the Leechblock-inspired extension WasteNoTime . FocusMe and RescueTime also have a website-blocking feature.
The problem with solutions like these is that they're too easy to bypass. All you need to do is open another browser or fire up a private browsing window and you've got full access to all your distracting sites again.
If you need to go further with the browsing restrictions, the apps we'll look at next can take you there. They can block websites and apps across your computer. That means no access to incoming email via your system's mail app or to Slack chats via the Slack desktop app.
App number one on our list here is Freedom . It's one of the most popular cross-platform apps that let you block distracting websites and apps system-wide.
Cold Turkey is another great option. It also has a sister app called Cold Turkey Writer---a text editor you can't escape until you have met your writing goal for a session.
Mac users can also go with SelfControl or 1Focus for system-wide site blocking.
If you're a Linux user, you can edit the hosts file to block websites. Does that seem too extreme? Then it's best to stick with a reliable and evergreen solution like RescueTime. If nothing else, you can repurpose the parental controls that you use to limit web access for your kids to clock a few serious work hours.
Again, system-wide solutions aren't perfect. You could simply walk away from your computer and pick up your tablet, bypassing the block again. If that sounds like you, you need a more stringent solution. Router tweaks can help here, and we'll explore them next.
By the way, would you rather get a gentle reminder than a wall when you're about to visit a distracting website? In that case, install the Mindful Browsing extension for Chrome instead of the apps we have mentioned above. As an alternative, you can also use a timer app on your phone to indulge in a tiny bit of distraction at a specific time of the day.
2. Set Up Router Restrictions
Still distracted? Then it's time to block addictive sites using your router. Here are two simple methods you can use to make this happen.
Method 1: Switch to OpenDNS
If you use a custom DNS to enable network-wide parental controls , why not use it to restrict your own usage of time-wasting websites? The free OpenDNS Home service is perfect for that.
With this service, you can configure which websites are and aren't accessible on your home network. To use it, you'll need to sign up for a user account first. After you do, change the DNS settings on your router to reflect the OpenDNS nameservers. If you're unsure how to do this, check out the official step-by-step instructions for any router .
Once you've set everything up, log into OpenDNS and head to the settings page to block individual domains. Going forward, no one using your network---that includes you---can access these sites.
Method 2: Configure Your Router
Like the idea of blocking sites network-wide, but don't want to sign up for an account or use OpenDNS? With most routers, you can block specific sites yourself, without the need for OpenDNS or any service like it.
Check your router's documentation to see if this is possible; in most cases the instructions will be under a section called "Access Restrictions". This will vary depending on who makes your router. If you can't find the instructions in your router's manual, google the device's model number to find them online.
If you've installed the open source firmware DD-WRT on your router, you can block specific sites via the Access Restrictions menu. You'll find the instructions to add select websites to a blacklist on the official Access Restrictions wiki page . Scroll down to the Filtering Services/URLs/Keywords section to spot them.
Sites you add to the blacklist will get blocked instantly for every device on your network. You can also configure the settings to block sites on specific days or for certain time periods.
3. Unplug Your Router
Are all the restrictions above not enough to tame your monkey mind? There's always the nuclear option you can consider---total disconnection.
Unplug your router from the web to ramp up your productivity. It's a crude method, sure, but it works. Unless you cave and plug your router back in or simply pick up your smartphone to access Facebook and co again.
You don't have to lose access to work-related data and services when you disconnect. You'll find plenty of productivity apps that work offline .
More Tips for Improving Your Focus
Of course, the ultimate way to avoid expected distractions is self-control. But, since we have limited amounts of it to spend on any given day, it seems best to save it for the most important decisions.
For dodging the distraction bullet when you're working, you can outsource the task to one of the tools/methods we have discussed above.
These barriers are not one hundred percent foolproof, because you could always find a workaround to any system you set up yourself. But having them in place gives you just enough time to remind yourself why you installed these barriers to begin with---to keep your focus on your work.
Speaking of focus, did you know that you can boost it by controlling the noise around you ?
Focus vs LeechBlock — Comparing Website Blockers
Productivity tools are constantly evolving. We believe the following information is correct based on data from January 2020.
Focus and LeechBlock are two productivity tools that help manage distractions. If your attention is often interrupted by social media, gaming, news, or anything else online, these apps will block those distractions for productive bursts of work.
Full disclosure—we run Focus, but we feel strongly about transparency. We know a lot about website blockers, so we’re able to compare blocker strengths and weaknesses to help you make the best choice for you.
- Compare Other Website Blockers
💡 Focus vs Freedom App
💡 Focus vs Cold Turkey
💡 Focus vs FocalFilter
💡 Focus vs SelfControl
- The Short Version
Focus is designed specifically for MacOS users. LeechBlock is available for Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and other browsers such as Brave, Opera, and Vivaldi.
Focus is a formidable website blocker with innovative platform-specific features. If you’re looking for more than just website blocking, Focus comes with a suite of productivity management features, including scripting, Pomodoro integration, scheduling, customizable sessions, and more. These extra features are available for a one-time cost.
LeechBlock is a web browser extension designed to block time-wasting websites. It’s simple to install and free to use with basic features available. For a free tool, LeechBlock offers up to 30 custom scheduling segments to help you design the ideal productivity schedule.
- Block Distracting Websites
Focus is designed to block distracting websites. It allows you to block websites by their URL to avoid full websites or specific webpages. For example, you could block google.com/calendar pages, while still allowing other Google webpages. This ability gives you more flexibility to customize your ideal blocklist.
Focus blocks access to websites across your entire computer. You can lock in your blocked sites so that there’s no way to access them across any browser. If you’re the type of person that will try to find ways around your blocked sites, you may need this type of secure website blocking.
LeechBlock blocks access to distracting websites through a browser extension. This means it’s simple and free to install, but it will only block websites on the browser you add the extension to. If you have an older computer and work with several tabs open, the Leechblock extension may cause your computer to slow down.
Focus is a paid tool available in 3 pricing tiers. All pricing tiers are a one-time cost.
Productivity mode: $19 Professional mode: $39 Unlimited mode: $129 (comes with one-time productivity coaching)
The website blocker fee grants the user access to a suite of other productivity features such as scripting, Pomodoro integration, motivational quotes, and statistics. Try Focus with a 7-day free trial .
The LeechBlock extension is free to add to Firefox , Chrome , as well as other Chromium-based browsers . If you’re trying a website blocker for the first time, or if you’re looking for a free version, this may be a good option.
Focus and LeechBlock are both able to set up schedules to help you establish productive bursts of energy.
With Focus, you can create a disciplined schedule for your workweek or choose a few hours a day when you want to get engaged in deep work. Simply “Add schedule” and indicate the date and time you want to initiate your blocklist. You can choose from Every Day, Weekends, Weekdays, or any specific day of the week to create unlimited custom schedules.
With LeechBlock, you can select up to 30 sets of websites to block and choose a different day or time of day for each set, depending on your needs or preferences. You can block sites within a fixed time period, such as every day between 8 am and 4 pm. You can block sites after a time limit, such as allowing 10 minutes per hour. Or you could combine time periods and time limits and allow 10 minutes every hour between 8 am and 4 pm.
Both Focus and LeechBlock offer a whitelist function. A whitelist is the opposite of a blacklist, so instead of choosing which websites you want to block, you choose which websites you want to be able to access. This way, you block the entire internet except for the websites you have specified you want access to.
Focus blocks all of the sites included in its blacklist by default. To create a whitelist, you can choose Allow instead of Block . You can then list the websites you want to allow access to with any web browser while Focus is active. In other words, Focus will block all of the internet except for any website on the whitelist.
With LeechBlock, you can use the exceptions prefix (+) to allow instead of block. If you want to block everything but a few websites, you can indicate block all with *.com and then add the web sites you want with +www.somesite.com.
- Paid Features
Focus offers a number of productivity features in addition to website blocking for a one-time cost. If you’re only looking for a website blocker, you may not require these features, so consider the offered features below when making your decision. If you’re only in the market for a simple website blocker, the extras that come with Focus may not be for you.
Statistics: With Focus’s statistics feature, you can track the amount of time you’ve used the app in weekly, monthly, or yearly stats. You can use these stats to assess how you spend your time online.
yearly view of statistics
Motivational Quotes: Should you fall prey to temptation and click on a website you have previously blocked, a motivational quote will appear to remind you to get back to work. You can customize the motivational quotes to include a line from your favorite book, movie, or song. Don’t stop believin’.
blocked website replaced by a quote
Pomodoro: Focus also comes with a Pomodoro Timer integration . A Pomodoro timer prevents burnout by helping you manage productive bursts of focused work using short intervals that clearly separate work time and break time. Focus for 25 minutes, rest for 5 minutes, focus for 25 minutes, rest for 5 minutes, and so on.
🍅 How to Master the Pomodoro Timer for Ultimate Time Management
Scripting: Scripting is Focus’s unique superpower. With Scripting, Focus can do almost anything, making it a critical piece of your productivity stack. It can play Spotify, change your Skype status, integrate with Slack, and a lot more. You can also control Focus from other apps. Plus, if you work from the Terminal and prefer that interface, you can activate Focus from there. Learn more about scripting with Focus.
Choose Focus if you are determined to block distracting websites and want to make sure it’s extra difficult to get around the website block. Focus is also the ideal option if you work from the Terminal, or if you will take advantage of its innovative platform-specific features (i.e., scripting.)
Choose LeechBlock if you’re looking for a free option that encourages you to stay away from distracting websites, but doesn’t do anything extreme. LeechBlock will block distracting websites in specific browsers, including Firefox, Chrome, and other Chromium-based browsers. If you do everything in Safari, you won’t be able to use LeechBlock.
We believe Focus is the best distraction blocker for Mac. We aim to make Focus a simple and powerful ally in your pursuit of productivity. Get started with a free 7-day trial of Focus . If cost is an issue because you are a student or for another financial reason, please contact us , and we will do what we can to provide a discount.
- Keep Your Focus
We have a bunch of online resources that will help you master your productivity.
💻 The Most Distracting Websites And How to Avoid Them
🖥 How to Overcome and Combat Too Much Screen Time
Looks like no one’s replied in a while. To start the conversation again, simply ask a new question.
Leechblock-like product for Safari that supports scheduling?
Is there a Leechblock-like product for Safari out there that will support advance scheduling? (Freedom doesn't.) Alternatively, would it mess anything up if I uninstalled Safari entirely? I only use it to circumvent Leechblock anyway.
MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
Posted on Dec 31, 2011 4:04 PM
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Mar 5, 2012 1:20 PM in response to Liz Entman
Apparently there is one solution. You can install the extension "WastNoTime". It is as good as Leechblock.
For that you have to go to Safari preferences and turn on extensions. You can then download and install the extension from this link: http://bumblebeesystems.dyndns.org/wastenotime/ or you can browse https://extensions.apple.com/ and find it under productivity category.
I am happy that this extension is finally out. I was almost moving to Firefox. 🙂
May 19, 2016 8:43 AM in response to JubsTO
Unfortunately, I can't find WasteNoTime any longer in the Safari Extension Gallery. So far the Apple Support couldn't tell me why.
Therefore I'm not sure if this product is trustworthy and if I should download it directly from the developer Bumblebee Systems.
Self-control would be an alternative but this program is also not available in the Apple App Store.
Can anyone tell me if the websites where you can download WasteNoTime or Self-control are trustworthy? I'm afraid of downloading malware.
Thanks in advance!
Jun 1, 2016 2:42 PM in response to tadaah
You may download it from http://www.bumblebeesystems.com/wastenotime/#download
The 8 best apps to help you focus and block distractions in 2024
I find it hard to get work done while watching movies, visiting theme parks, or hanging out with my friends. So why do I think I can get work done online?
Yes, the internet is a place where work happens, but distractions are always a click away. You could say this is a matter of discipline, and it is, but the odds aren't in your favor. The internet is, at this point, a dopamine slot machine. The greatest minds of our generation are working around the clock to "increase engagement," which is a tech term that means "getting you to spend every waking moment scrolling and liking things." Trying to fight this with willpower alone is like bringing a water gun to a thermonuclear war.
Which is why there's no shame in using tools to help you build discipline. This is where distraction blocking software shines. Turn these focus apps on, and you can't open anything distracting—it won't work. Instead, you'll see a reminder that you set up software to block apps, and you'll be encouraged to get back to work. It's oddly liberating.
I've been updating this list every year for several years, and this year, after testing all the top focus apps out there, I found some new options. With that, here are the best focus apps.
The 8 best focus apps
Cold Turkey Blocker for scheduled system-wide blocking
LeechBlock NG for free browser-based website blocking
RescueTime for time tracking with built-in website blocking
SelfControl for a nuclear option
Session for a combination Pomodoro timer and distraction blocker
one sec for adding a little friction to every distraction
PawBlock for distraction blocking with cute animal pictures
What is a focus app?
How we evaluate and test apps.
All of our best apps roundups are written by humans who've spent much of their careers using, testing, and writing about software. We spend dozens of hours researching and testing apps, using each app as it's intended to be used and evaluating it against the criteria we set for the category. We're never paid for placement in our articles from any app or for links to any site—we value the trust readers put in us to offer authentic evaluations of the categories and apps we review. For more details on our process, read the full rundown of how we select apps to feature on the Zapier blog .
I've written about productivity, in some form, since 2009, and have been very public about my personal productivity struggles over the years. Which is probably why I've tested just about every distraction blocker that's come out in that time, and relied on them to get things done for over a decade.
Don't confuse website blocker apps with parental control software—that's not what they're for. No, these tools are for you , and they hopefully help you build better habits. I researched this category extensively and considered dozens of options, then evaluated them against my criteria. I think that the best distraction blocking apps should do the following:
Block a list of websites and/or apps (determined by you)
Allow you to set a schedule and/or a timer
Be annoying (at the very least) to disable
In addition, because I'm thinking about productivity at work, I only considered apps that work on computers—there are no mobile-only tools here. Based on my experience testing dozens of different options, here's the focusing software I think works best.
The best focus apps at a glance
Best focus app for blocking distractions on all your devices at once, freedom (windows, macos, ios, android, chrome).
Blocks distractions on all your devices
Support for multiple blocklists
Optional focus sounds
No free version of the full product
Setup takes a little time and can be confusing
Most distraction blockers work only on whatever device you're using right now. Freedom can block distractions—both websites and apps—on all of your devices, simultaneously. No more blocking Instagram on your computer, only to immediately open it on your phone. If you start a session, your distractions are blocked everywhere.
Set up as many blocklists as you want, then start or schedule a session. There's a lockdown mode, which makes it impossible to edit your blocklists while a session is active—consider that if you're prone to working around your own good intentions. There are also optional focus sounds, which are basically ambient background noise from coffee shops or nature.
The downside: there's no long-term free version. But if you don't want to pay, you're not out of luck: Freedom offers a few free Chrome extensions. There's Pause , which will delay distracting sites from opening; Limit , which will cap how much time you can spend on distracting sites; Insight , which tells you how much time you're spending online; and Focus , which is built for students and blocks all non-educational websites.
Freedom pricing : $3.33/month billed annually or $8.99/month billed monthly; $199 for a lifetime subscription
Best app blocker for scheduled system-wide blocking
Cold turkey blocker (windows, macos).
Cold Turkey Blocker pros:
Frozen Turkey feature locks you out of your computer entirely
No subscription for full version
Cold Turkey Blocker cons:
Can be a little tricky to set up
Cold Turkey Blocker is, in a word, customizable. Install this site-blocking app, and you can create lists of websites and desktop apps to block, then set a schedule for blocking. You could, for example, block social media and video sites during every work day. You could also block work apps, like Slack, when the work day ends. It's all up to you. Or, if you prefer, you can turn blocking on and off manually. There's even a mode called Frozen Turkey, which prevents you from accessing your computer entirely: turn on Frozen Turkey, and you won't be able to log in to your computer without it locking again.
Because this is a system-wide tool and not just a browser extension, you can't work around it by changing browsers. But it goes further than that—there are all kinds of settings that thwart future versions of yourself from working around your current intentions.
You can block the Time & Language settings, stopping you from working around a scheduled block by changing your computer's time. You can stop yourself from accessing the Chromium Task Manager, which you could, in theory, use to disable the blocking extension. You can even make it impossible to uninstall Cold Turkey Blocker until your scheduled blocking is complete. I could go on, but the basic point is that you can stop yourself from working around your block. Try this out if you're the self-sabotaging sort.
Cold Turkey pricing: $39 one-time purchase for Pro, which offers unlimited blocking, scheduling, and the ability to block desktop apps as well as websites
Best free browser-based website blocker
Leechblock ng (chrome, firefox, edge, opera).
Works in all major browsers
Very quick to set up
Can't block desktop apps
No mobile version
LeechBlock NG (the NG stands for "next generation") works on most major browsers, is free, and gives you a bunch of options for blocking distractions. You can make lists of sites to block, then restrict them in all kinds of ways.
You can schedule times for apps to be blocked outright, which is very straightforward. Alternatively, you can limit your time on distracting apps by setting up rules. For example: you could give yourself 20 minutes of YouTube time every day, or four minutes of Twitter every hour. You can get even more specific, if you want, combining time limits with a schedule—think five minutes of Instagram every hour between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Or, if you don't want to mess with schedules, you can trigger a one-off "lockdown" schedule.
It's a lot of power, particularly for a free tool, and you can even lock down the settings during block sessions if you want. The only downside: this is a browser extension, not an app, so you can work around it by switching browsers. If you can avoid that temptation, though, LeechBlock should work nicely.
LeechBlock pricing: Free
Best focus app for time tracking with built-in website blocking
Rescuetime (windows, macos, android, iphone, ipad).
Complete time tracking software with built-in distraction blocking
Uses the list of distracting apps you've already added there
Blocking features are a little buried inside RescueTime's feature set
RescueTime isn't, primarily, a distraction blocker—it's one of the best time tracking apps . But it does include a distraction blocking feature called Focus Session , so you can block distractions using your time tracking history.
This works using data you're already providing RescueTime, which allows you to designate apps and websites into three categories: focus work, other work, and personal activities. These lists are pre-populated when you set up an account and you can also customize them.
During Focus Sessions, you can block everything but focus work or, if you prefer, just block personal activities. It's a great way to block distractions without having to build a separate block list, particularly if you're looking for a time tracking app anyway.
You can also use RescueTime to block distractions automatically using RescueTime's Zapier integrations . That way, you can do things like schedule a daily Focus Session or automatically start Focus Sessions when you start a timer in another app.
Schedule daily FocusTime sessions
Start FocusTime sessions whenever you start a PomoDone timer
RescueTime pricing : $12/month or $78/year; note that the free version of RescueTime does not include distraction blocking
Best focus app for a nuclear option for Mac users
Impossible to disable once you've set it
Can only block URLs
Only for macOS
SelfControl looks spartan: there's a blocklist, a dial for setting how long your block period should be, and a start button. That's it. But it stands out for one key reason: it's impossible to undo.
Seriously, this app is hardcore. Closing the app does nothing—all of your distractions are still blocked. Deleting the app doesn't do anything, and neither does rebooting your computer. The only way to disable blocking, once you set the timer, is to reinstall macOS entirely (which would delete all of your apps, settings, and documents).
It is truly the nuclear option for blocking distractions—none of the other apps on this list come close to this level of permanence. If you're the sort of person who starts blocking, then caves, this app is for you.
SelfControl pricing : Free
Best distraction blocker and Pomodoro timer combination
Session (macos, ios).
Built-in Pomodoro timer
Great integration options
Very expensive for this type of app
Pomodoro timers are built on a simple premise: the best focusing happens if you take regular breaks. These timers are generally set up for you to focus on tasks for 25 minutes, followed by a five-minute break. It logically follows, then, that you might want distracting apps and websites blocked when you intend to focus. Session, which is on Zapier's list of the best Pomodoro timers , can also block distractions.
You can choose which apps and websites should be blocked while you're focusing—the blocks will automatically engage during your work sessions and turn off during your breaks. You can even block productivity apps when you're supposed to be taking a break, if you want.
There are all kinds of great features for power users to dig into here. You can, for example, trigger a custom Apple Shortcut every time you start or end a session. You can integrate the time with your calendar, allowing you to see what's coming up. There's even a Slack integration, allowing you to mute entire teams while you're focusing. There's a lot to like here, and only one main downside: it's pretty expensive.
Session price: Free basic app; from $4.99/month for Monthly Pro, or get it as part of Setapp for $10/month with 230 other Mac apps.
Best focus app for adding a little friction to every distraction
One sec (chrome, firefox, safari, edge, android, ios).
one sec pros:
Delays distracting sites and apps from opening
Prompts you to think about your impulsive distractions
one sec cons:
No support for desktop apps
No scheduling feature
Most of the apps on this list block distractions outright. Not this app: one sec makes you take a pause. Attempt to open a site or app you've indicated is a distraction, and one one sec will encourage you to take a breath, complete with an animation. It will then show you how many times you've attempted to open that distraction before allowing you to decide whether you do or don't want to open it.
The app is doing a number of things here. First, it's forcing you to slow down. Second, it's showing you just how often you reflexively open sites you find distracting. These two things, combined, can go a long way toward helping you with your goal of spending less time feeling distracted. If apps that outright block websites don't work for you, give one sec a try—you might be surprised.
one sec pricing : Starting at $2.99/month, up to $39.99 for a lifetime plan
Best distraction blocking app with cute animal pictures
Pawblock (chrome, firefox).
Do you really need anything else?
No mobile or desktop version (but still: animal pictures)
PawBlock isn't nearly as customizable as the other browser-based option on this list, but it's got one thing going for it: animals. If you visit a distracting website, you'll see a cute animal who's disappointed with your choices. Decide to leave that site, and you'll see a happy animal. It's manipulative, yes, but it also works.
By default, there's a "soft" block, which shows you the sad animal picture but allows you to decide whether or not you want to visit the distracting site after you wait a certain number of seconds. This means you'll have to actively decide to scroll through Twitter, instead of doing so reflexively. You can change this to a hard block—which doesn't allow you to visit the distractions—if you'd rather remove temptations entirely. All of this adds up to a useful tool for changing your own habits, even if it's relatively easy to work around.
Plus: animal pictures . I really don't feel like I need to justify this any more than saying that.
PawBlock pricing: Free
What's the best focus app?
The best focus app is the one that helps you focus—that's all it comes down to. If you're just starting out with focus apps, give one of the free apps (LeechBlock, SelfControl, or PawBlock) a try. Figure out what features you like most and what's missing from the experience, and then read through the rest of the options to find the one that will work best for you.
How to use the Flowtime Technique to boost your productivity
How to add focus time in Google Calendar—and why you should
Pick one priority every week, and focus on it
This article was originally published in December 2018 by Stephen Altrogge. The most recent update was in October 2023.
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Justin Pot is a writer and journalist based in Hillsboro, Oregon. He loves technology, people, and nature, not necessarily in that order. Learn more: justinpot.com
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LeechBlock for Mac
- V 0.4.4
- Security Status
Firefox extension to block annoying websites
If you don't trust yourself enough not to waste time visiting games, video and social networking sites when you should be working, then LeechBlock could be what you need.
Alternatively, LeechBlock could be used to stop you being constantly plagued by ads or messages from sites that you have no interest in. It could even be used by concerned parents to block kids from visiting certain sites in Firefox (although the developer does not advise using it for this purpose).
The nice thing about LeechBlock is that you can configure it to block sites between a specific time period, so you don't have to keep activating and de-activating it if you want occasional access to a site. This includes between certain times, specific moments in time, or a combination of both.
Principally though it's been designed for those with a wandering mouse cursor, which is why it even allows you to set a password to access prohibited sites to help "slow you down" in moments of weakness. If you can't help yourself, then LeechBlock will track the amount of time you've spent on blocked sites. Adding sites to your 'blocked' list is easy - just go the the LeechBlock extension in your add-on manager and click 'Options' to add a site.
The concept of LeechBlock is admirable enough, although the fact that you set the password for accessing sites means it's not really going to stop you if you get tempted. I'd be more likely to use it as a way of blocking annoying sites or other people accessing sites on my machine.
If you really can't trust yourself not to keep checking your email every two minutes or get distracted playing poker when you should be working, LeechBlock can help you break the habit.
- Easy to configure
- Allows you to block sites between various time periods
- Allows you to configure password access to sites
- Will not stop you if you are determined to visit a site
- No substitute for self discipline
- Still allows Firefox to reveal your IP address to blocked sites
Also available in other platforms
- LeechBlock for Windows
User reviews about LeechBlock
Have you tried LeechBlock? Be the first to leave your opinion!
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- Freelance Software and Tools
Productivity Software: Website Blockers to Help You Stay Focused
- Sep 27, 2020
- Freelance Tips
- Lifestyle Tips
- Organisation and Productivity
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Distractions abound on the web. And these distractions can be costly for freelance proofreaders , reducing productivity, accuracy , and earnings. If this sounds like your working day, you may want to download a website blocker to help you stay focused. But what are website blockers? And what software should you use? Let’s take a look.
What Are Website Blockers?
Website blocking software lets you control which websites or apps you see while you work. Most blockers do this by letting you enter sites or apps you want to block at a certain time of day or for a certain length of time, giving you control over when you can access them.
This makes website blocking software great for productivity if you’re easily distracted by the web or your phone. There are, however, many apps available with different features and prices, so be sure to choose something that will meet your needs and work with your system.
To help you out in your search for the perfect software, we’ve picked a few popular website blockers and apps to help you cut out distractions and get to work.
1. Stay Focusd
Some browsers have specific extensions that can help with productivity. If Google Chrome is your go-to, you can use Stay Focusd . (Yes, dear proofreaders, it is spelled that way. Sorry!)
With this extension, you can limit the time you’re permitted to spend on distracting websites. After you’ve used up your allotted time, the website is blocked for the rest of the day.
This extension works well for those who know which sites distract them and just need help setting limits. It is also free, which is nice for those operating on a tight budget, but it doesn’t have the functionality of some of the paid software options.
This browser extension works in both Google Chrome and Safari. And as well as blocking websites, it offers some helpful tools to keep you focused. These include:
- Website tracking to help you monitor the sites you visit and how long you spend on them.
- The option to block or limit internet access for a set period.
- A quota system that blocks websites after a certain amount of time.
Currently, this extension is not currently available for Safari 13.0 or above, but this may change when Apple releases Big Sur later in 2020.
This free productivity tool is similar to Stay Focusd and WasteNoTime, but it is available for a wider variety of browsers, including Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox. And if all you need is a basic website blocker, it lets you select up to 30 websites and control how long you can access them for, when they are blocked (e.g., from 9 am to 5 pm), or a combination of both.
Freedom is a widely used website and app blocker. One benefit it offers is the ability to sync your blocks across all devices, so no more browsing Instagram on your phone when you should be editing on your laptop! Other features of the software include:
- Preset blocklists or the option to create a custom one.
- Options to block websites, apps (including email), or the entire internet.
- The ability to schedule your internet access throughout the day.
- Locking options to keep you from removing blocks when your self-discipline is waning.
Freedom is as a desktop program by subscription on either month-to-month or yearly terms. You can also download it as an app for Android and iOS devices.
5. Cold Turkey
An excellent website blocker for the easily distracted, Cold Turkey can:
- Block websites, apps, or the entire internet if needed.
- Provide stats on how you are spending (and wasting) your time.
- Schedule which websites are blocked at what times.
- Lock website blocks with a password or various other methods.
- Block your entire computer with its “Frozen Turkey” feature, forcing you to take a break from your screen. A helpful tool for the workaholics out there!
Available for Windows and Mac, Cold Turkey Basic is a free version with basic website blocking and statistics. But you can also buy the Pro version to access all the features above.
Becoming A Proofreader
Website blockers will help you avoid distractions and increase productivity, but if you want to work as a proofreader you first need to learn the skills. Sign up for a free trial of our Becoming A Proofreader course today and find out how you could earn more as a freelancer.
Start your journey
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Sign up for a Knowadays free trial – it’s your first step towards a new career.
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LeechBlock NG by James Anderson
LeechBlock NG is a simple productivity tool designed to block those time-wasting sites that can suck the life out of your working day. All you need to do is specify which sites to block and when to block them.
- Lockdown: Block sites immediately for a specified duration.
- Access control: Set a password or random access code for the options page, to slow you down in moments of weakness!
- Delaying: Set a countdown to delay access to sites instead of completely blocking them.
- Wildcards: Block a range of sites (e.g., *.somesite.com).
- Exceptions: Whitelist sites you don't want to be blocked (e.g., + allowedsite.com ).
- Keywords: Block or allow sites based on keywords (e.g., ~badword).
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