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An easy way to block youtube et al - free of charge

VileReynard
All Star
Posts: 11,212
Thanks: 307
Fixes: 11
Registered: ‎01-09-2007

An easy way to block youtube et al - free of charge

For those with kids who don't do their homework:-
An easy way to block them from their favourite sites is to add a few lines to your HOSTS file. This will block all users of the computer at one go.
Note that youtube and myspace provide "proxies" (a forwarding mechanism) to allow the brats to use those sites at school and elsewhere.
A selection of sites that works for me is:-
Add these lines to HOSTS (don't include the ========= lines)!
============================================
#BLOCK these
127.0.0.1 uk.youtube.com
127.0.0.1 www.youtube.com
127.0.0.1 m.youtube.com
127.0.0.1 www.topyoutubevideos.com
127.0.0.1 www.myspace.com
127.0.0.1 profile.myspace.com
127.0.0.1 viewmorepics.myspace.com
127.0.0.1 comment.myspace.com
127.0.0.1 www.facebook.com
127.0.0.1 bulletins.myspace.com
127.0.0.1 youtube.com
127.0.0.1 nl.youtube.com
127.0.0.1 www.myspaceproxy1.com
=========================================
You might like to add msn to these (that's allowed - for now)
This is not bullet proof - these sites add new URL's all the time in order to block simple changes like this.
BTW If you are a Windows user you may need to reboot - who knows?

7 REPLIES
holdtight
Grafter
Posts: 1,634
Registered: ‎15-06-2007

Re: An easy way to block youtube et al - free of charge

Yes a reboot is necessary and while your there its also worth ticking the read only box under properties then your host file cant be changed by outside nasties
pjemmanuel
Grafter
Posts: 349
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: An easy way to block youtube et al - free of charge

If you want to block MSN as well, add these to your hosts file.
127.0.0.1  gateway.messenger.hotmail.com
127.0.0.1  messenger.hotmail.com
127.0.0.1  webmessenger.msn.com
(or use 0.0.0.0 if you have a webserver running)
Couple of caveats though: -
The first two will block Live Messenger from connecting - it won't stop Windows Messenger, installed by default on XP. If you want to block that, it's going to take a registry edit, included below.
Live Messenger will throw up an error when it tries to connect and offers a "Troubleshoot" button, which will then present a list of things that are preventing the connection - hosts file being one of them. Now, if your kids don't know what the hosts file is, then it's quite easy to get around this, and Live Messengers ability to "fix" the hosts file. Just change the properties of the file to be Read Only, and Live Messenger is unable to correct the issue. If your kids do know what the hosts file is, then they are going to be able to undo your changes anyway.
The third line will stop your homework dodging kids from connecting via a web interface to MSN.

Warning.... Editting the registry can be dangerous - If you don't know what I'm talking about below, then don't do it.
If you want to stop the original XP Windows Messenger from connecting, then use Start->Run->Regedit.
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Messenger\Client
You may need to create the Keys for Microsoft and Messenger if they aren't already there, just make sure you create them to match the structure given above. Then under the Client key, create a new DWord named PreventRun. Set the Value to 1. Reboot. Now Windows Messenger won't run. Live Messenger will, but the hosts addition above will sort that out.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: An easy way to block youtube et al - free of charge

No need to edit the registry just run Shoot The Messenger.
MikeWhitehead
Grafter
Posts: 748
Registered: ‎19-08-2007

Re: An easy way to block youtube et al - free of charge

Quote from: Peter
No need to edit the registry just run Shoot The Messenger.

From what I can see in what you posted Peter, that's just relating to the Messenger service. The registry edits were to stop Windows Messenger (the IM client).
pjemmanuel
Grafter
Posts: 349
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: An easy way to block youtube et al - free of charge

Yup, Mike has hit the nail right on the head. Shoot the Messenger stops the Windows Messenger service, not the Windows Messenger IM client - they aren't the same beast.
Perhaps it would have been less confusing if Microsoft hadn't called them the same thing. Then again, if you aren't sat behind at least one firewall (Hardware or software) it is still a good idea to stop the Messenger service.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: An easy way to block youtube et al - free of charge

My post was just a reply to the regedit example posted by Phil_E.
MikeWhitehead
Grafter
Posts: 748
Registered: ‎19-08-2007

Re: An easy way to block youtube et al - free of charge

Quote from: Peter
My post was just a reply to the regedit example posted by Phil_E.

They were for two different things though. The Shoot the Messenger application is for Messenger service, and the registry alterations were to stop Windows Messenger from loading.