how can I block internet and only allow certain sites on XP system?

Hi Experts,

  I have 3 windows xp workstations on a workgroup. I would like to block internet from 2 of them and only allow 1 or 2 sites for example www.yahoo.com and www.aol.com. I want to do this without buying any third party software. Is there a way to do it in windows?
frankbustosAsked:
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Encrypted1024Commented:
Yes, use the Internet Explorer content filter or parental controls. Go to IE and select tools>Internet Options>Content.

You can block all and set up a white list. It works well if you only have a few machines and not a huge budget.
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acl-puzzCommented:
hi

how these machine connect to internet exactly ..please explain thia first so that we can assist you fastly
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frankbustosAuthor Commented:
acl-puzz I have a dsl att router connected to a switch and the systems are connected to the switch and use the router as the gateway.

Ecrypted1024 - I tried doing what you suggested and it says that I can't do it says " parent control cannot be applied to your own account because it is an administrator" and I don't want to create any other standard account.
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acl-puzzCommented:
i think on this setup you cant do all yours requirements but you still can block any websites you want with the help of opendns service which is free

https://store.opendns.com/get/basic

is you router have capability of blocking ports on basis of ip?

if you can buy an old used cisco 2500 router may be from ebay you can do this with the help Extended ACL that will fullfill all yours need.
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slemmesmiCommented:
Dear frankbustos,

another frequently used is to enter the sites/hosts you wish to block, into the computers local "hosts" file, and setting the localhost loopback (127.0.0.1) as their mapped IP.
When somebody then try to access such (using any browser or other program) it will simply be mapped to the computers own IP and thus "block" access to the real site.
You can read more about this on multiple Internet resources - e.g. http://wiki.lunarsoft.net/wiki/Blocking_Malware_and_Advertisements_Safely
http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm
http://www.malwarehelp.org/how-to-effectively-prevent-malware-hosts-file.html

There are even "solutions" available on the Internet, where you can download "hosts" files already prepared with entries for sites/hosts that are "known bad boys" - e.g. http://www.malwaredomainlist.com/forums/index.php?topic=174.0

Kind regards,
Soren
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slemmesmiCommented:
Dear frankbustos,

sorry I missed another very useful resource for hosts files blocking: http://msmvps.com/blogs/hostsnews/default.aspx

@acl-puzz: Do you really trust opendns? I question who controls what's entered in opendns - e.g. a bad boy entering www.yourinternetbank.com are referral to www.spoofing.com?

Kind regards,
Soren
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acl-puzzCommented:
@Soren

i have used it and i trust it...anyways do u believe using hosts file will block internet and let these systems browse two websites that are  told by authors?? i think no

thats y i suggested buying an second hand cisco 2500 router which will do this job
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Make sure you understand:

If you don't remove administrative rights from the account, the user can EASILY change ANY setting you make and make your efforts futile.
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kadadi_vIT AdminCommented:
If you want permanent solution then you can add one more  PC with Linux ( Ubuntu,Fedora,Centos) with Squid Proxy server installation and using webmin you can easily administrate the Linux Proxy server.

Squid: http://www.squid-cache.org/
Webmin : http://www.webmin.com/download.html

OR you can go with windows proxy server also
http://opensource.software.informer.com/download-opensource-proxy-server-for-windows/


Regards,
vijay
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Encrypted1024Commented:
What exactly is the purpose of this blocking? If it is to block employees or kids from surfing inappropriate sites then you will likely want to create a limited user account because like leew suggested they will just easily thwart any attempt you make to block if they have admin rights.

Most of the solutions suggested will be very difficult to manage blocking all but a couple sites. Host file and DNS blocking is "OK" for blocking one or two specific sites like facebook or something.

If you can't make a second user then the only resonable solution will be adding some sort of content filtering / URL filtering applince like the proxy servers or routers mentioned.

I still think the easiest, free method is what I first suggested but it does require setting up a second limited user account.
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TCM_KCHCommented:
There are several ways to deal with this. Easy or hard way, Cost effective or costly.

1. Apply net nanny - Easy & Cost effective
2. Kaspersky internet suite has parental control as well - Easy & Cost effective.
3. Use Fortigate (Hardware firewall) - Easy,  but expensive
4. Apply local policy and block changes to network settings - moderate, no cost
5. Software firewall - hard, no cost.

If for me, I opt for the cheap n nasty, option 1.
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Encrypted1024Commented:
What Router are you using anyway? A lot of cheap routers have some sort of Blacklist/whitelist specific URL filtering. Even Dlink and Linksys models.
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frankbustosAuthor Commented:
thanks this works for me.
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