At a Glance
- Simple to set up; Simple to use
- Doesn’t block some obvious sites; Children can easily get around it; Blocking categories don’t always make sense
Block objectionable Web sites with this free Chrome extension.
WebFilter is a free Chrome extension
designed to block access to objectionable or dangerous sites,
including those that are pornographic, harbor malware, show drug
use, or are heavy bandwidth users. It’s a generally useful tool,
although it is somewhat marred by its surprising inability to block
at least one very obvious problematic site.
Setup is simple; simply download the extension with Chrome. At
that point, WebFilter stops Chrome from visiting the dangerous or
problematic sites. When you (or more likely, one of your children
onto whose browser you installed the extension) try to visit one,
you can’t get there, and get a page that reads “Web Access Blocked:
The following web Access is blocked by Cloudacl,” followed by the
URL of the site.
That’s all well and good. But it won’t block access to every
objectionable site. For example, it didn’t block access to sex.com,
a surprising oversight. However, you can always add sites you come
across to a blocked list. Still, if you’re trying to protect a
child, this won’t help at all, because the child will have already
come across the site, and isn’t likely to block him- or herself
from future visits.
WebFilter is customizable, so that you can decide which types of
sites to block. For example, block sites related to pornography,
but allow social-networking sites and sites that suck up
Even there, though, there are some problems with the program.
Inexplicably, one category lumps abused drugs and marijuana in with
abortion. What drugs have to do with abortion isn’t at all clear,
and some parents may well want their children to know about
abortion, even if they don’t want them visiting sites related to
The final problem with WebFilter is that it simply won’t work
for older kids. There’s no password mechanism for turning it on and
off. So if you have a child who knows his or her way around a
computer, they’ll be able to bypass it by simply turning it
WebFilter is free, and so may well be worth a try depending on
what you plan to use it for. It’s most suitable if you want to
block your own access to certain sites, or if you want to block
younger children visiting problematic sites. Otherwise, you likely
won’t want it.
Note: This link takes you to this extension’s
page at Google, where you can automatically install the file into
your Chrome browser.