The internet is a limitless resource of knowledge and entertainment, but not all of it is suited for the young and growing minds. Here’s a detailed guide on why you’d need to block websites on iPad without Screen Time parental control feature.
For as long as the Apple iPad has been around, it has been considered as a family device, adding the best of the iPhone to the bigger screen, without the need for phone calls. Over the years, the iPadOS has increasingly become child-centric, with dedicated apps and services for education, kid-friendly entertainment on YouTube, and more.
However, since the iPad, like any other smart device, is a portal to the World Wide Web, there are certain aspects of it that you cannot control. As a parent or a teacher, handing over the tablet to the little one without 24/7 supervision can be risky, especially if you’re worried about exposing them to inappropriate or unsafe content on the internet.
Why would you need to block websites on iPad?
Whether it is the classroom or the living room where you’ve left the iPad around, leaving a tablet that is a gateway to the internet can have unforeseen consequences. Most schools and playgroups have a strict “no iPad” policy for this very reason, but there’s only so much you can do to at home. After all, it is impossible keep the little one away from whining to get an hour of YouTube videos and video games on the iPad.
The first and most obvious reason to block websites on iPad is to shade the young minds from the darker shades of grey that the internet harbors. Everything from explicit content to downright pornography is available on Google at the press of a button, and the kids might come across a bunch of it without even intending to.
Even if you aren’t too worried about the illicit content on the web, the fact that certain websites are addictive to kids, gives you an entire reason to block them. The internet does more good than harm, so blocking out the entire Safari app is out of the question, but at the same time, malicious websites are also a real threat. Everything from scam lottery to spam websites that might steal your personal and financial details from the iPad, can be a hazard in the younger hands that don’t fully understand it.
Why is Screen Time ineffective in blocking websites?
Apple took a positive step in the right direction by pulling out parental control features from the Accessibility menu and putting it on the main screen of the Settings with the Screen Time feature. While the app covers the basics of parental control, it isn’t the most effective tool when it comes to blocking websites.
Most importantly, Screen Time works only with the default Safari web browser, which leaves out all those who use third-party web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera Browser, and others. Moreover, while the Content Restrictions section of Screen Time does allow you to block adult websites, its detection is shoddy and may not always work.
The biggest problem with Screen Time is that the password is universal, which means that granting access to one feature allows the little ones to go ahead and disable all the other restrictions too. Children are far more tech-savvy than most adults, so getting around Screen Time to access the web isn’t rocket science for them.
Best 3rd party apps to block websites on iPad
It can be frustrating to setup Screen Time in order to do something as basic as block a website on your iPad’s Safari web browser. The good thing is, plenty of third-party apps understand how important the task is, and also feel that users should have an easier way to block websites on iPad without Screen Time. We’ve reviewed some of the top website blockers and iPad parental control apps to find you the easiest and most efficient solution.
Wondershare has been synonymous with noteworthy Mac and iOS tools for years now, offering backup, unlocking, and storage solutions. The developers have now cracked parental controls on iPad with the FamiSafe app, which makes the basic features of Screen Time almost laughable.
Designed for both Android and iOS devices, FamiSafe allows lockdown scheduling, geo-location tracking, enhanced parental controls, and a dedicated web filter, which is exactly what you’re here for. The web browser monitor from FamiSafe is not just meant to lock down the web access of the iPad, but it provides a watchful eye instead.
You can not only block website based on their URLs, but also based on search keywords and clear history remotely too. Starting off with FamiSafe is easy enough, and once you’ve signed up for the service, add the iPad to the account by selecting Connect a New Device option and access the Web Filter menu. The ability to personalize the filtered websites is what makes FamiSafe the best tool to block websites on iPad without Screen Time.
Apart from enabling/disabling Categories such as Adult, Violence, Weapons, and others, you also have the option to add Exceptions too. The feature to view and then delete search history remotely is another exceptional feat of FamiSafe, which is only improved by the fact that you get real-time notification every time a blocked website is accessed.
A veteran when it comes to web privacy and filtering, BlockSite has been on the App Store and the Play Store for years now, along with a Chrome browser extension. What makes BlockSite different from Screen Time or Wondershare FamiSafe is the fact that it is not primarily meant to be a parental control app.
You can install it on the iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac, and Windows, using it as a means to not just curb the web usage of the little ones, but bring some much-needed productivity boost for yourself too. After installing the app on your iPad, The Block List will allow you to add apps with the press of a button, with not only app suggestion for blocking, but website suggestions too.
When setting up the app on your kid’s iPad, you can even put up a customized block page when they access a website that is out of bounds. Additionally, the Insights section will give you a sneak peek into the browsing trends of your young one, divided on the basis of which apps they use and websites they visit from the iPad.
Long before the Screen Time feature even made it to iOS and iPadOS, an open-source project for macOS laid the foundation of blocking websites in lieu of productivity. Inspired by the SelfControl app on Mac, the developer behind Block Distracting Websites on iOS and iPadOS has created the easiest way to block websites on iPad without Screen Time.
The best part about Block Distracting Websites has to be the simplicity, and unlike other parental control apps that are trying to do a bunch of things at once, this app makes sure to perfect the job of blocking websites and that alone. While there is no built-in scheduler, or a dedicated security screen in place, we rate it high for simplicity, with the main gripe being that Block Distracting Websites only works with Safari web browser.
Back in the old days, if you wanted to block one or more websites from the Safari browser, all you needed to do was head to the Safari app settings and feed in the URL. Albeit the Screen Time parental control feature takes a minute or two to get you started, it does offer a more comprehensive control over what content and features of the iPad can be used when the kids get a hold of the tablet.
We do recommend that you take a close look at our guide on how to put out parental control on iPad and browse through the multi-level protection and monitoring it offers.
How to block websites on Mac without Screen Time?
Using the Safari web browser, head to Preferences – Websites – Content Blockers and turn on the option. Furthermore, to avoid video ads that just pop up on the screen, disable the Auto-Play feature from the same window and select Never Auto-Play right next to the website name.
Can my child unblock websites I blocked with Screen Time?
If your kid gets a hold of the Screen Time passcode, they can not only access the apps you’ve barred them from, but unblock websites too. This is one of the key reasons why we recommend using a third-party app to block websites on iPad without Screen Time.