Ability to restrict access and report by "total time", not "time(s) of day"
Life never runs on a perfectly timed schedule, so setting up the access schedule, like you offer in the 'Custom' option under 'Time Restrictions' section, is completely impractical, at least to me.
All I want is to be able to say, "you have x hours/minutes of online access per day" -- I don't care if it's in the morning, at night or is split into several 10-minute or 15-minute portions throughout the day; I just want an ability to restrict the TOTAL access time. This is the critical one that's forcing me go back to NetNanny (which I don't like, and not just because it's a paid thing.) It also should be fairly easy to add this option (I'm a software developer, so I know what I'm talking about here :-)) -- just add one more option under 'Time Restrictions' section, alongside the already-existing 'Unrestricted', 'NightGuard' and 'Custom'... Maybe call it 'Total Access Limit' or something along those lines...? The interface could be similar to 'NightGuard' one, one dropdown box for hours and the other for minutes (e.g. options for 10-20-30-40-50, or 15-30-45) -- and voila!
Please, please consider this...
Thanks, and keep up the great work!!
set an specific amount of time for a web page
thanks for providing this nice product for free! I need a product to:
limit the TOTAL time my son can spend on the internet per day
(but not limit him to a specific time)
allow Skype calls even if the internet time for a day has elapsed.
I did not find a way to do this with K9 in your FAQs/Docs, so it would be great if such a functionality could be added!
Should be possible to restrict web access with a daily time quota.
For instance, I want my kid to use internet no more than 2 hours a day. Does not matter if he uses it in the morning or in the afternoon.
I hope to add a function like this: After I open IE or other browser like Chrome,Opera.. a certain minute like 10 minutes,then block the Internet access a certain hour,(during this block hour supervisor mode can not be used,as a alternative),after the block hour we can connect internet again. In this way,i hope to restrict my surfing time,just like :in one hour i can only use internet 10 minutes,if i want use it again ,i must wait a hour,so that i can make good use both surfing time and working time! Regard from China!
This would be great so that we, as parents, can gauge whether our child quickly shut down an inappropriate page or lingered there for a bit. Right now, we have to kind of try and piece it together.
I may ask you, if it is possible with k9 instead
of saying which time of day there is internet, to say for example only one
hour a day... after that there is no internet. I am looking for such a
function because it can happen that i need to use internet during blocked
Currently I can restrict my kids used of the PC between 8 am and 8pm. I would like to be able to limit my kid’s uses on their computer to 3 hours a day within the time restriction of 8am to 8pm. If K9 has this functionality please let me know how to configure. If K9 does not have this functionally can you please add this to your list of feature request for the next update?
Could you make the software with the option of not only setting the time restriction for a certain time of the day, but also for a certain AMOUNT of time per day?
This is actually a great idea, and one that we have considered adding – however, the question arises of how you determine “total time” (programmatically).
For example, if a person loads up a web page, the time it takes to load is short (just seconds) – but they could spend minutes, or even hours reading that page. How much time would loading that single page count as? What if they load a page, and then step away from their computer (leaving the browser open), and come back 2 hours later. They then read the page for 15 minutes, and click on a link. When the second page is loaded, do we assume that they have been browsing for 2 hours and 15 minutes (because that’s how long it’s been between requests), or how do you calculate?
This is even complicated more, since many websites (such as Facebook) now use AJAX requests and are constantly updating in the background – without the user’s interaction. If you open Facebook, and step away from the computer for an hour (which should not count as 1 hour “total time”), the traffic would look no different than if you opened Facebook and watched the updates come in for that same hour (which should count as 1 hour “total time”).
We are completely open to suggestions around this topic. Please post your thoughts and comments. We would love to add this feature at a future time, but are wondering how you, the community, would expect it to behave.
You could make each request count for a minimum amount of time, which could maybe be set by the user. So, for example, if the minimum time used per request were 20 minutes, if someone loaded a page it would automatically count for 20 mins. If they load another page within those 20 mins, then the total time used would be pushed up 20 more minutes from that point. Whenever 20 minutes elapses without a new request, then the user is assumed to be offline, and the timer would stop, so the total time used for that session would be the time between the first and last request plus 20 mins, and any new request after that point would count as a new session. You could also use two numbers, one for the minimum amount for any session and one that tacks on a certain amount of time to every session. So, using 30 mins, and 10 mins, if a request were made at 1:00, 2:30 and 2:55, The first request would count as one session of 30 mins (the minimum session length), but the second two would count as another session of 35 min(25 min + 10 min). If another request were made at 3:15, then the second session would be extended to 55 min(45+10). If you have data on user request times you could use the average time between requests to come up with default numbers, or maybe the numbers could be adjusted for each user based on their average time between requests.
I would think it would be just when they open a browser to when they close it would be the time they are on the internet. For example my kids open internet explorer and go to disney.com for 20 minutes then close the browser go do something else and come back later to go to nick.com for 45 minutes. they have just used 65 minutes of their internet time for the day. Lets just say I set it to allow for 2 hours a day (which we should be able to open up and add by 15 minute increments for any extra earned time for good behavior good grades being helpful etc). So the kids have 2 hours to start with and used 65 minutes already so they have 55 minutes left to use online for the day. This time is in my opinion is from the time they opened the browser to the time they closed it. If they use their favorites to go from site to site or the search engine to type in where they want to go then the browser remained open and that is their time no matter how long it took for the page to load. Parents can adjust that according to individual needs I would think. If the kids are leaving the browser open and walking away from the computer that is internet time they should be taught early on in life never leave your internet browser open no matter where you are for security purposes. If they lose time on the internet because they left a browser open I guess they learn to close it. Also the time blocks in K9 for restricting access needs to be set to 15 minute intervals because it really is not likely any parent is going to give or take more than 15 minutes of time away from a child and we work with a reward system of 15 minute intervals that we add or subtract which I currently have to do through my router because K9 doesn't have that time frame available for blocking internet.
I presume K9 developers can choose what parts to put client-side and which to put server-side. The timer should tick on the client-side and store securely on the server-side. That would allow awareness of which window or tab is visible along with mouse and keyboard activity related to your window (idle time).
Beyond that, the child who is careless about walking away or being distracted will not make that mistake often. And the few times they lose out while learning to control their timer won't be the end of the world
Admin - would it look like facebook is being used even if your browser is open on another tab? Because I've used an extension on google chrome (called WasteNoTime) that restricts usage by amount of time, and if you are on another tab, it doesn't count it. So if you want to step away from the computer, all you have to do is open a new tab, and you're good. I think this would be a good way to configure K9.
StayFocusd and other browser extensions manage to do this. Perhaps you could look into how they calculate time passed.
I know that StayFocusd takes note of when you idle. So for example, you load the page, the countdown starts, but the program notices you haven't typed or moved the mouse in 10 minutes, so a window pops up saying "You seem to be idle, we've paused the countdown." If you close the window, you're no longer idle, so the countdown resumes. If you don't close the window, you can't see the content anyway, so the countdown stays paused.
i think i've seen a different filtering program KidsWatch which i'm pretty sure has this ability to limit TOTAL time
Jon, the problem with that suggestion is that it would count the time whatever the person is doing, even if it isn't online. You'll get the situation, the last that any wants, where kids leave writing that essay until the last moment because they quickly learn that they can go on facebook and then do the essay, but not the other way around.
Other programs do have that feature. Maybe, you're overthinkiing this. It's not about "online time" it's about "time in front of the computer". It's pretty easy to count. example: If the computer has been running for 15 hours this week, internet access is blocked for the rest of that week. It's as easy as that - you don't need to count the time, someone has actually been spending looking at one particular page... don't overthink this
Andrew B commented
Like on the Mac, have it shut down, or require a password/PIN to gain additional time.
I also would love to see a feature added that allows kids some freedom within an overall time limit on a WEEKLY basis. In our family, we're not so concerned about content filtering actually as there is only one shared PC for the kids, in the middle of the living room, where everyone sees what everyone else is doing. What I need to do is stop being the time monitor for 3 kids! But the programs, and it seems like it's almost all of them, set up DAILY limits, which is too restrictive. My kids don't use the computer every day as they have sports and other activities on. But they may want/need more time on a weekend, for example. It would be good to be able to set up a weekly time limit for each user, and within that weekly limit, they have the ability to set their own schedule through logging on and logging off their individual accounts. A program called "ComputerTime" made by softwaretime.com has this feature, but for some reason I can't get it downloaded past my firewall on a Windows 7 64-bit system.
I support this idea. In an effort to KISS, I suggest that a timer widget that is unique to the user profile that is logged on to the computer. I suggest that the timer be activated and run for the time allotted by the admin according to the start of any browser that is installed and run by this user. It would stop when the user quits the last open browser. If the time limit expires, then all running browser processes would be killed and any attempts to run a browser executable would not be allowed. It would also reset itself after a set interval has elapsed, i.e. 24 hours. That could be a starting point to set your sights on. Later refinements could be added as necessary or as the suggested comments require. Hire me and I will implement these changes myself. I need something to do to avoid bankruptcy. Signed, NO JOKE.
Dont fish in my lake commented
This would be somewhat difficult like Toonetown explained ..
This is my favorite idea!
@ Ehsanit If you know a program already capable of doing this please enlighten us. I really want one and can't find one. There are add-ons to do this in chrome and firefox but then you can bypass by using IE.
I second Andrew's KISS principal comment. The timer should start when you open a tab and end when you close it. You can at least give us this to get started and then make it more complicated later if it makes you happy. The very simple version would be a lot better than nothing.
It would be really nice if the time limit was by day, so that weekends can be different from weekdays and also the time limit needs to allow users to group websites. AKA all online tv websites together would have a 1 hour total time limit, rather than each of these sites having an hour limit. You could allow multiple limits (eg: 1 for all online tv, 10 min for facebook). A total web time limit would also be nice. Please give us as much user control as possible so that distracting sites can be blocked while allowing productive sites.
I would like to hear where this idea has gotten to since last summer.
I'm not sure if this will help the idea process of not. As a parent, I want to permit my son to go to his favorite website (happens to be RuneScape) and have fun. But when not supervised, he will lose all track ofhis time and will go on for 5 or 7 (or more) hours. I want to limit him to a "reasonable amount of time"
What I don't want is to limit his searches on other websites (homework, etc)
What i seek is an option to let him blow past the web-block for a certain url, but only for a specified amount of time. Ehsanit's idea of a "go-online" button could work with that. The site is already listed on the black list...but the "option" would permit an exception for 90 minutes (or so, set by the gaurdian). Might even have restrictions by day of the week (permitting weekends, but not weekdays). Also, the option might be set differently for a second website, seperately "monitored."
Pls know - as it is now, i have to permanently block this(ese) site(s), when it should be okay for him to use it if he'd limit his time there. Please help reduce the pain in my house!
Would there be a way to limit by bandwidth amount vs. time online? (Understanding the time measuring difficulties.)
I don't think K9 is the ideal software for enforcing limits on how long people can be on the computer. There are other programs better suited to doing that, but they aren't web filters.
As a parent, I'm not concerned about how much time he's on a particular website as I am about how much time he's on the computer... it's all the same to me when it comes to managing the child's time on the computer. I would restrict the child's time from the time he/she logs on to the computer.
However, I also understand the argument... so why not have both options... website time restriction and system wide time restriction...
With a website time restriction, give options for a whitelist that are exempt from website time limitations, but not exempt from system wide time restrictions.
I think its an excellent idea and actually other filters have this feature. however I think if could be done also according to a set calendar. ie: each day of the week can be scheduled individually, that would even be better.
Thanks for the great filter, as is !
@toonetown: maybe K9 is not able to detect when the browser opens or closes, but that feature is relatively easy to add. The best way is to hook into Windows and attach event handlers to the creation/deletion of processes. The easier way is to poll the list of processes once per minute. you have to be careful though about users using unusual browsers, or even programs with built-in browsers. Also, be careful to avoid counting an antivirus program downloading updates as "internet time."
One way to track user time is through a discreet-user settings/filtering approach, i.e., by monitoring how long a user is logged into their user domain on the operating system. Allowing discreet user settings is another suggestion thread with 400+ votes.