Let’s get it out there: getting distracted by social media and other websites is pretty common during studying. So, what are the best apps to block websites for studying in 2021? That we’ll find out today.

For instance, this article will lay down the in-depth reviews for the best web blocker apps on the market to help you find out which way to go. The best part? Some of the recommended options are FREE.

That said, let’s dive in. 

1. Best Website Blocker for Studying: Freedom

Freedom web blocker

If you’re looking for the best website blocker for focus, don’t look any further, Freedom is a great way to go. The website blocker has been around since 2009 and now serves over 2 million people around the globe.

The major highlight of Freedom is the cross-platform support and synchronization. 

So, using it on different devices doesn’t mean you’ll have to select the websites you want to block/ unblock on every device. Instead, the settings you make on one device are automatically synced on the other. 

Where the Freedom app is available for Android, it also works on iOS, Mac, and Windows. Aside from that, it’s also available as a browser extension for your convenience. 

The app lets you block any types of apps and websites including shopping, social media, and gaming apps. There’s an easy-to-use interface that lets you conveniently select the apps you want to block/ unblock. Moreover, you can also schedule their blocking to save time. 

Another marvelous stand of the Freedom app is its popularity and trustability. Being featured in top organizations like The New York Times and used by people from Apple and Google, it becomes an authoritative platform to use for web blocking. 

The plans at Freedom app start from as low as $2.50/mo. This package covers all the devices and offers all the essential features advertised. Moreover, the free trial is also in place to let you evaluate their services. 

Supported platforms:

Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Chromebook, Linux

Pricing: 

Starts from $2.50/mo (the plan covers all devices)

Pros

  • Supports various platforms
  • Also available as a browser extension
  • Affordable
  • Synchronization ability

Cons

  • Doesn’t support Mac’s older versions from 10.8 

2. Best Site Blocker for Chrome: LeechBlock NG

Leechblock chrome web blocker

LeechBlock NG is a productivity-focused parental control software that serves as a web blocker. It now has over 80,000 users on Chrome with 5-star reviews from 379 users. 

How LeechBlock works is that you’re allowed to devise up to 30 sets of websites that you can block. For instance, suppose that you’ve created a set called social media. You can select all the social media sites you’d like to block in this set. 

Similarly, you can create one for shopping, general, and so on. Once you’ve specified some sets, you’re allowed to configure different times and dates for the sets that there are. 

For instance, if you want to spend the time between 8 AM-12 AM, you can schedule Facebook to block during this time. If there are your working hours every day, you can schedule sets to block at this time daily. 

Furthermore, the app also offers advanced features like blocking sites within a fixed time period. For instance, you can allow social media sites to unblock for 5 minutes every hour from 8 AM to 12 AM. 

Moreover, LeechBlock also offers the quick lockdown feature that you can use to block a site immediately for a specific duration. 

Where the app tends to be pretty helpful, you cannot use it on your phone or block non-browser applications. But still, the advanced site-blocking features you get (for free) make it the best website blocking extension for Chrome. 

Supported platforms:

Chrome 

Pricing:

Available for free at Chrome Web Store

Pros

  • Lets you block sites for a certain duration
  • Create up to 30 sets of sites
  • Advanced scheduling to save time
  • The quick website lockdown feature

Cons

  • The interface could be visually better

3. Best Free Web Blocker for Studying: SelfControl 

Selfcontrol website filter

If you’re looking for an effective productivity tool for Mac that doesn’t require you to spend money, SelfControl is a good way to go. SelfControl is an open-source app that’s free for all users. You can simply download it for Mac from the official website.

Productivity comes with strictness, that’s why SelfControl comes with strict rules. 

Once you’ve set a period for certain websites to block, you cannot unblock them even if you restart your Mac device. In fact, even deleting the application doesn’t unblock the sites before that timer expires. 

All these features make SelfControl one of the best apps to block websites for studying.

However, you should know that it doesn’t offer advanced productivity features like scheduling, website lockdown, or the options for creating sets of websites. Instead, SelfControl is a simple and straightforward website blocker. 

Another great part about SelfControl is its small file size. Being a straightforward application, it barely costs 7 MBs of your storage. The versions of Mac it supports are all Mac OS X 10.8+ versions. 

With all of that said, if a FREE and simple website blocker for Mac is your concern, SelfControl is your call.

Supported platforms:

Mac OS X 10.8+ versions

Pricing:

Available for free

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Totally free of cost
  • Easy to use
  • Simple & straightforward

Cons

  • Only supports Mac
  • Lacks advanced features

4. Best Versatile Website Blocker: RescueTime

Rescuetime web blocker app

RescueTime is much more than just a web blocker – it’s more of a time-management app that also features web blocking since the internet can consume a big part of your time.

How RescueTime works are it automatically monitors the websites or apps you use. It also keeps track of how much time you spend here and there and when. 

With the brilliant categorization feature, the app automatically categorizes the usage of an app with labels of either productive or distracting. For instance, the time you spend on professional apps would count into productivity.

But you get the option to set the labels for apps like Facebook that can either be a sign of productivity for you or distraction. Other than these intelligent guesses, RescueTime offers advanced analytics for easy monitoring of your time.

Now, how this analytics advantage you is by giving you an idea of when you’re the most productive and when you’re not. Since you get the chance to review your time expenditure, you can create more actionable plans on how you can study better. 

Regarding pricing, the plans at RescueTime start from $6.50/mo. Furthermore, the platform also offers time management training for teams starting from $99/ team member
. So, it can be advantageous for study groups. 

With these kinds of powerful features, RescueTime is featured as a great productivity app in authoritative blogs like PCMag and LifeHacker. Moreover, with 2 million users, you cannot go wrong with RescueTime. 

That said, also go through our guide on the best apps to limit screen time to find yourself an effective screen-time monitoring app. 

Pricing:

Starts from $6.50/mo per person (2-week trial available)

Platforms Supported: 

Windows, Linux, Android, mobile Apple devices, macOS, Firefox (extension), Chrome (extension)

Pros

  • Supports various platforms
  • Free trial & free version
  • Trusted by 2 million users
  • Easy to monitor analytics

Cons

  • Expensive 
  • Mediocre mobile app

5. Best Web Blocker for One-Time Purchase: Cold Turkey

Cold turkey site blocker

Cold Turkey Blocker is yet another powerful study app blocker designed to help you be more productive during your studies. Where it offers many unique features that set it apart, the major one is the flat one-time pricing to eliminate the headache of paying every month.

The main feature of Cold Turkey is blocking certain websites on the internet. You can put any domain in the blocker you want to block. You can even block specific URLs like reddit.com/r/funny to ensure you only block a distraction.

Other than that, the platform also offers the benefit of blocking certain keywords. But, if you think the entire internet is a distraction to you, other than the sites you’re using for study or work, you can set certain exceptions and block out the internet. 

Another feature that makes Cold Turkey stand out is the display of motivational quotes on the website block page. Below is an example (image):

Cold turkey feature

Other than that, the platform also lets you customize the block page if you’re using the paid version. When using the app on Windows or macOS, you can also block certain games, applications, and folders, by manually selecting them from the app. 

Cold Turkey also lets you schedule blocks by dragging certain blocks here and there, pretty much like Google Calendar. You can set the schedule to repeat every day or every week. 

The extra features of the platform include the tough locking feature which makes sure you don’t cheat. The first one on the list is the timer feature. Once you’ve locked in a timer, you cannot open the website/ app/ folder before this time range expires. 

Random text is also a creative feature that requires you to type randomized characters for unlocking. You can set the length for these characters between 1 and 999. Moreover, the password feature is also in place, which comes in handy when parents are trying to limit their child’s activities on the internet. 

With such powerful, creative, and effective benefits, Cold Turkey is easily worth a one-time price of $39. However, the platform doesn’t support mobile devices, so, be ready for that. You can also consider the FREE plan. It includes the basics like website blocking, exceptions, statistics, and timed blocks, etc. 

Supported Platforms:

macOS, Windows, Safari (extension), Chrome (extension), Opera (extension), Vivaldi (extension), Microsoft Edge (extension)

Pricing:

Free version available, paid version costs the one-time price of $39.00

Pros

  • One-time price
  • Easy to use
  • Lots of powerful features
  • Effective for studies

Cons

  • Doesn’t support mobile devices

6. Best Web Blocker for Parents: uMobix

umobix

If you’re looking for a parental control app as a parent to block certain distraction sites during your child’s studies, you might like uMobix. This is because uMobix is more than a website filter and also boasts other tracking features you might like.

For website blocking, uMobix offers the safe search feature that filters out inappropriate content as well other than the distractive sites. Other than that, you can also see what sites your child has been visiting to see if he was actually studying. 

Furthermore, uMobix also boasts the manual website blocking feature that lets you add certain websites you’d like to block. The best part? You can do all of this remotely, without needing access to your child’s device.

The other benefits of using uMobix include overall device activity report, location history, real-time location monitoring, screen time control, and so on. Moreover, the ability to monitor call logs, device data, and secret conversations is another significant addition.

The pricing at uMobix is the highest if you choose a month-to-month term — at $39.99/mo. On choosing the 3-month plan, it drops to $14.99/mo. For an even bigger discount, you can pick the 6-month plan and pay at only $8.33/mo. For even cheaper pricing at $7.49/mo, you can choose uMobix’s annual package.  

With that out of the way, if you’d rather go for an all-in-one app that offers website blocking features too, uMobix is a good way to go. Moreover, you lose nothing on giving its free trial a shot.

That said if you’d like to discover uMobix alternatives, go through our detailed guide on the best parental control apps for iPhone and iPad. Looking for a parental control app for Android? Then consider the Android parental control apps guide. 

Supported Platforms:

iOS, Android

Pricing:

  • Starts from $39.99/mo with a 1-month plan
  • Costs $14.99/mo with a 3-year plan
  • Charges $8.99/mo with a 6-month term
  • Costs $7.49/mo with 1-year package

Pros

  • All-in-one parental control app
  • Easy website blocking
  • Screen monitoring
  • Fit for parents

Cons

  • The monthly plan is expensive
  • Doesn’t support Windows and Mac

7. Best Flexible Website Blocker for Studying: FocusMe

Focus me study app

As the name illustrates, FocusMe is a productivity-focused application that aims to help you focus on your studies. FocusMe has been around since 2015 and is widely used for website blocking & time management. With feature-rich services at cheap pricing, it has achieved a 4.9 rating out of 5, based on 473 reviews on TrustPilot.

As a web blocker app, FocusMe lets you blacklist certain websites that you find distractive to retain your productive hours. It also lets you partially block sites which is an amazing feature. For instance, you can block out Facebook feed but still use Messenger for business chats. 

When using the app on Windows or Mac, you also get the choice to block certain folders in File Explorer. So, no more movies during studies. The automatic scheduler is also a great feature of FocusMe. It lets you overcome distractions and set effective screen times that are beneficial for you (and your health).

Another marvelous feature of FocusMe is the brilliant time limiter. 

Unlike the other site blockers, FocusMe lets you remain flexible by putting a limit on hours per week or days of accessing the site. The feature comes in handy when the distractive sites get associated with your studies – like the requirement of a lecture on Youtube.

Supported Platforms:

Windows, Mac, Android, Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari 

Pricing:

Starts from $6.99/mo, or $39.99/year, or $79.99 with a 3-year contract (30% discount available for students)

Pros

  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Free for Android
  • Flexible blocking features
  • Convenient

Cons

  • Could be cheaper
  • Doesn’t support iOS (iPhone devices)

Key Takeaways

To sum everything up, below are the best apps to block websites for studying:

  • The best website blocker for studying is definitely Freedom
  • Freedom is an authoritative website filter that lets you remain focused by blocking websites efficiently. The highlights of Freedom are cheap pricing and the support for multiple platforms.
  • The best chrome extension for website blockers is LeechBlock NG
  • LeechBlock NG is a powerful Chrome plugin that lets you create groups of sites and schedule their blocking. It also offers the temporary website blocking feature for immediate blocking. The best part is, it’s free!
  • Last but not the least, if you’d rather consider a parenting control app for web blocking – to get additional features as well – uMobix is the way to go.
  • uMobix is a powerful cell tracking app designed for parents to monitor their children. It also offers the web blocking feature to filter out inappropriate content from your child’s devices.

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