LimitedSurf : User Controlling Add-on For Firefox
By on January 15th, 2010

LimitedSurf is a handy Firefox add-on to control user activities. It is very useful specially when you have to administer public computers in college labs, offices, libraries, cybercafes etc. Parents can also use LimitedSurf to block certain websites and make the internet safer for their kids. It gives you full control over Firefox settings and accessibility.

How to use LimitedSurf?

First time setup

Install the LimitedSurf from the Mozilla Add-on site and restart Firefox. Now, move to the option panel in the add-on manager (Tools>Add-ons). You will be asked for the Admin password, which is 123by default. Once you have entered this password, you enter into   Admin Mode, where you can manage the LimitedSurf settings.

LimitedSurf Admin Settings

In Admin Mode, you can set the following   configurations:

  • Change admin password.
  • Enable/Disable timeslot. This restricts browser usage to a certain time period.
  • Enable/Disable Blocking websites and keywords. Using this setting, Administrator can block certain websites and keywords. Non-admin users can’t open these sites.
  • Enable/Disable timelimit. This restricts browser usage to the provided duration.
  • Enable/Disable Admin mode. Disable it when transferring system control to users.

After configuring the above settings, restart the browser to apply them.

What is Admin Mode?

When Firefox runs in this mode, user have all control and functionality. To disable Admin mode, un-check the related check-box in options panel and restart the browser.

When Admin mode is disabled, i.e., you want to restrict user control, a user can’t:

  • Access Tools menu.
  • visit blocked websites (or sites with block keywords).
  • Change LimitedSurf settings.
  • Change Firefox’s settings or preferences.

To re-enable Admin mode, press CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + S keys altogether, and enter the admin password.

Enable Admin Mode

Techie Buzz Verdict

LimitedSurf is a nice extension to Firefox’s features. It makes Firefox a perfect browser for public computers. But, LimitedSurf (or any other utility) can’t stop users from accessing restricted websites. Users always have the option to create another Firefox profile, and hence they can bypass all restrictions. Still, we appreciate this effort.

Techie Buzz Rating: 2.5/5

LimitedSurf is an experimental add-on, which can be installed from here.

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Author: Arpit Kumar
Arpit is a full time devotee of Tech and Web 2.0

Arpit Kumar has written and can be contacted at arpit@techie-buzz.com.

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