Breaking an Internet addiction

Let us know what you would like to see in the next version of iNet Protector

Breaking an Internet addiction

Postby kollo » Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:39 pm

I have been using iNet Protector for almost a year to keep myself from surfing on the Internet too much. It works very well at limiting my total time spent on the Internet and stopping me from using Internet too late in the evenings. Thank you for a great product!

However I miss a few features that would make iNet Protector even better at breaking my Internet addiction. The main problem is that I tend to use up my quota all at once early in the day on not so important web surfing with no quota left for more important Internet tasks later. I just can't stop myself from going from website to website! I need some way to get my Internet quota evenly distributed during the day. I think this is a problem I share with a lot of other people that use Internet too much.

Since I know that I often exhaust my quota early in the day I find it difficult to give up control of the iNet Protector settings. I might need to use Internet for something important later in the day and I don't want to risk locking myself out completely from the possibility of using Internet later. But since I can access the settings I tend to bypass iNet Protector more than I should.

I have thought of two features that I think would help in these matters:

Maximum session length
It would be helpful if you could set a limit on how long each Internet session can be. It could either be a simple limitation like "an Internet session can not be longer than X minutes and Y minutes must pass between each Internet session". Or it can be a more advanced limitation scheme like "X minutes of Internet usage is allowed every Y minutes". With the more advanced scheme it would be possible to take a number of short breaks instead of one long break. To avoid misuse of breaks with the more advanced limitiation scheme there must be a minimum session length, e.g. one minute, to avoid making it possible to circumvent the limitation with a "clicking on a link-disable Internet-clicking on a link" method.

I think the maximum session length feature would be very useful in breaking an Internet addiction. You are forced to take a break and do something else at regular intervals. I have tried a similar feature with another application (RSIGuard) and it really helps.

Automatic reloading of quota time
Another useful feature would be automatic reloading of quota time. For example every hour you could get 10 minutes of quota reloaded up to the maximum quota limit of the day. This way you would dare to set a low quota limit for the day and still know that you will be able to use Internet at least a short time later in the day if you exhaust the quota early. A variant of this feature is that quota would only be reloaded when taking a break and not when using Internet. Yet another variant would be to reload or reset the quota at a certain time. E.g. the quota could be reset to two hours at 5 pm. This would allow for a separate quota on daytime and evening.

The automatic quota reloading feature would be very useful if you control the iNet Protector settings for others (e.g. your children) and you don't want them to risk locking themselves out completely from the Internet. The automatic quota reloading feature would also be very useful for letting go of control of the iNet Protector settings if you use iNet Protector to control your own Internet usage. If you know you will always be able to use some Internet time later in the day you are more willing to give your administrator password to someone else or to set time limits on when you can login with your administrator account to change settings.

I have set a long complicated password to iNet Protector that I store in a file that I can only access with with my administrator account. I have specified allowed logon hours in Windows so that I can only login to my administrator account at certain times. This way I can only change the iNet Protector settings at certain times. With the automatic quota reloading feature I would dare to restrict the allowed logon hours for my administrator account much more so that I cannot use it to bypass iNet Protector when I shouldn't.

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