MacBook and a MacBook Pro side by side running OS X.

Freedom – Turn off the internet and get some work done!

The internet brings freedom to people with disabilities in various ways, but sometimes we all need freedom from the Internet too. For those who have trouble with concentration, attention, or staying on task, being able to easily disable Mac OS X’s networking for amounts of time can be a great idea. This could also be useful for educators to make sure students are doing their class work instead of playing online!

Freedom works by disabling your internet connections for the time period you specify. When you run Freedom, you’re not able to get online. Freedom makes no permanent changes to your computer. If you need to get back online, just reboot.

[…] Freedom is as much a psychological block as it is a technical block. You’ll notice how your computer actually feels different when Freedom is running. We suggest that your first few Freedom sessions be short: 20-45 minutes.

You could do the same job by simply unplugging the modem but this is easier which makes it more likely to be used, especially by those of us with mobility problems. It also has the great advantage of not messing up my flatmate’s internet connection!

Freedom costs US$10 for Mac OS X only, US$18 for Mac and Windows versions, and US$20 for a bundle including Freedom and another application called Anti-Social that makes it easy to block access to distracting sites Facebook and Twitter but still lets you use other internet sites. You can also trial the Freedom software five times for free before buying it.

– Ricky

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