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Freedom Review – Is The Freedom App Worth The Money?

Freedom Review – Is The Freedom App Worth The Money?

The addictive and mindless thrill of the Internet is enough to distract most people from their work. The Freedom App allows you to create a list of websites that you find most distracting, and it stops your device/computer from gaining access to them during a pre-determined period of time. The aim of the Freedom App is to help remove your ability to gain access to websites that you find personally distracting. It is a little like, if you feel you cannot resist the lure of your fridge, the Freedom App puts a lock on it. If you cannot resist the lure of certain websites, Freedom App stops you from being able to access them. You have to rely less on your own willpower by actually removing the temptation to go onto websites that you find overly distracting.

What Does The Freedom App Do?

Set up the app by creating a list of websites that you consider to be the most distracting. You may then remove your access to those websites by setting the Freedom App to block them. You are able to block those websites for a determined number of minutes. The app also allows you to set up a schedule where certain websites are blocked on a daily basis throughout varying times of the day. You are able to decide when different websites are blocked, and you are able to decide which websites are blocked.

Locked phone with freedom app

It Is A Little Faster Than It Was

The Freedom App used to use VPN services to block your access to certain websites. That is not currently how the Freedom App works, it blocks your access to websites locally and not by funneling your traffic through a VPN service. This means that the Freedom App doesn’t have to connect to any sort of service, which means that the current version of the Freedom App is faster than the first version.

Partially Blocks Apps

The Freedom App is not able to block you from opening apps, but it is able to stop apps from getting new information. For example, if you figure that you can get around the app by using the YouTube app rather than navigating to it via your web browser, then the app can stop you seeing new content via your blocked app. The Freedom App cannot stop phone calls or texts coming through, but it can reduce many of your Internet-related distractions by blocking your access to them. It doesn’t turn your Internet off because you are still able to connect to other websites.

Which Devices Will The Freedom App Work On?

At the moment, the Freedom App works on your Mac, iPhone, iPad, and on Windows computers. It doesn’t work on Android devices, but the developers say they are working on it, and there is some sort of third-party VPN service that Android users may use instead, and apparently it does the same thing but neither I nor eCheck.org’s research team tried out the Android service.

There Is A Locked Mode

There are ways to cheat the Freedom App. The developers included a locked mode to help stop people from cheating, and it is partially effective. The section below covers the issue of cheating the app. If you enable locked mode, then you are not able to tamper with the app while a blocked session is in progress. All you are able to do is add new websites to the blocked list. It also makes it more difficult for you to sign out of your Freedom App account, which makes it a little more difficult for you to unblock the websites you are locked out of.

The Freedom App Flaw That Isn’t A Flaw

Premium account freedom app interface

A lot of this article has positive and nice things to say about the Freedom App, which wouldn’t normally be a problem, but I don’t want it to come across as me personally endorsing this app because I honestly think that many people can live quite happily without it. I just feel that I need to address the Freedom App’s most common criticism. Many people say that the app is useless because it is so easy to turn off. There are probably plenty of tricks to turning the app off on your device. I discovered that I could turn it off by turning my device off and on again, and you may use your task manager to disable the Freedom App too.

I disagree with this criticism. When you choose to use the app to block websites, then it shows that you have a certain amount of resolve about the issue. It shows that you are making a conscious decision to remove the temptation to visit time-vampire websites that allows you to easily waste time. Choosing to turn off the app is less about giving in to temptation–it is more about self sabotage.

To put it another way. If you really want to eat the cream cake in your fridge, then you can make the conscious decision to resist that temptation for an hour by locking your fridge with a timer that unlocks it in an hour. You have made a conscious decision to remove the temptation. However, if you run out and buy a new cream cake, then that has nothing to do with temptation, that is an act of self sabotage. If you are at that “place” psychologically, then there is no point in you using the timed locking mechanism at all. Similarly, if you are at a place where you are using the Freedom App while at the same time you are quite happy to disable it at the drop of a hat, then your problem isn’t one of an easily-disabled app, your problem is your proclivity towards self sabotage.

Here Is A Real Flaw – The Service Is Not A Free As It Seems

I was a little annoyed at the fact that the app is not free because it appears that way in adverts, and on the iTunes store it says that the app is free. However, all you get is a free trial of the app.

If you wish to use the app more than seven times, then you have to buy a subscription. There are three options you may choose. You may try the app for a month and pay $6.99. You may try the app for a year and pay $29 that is billed annually. Or, you may gain access to the app/software forever by paying their one-time fee of $129.

I know that a company and a service needs to make its money somehow, but their adverts rarely mention a price, and the iTunes store does say that the app is free. If it were not for those mildy-misleading elements, then I wouldn’t have claimed that the fact they charge a fee as a flaw.

Freedom app interface with blocked websites

I Am Not A Fan Of The Freedom App, But There Are Times It Would Have Benefited Me

There are times when my willpower has left me, or where procrastination has gotten the better of me. There are times when I am sad to say that I have wasted hours on things such as Google+, funny image websites and YouTube.

Would the Freedom App have solved my problem? No, it wouldn’t have solved my problem at all. The problem was psychological, which means it was based on a great many factors. Yet, Freedom App may have alleviated one of the symptoms of my willpower or procrastination problems. By removing the offending websites, I may have been forced into trying distractions that were not time vampires. Better still, instead of wasting minutes and hours looking at funny stuff, I may have addressed the problem of my lack of motivation and procrastination.

I am not saying that the Freedom App would have fixed my problem, but it may have alleviated a symptom, and as a thinking person, it may have forced me to look inwards. If I remove my personal time vampires such as funny websites, and yet I still procrastinate or work slowly, it may force me to ask myself what my real problem is.

My Personal Problem With Procrastination

For the record, I do a fair amount of introspection with regards to things such as this, and I have lists of reasons and ideas for why I act the way I act. One of the most recent revelations I figured out was that procrastination is sometimes caused by emotion. By procrastinating, I am maintaining whatever comfortable feeling I am enjoying at the time, ergo if I purposefully make it difficult for me to maintain my personal comfort, then I am less inclined to procrastinate over the task at hand.

The same the next time you find yourself procrastinating for no good reason, ask yourself if you are trying to prolong whatever comfort you are feeling right now. Ask yourself why you are giving in to your emotional need for comfort when the logical side of your brain knows that putting the task off will make you feel worse at a later date.

The Willpower Argument

I surprised myself a little with regards to the Freedom App and the idea of willpower. I do believe, like many, than willpower is something that can be sapped throughout the day. If your willpower, or your force of will, has to be used during the day, then said will becomes drained to the point where your resistance and/or your motivation may suffer as the day goes on.

I could quote studies that show how people who are forced to use their willpower will have less in reserve for later, but for every study I find that supports the theory, there are probably just as many that discredit the theory.

The reason I surprised myself a little with regards to Freedom App and the idea of willpower is that I think the willpower argument is a solid selling point for the Freedom App. If you have a problem with going on certain websites, then you have to use your willpower in order to avoid them. It seems childish that a person needs to remove temptation from going on said websites with something such as the Freedom App app. Yet, if I believe that willpower is something that may be drained during the course of a day, then surly the removal of a temptation means that willpower is not being sapped.

In other words, if we start our day with a full quota of willpower, and we put temptation in our way, then our willpower will drain more quickly. If the temptation is literally taken off the table, and we are not forced to resist it, then surly our willpower is sapped more slowly or not at all. I understand that it is a flimsy argument towards getting an app that in essence removes temptation like a parent removes a toy from a child. Yet, I still feel that the willpower argument holds a little weight. If takeaways closed at 6pm every day, an overweight person need not agonize about getting a takeaway at night.

Conclusion – The Freedom App Is Only One Of Many Answers To Your Productivity Problems

If you are looking towards the Freedom App as being a single entity towards making you more productive, then you are out of luck. Issues involving the mind, such as motivation, productivity, procrastination, etc., will never have an easy fix. They are all issues that have many complex factors, many of which we do not understand fully at this point in time. The reason we do not fully understand these psychological issues is the same reason why psychology degrees are typically out of date within five years. The reason is because the processes involved are so complex that the scientific method fails us in most cases. What works for one person may not work for another to the point where we may only make general assumptions that apply to the widest group.

Did you know that decades worth of psychological research was scrapped because we used to test on men only with the belief that male and female brains worked the same. Not only do male and female minds work differently, but we have now discovered hundreds of ways that minds differ, from the way a child was spoken to as a child to a person’s DNA.

In other words, I am saying that the Freedom App doesn’t have the answers you seek. I am saying that things such as motivation, productivity, procrastination, etc., are so complex that we may never have suitable and universally workable solutions within our lifetimes. If the Freedom App helps alleviate a symptom of your productivity, motivation, etc., then add it to your toolbox of productivity apps.

Does This Mean That The Freedom App Is Worthless?

It is not worthless, but it is also not an answer to your problems. If you are having serious issues with getting your work done or being productive, then it may take you years of introspection and personal trial and error testing before you figure out the key combination of factors that makes you a better, faster, more productive worker.

If you wish, and if it suits, you may add that Freedom App to your toolbox of apps that help you become more productive. It may be called upon whenever you feel it is needed. Just do not rest all of your faith in the idea that the Freedom App will become your golden ticket towards a more productive life because it won’t. If you are lucky, it will occasionally function in a way that removes distractions so you are less likely to procrastinate or become unproductive. However, with that said, the human mind has a great way of finding distraction—even when all distractions have disappeared. Don’t forget that the Freedom App cannot remove your imagination, nor is it a cure for a wandering mind.

About The Author

Ash The Great

After a varied career in different industries from the hospitality industry to the financial consultancy industry, Ash now spends his days working as a professional writer.

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