Web Filter 3

URL Patterns

URL Patterns Basics

You can access the settings by navigating to Web Filter > Policies > URL Patterns

URL Patterns are lists of domains, pages, IP addresses, or text within URLs that can override the “allow” or “block” settings for a Database Category in a Rule Set.

Use URL patterns to create “exceptions” for URLs that should be handled differently from the category settings for the domain. For example:

  • Allow individual videos from a video site that would otherwise be blocked.
  • Temporarily allow or block sites or pages without having to recategorize them.
  • Block an entire top level domain such as “.info”, which is a popular location for proxies.
Important: Sites that match a URL Pattern will override “Force safe search” in the rule set where the URL Pattern is assigned. For example, adding google.com or youtube.com to a URL pattern will effectively disable Safe Search.
Note: For most applications, categorization is the preferred method for allowing and blocking URLs. URL patterns, especially those with wildcards, can impact performance if used excessively.
Note: A URL pattern is not active until you assign it to a rule set.

Adding a URL Pattern

  • 1. Click Web Filter, then click URL Patterns.
  • 2. In the URL Patterns grid, click the green “+” icon. This action opens the following page:

  • 3. In the URL Patterns List form, edit the fields as needed.
  • 4. Click Save to apply your changes, or click Cancel to discard your changes and return to the previous page.
Field Name Description
Name Enter a name for this URL Patterns List. This name will be listed in the URL Patterns area of the Edit Rule Set.
Description Enter a brief description for this URL Patterns List.
Pattern list Note that you can use wildcards (placeholders) to allow or block all pages matching the wildcard.The wildcard character is an asterisk (*) which means “any number or combination of letters”.

Note also that you can specify IP addresses as well as URLs in the list.

Name – Enter a name for this URL Patterns List. This name will be listed in the URL Patterns area of the Edit Rule Set

Examples

Type Entry Explanation
Domain sample.com Allow or block everything on the sample.com domain
Site *.domain.com/directory/* Allow or block everything in a certain directory
Top Level Domain *.info/* or *.ru/* Allow or block an entire top-level domain name
Proxies */nph-*.cgi/*/http/* Block unknown proxy servers
Text within a URL *text* Allow or block any URL containing “text” within the string.
IP address 66.17.63.1 A complete single valid routable internet IP address. No wildcards (e.g., *) allowed.Note: You should only use IP addresses that show up in the URL of a request. URL patterns do not look at the destination IP address.
Caution: Sites that match a URL Pattern will override “Force safe search” in the rule set where the URL Pattern is assigned. For example, adding google.com or youtube.com to a URL pattern will effectively disable Safe Search.
Note: If you have enabled Decrypt SSL Traffic in the Proxy Server settings, URL patterns will work with HTTPS sites as well as HTTP sites. If Decrypt SSL Traffic is not enabled, the URL pattern must exactly match the CN on the SSL certificate, and may not contain any * or / characters.
Note: For most applications, categorization is the preferred method for allowing and blocking URLs. URL patterns, especially those with wildcards, can impact performance if used to excess.
Note: A URL pattern is not active until you assign it to a rule set.

Editing a URL Pattern

  • 1. Click Web Filter, then click URL Patterns.
  • 2. Click the name to edit the item. This action opens the following page:

  • 3. In the URL Patterns form, edit the fields as needed.
  • 4. Click Save to apply your changes, or click Cancel to discard your changes and return to the previous page.
Field Name Description
Name Enter a name for this URL Patterns List. This name will be listed in the URL Patterns area of the Edit Rule Set.
Description Enter a brief description for this URL Patterns List.
Pattern list Note that you can use wildcards (placeholders) to allow or block all pages matching the wildcard.The wildcard character is an asterisk (*) which means “any number or combination of letters”.

Note also that you can specify IP addresses as well as URLs in the list.

Name – Enter a name for this URL Patterns List. This name will be listed in the URL Patterns area of the Edit Rule Set

Examples

Type Entry Explanation
Domain sample.com Allow or block everything on the sample.com domain
Site *.domain.com/directory/* Allow or block everything in a certain directory
Top Level Domain *.info/* or *.ru/* Allow or block an entire top-level domain name
Proxies */nph-*.cgi/*/http/* Block unknown proxy servers
Text within a URL *text* Allow or block any URL containing “text” within the string.
IP address 66.17.63.1 A complete single valid routable internet IP address. No wildcards (e.g., *) allowed.Note: You should only use IP addresses that show up in the URL of a request. URL patterns do not look at the destination IP address.
Caution: Sites that match a URL Pattern will override “Force safe search” in the rule set where the URL Pattern is assigned. For example, adding google.com or youtube.com to a URL pattern will effectively disable Safe Search.
Note: If you have enabled Decrypt SSL Traffic in the Proxy Server settings, URL patterns will work with HTTPS sites as well as HTTP sites. If Decrypt SSL Traffic is not enabled, the URL pattern must exactly match the CN on the SSL certificate, and may not contain any * or / characters.
Note: For most applications, categorization is the preferred method for allowing and blocking URLs. URL patterns, especially those with wildcards, can impact performance if used to excess.
Note: A URL pattern is not active until you assign it to a rule set.

Assigning a URL Pattern to a Rule Set

If you have not already done so, create the URL Pattern.

  • 1. Click Web Filter, then open the Policy Management menu and click Rule Sets.

  • 2. Click the name to edit the Rule Set.
  • 3. On the Rule Set page, scroll down to URL Patterns.

  • 4. Select (check) each URL pattern to assign to this Rule Set.
  • 5. For each URL Pattern you select, choose an action (Allow or Block) from the dropdown list.
  • 6. Click Save to apply your changes, or click Cancel to discard your changes and return to the previous page.
Caution: Sites that match a URL Pattern will override “Force safe search” in the rule set where the URL Pattern is assigned. For example, adding google.com or youtube.com to a URL pattern will effectively disable Safe Search.
Note: URL patterns set to Allow take precedence over URL patterns set to Block. For example, if you have a URL pattern set to block “domain.com/path/” and another URL pattern set to allow “domain.com” the URL pattern blocking “domain.com/path/” will be ignored.
Note: For most applications, categorization is the preferred method for allowing and blocking URLs. URL patterns, especially those with wildcards, can impact performance if used to excess.

Deleting a URL Pattern

Note: You cannot delete a URL Pattern if it has been assigned to a rule set.
  • To delete (permanently remove) an item, mouse over the item you wish to remove, then click the X on the right side of the row. You will be prompted to confirm the action.

Note: Items deleted this way are permanently removed, and cannot be recovered.

URL Patterns and HTTPS Traffic

If you have enabled Decrypt SSL Traffic in the Proxy Server settings, URL patterns will work with HTTPS sites as well as HTTP sites. If Decrypt SSL Traffic is not enabled, the URL pattern must exactly match the CN on the SSL certificate, and may not contain any * or / characters.