About web filter policies

Web filter policies check the content requested by your users to see if it is blocked or allowed. Policies are checked from top to bottom until the requested content matches the category within a policy and the filter either allows the content or blocks it. Therefore, you should place the policies in the order that you want them processed. For example, if you create a policy that means media students can access advertising content and another that blocks all advertising content for all students, move the "media students" policy to the top of the policies list.

Policies with a whitelist action are treated as allowed in the Smoothwall Filter.

Multitenant configuration

If you don't have a multitenant setup you won't see the functionality to manage policies for tenants in the Smoothwall Filter. If you're not sure if you have a multitenant setup, speak to your network administrator.

For multitenant setups, the Smoothwall Filter checks the tables in the following order but maintains a top-down search in each table:

  • Global (cannot be overridden)
  • Tenant
  • Global (can be overridden)

This means that policies that must be enforced for all students, are found at the top. If no match is found, the tenant-specific policies are checked next. Because of this, tenant administrators can override policies set by the central administrators where allowed, that is, policies located in the Global, can be overridden table.

Policy folders

Policy folders organize and apply policies according to whatever criteria is most appropriate to your organization. For example, the Smoothwall Filter blocks all adverts for all users all the time in every location by default.

If you want to allow some users and groups to see adverts sometimes and others to see them always at specific locations, you can accomplish this by creating a policy folder that contains a general web filter policy allowing access to adverts. You can then add policies to the folder specifying the groups allowed access, at what times and in what locations.

Policy objects

Policy objects make up a policy. For example, you need to define to whom you want to apply the filter, what content you want to prevent or allow, where you want this to apply and when.

Policy object Description
Who This policy object is the user group containing the users to whom you want to apply the policy. You can use several user groups in a filter policy.
What This is a content category or category group. In Smoothwall Filter a category contains a list of website URL addresses or domains.
Where This defines a physical location to apply your filtering policy. For example, you can filter a specific group of devices.
When You can make your filtering policy apply at certain times, for example, in a lunch break.