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MailGate Support Issues

Q. How can I block users from accessing certain Websites?
A. If the client machines on your network are accessing the Web via MailGate's Web proxy, you can use URL filters to allow and deny access to specific Websites: this can apply to every user, or just specific users, and can be set to apply permanently or at set times.

Setting up a filter
To enable a filter, do the following:
  1. Click on Edit | New | URL Filter.

  2. In the 'URL Pattern' field, enter the URL of the site you wish to allow/deny access to, for example:

      *microsoft.com*

    This will cause a match if anybody tries to access a URL that contains 'microsoft.com'. The '*' represents any number of characters.

    If you set the field using the full URL (e.g. http://www.microsoft.com), this would only cause a match if the user explicitly requested 'http://www.microsoft.com'.
    If they requested 'microsoft.com' or 'http://www.microsoft.com/security/' then it would not match.

  3. In the 'Machine name or ip address pattern' field, you can specify whether the filter should apply to a single machine or a range of machines, for example:

      192.168.1.*

    This will apply to all machines in the range 192.168.1.0-255

  4. Last of all, set whether you want the filter to allow or deny access, and change the times that the filter is active, if necessary (the default is to allow access all of the time).
Things to note
URL filters are applied in order from top to bottom. You can drag and drop the filters on the main window, or right-click on them and select to move them up or down.

If you wanted to allow only access to microsoft.com and no other sites, you could apply two rules:

  1. pattern="*microsoft.com*"
    ip="192.168.1.*"
    access="allow"

  2. pattern="*"
    ip="192.168.1.*"
    access="deny"
The first check will only allow connections to microsoft.com, the second will deny access to any URL. If you switched them around so that the second filter was at the top, then access to anything would be denied, even microsoft.com.

Potential issues
If you find that some Web pages you access have broken images, or certain components are not showing, this could be that the components are hosted at another domain.

If an image doesn't appear you can right-click on it, select the 'Properties' option, and check the path of the image; if the domain is different to the one the site is hosted at then you may wish to allow this domain to the URL Filter list.

Benefits
If you only allow access to specific sites you should find that components related to advertising, such as pop-ups and other annoying things, no longer function -- these are usually called from other domains that you most likely won't have allowed in your URL Filter list.



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