Web Filtering is one of Sonar's core features. Having the ability to control what your users can access is vital in network management and web control. With Sonar, you can manage, control, and monitor what users access on your Internet connection. If you see any unsavoury activity happening, you can instantly block it.

But how? Easy.

Sonar is managed by groups. You would have several groups on Sonar that represent the different faculties in your organisation, for example, Students, Staff, ICT, etc. For these specific groups, you can customise your own filtering options, which will apply to every user in that group.

Start by going into one of the Groups then, at the top, hit Rules -> HTTP. This is where all the group filtering is applied. You will see options available to you, which are listed below: 

  • Site Exception
  • URL Exception
  • URL Reg. Exp Exception
  • Site Filtering
  • Content Site Filtering
  • URL Filtering
  • URL Reg. Exp Filtering¬†
  • Extension Filtering
  • MIME Filtering
  • Weighted Phrase Filtering
  • Content Reg. Exp Filtering
  • AV Filtering

To Block any website, however, you will want "Site Filtering". If you open this up, you will see a variety of ready-made filtering lists on the left hand side. These are identifiable by the "CT" label in front of each list.

"CT" is short for CommTouch, and it is Sonar's cloud filtering service. The CommTouch lists are not customisable, but are dynamically updated frequently to ensure websites are correctly categorised and filtered. You are free to use these CommTouch lists and it is highly recommended that you do.

You are also free to create your own "custom" block lists, where you can put in your own websites/domains into the list to be blocked. For any list, you will have to move them from the left hand side to the right hand side for them to be "applied" (see Adding a Custom Block/Allow List for more details.)

If websites are being successfully blocked users will see a Blue Reef Block Page when attempting to visit that site.