How to Block a Website—BrowseControl Web Filtering Software

Learn how to block a website with BrowseControl, CurrentWare’s internet blocking software.

Easily restrict access to distracting, inappropriate, or unsafe sites on any internet browser.

Click Here for Transcript

Need to restrict internet access in your network? In this tutorial you will learn how to block websites using a free trial of BrowseControl, CurrentWare’s web content filtering software.

With BrowseControl you can…

  • Block or allow websites based on URL, category, domain, or IP address
  • Schedule unique internet restrictions throughout the day
  • Assign custom policies for each group of computers or users, and…
  • Enforce internet usage policies, even when devices leave the network

There are 3 ways to block employee internet access with BrowseControl…

  1. Block access to specific websites with the Block List
  2. Restrict internet access to only certain sites with the Allow List,
  3. and using the Category Filtering feature to block access to content categories such as Porn, Virus Infected, or Social Media

For complete control over internet and application use in your network, you can combine BrowseControl with BrowseReporter, CurrentWare’s internet monitoring software.

All right, let’s get started…

To begin, sign up for a free trial of BrowseControl at CurrentWare.com/Download. After filling out the form you will be provided with the files you need to get started with BrowseControl.

To install BrowseControl, run CurrentWare.exe on the administrator’s computer and follow the installation instructions; this will install the CurrentWare Console and Server.

After that, deploy the CurrentWare Client Setup file (cwClientSetup.exe) on all of the computers you would like to control.

From there you can import your Active Directory organizational units or manually create your desired policy groups.

For full installation instructions, please visit our knowledge base at CurrentWare.com/Support.

Now that you have BrowseControl installed, I’ll show you how to block specific websites based on their URL, domain, or IP address using the URL Filter.

This feature can be used to block your employees from accessing distracting websites like Facebook, TikTok, or Instagram.

  1. First, decide whether you want to control internet access based on users or computers and select the desired mode.
  2. Next, click on URL Filter then select “Blocked List”
  3. From the drop-down menu, select the group of computers or users that you want to restrict
  4. Enter the URL, domain, or IP address of the websites you want to block to the master URL list, then press the Enter key or click “Add”. BrowseControl will apply a wildcard to the URL, ensuring that any paths within the domain will be blocked as well.
  5. In the master URL list, select the websites you want to block for the chosen group, then click “Add to Blocked List”
    • If you would like to add the selected websites to the block list of multiple groups, you can press the drop-down arrow and select “add to multiple groups”, select the desired groups, then click “add to blocked list”
    • If you have a large number of websites you would like to block, you can also use the import feature to import an existing list.
  6. Finally, click “Apply to Clients”.

That’s it! You have now blocked your employees, students, or patrons from accessing those specific websites.

Next, I’ll show you how to restrict internet access to only certain sites.

This feature is ideal if you want to prevent your employees, students, or patrons from accessing websites that are not explicitly allowed by your organization.

The process is identical to how you would block a website, except this time you will set the internet to “off” and add the websites you would like to allow to the Allow List.

With this method, your users will only be able to access the exact websites that have been approved by your company.

Here are the full instructions

  1. First, decide whether you want to control internet access based on users or computers and select the desired mode.
  2. Next, click on URL Filter then ensure that “Allowed List” is selected
  3. From the drop-down menu, select the group of computers or users that you want to restrict
  4. Set the internet to “Off”. This will ensure that only the websites that are added to the allowed list can be accessed.
  5. Enter the URL, domain, or IP address of the website you want to allow to the master URL list, then press the Enter key or click “Add”. BrowseControl will apply a wildcard to the URL, ensuring that any paths within the domain will be allowed as well.
  6. In the master URL list, select the websites you want to allow for the chosen group, then click “Add to Allowed List”
  7. If you would like to add the selected websites to the Allowed list of multiple groups, you can press the drop-down arrow and select “add to multiple groups”, select the desired groups, then click “add to Allowed list”
  8. If you have a large number of websites you would like to allow, you can also use the import feature to import an existing list.
  9. Finally, click “Apply to Clients”.

Next, I’ll show you how to block websites based on content categories such as Porn, Virus Infected, and Social Media

With BrowseControl’s category filtering feature you can block billions of websites across over 100 URL categories. More than 10,000 new domains are added each day, making it simple to restrict internet access even as new sites emerge.

Here’s how:

  1. First, decide whether you want to control internet access based on users or computers and select the desired mode.
  2. Click on “Category Filtering”
  3. From the drop-down menu, select the group of computers or users that you want to restrict
  4. Select the web content categories you would like to block, then click “Add to Blocked List”
  5. Finally, click “Apply to Clients”.

That’s it!

The Allow List can also be used in tandem with the Category Filtering feature to allow websites that would otherwise be blocked based on their content category.

For example, you could use Category Filtering to block Social Media while still allowing access to LinkedIn.

Now that you’ve seen the 3 key ways you can block a website with BrowseControl, I’d like to show you how to restrict internet access at certain times.

With BrowseControl’s Internet Scheduler you can schedule custom block or allow lists throughout the day.

This feature will bring some flexibility to your internet restriction policies; in this example, we will allow our employees to browse the internet during lunchtime.

Here’s how to use the internet scheduler

  1. First, decide whether you want to control internet access based on users or computers and select the desired mode.
  2. Click on “internet scheduler”
  3. From the drop-down menu, select the group of computers or users that you want to restrict
  4. Click “New Schedule”
  5. Set the start and end time of the schedule
  6. Select the schedule type
    • Internet on will allow internet access to all websites that are not on the URL Block List
    • Custom allowed list will only allow access to specific websites
    • Custom blocked list will block access to a specific list of websites and allow access to the rest of the internet
    • Custom Category blocked list will block specific categories and allow access to the rest of the internet
  7. Set your desired schedule frequency
    • Daily will enable the schedule every day during the specified time period
    • Weekly will enable the schedule only on specific days of the week
    • Monthly will enable the schedule only on specific months
  8. Click “Add Schedule”
  9. If you selected one of the custom block or allow list options, you can click the link provided under the “schedule type” column to set the websites or categories that you would like on the list.
  10. And finally, Click “Enable scheduler” if it is not already enabled

That’s it for today. If you’re ready to start blocking websites you can get a free trial of BrowseControl at CurrentWare.com/Download.

If you have any questions during your evaluation our support team is available to help you over a phone call, live chat, or email.

See you next time!

Block/Allow URLs
Category Filtering
Granular Policies
Block Applications

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Case Study

Web Filtering and Monitoring Software Skyrockets Shady Maple’s Productivity

Shady Maple found CurrentWare during a significant period of growth in their business. As their user count grew, Shady Maple knew that they needed an employee internet management solution that was scalable.

Their old ways of managing employee internet abusemanually checking each employee’s computer individually and hoping that they didn’t clear out their web historywould no longer be sustainable.

Since implementing CurrentWare’s BrowseControl and BrowseReporter, Shady Maple’s employee productivity has skyrocketed.  Thanks to the central console Shady Maple could track and restrict the internet browsing of their entire workforce from a single device. CurrentWare’s ease of use and automated reporting made the employee internet use reports easily accessible to managers, HR, and IT personnel alike.

CurrentWare’s robust client agent maintained the integrity of the web browsing data even when team members deleted their browser’s web history, providing Shady Maple with accurate and actionable information about employee browsing habits.

Commonly abused websites and applications were effortlessly blocked from being accessed. Workers that needed access to blocked content for legitimate work purposes could be readily exempted from BrowseControl’s web content filtering policies. 

Thanks to CurrentWare, Shady Maple’s network performance has dramatically improved and their workforce has regained focus on their core tasks. The HR department suddenly gained the ability to increase productivity with tangible evidence of staff who had been underperforming.

“Being able to identify negative browsing trends and put a stop to them within a couple of hours has meant that our employees are focused on the job almost all of the time. We have become an extremely efficient workforce.”

Kevin Porsche

IT Admin, Shady Maple

BEFORE CURRENTWARE

Network Congestion

Employee internet abuse drains the available bandwidth, harming the productivity & efficiency of the entire organization.

Excessive Cyberloafing

Actively disengaged staff members wasted excessive amounts of time on unproductive websites, sneakily hiding their browsing habits.

Inefficient AUP Enforcement

Each employee’s computer is manually checked for evidence of misuse, wasting valuable time. Evidence of internet abuse is easily hidden.

AFTER CURRENTWARE

Fast & Stable Internet

Our tracking software shows who is wasting work hours on unproductive websites. Bandwidth hogs are blocked and team members are coached on acceptable use policies.

Focused Employees

The insights from our tracking software boosts productivity by improving time management, task management, and tracking productivity trends.

More Resources For Core Tasks

The central console makes using our employee monitoring software simple and convenient. This increased efficiency allows work hours to be invested where it matters most.

What Makes BrowseControl the Best Internet Blocker?

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Active Directory Integration

CurrentWare syncs your Active Directory Organizational Units onto the CurrentWare Console, allowing you to immediately manage your users and workstations with the AD hierarchy that you’re already used to.

Granular Content Filtering Policies

Policies can be customized based on each user, computer, or workgroup. Easily allow websites for specific groups while blocking them for others; simply add the users you would like to control to their own policy group.

Advantageous Pricing

BrowseControl starts at $2.99 USD per licence/month. Discounts are available for nonprofits, educational institutions, MSPs/resellers, large volume purchases, and for organizations that pre-purchase multi-year plans.

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Easy to Use Content Filtering

Blocking a website takes a few simple steps, allowing non-technical users to comfortably update policies. Permissions can be customized to restrict what settings and groups trusted staff members can access.

Central Management Console

The policies are easily managed with BrowseControl’s central web console. After remotely deploying the CurrentWare clients you can manage all of your users and computers from the convenience of a web browser.

Secure Internet for Remote Workers

Policies are synced locally on each device, allowing you to control internet use when they leave the network. Configure remote connections to keep device policies synced to your on-premises or private cloud server.

For SMBs, SMEs & Large Enterprises

Scalable Solutions, Centralized Console, Remote Client Install and Offsite Management

CurrentWare's software can be deployed remotely and managed from a centralized console. Whether you are a small-to-medium-sized business (SMB), a mid-market small-to-medium enterprise (SME), or a large enterprise with thousands of units to manage, BrowseControl and all of the other programs in the CurrentWare Suite offers solutions to manage all of the users and computers across your organization.

Whether you are managing 10 or 10,000 computers, you can enjoy the benefits of internet filtering with BrowseControl combined with the efficiency of CurrentWare’s centralized console to manage the internet access of your entire organization from a single machine.

Ensure your organization’s web filtering policies are enforced for remote workers. The offsite management capabilities of the CurrentWare centralized console lets you enforce your BrowseControl policies wherever your employees work.

FEATURE OVERVIEW

How to Block Websites with BrowseControl

With BrowseControl, website access permissions can be customized for your network based on the user or machine used to access the website, giving you a flexible solution for blocking websites across your network.

BrowseControl can provide an extension of your organization’s onsite internet usage policies to laptops and computers running outside the corporate network, giving you the option to enforce internet use policies for remote workers.

Method 1: Block Specific Websites

URL Filtering (Block List/Blacklist)—Block Specific Websites

This is how to block specific websites with BrowseControl. Each website blocking mode in BrowseControl can be customized on a per-user group or per-device group level, allowing you to customize internet restrictions.

For example, you can allow your marketing department to access social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram while blocking it for the rest of your employees.

  1. Go to “URL Filter
  2. Select the group of computer(s) or user(s) that you would like to block from using a specific website
  3. Set “Internet” to “On” if it is not already on
  4. Add the domain or URL (www.NameOfWebsiteToBlock.com) of the specific website you would like to block for the chosen computer(s) and/or user(s)

Method 2: Web Content Filtering

Website Category Filtering (Content Filtering)—One Click to Block Thousands of Websites

Block website content categories with BrowseControl’s category filtering feature. More than 10,000 new domains  are added each day, making it simple to restrict internet access even as new sites emerge.

  1. Go to “Category Filtering
  2. Select the group of computer(s) or user(s) that you would like to block from using a specific website
  3. Add the categories you would like to block (ex. “Social Media”) to the Blocked Category List

Method 3: Block All Websites Except a Few

Allowed List (Whitelist)—Allow Only
Authorized Websites

With the Allowed List you can allow access to only certain websites or allow  specific websites that would otherwise be blocked based on their content category. 

For example, you could use Category Filtering to block Social Media while still allowing access to LinkedIn. 

  1. Go to “URL Filter
  2. Select the group of computer(s) or user(s) that you would like to restrict to only certain websites
  3. Set “Internet” to “Off
  4. Add the allowed websites to the Allowed List

Why Restrict Internet Access?

Blocking websites with BrowseControl gives you
full control over internet usage in your organization

Enforce Acceptable Use Policies

  • Redirect users from blocked websites to your internet use policy
  • Prevent access to websites with pornographic, hateful, or otherwise inappropriate content
  • Combine BrowseControl with BrowseReporter to get alerts of web use policy violations

Improve Productivity

  • Block distracting and inappropriate websites to keep your users focused on their tasks
  • Schedule unique web restriction policies to provide greater web access during breaks
  • Apply different policies for each user, computer, or group to avoid web access bottlenecks
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Protect Against Web Security Threats

  • Block file downloads such as executables, zipped files, and videos from HTTP sites 
  • Close unused and high-risk network ports to reduce the attack surface of your network
  • Block malicious and high-risk websites with our frequently updated category filtering database

Prevent Data Theft & Leakage

  • Block unsanctioned cloud storage apps and sites to prevent employee data theft
  • Block ports used for FTP, SCP, SFTP, etc. to prevent data from leaving the network
  • Block other potential data egress points such as personal email platforms, social media, etc

Increase Internet Speed

  • Block Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and other unproductive bandwidth hogs
  • Reduce unproductive internet usage to ensure bandwidth availability for work tasks
  • Selectively allow access to high-bandwidth sites on an as-needed basis.
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Custom Blocked Site Notifications

  • Give a warning to users that attempt to access inappropriate or unsafe websites
  • Allow users to request access to blocked websites with a link to a prefilled email template
  • Customize unique blocked site notifications for each group of users or computers

How to Install BrowseControl Web Filter

Click Here for Transcript

Hey Everyone. This is Mike here. I’m the technical specialist within CurrentWare.

And today in this video, I’m going to show you how to install CurrentWare for your company use. After we complete this tutorial you will be able to monitor and control your user’s computers from the CurrentWare central management console.

If you would like to learn how to deploy CurrentWare for remote users, that topic is going to be covered in another tutorial. Please see the CurrentWare knowledge base at Currentware.com/Support for more details.

First, let’s go over how CurrentWare works.

CurrentWare operates on a client/server model. 

The CurrentWare Console and Server will be installed on a dedicated computer or server in your network. The Web Console allows you to manage your CurrentWare policies and run reports from the convenience of a web browser on any computer within your network.

After that, you will install the CurrentWare Clients on each computer that you want to monitor, control, or track. Once the clients are installed on your user’s computers they will appear in the Web Console where you can run reports on their computer activities and apply any policies that you would desire.

Your CurrentWare policies can be implemented on a per-user account basis or per-device level account basis. This ensures that the restrictions will apply to your users no matter what managed device they use.

To begin, we are going to install the CurrentWare Console and Server.

For this part you will need the CurrentWare Setup file, which I currently have highlighted. If you do not have this file, you can go to Currentware.com/Download/ and fill out the form.

Once we open it up here, we’re just going to press next. Here you’ll be able to see the licensing agreement. So you have to accept the terms of the licensing agreement and select next.

Here you can see we’re installing the Console and the Server. And it also shows the location of where it will be installed.

Hit next

Here, all 4 of the solutions are selected. So we’re just going to hit install. This will install the CurrentWare Console.

Great, you can see the installation is complete and now it is going to create the SQL database.

Now, you’re going to be prompted to create an account. This account is how you will log in to your CurrentWare Console. 

Once you’ve created the username, click “Add Operator”.

Here you can see the recommended exclusions for any third party antiviruses. You can see there’s 3 EXEs here and a couple ports to make sure that your CurrentWare software will run optimally.

Next, here we’re just going to finish up and it’ll launch the CurrentWare Web Console for you. And it prompts you to login. This login will be the login that it prompts you to create during the installation steps. 

Now that the CurrentWare Console and Server is installed, it’s time to deploy the CurrentWare Clients on each computer that you would like to manage.

There are 4 key methods used to deploy the CurrentWare Clients.

  1. A local installation where you manually run the EXE on the computers you would like to manage
  2. Using the built-in remote client installation tool
  3. A remote installation using the command line
  4. And a remote installation using the Active Directory group policy with an MSI or Batch file

In this video I will cover the first three methods. If you would like to learn how to deploy CurrentWare with Active Directory, you can find articles for this on our knowledge base at www.CurrentWare.com/Support.

Let’s get started with the Client installation 

Before we begin, make note of the hostname or IP address of the device that we just installed the CurrentWare server onto.

You can see that with the Web Console, this first part here is the hostname of my PC. It will be different for you, and it may even show an IP address.

Another simple way to get your computer name is to open the Command Prompt and type in hostname and it will show you your computer name.

The first installation we’ll go through is the local client installation. This is the simplest installation to do as it just requires you to run the cwClientSetup.exe file.

Enter that IP address or hostname of your server into this box.

Once we’re over here, we hit install. 

Great, the installation is finished! It’s recommended to push a restart through to your client computer after the install to ensure that everything installed properly.

The next method is to use the built-in remote client installation tool. This tool is a convenient way to remotely deploy the CurrentWare Client to all of the computers within your network in just a few steps.

The remote client installation tool is found within the legacy desktop console on the same computer where you installed the Web Console.

The current default file path for the legacy desktop console is to open your C drive, go to Program Files (x86) folder, the CurrentWare folder, the cwConsole folder, and run the cwConsole.exe application.

Before we begin, Windows Firewall and User Account Control (UAC) must be disabled on your target computers. 

Go to Install > Remote Client Install.

Here you can see the remote client install page. It shows you where the client is located, the file for installing it, the computer name of your server computer currently, and if you want to restart the client systems after the installation or not. 

Choose next. Type in the name of the computers that you want to add. Click “Add Computer”. So that’ll add my computer now. 

You can also import a list or you can use the search feature. The search feature will look on your network and find computers that are open for network sharing. It’s possible due to your setup that this feature may not work correctly if your network sharing is blocked.

Enter your username and password. If this is a domain, make sure that the domain user does have administrative privileges. You may also have to put the domain before the username.

Hit finish, and the installation is going to go out. If there’s any errors at this step, make sure to visit CurrentWare.com/Support to help with any of the error codes that you may receive. 

As you can see, my client has successfully installed with the remote client installation tool.

Lastly, let’s look at the command line deployment. The last method here is ideal for deployments with a large number of clients and you have a network drive available. 

We’ll move the CurrentWare install file to the root of your C drive, or onto the root of your network drive. Once you’ve done that, go ahead and start by typing the location of where you’ve placed it.

So you can see for me, it’s the root of my C drive; right at the front there. 

After that, you need a space and then you’re going to type ALLUSERS=1 USERPARAMS=”-p Admin  -ds (your computer or IP name)” /norestart /qn 

That’s it for today. If you have any other technical questions our support team would be happy to help you over the phone, via live chat, or over email. 

Simply visit CurrentWare.com/Contact to get in touch with us or visit CurrentWare.com/Support to access the self-serve knowledge base.

Click Here for Transcript

Want to monitor and secure employees who work from home?

With CurrentWare’s remote workforce management software you can improve employee productivity, data security, and business intelligence with advanced awareness and control over how technology is used in your organization.

 

After completing this tutorial you will be able to remotely update your CurrentWare security policies and monitor the computer activities of your remote workers from the convenience of the CurrentWare Console.

 

Today I will cover two key ways to deploy CurrentWare for remote workers:

1) Using port forwarding to connect offsite devices to an on-premises CurrentWare Server, and 2) Deploying the CurrentWare Server to a self-managed cloud virtual machine

 

For more information, you can visit the self-serve knowledge base at CurrentWare.com/Support or get in touch with the CurrentWare support team at CurrentWare.com/Contact.

 

Before the tutorials, I’d like to go over how CurrentWare works…

 

CurrentWare operates on a client/server model. 

 

The CurrentWare Client is a software agent that collects computer activity data and enforces security policies on the device it is installed on.

The CurrentWare Server accepts and stores data from the CurrentWare Clients and pushes out security policies to your managed devices. 

The CurrentWare Console is where you’ll manage your security policies and review the computer activity data of your remote workers.

 

The CurrentWare Console and Server will be installed on a computer, server, or cloud-based virtual machine. 

 

After you set up the CurrentWare Console and Server, you will install the CurrentWare Client on each computer that you would like to monitor and control. 

 

To monitor and manage these client computers when they’re taken off-site you will need to connect the CurrentWare Clients to the CurrentWare Server through port forwarding or a VPN. 

 

Once the clients are installed on your user’s computers and connected to the CurrentWare Server, they will appear in the Web Console where you can run reports on their computer activities and apply your desired security policies.

 

As a backup, each CurrentWare Client has its own local database that stores user activity data and security policies. Should your remote employee lose connection with your network, their computer can still be monitored and restricted. Once they reconnect to the CurrentWare Server any security policy updates will be applied and their user activity data will be automatically uploaded.

With that out of the way, let’s go over the first method for monitoring remote employees with CurrentWare.

 

This section will teach you how to monitor remote employees when you have the CurrentWare Server installed on an on-site computer or server.

 

To do this, you will configure Port Forwarding rules that connect the CurrentWare Clients to the CurrentWare Server over a static public IP address.

 

While we will be focusing on Port Forwarding for this tutorial, a VPN may also be used to establish a connection between your remote worker’s computer and your company’s network. 

 

To use a VPN in this way, you will need to ensure that your network topology allows the CurrentWare Client to connect to the CurrentWare Server by IP address.

 

The key advantage of using port forwarding over a VPN is that you can get real-time computer activity data from your remote workers without straining your VPN’s bandwidth. This is ideal for remote teams that struggle with bandwidth overload when all of their employees are connected to the VPN simultaneously. 

 

As a bonus, with port forwarding your employee’s activity data and security policies are kept up-to-date no matter what internet connection they use. 

 

To begin, Mike will show you how to install the CurrentWare Console and Server. Later in this tutorial, we will install the CurrentWare Clients on your remote employee’s computer and use port forwarding rules to connect them to this server.

 

Hey Everyone. This is Mike here. I’m the technical specialist within CurrentWare.

For this part, you will need the CurrentWare Setup file, which I currently have highlighted. If you do not have this file, you can go to Currentware.com/Download/ and fill out the form.

 

Once we open it up here, we’re just going to press next. Here you’ll be able to see the licensing agreement. So you have to accept the terms of the licensing agreement and select next.

 

Here you can see we’re installing the Console and the Server. And it also shows the location of where it will be installed.

 

Hit next

 

Here, all 4 of the solutions are selected. So we’re just going to hit install. This will install the CurrentWare Console.

 

Great, you can see the installation is complete and now it is going to create the SQL database.

 

Now, you’re going to be prompted to create an account. This account is how you will log in to your CurrentWare Console. 

 

Once you’ve created the username, click “Add Operator”.

 

Here you can see the recommended exclusions for any third-party antiviruses. You can see there’s 3 EXEs here and a couple of ports to make sure that your CurrentWare software will run optimally.

 

Next, here we’re just going to finish up and it’ll launch the CurrentWare Web Console for you. And it prompts you to log in. This login will be the login that it prompts you to create during the installation steps. 

 

All right, thanks, Mike!

 

Now that you’ve installed the CurrentWare Server and Console, it’s time to configure inbound port forwarding rules on your router. These port forwarding rules will be used to send traffic from your remote employees’ CurrentWare Clients to the CurrentWare Server.

 

On your router, forward the following port traffic to the static public IP address of your CurrentWare Server computer

Ports 8990 all the way to 8998 (TCP and UDP)   

Ports 1433 & 1434 (TCP and UDP) 

And finally, Port 443 (TCP and UDP) 

 

In order for port forwarding to work, you will need to ensure that your CurrentWare Server is on a network that has a static public IP address. This can be obtained from your internet service provider.

 

For instructions on how to set up Port Forwarding for your specific router, please refer to the instructions from your manufacturer

 

Next, you need to use the SQL Server Configuration Manager to allow network connectivity on TCP port 1433.

 

To do this, you will need to…

 

Launch the SQL Server Configuration Manager

Expand SQL Server Network Configuration

Select Protocols

Right-click on the option “TCP/IP” and select “Properties”

Click on the IP addresses tab

Scroll down to “IPAll”

Then for TCP Port put in 1433

 

Now that you’ve prepared the CurrentWare Server, it’s time to deploy the CurrentWare Clients to your employee’s computers.

 

If you already have CurrentWare Clients deployed and you need to redirect them to a different server, please visit CurrentWare.com/Support and search for “How do I redirect the CurrentWare Client to another CurrentWare Server?”.

 

There are multiple ways to deploy the CurrentWare Client. For this tutorial, I will show you the local client installation. This is the simplest installation to do as it just requires you to run the cwClientSetup.exe file. 

 

For large-scale deployments, you can also use Group Policies or a dedicated third-party software deployment tool.

 

Alright, let’s get started

 

To install the CurrentWare Client on your employee’s computer, simply run the cwClientSetup.exe file. 

 

Here, you’ll see that it asks for an IP address or computer name. For this setup, you will put in the static public IP address of the CurrentWare Server’s Network.

 

Click next, then click “Install”

 

And that’s it! All that’s left to do is restart the computer.

 

If there are any issues connecting the CurrentWare Clients to the CurrentWare server, please ensure that the public IP address of your CurrentWare Server network is static and verify that your Firewall is not blocking the following TCP and UDP ports: 8990-8998, 1433, 1434, and 443

 

Depending on your antivirus software CurrentWare’s tracking features may get it falsely flagged as a potentially unwanted program. For the best results, you should exclude all of the CurrentWare components from your antivirus program. 

 

For more information, please search for “antivirus” at CurrentWare.com/Support

 

Now that the Clients are installed and connected to the CurrentWare Server, your employee’s devices and user accounts will appear in the Web Console where you can run reports on their computer activities and apply your desired security policies.

 

To access the Web Console within the local area network of the CurrentWare Server, simply open the web browser of your choice and enter your CurrentWare Server’s static public IP address or hostname into the browser URL bar, followed by:8998. 

 

Then, type in the operator username and password you created during the installation. 

 

In a standard installation, the Web Console is only accessible to devices within your local area network. To access the Web Console remotely from an off-network device, you will need to make one last change

 

On the machine with the CurrentWare Server and Console installed, browse to the following directory: C:\Program Files (x86)\CurrentWare\cwWebConsole\WebConsole\. 

In this folder, search for a file called app-config.json. Right-click on it and select Open With, then find “Notepad”.

With the app-config.json file open in Notepad, you will see a line of text with a pre-populated API_URL. Replace the existing IP address or hostname you see here with the static public IP address of the machine that is hosting the CurrentWare Server.

Finally, save your changes. 

 

That’s it! Now that your inbound port forwarding rules are in place and the app-config.JSON file is configured properly, you will be able to remotely access your CurrentWare Web Console even when you’re away from the local area network of the CurrentWare Server.

 

To do so, simply enter your static public IP address followed by:8998 in the address bar of a web browser.

 

Next, I will show you how to deploy CurrentWare to the cloud.

 

This setup is similar to a standard on-premises deployment, except instead of using an on-site computer or server to host the CurrentWare Server you will create a virtual machine on the cloud platform of your choice.

 

The deploy CurrentWare to the cloud, you will need to first configure the virtual machine to accept CurrentWare traffic

Install the CurrentWare Server on the virtual machine

Deploy the CurrentWare Clients on the computers you would like to monitor and control

and configure the CurrentWare Clients to connect to the CurrentWare Server using the static public IP address of the cloud-based virtual machine.

 

All right, let’s get started!

 

First, you need to create a virtual machine on the cloud platform of your choice.

 

For this example, we will be using Azure but you could also use another cloud service provider such as Google Cloud Platform or Amazon Web Services. 

 

At the time of this recording, CurrentWare is exclusively for monitoring and managing employees on Windows computers. For the most up-to-date system requirements, please visit CurrentWare.com/support/system-requirements/

 

To create a Windows virtual machine in Azure, follow these steps:

1) Log in to your Microsoft Azure Portal.

2) In the search bar, type virtual machines

Under Services, select Virtual machines.

On the Virtual machines page, click Create, then select Virtual machine from the drop-down menu

Next, create a virtual machine with the following configurations.

Under the Basics tab, enter your desired Virtual Machine name, Windows Image, and instance Size. 

Under the Administrator account, provide a username and a password. Later on, you will use these credentials to log into the virtual machine.

Under Inbound port rules, choose Allow selected ports and then select RDP (Port 3389) and HTTPS (Port 443) from the drop-down.

Then, confirm the Licensing checkbox before moving on to the next tab.

Under the Disks tab, select your desired operating system disk type and encryption type. In this case, we’ll use a Standard HDD and the default encryption settings

Under the Networking tab go to the Public IP section and click on Create new. This will create a public IP address for your virtual machine.

When you are ready, click on the Review + create button at the bottom of the page to create your virtual machine.

Once your virtual machine is created, you’ll find the static IP address under properties. Take note of the IP address, you will need it for your CurrentWare client deployment.

 

Now that you’ve created your virtual machine, we’re going to connect to it via RDP so you can configure it to accept traffic from your CurrentWare Server and Clients.

 

Here’s how:

First, log in to your Azure portal.

Then, go into Virtual machines.

Click on the name of your virtual machine and from the left menu under Settings, select Connect.

Under the RDP tab choose the appropriate IP address and port number. In most cases, the default IP address and port should be used.

Next, select Download RDP File. Open the downloaded RDP file and select Connect when prompted. You will get a warning that the .rdp file is from an unknown publisher. This is expected and is not a cause for concern in this case. 

When prompted for your credentials, enter the username and password you created earlier, then select OK

If a certificate error comes up, you can select “Yes” to continue

 

Now that you’re connected to the virtual machine, here are the changes you need to make to allow it to accept traffic between your CurrentWare Server and Clients.

On your Azure portal, select your virtual machine.

From the left menu under Settings, select Networking.

Click on the button Add Inbound Port Rule.

From the Service menu, choose Custom.

Enter the Destination Port Range: 8990-8998, 1433 and 1434

Set the Priority to any number you prefer.

Give it a name and then click Add.

 

With these settings, your virtual machine is all set to allow traffic to flow freely between the CurrentWare Server and Client.

 

Next, Mike will show you how to install the CurrentWare Server and Console on the virtual machine. After that, we will deploy the CurrentWare Clients to your employee’s computers.

 

Hey Everyone. This is Mike here. I’m the technical specialist within CurrentWare.

For this part, you will need the CurrentWare Setup file, which I currently have highlighted. If you do not have this file, you can go to Currentware.com/Download/ and fill out the form.

 

Once we open it up here, we’re just going to press next. Here you’ll be able to see the licensing agreement. So you have to accept the terms of the licensing agreement and select next.

 

Here you can see we’re installing the Console and the Server. And it also shows the location of where it will be installed.

 

Hit next

 

Here, all 4 of the solutions are selected. So we’re just going to hit install. This will install the CurrentWare Console.

 

Great, you can see the installation is complete and now it is going to create the SQL database.

 

Now, you’re going to be prompted to create an account. This account is how you will log in to your CurrentWare Console. 

 

Once you’ve created the username, click “Add Operator”.

 

Here you can see the recommended exclusions for any third-party antiviruses. You can see there’s 3 EXEs here and a couple ports to make sure that your CurrentWare software will run optimally.

 

Next, here we’re just going to finish up and it’ll launch the CurrentWare Web Console for you. And it prompts you to log in. This login will be the login that it prompts you to create during the installation steps. 

 

All right, thanks, Mike!

 

Now that you’ve prepared the CurrentWare Server, it’s time to deploy the CurrentWare Clients to your employee’s computers.

 

If you already have CurrentWare Clients deployed and you need to redirect them to a different server, please visit CurrentWare.com/Support and search for “How do I redirect the CurrentWare Client to another CurrentWare Server?” for more information.

 

There are multiple ways to deploy the CurrentWare Client. For this tutorial, I will show you the local client installation. This is the simplest installation to do as it just requires you to run the cwClientSetup.exe file. 

 

For large-scale deployments, you can also use Group Policies or a dedicated third-party software deployment tool.

 

Alright, let’s get started

 

To install the CurrentWare Client on your employee’s computer, simply run the cwClientSetup.exe file. 

 

Here, you’ll see that it asks for an IP address or computer name. For this setup, you will put in the static public IP address of your virtual machine.

 

Click next, then click “Install”

 

And that’s it! All that’s left to do is restart the computer.

 

If there are any issues connecting the CurrentWare Clients to the CurrentWare server, please ensure that the public IP address of your CurrentWare Server network is static and verify that your Firewall is not blocking the following TCP and UDP ports: Ports 8990-8998, 1433,1434, and 443.

 

Depending on your antivirus software CurrentWare’s tracking features may get it falsely flagged as a potentially unwanted program. For the best results, you should exclude all of the CurrentWare components from your antivirus program. 

 

For more information, please search for “antivirus” at CurrentWare.com/Support

 

Now that the clients are installed and connected to the CurrentWare Server, your employees’ devices and user accounts will appear in the Web Console where you can run reports on their computer activities and apply your desired security policies.

 

In a standard installation, the Web Console is only accessible to devices within your local area network. To access the Web Console remotely from an off-network device, you will need to make one last change

 

On the machine with the CurrentWare Server and Console installed, browse to the following directory: C:\Program Files (x86)\CurrentWare\cwWebConsole\WebConsole\. 

In this folder, search for a file called app-config.json. Right-click on it and select Open With, then find “Notepad”

With the app-config.json file open in Notepad, you will see a line of text with a pre-populated API_URL. Replace the existing IP address or hostname you see here with the static public IP address of the machine that is hosting the CurrentWare Server.

Finally, save your changes. 

 

That’s it! Now that your inbound port forwarding rules are in place and the app-config.JSON file is configured properly, you will be able to remotely access your CurrentWare Web Console even when you’re away from the local area network of the CurrentWare Server.

 

To do so, simply enter your static public IP address followed by:8998 in the address bar of a web browser.

 

That’s it for today. If you have any questions our support team is here to help. Simply reach out to us at CurrentWare.com/Contact or visit CurrentWare.com/Support to access our self-serve knowledge base. 

 

If you’re not already familiar with CurrentWare, you can learn more about our products and get a free trial at CurrentWare.com/Products. 

 

See you next time!

 

Setup File Contents

  1. CurrentWare.exe: CurrentWare server & console setup file—to be installed on a manager’s computer, server, or virtual machine
  2. cwClientSetup.exe: CurrentWare client setup file—to be installed on the employee or student’s computer
Icon of a man in a suit with a magnifying glass next to him

On the manager’s computer, install the CurrentWare Console

  1. Run the CurrentWare.exe setup file
  2. Ensure that BrowseControl and Category Filtering is selected
  3. The Installer will proceed to install the CurrentWare Server, CurrentWare Console, and BrowseControl onto the manager’s computer
Icon with two men and a padlock

On the employees' computers, install the CurrentWare Client

  1. Run the client setup file on your employee’s computers
  2. Connect your computers to the CurrentWare Server
  3. You can now control your employee’s internet activities
  4. Repeat step 1-3 on all computers 
Icon of a man in a suit with a magnifying glass next to him

Return to the manager’s PC & launch the CurrentWare Console

  1. You can click on Internet ON/OFF to block all websites that aren’t on the URL Allowed List
  2. Select URL Filter to add websites to your Allowed List & Blocked List
  3. Select Category Filtering to block web content categories

Try BrowseControl for Free

Fully Functional. Easy to use. Install in minutes

BrowseControl Web Filtering Features

Internet Off

Internet ON/OFF

One click to completely block users from browsing the web

Internet Off

URL Filter

Allowed list or Blocked list for specific URLs

Internet Off

Category Filtering

Block websites based on specific categories

Internet Off

Internet Scheduler

Schedule Internet restrictions at specific times of the day

Internet Off

Safe Search

Enforce safe search to prevent explicit search results

Internet Off

Internet Quota

Set a time-based quota for internet browsing

Internet Off

Download Filter

Block downloads from HTTP sites based on file types

Internet Off

Port Filter

Close unused and high-risk TCP/UDP ports

Internet Off

Customize Message

Display a customized warning message on blocked websites

Internet Off

Application Blocker

Block specific Windows applications from launching

Internet Off

Timer

Allocate specific time for your users to access the Internet

Internet Off

Stealth Mode

Restrict internet use without alerting users

Internet Off

Central Web Console

Access the administrative console from a web browser on any computer in your network

Internet Off

Remote Client Install

Easily deploy the CurrentWare Client remotely to all of your computers

Internet Off

Offsite Management

Extend onsite Internet usage policies to laptops running outside the corporate network

Internet Off

SQL Server Supported

Our database is scaled for enterprise and large business operations

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Fully Functional. Easy to use. Install in minutes

BrowseControl Web Content Filtering Software FAQ

Are There Any Limits to the Free Trial?

The free trial is fully functional. You can deploy it on up to 10 devices for 14 days.

If you need more time or more devices to properly evaluate our web content filtering software solution in your organization, reach out to our team.

Here at CurrentWare we pride ourselves on our customer support. During and after your evaluation our team is here to help you over a phone call, live chat, or email. We will make sure that you get the best experience possible.

What Deals Are Available For BrowseControl?

The base price for BrowseControl is $2.99 USD per license per month.

For even more advantageous pricing on our web filtering software, we offer a variety of deals.

  • Get up to 15% off with pre-pay discounts for 3-year subscriptions
  • Get up to 10% off when you purchase the full CurrentWare Suite
  • Non-profit and education organizations can qualify for up to 10% off
  • Up to 20% margin is available for resellers and Managed Services Providers (MSP)
  • Volume discounts are available starting at 100 licenses

For more information on the best deals or to request a custom quote, please contact our sales team.

Will the Software Continue to Work When My Users Leave the Network?

Yes. The client agent installed on the computers has the ability to block the internet even if it does not have a connection with the CurrentWare Server.

This offsite management capability makes BrowseControl the best web filter for remote workers; internet security policies will remain enforced even when employees are connected to their home network.

The client agent stores and enforces BrowseControl’s internet restriction policies locally on the device. CurrentWare’s last known policies will continue to be enforced even if the computer loses internet connection or connects to a different network.

Note: If you wish to update policies or receive reports from client agents outside of the network they will need to be able to communicate with the CurrentWare Server.

Once a connection is reestablished you will receive your user’s internet usage data and any web filtering policy updates will take effect.

Learn More

How Do You Unrestrict a Website?

To unrestrict a website that is blocked by Category Filtering, add it to the URL allow list. This will allow you to block an entire content category while selectively allowing specific websites.

For example, you can block the Social Media category while allowing access to LinkedIn.com

To unrestrict a website that is on your URL Block List, simply select the user or group you would like to modify and remove the website from the Block List. 

Learn More: How Do I Control Internet Access With BrowseControl?

Is BrowseControl Compatible With Google Chrome?

Yes. BrowseControl can block websites on all modern Windows-based internet browsers including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Opera, and more!

How Do I Stop Employees from Accessing Certain Websites?

To stop employees from accessing certain websites you can add those websites to the URL Block List.

If you would like to block a specific category of websites you can use the Category Filtering feature to block sites that belong to categories such as porn, social media, and virus-infected.

What is the Difference Between URL Filtering and Category Filtering?

URL filtering limits access to specific web pages (URLs) and domains (websites) by comparing web addresses that end-users are attempting to visit against a database of websites that are on an Allowed List and Blocked List. 

Category Filtering blocks websites based on content categories such as Porn, Social Media, and Hate sites. This allows thousands of websites to be blocked without the administrator knowing their specific URL. As new websites are identified by the category filtering provider they are sorted into their respective content categories.

How Do I Block Internet Access at a Certain Time?

BrowseControl includes three features to restrict internet access based on time – internet quota limit, internet scheduler, and internet timer. 

The Timer feature allows you to turn the internet on or off after a set time limit has elapsed. Once the timer has expired, the Internet settings will return to the previous Internet mode (ON/OFF or Schedule).

The Internet Scheduler allows you to set unique allow and block lists on a set schedule. This is typically used to allow employees or students access to unproductive websites during their breaks while restricting them during work periods. 

The Internet Quota feature allows the administrator to control how long users have access to the Internet on a daily basis. This allows end-users to browse the web throughout the day until their quota is reached. This feature is ideal for internet cafes and other organizations with users that do not require ongoing access to the internet.

Learn More: Using Timer and Internet Quota to Set Internet Time Limits

Will BrowseControl Work With My Proxy Server?

Yes, BrowseControl is compatible with other proxy servers on your network. 

Learn More: How to Use BrowseControl With a Proxy Server

Can I Use BrowseControl to Block File Downloads?

Yes, BrowseControl can prevent browsers from loading content and downloading files on HTTP websites with its Download Filter.

The Download Filter is a list of file extensions that the administrator can allow or deny the users from accessing while they are surfing the Internet.

Learn More: Block File Downloads with BrowseControl

How Do I Unblock a Specific URL Within a Content Category?

If you would like to block a given web content category while selectively allowing access to specific URLs, simply add the websites you would like to unblock to the URL Allow List.

With this method you can block the Social Media category while allowing access to LinkedIn.com or block the File Hosting category to prevent personal cloud storage use while still allowing access to sanctioned cloud storage providers.

Can I Use Your Internet Monitoring and Web Content Filtering Software for My Remote Users?

Yes. BrowseReporter and BrowseControl support a variety of deployment options that allow you to monitor and restrict internet use no matter where the devices are.

To use our web filtering and internet monitoring software for your remote users, you will need to configure a few settings.

As always, our customer support team is here to assist you so you can make the most out of CurrentWare; if you need assistance you can reach out to us by phone, live chat, or email.

Remote workforce management options:

  1. Port Forwarding: By configuring inbound port forwarding settings on your network’s router you can connect the CurrentWare Client software on your remote user’s computers to the CurrentWare Server in your network.
  2. Cloud Deployment: Install the CurrentWare Server on a cloud-based virtual machine and adjust a few settings to allow traffic between the CurrentWare Server and Clients.

Learn More: Block Websites for Remote Users

How Do I Block a Site on Google Chrome?

You can block websites on Google Chrome by using a compatible website blocking app such as BrowseControl.

Simply add the URL or content category of the website you would like to block on Google Chrome to the block list.

In addition to Google Chrome, BrowseControl can block websites on all the other modern internet browsers including Microsoft Edge, Safari, Opera, and more!

What Websites Should I Block?

Which websites you should block depends on the goals of your organization.

For the best results you must ensure that the sites you block align with your organization’s goals.

  • Improve productivity by blocking distracting websites such as Facebook
  • Maintain a respectable environment by blocking inappropriate websites such as pornography, hate, or crude humor.
  • Improve network security by blocking high-risk websites such as peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing, illegal streaming sites, and websites that are known to be malicious.
  • Increase internet speed by blocking bandwidth hogs such as Netflix and YouTube

Can I Allow Local Network Access While Blocking Internet Access?

Yes. Simply set the internet to “off” in BrowseControl and add the authorized intranet sites to the Allow List using their hostname or IP address.

Learn More: Block Internet & Allow Intranet with BrowseControl

How Do I Find Out What Websites the Web Filtering Solution Has Blocked?

BrowseControl allows you to enable the logging of blocked URLs for troubleshooting purposes.

This allows you to see what websites BrowseControl is blocking, though for optimal performance it is recommended that you disable it after you have finished troubleshooting. 

In addition, you can use BrowseReporter’s URL Categories Visited report to see what URLs have been visited, what category they belong to, and whether or not the user was blocked from accessing the website.

Learn More: Find Out What Websites BrowseControl Is Blocking

How Do I Disable Internet Access for my Users?

To completely block internet access, simply set the internet to “Off” in your BrowseControl web filtering settings. This will allow applications to connect to the internet while preventing your users from browsing the web.

To selectively allow or block URLs, add them to the Allow List (whitelist) or Block List (blacklist/deny list) of the URL filter.

To block websites based on content, add the content category you would like to block from the Category Filtering list. You can exempt specific URLs within a category by adding them to the URL Allow List.

Can I Restrict Internet Access in Citrix, Remote Desktop, and/or Terminal Server Environments?

Yes. The CurrentWare Suite is supported on desktop computers, virtual machines (VMs), and servers running modern versions of the Windows operating system.

CurrentWare is a verified Citrix Ready partner; you can install the CurrentWare Clients on your Citrix Workspace running Windows.

In addition, all CurrentWare components are compatible with Remote Desktop Services (RDS) or Terminal Servers (TS).

When restricting internet access in Citrix with CurrentWare you can block websites on PC Mode to restrict the individual Windows virtual machine or on User Mode to restrict internet access for specific employees across multiple devices and/or virtual machines.

Monitoring and managing your end-users with CurrentWare in a Terminal Services environment works similarly. The exception is that in a Terminal Server/Terminal Services environment the server will be registered as an individual endpoint; to apply granular policies for each user, department, or Organizational Unit you will need to use User Mode.

Learn More:
CurrentWare for Remote Desktop & Terminal Server

CurrentWare for Citrix Activity Monitoring

CurrentWare System Requirements

How Can I Block Internet Access for a Specific Computer?

The BrowseControl web content filter allows you to assign unique web access policies for each Windows computer, user, or workgroup.

Simply add the specific Windows computer or user you would like to control to their own policy group, then use the Internet Scheduler, URL Filter, or Category Filter to block internet access.

Learn More: How to Restrict Internet Access With BrowseControl

Can I Block HTTPS Sites Without SSL Inspection?

Yes. BrowseControl’s web content filtering methods do not use SSL inspection, SSL stripping, or Transport Layer Security Inspection (TLSI) to block HTTPS sites. This allows you to restrict internet access without the security risks and performance impacts of decrypting web traffic.

What is SSL inspection? SSL inspection is a process in which web content filtering software decrypts, analyzes, and re-encrypts the content of encrypted websites to decide whether or not they should be blocked based on web filtering policies.

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Fully Functional. Easy to use. Install in minutes