Control Internet access with BrowseControl

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 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) Using the Category Filtering feature you can 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 with the URL Filter.

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

First, decide whether you want to control internet access based on users or computers and select the desired mode.

Next, click on the URL Filter then select “Blocked List”

From the drop-down menu, select the group of computers or users that you want to restrict

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.

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.

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.

First, decide whether you want to control internet access based on users or computers and select the desired mode.

Next, click on the URL Filter, then ensure that “Allowed List” is selected

From the drop-down menu, select the group of computers or users that you want to restrict

Next, set the internet to “Off”. This will ensure that only the websites that are added to the allowed list can be accessed.

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.

In the master URL list, select the websites you want to allow for the chosen group, then click “Add to Allowed List”

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”

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.

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:

First, decide whether you want to control internet access based on users or computers, then select the desired mode.

Next, click on “Category Filtering”

From the drop-down menu, select the group of computers or users that you want to restrict

Select the web content categories you would like to block, then click “Add to Blocked List”

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 the Category Filtering feature 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

First, decide whether you want to control internet access based on users or computers and select the desired mode.

Next, click on “internet scheduler”

From the drop-down menu, select the group of computers or users that you want to restrict

Next, click “New Schedule”

Set the start and end time of the schedule. Then, 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.

Next, 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.

Next, click “Add Schedule”.

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.

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!

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.

You will first need to install the CurrentWare Console on the device you would like to use as the managing computer. This will act as the centralized console for implementing your Internet access restriction policies with BrowseControl. This will typically be the server or an IT admin’s computer.


Install BrowseControl

1. Install the CurrentWare Console on the manager’s computer

  1. Launch the CurrentWare Console setup file (CurrentWare.exe)
  2. Select “CurrentWareConsole” and click “Next”
  3. Select BrowseControl and Category Filtering solutions
  4. The Installer will proceed to install the CurrentWare Server, Console, and BrowseControl onto the manager’s computer.

2. Install the CurrentWare Client on the computers you would like to control

  1. Take the CurrentWare Client setup file (cwClientSetup.exe) and launch it on the computers that you would like to block websites on.
  2. The installer will ask you for the name of the computer that the CurrentWare console is installed on from step 1. Advanced users can also use the IP address of their CurrentWare Server.
  3. After the CurrentWare Client installation is complete, it will connect to your CurrentWare Console (the manager’s computer from step 1) automatically.
  4. Repeat this process on all the computers you would like to control with the BrowseControl software.

Now that you have the CurrentWare Console installed on the managing computer and the CurrentWare Client software installed on the machine(s) you would like to control, we will show you a few ways to block websites.

With BrowseControl’s web filtering tools you can manage the internet access of computers/users using a combination of methods, allowing and blocking specific websites or categories of websites to suit your unique internet filtering needs.


How to block a list of websites (also known as a “blacklisting”)

  • This method is best used when you would like to allow access to the majority of the internet with a small list of known exceptions
  • This method can also be used to customize your BrowseControl strategy alongside the category filtering method by blocking additional websites not included in your chosen categories

Instructions:

  1. Open BrowseControl from the left-hand menu.
  2. Click a folder from the Groups list.
  3. Set Internet to “On” if it is not already on
  4. Go to the URL Filter
  5. Add the URL (www.NameOfWebsiteToBlock.com) of the specific website you would like to block for the chosen computer(s) and/or user(s)
  1. Select the computer(s) or user(s) folder that you would like to block from using a specific website
  2. Set “Internet” to “On” if it is not already on
  3. Go to “URL Filter
  4. Add the URL (www.NameOfWebsiteToBlock.com) of the specific website you would like to block for the chosen computer(s) and/or user(s)
Block facebook with BrowseControl Web Filter

How to block websites by categories

  • This method is best used to block a large number of websites based on defined categories that are not suitable for your organization such as Social Media, Adult, or Games

Instructions:

  1. Open BrowseControl from the left-hand menu.
  2. Click a folder from the Groups list.
  3. Set Internet to “On” if it is not already on
  4. Click Category Filter Category Filter in BrowseControl.
  5. Block the Categories that you do not want your employees to have access to.
  1. Select the computer(s) or user(s) that you would like to block from using a specific website
  2. Set “Internet” to “On” if it is not already on
  3. Go to “Category Filtering
  4. Add the categories you would like to block (ex. “Social Media” to the Blocked Category List
Use Category Filtering to block Facebook with BrowseControl's filter

How to allow a list of authorized websites (also known as a “whitelisting”)

  • This method is best used when the internet access of a given user/computer needs to be strictly regulated to a list of approved websites
  • This method can also be used to customize your BrowseControl strategy alongside the category filtering method by allowing access to specific websites that would normally be blocked in one of the categories selected in the Internet Category Filtering feature

Instructions:

  1. Open BrowseControl from the left-hand menu.
  2. Under the Groups menu, choose the group you want to restrict, click on Internet and select OFF. This will disable their Internet access completely.
  3. Click on the URL Filter to modify your Allowed list.
  4. Enter the URLs that you want to allow in the text box in the window. Click on the Add button.
  5. Click the “Allowed List” tab on the right pane.
  6. Select all the URLs you wish to make available to the Client computers,
  7. Click on the arrow button to move the entries to the Allowed List on the right pane.
  8. Click Apply to Clients.
  9. Once enforced, your end users will only have access to the websites on the Allowed List.
  1. Select the computer(s) or user(s) that you would like to block from using a specific website
  2. Set “Internet” to “Off
  3. Go to “URL Filter
  4. Add the allowed websites to the Allowed List
Allow company authorized websites

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“I chose CurrentWare for the solid product that gave more options with a lower price tag, high accuracy, and solid customer support.” -Vincent Pecoreno Network Administrator, Viking Yachts

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