How to grant specific users or groups access to Youtube while restricting others
Appliance : Barracuda Web Filter 310 (but likely applicable to all Barracuda Web Filter Appliances )
What I’m try to accomplish : Allow access to YouTube for certain groups/people but not others
Solution: Not as easy as it may seem
You may think “Oh, that’s simple..just create an exception and whitelist the url:”youtube.com”. -Wrong. The basic structure of the site may load, but videos will not.
“Ok” you say,”then you must just go to the Web App Control area and choose Youtube from the list of ALLOWED APPLICATIONS, right? I mean, it says ALLOWED APPLICATIONS” – Nope. This doesn’t seem to have any effect on the ability to view youtube videos.
“Okay okay, maybe the ad blocking I have turned on in the Web Filter is blocking necessary data from loading properly. I’ve heard of that happening before. Could that be it?” -Negative. While this will allow the ad/video ads to load, the actual desired video will not load properly.
That’s about the route I took in figuring out the issue. A call with Barracuda support lead me to the answer. Interestingly enough, even the support rep didn’t really know what the “Web App Control” feature with Youtube selected was doing…
Ultimately, the answer is as follows:
- Add the exception rule. Choose “allow” or “monitor” (depending on how you want to handle the request) as the Action.
- Then select who you want the exception to apply to. In my case, it was an OU – we use LDAP on the appliance.
- For Exception Type select “URL Patterns”
- For URL Pattern enter the following: (youtube|ytimg|googlevideo)
- Save Changes (you could also edit the time frame or other setting if needed, but it’s not required)
This allows the user to access youtube as well as the content servers needed to load the videos.
Easy enough to follow, but oddly more complicated than may assume given how common a task it probably is.