Difference between URL Filter and Web Filter in Fortinet

FortiGuard – Web Filter

FortiGuard Web Filtering is a managed web filtering solution provided by Fortinet. FortiGuard Web Filtering sorts hundreds of millions of web pages into a wide range of categories users can allow, block, or monitor. The FortiGate unit accesses the nearest FortiGuard Web Filtering Service Point to determine the category of a requested web page then follows the firewall policy configured for that user or interface.

FortiGuard Web Filtering includes over 60 million individual ratings of web sites applying to hundreds of millions of pages. Pages are sorted and rated into 56 categories users can allow, block, or monitor. Categories may be added to, or updated, as the Internet evolves. To make configuration simpler, users can also choose to allow, block, or monitor entire groups of categories. Blocked pages are replaced with a message indicating that the page is not accessible according to the Internet usage policy.

FortiGuard Web Filtering ratings are performed by a combination of proprietary methods including text analysis, exploitation of the Web structure, and human raters. Users can notify the FortiGuard Web Filtering Service Points if they feel a web page is not categorized correctly, and new sites are quickly rated as required.

URL filter

Allow or block access to specific URLs by adding them to the URL filter list. Add patterns using text and regular expressions (or wildcard characters) to allow or block URLs. The FortiGate unit allows or blocks web pages matching any specified URLs or patterns and displays a replacement message instead.

Note: Enable Web filtering > Web URL Filter in a firewall Protection Profile to activate the URL filter settings.

Note: URL blocking does not block access to other services that users can access with a web browser. For example, URL blocking does not block access to ftp://ftp.example.com. Instead, use firewall policies to deny FTP connections.