Configure Sonicwall to Block websites

Instructions for blocking specific websites using Sonicwall products.

SonicWALL Security Appliance Platforms:

Gen5: NSA E8510, E8500, E7500, NSA E6500, NSA E5500, NSA 5000, NSA 4500, NSA 3500, NSA 2400, NSA 220, NSA 220W NSA 240, NSA 250M, NSA250MW
Gen5 TZ series: TZ 100, TZ 100W, TZ 105, TZ 105W TZ 200, TZ 200W, TZ 205, TZ 205W TZ 210, TZ 210W,TZ 215, TZ 215W.
Firmware/Software Version: SonicOS Enhanced and above
Services: CFS, App Rules


This article describes the method to block and using CFS 3.0.

CFS examines the Server Extensions field in the Client Hello message and/or the CN in the Server Hello message to block HTTPS sites. HTTP sites are blocked by examining the Host field of the GET request. The following sections describe the methods involved in blocking both HTTP and HTTPS and

Procedure to block Gmail and Facebook

Enabling HTTPS Content Filter Globally

  • Login to the SonicWALL Management GUI
  • Navigate to the Security Services > Content Filter page
  • Click on Configure under Content Filter Type with SonicWALL CFS selected.
  • Check the box Enable HTTPS Content Filtering.
  • Click on OK to save the settings.

Blocking using Forbidden Domains in CFS via Users and Zone Screens

  • Select Via User and Zone Screens under CFS Policy Assignment.
  • Click on Accept to save the change.

  • Click on Configure under Content Filter Type with SonicWALL CFS selected.
  • Click on the Custom List tab.
  • Click on Add under Forbidden Domains and enter and
  • Click on OK to save the changes.


Configuring Custom CFS Policies to inherit the Allow/Forbidden Custom List.

What has been entered under the Forbidden Domains is automatically applicable to the Default policy. To enforce the same on custom CFS policies their Custom List Settings needs to be manually set to Global.

  • Edit the custom CFS policy.
  • Click on the Settings tab.
  • Set the Source of Forbidden Domains to Global.
  • Click on OK to save.

 Blocking using Allow/Forbidden Custom List in CFS via App Rules

  •  On the Security Services > Content Filter page, select Via App Rules under CFS Policy Assignment.
  • Click on Accept to save the change.

Match Objects

  • Navigate to Firewall > Match Objects
  • Click on Add New Match Object

To create a custom list of allowed or forbidden domains, select CFS Allow/Forbidden List under Match Object Type. You could also load the allow/block list from a file conatining the name of the domains. Each entry in the file should be separated by a line. The maximum size of the file is 8192 bytes.

Unlike CFS via Users and ZonesCustom List Objects (as above) cannot be used individually in an App Rule. It can only be used with a CFS Category List Object (see below):

App Rules

  • Navigate to the Firewall App Rules page.
  • Check the box under Enable App Rules.
  • Click on Add New Policy and create the following App Rule.

1 comment for “Configure Sonicwall to Block websites

  1. Rod
    January 29, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    I relish, cause I found just what I used to be having a look for.

    You’ve ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man.
    Have a great day. Bye

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