Allowing users to override blocked web sites
Allowing end users to override blocked websites at their own discretion can be done in multiple ways. Each way is useful in certain scenarios.
Allowing users to access certain categories at their own discretion
Recommended: Quota system
When you want to allow users to override a blocked website, we recommend that you use the quota system method. Quotas are used to give users access to categories, not just single web sites. Using quotas, you can give users access to categories like social networks and online auctions for a limited time on a daily basis. You can run reports on quota usage as well. Quotas work by creating a quota for a specific user group or using the generic quota for everyone. The quota parameters are an amount of time and length of access. For example, an hour quota with 10 minute intervals means that users can chose to override blocks six times for 10 minutes each time.
Other options: Softblock and bypass controls
Softblock is another option, but we don't recommend this. Softblock allows the user to unblock access to a specific address but doesn't also allows traffic from other domains automatically (like adverts or content delivery domains) so the end result might look odd to the user.
Bypass controls require the user to enter a username and password, which needs to be pre-configured on the Smoothwall, so we don't recommend this for normal user override controls.
Allowing end users to add websites to an allowed list for themselves and others
Recommended (non-tenant setup): Unblock controls
For a non-tenant system, the unblock controls on the blockpage allow a users to add a blocked address to any custom category. This requires a username and password to be setup for the unblock permission in the Smoothwall administrative users section. Users with access to the username and password can add a web site address to any custom category from a block page. This takes effect almost immediately.
Recommended (tenant setup): User portals
For tenant setups, we recommend the user portal option. User portals can be accessed using Active directory username and password as well as a local username configured on the Smoothwall. User portals can be set to give access to both custom categories and category groups, called lists and list groups respectively in the portal, for the tenant. The portal also offers an overview of the policies specific to the tenant, for reference purposes.
All the options above are available to be used in any type of setup, be it a cluster, a tenant setup or single systems. Finding the easiest and most appropriate one for your users may take a few tries and hopefully this article can help point you in the right direction. Smoothwall support is always available for additional tips and advice on these methods.