FortiGate Next Generation Firewall utilizes purpose-built security processors and threat intelligence security services from FortiGuard labs to deliver top-rated protection and high performance, including encrypted traffic.


This article explains how to exempt or block the access to website using the URL filter feature.


There are three types of URL that can be defined.

1) Simple: A simple URL-Filter entry could be a regular URL.

For example:

- URL:
- URL:

2) Wildcard: A wildcard can be used to include one or more URLs to a simple URL
For example:

- URL: * (everything before "" will match this rule, like
- URL:* (everything after "" will match this rule, like

3) Regular Expressions (regex): Regex is used to include one or more URLs related -or not related- to a pattern using some Perl syntax
For example:
- "*" symbol means: match 0 or more times of the character before the symbol, but no match with any character.

For example:"fortinet*.com" will match "" but not ""
"/i" symbols means: makes the pattern case sensitive.

For example:"/FORTINET/i" will not mach with "fortinet"
"^" symbols means: at the beginning of the string.

For example:"^fo" will match ''
'.' symbol means: match the same or different character than the one before the symbol, but is followed by the rest of the sentence.

For example:'' will match 'fortinetacom', 'fortinetbcom', 'fortinetzcom'

Configuring a URL filter:


1) Go to Security Profiles -> Web Filter.
2) Select a web filter to edit.
3) Under Static URL Filter, enable URL Filter, and select Create New.
4) Enter the URL, without the “http”, for example: www.example*.com
5) Select a Type: Simple , Regular Expression, or Wildcard. In this example, select Wildcard
6) Select the Action to take against matching URLs: Exempt, Block, Allow, or Monitor.
7) Select 'Enable'.
8) Select 'OK'.

The syntax in the CLI for configuring an entry is:
#config webfilter urlfilter
edit <ID>
config entries
edit 1
set url <url>
set referrer-host <url>
set type {simple | regex | wildcard}
set action {block | allow | monitor | exempt}
set status {enable | disable}
To attach the URL filter table to an existing or a new webfilter profile:

# config webfilter profile
    edit "webfilter"               <----- Name of the web filter profile.
        # config web
            set urlfilter-table 1  <----- Where x is the URL filter table ID, this number can be found in '3 config webfilter urlfilter' the URL filter created with ID number.

        # config ftgd-wf
            unset options
If exempt is only needed from Fortiguard filtering then 'set exempt fortiguard' can be used, instead of all
For all exempt actions: ? is used to show all the available options:
# set exempt
av --> Antivirus filtering.
web-content --> Web filter content matching.
activex-java-cookie --> ActiveX, Java, and cookie filtering.
dlp --> DLP scanning.
fortiguard --> FortiGuard web filtering.
range-block --> Exempt range block feature.
pass --> Pass single connection from all.
all --> Exempt from all.
Note :
Some sites will be using multiple sub-domains which fall under different FortiGuard category so it will be required to exempt all sub-domains as well in order to access the site.
To check the sub-domains used by a particular site, check browser developer tools.
In Chrome -> Ctrl+Shift+I -> Sources : Here it is possible to check all the sub-domain details.
SSL/SSH deep/full inspection is mandatory for static URL filter working.