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Web Content Filter

Read about our web content filtering, giving you control over what type of websites your family or users can access.

A web content filter allows you to block web content that you consider unsuitable for the users of your broadband service. The web content filter service offered by Metronet is based on Cerberus, which offers a high level of flexibility and control, and doesn't require that any software be installed on your PCs.

Web content filters can be applied in a number of useful roles:

Business users
It's possible to restrict access for your online agents to a specific group of sites.

Families browsing
Allow young members of the family to explore the web, safe in the knowledge that unsuitable content will be out of bounds.

Regular customers
With web content filtering enabled for adverts, you can greatly reduce the amount of unwanted adverts and popups.

Advanced users and network managers
Gain speed benefits from using the web content filter as a proxy server, accelerating web access through the use of ICP.

Regardless of how you use the web content filter, you are likely to experience faster web browsing. Instead of fetching websites from potentially the other side of the world, you will instead be fetching a local copy, stored on Metronet's proxy server.

Important limitations

The Cerberus web content filter does not scan the content of webpages, it blocks content based on the website address. It will not report on your web activity, so you won't be able to see if anyone is attempting to access blocked material.

  • The web content filter only works with regular HTTP web traffic. It can't filter secure web traffic (using HTTPS) or FTP traffic.

  • Custom list wildcards are only supported at the beginning and end of a URL, you can't wildcard subdomains.

  • There is no priority ordering of lists - it is not possible to have a particular list before another, although custom lists always override the built in ones.

You can read more detailed information about web content filtering in our Advanced Users Information page.

Using web content filtering

1) Activating web content filtering

  • Login to the My Account section of the Metronet Member Centre.
  • Click View details link next to the broadband service you want to apply content filtering to.
  • Click the Content filter link.

You can now change the web content filter settings. Please note: changes take approx 15 mins to come into effect.

2) Setting up your browsers to use the service
Read the Content Filter Setup guide for instructions.

If you decide not to use web content filtering, but still wish to gain the benefits of faster website access, simply remove the proxy server settings from your browser.

Subscription lists

Our pre-built lists can be added as whitelists (always accessible) or blacklists (never accessible). You can choose to whitelist or blacklist any lists you want with a simple mouse click. Changes you make go into effect within 15 minutes.

There is a special case list called 'Everything Else'. This is made available so that you can easily default all sites onto a blacklist, so that it a website doesn't appear on your whitelist, then the 'Everything Else' filtering is automatically applied.

Current subscription lists that are available

  • Adult - websites suitable only for adults
    Not necessarily pornographic material but websites which contain topics or content of an adult nature.

  • Adverts - popups and commercial content
    If you blacklist this subscription you should find your web browsing sessions contain fewer adverts.

  • Chat - chat and forum websites
    A list of websites that are chat and/or forum based that could be considered under company policy to be 'time wasting' sites.

  • Infected - trojan, virus, ad/spyware infected websites
    This list contains sites and domains associated with virus, trojan, ad/spyware software.

  • Porn - pornographic material
    A list of sites you can blacklist to prevent access to any websites containing pornographic material.

If you need to set your web content filter to not use a particular list, simply set the rule to match whatever you have set for the 'Everything Else' rule.


Check the limitations of the web content filtering system before attempting to report problems. Also note that the built-in lists will not provide perfect filtering, exceptions will always be possible. Read more about the limitations of lists in the Web Content Filter FAQ page.

Before reporting problems - check that you are actually accessing the Web Content Filter proxy server. You can do this by checking your browser proxy settings.

If you have consulted those instructions and wish to use the proxy server then you need to make sure you are including the 'http://' at the beginning and trailing '/' for the PAC file URL.

If you try going to a site and get redirected to the address then please look to the Web Content Filter FAQ

If you cannot access a site through the proxy and it does not pass back an 'Access Denied' type error, but you can get to the site when you disable the proxy server, then we need to know and you have found a potential issue in either our proxy server or it might be the remote webserver at fault. Please raise a query in the Contact Us tool so we can resolve this. Remember to include:

  • Your broadband username.
  • The URL of the site you are trying to access, the bit in the address bar of your web browser.
  • The web browser (e.g. Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer) and version number you are using, the version number is usually found by going to the ‘Help’ menu and then clicking on 'About'.
  • The date and time you ran into the problem.
  • The content filtering proxy server settings you were using at the time.

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