Youtube is a good tool for finding tutorial videos but it's bad for my network. But the staff sometimes need to watch some tutorial videos on Youtube to help them do their work. How do I unblock certain parts of Youtube so the staff can browse them?

I don't think unblocking certain channel or youtube users would work, it might increase calls to helpdesk. Or maybe Youtube has some magical way of filtering the good videos from the useless?

Note: I'm currently using Untangle webfilter at work.

  • Seriously? Youtube is a training tool? – joeqwerty Mar 16 '11 at 2:44
  • Well, I learned how to install ESXi on a desktop PC and setup public key authentication on Linux from Youtube. For the Marketing dept, sometimes they are forced to learn Photoshop because they don't have a dedicated designer. – hsym Mar 16 '11 at 3:28
  • I had no idea... – joeqwerty Mar 16 '11 at 11:27
  • 3
    Lots of companies distribute their own propaganda and training on YouTube, yup. – mfinni Mar 16 '11 at 13:21
  • 1
    This is a social problem, not a technical one. If you can't trust your users to comply with the workplace rules, you have a problem that goes beyond the network issues. – Jenny D Oct 9 '13 at 7:39

Stick a computer with unfiltered access in a very public area, or in the same office as a supervisor. Anyone who needs access to training can use that computer.


Just about the only way would to be to scan for keywords, quite honestly that won't work very well, you might as well unblock all of YouTube if it is needed.

A common saying here:

Don't use technology for a management problem.

This is really a management issue and should be dealt with as such honestly.

For example, you could log usage and periodically check the videos users watched too see if they were watching an unneeded video, or you could setup a local cache if only a few videos are needed.


It is possible to block youtube, but allow certain channels using just regex, but it is quite difficult, and you may lose some of youtube's searchability.

One option is to block the URLs where the video comes from, leaving the rest of youtube intact. you then need to selectively unblock video ids. This sort of unblock-block-unblock stacking is not common in web filters though.

Edit - Updated 5 Dec 11: youtube now offer an "education" mode, which can be enforced by all good web filters (and some bad ones). This lets you limit youtube to "educational" content plus any channels you wish to use.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.