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Barracuda Web Security Gateway

How to Allow a Specific Video on YouTube

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This solution only applies to YouTube over HTTP. When accessing YouTube over HTTPS (https://www.youtube.com/), this solution requires that SSL Inspection be enabled, because the Barracuda Web Security Gateway is otherwise unable to see the full URL path. See Using SSL Inspection With the Barracuda Web Security Gateway for more information about using this feature. When running Barracuda Web Security Gateway version 12.x, SSL Inspection requires that you configure either categories or domains be explicitly inspected on the ADVANCED > SSL Inspection page.

If your organization's policy is to typically block access to YouTube with your Barracuda Web Security Gateway, it is possible to allow one specific video to be accessed. The address of every YouTube video contains a unique id string. The string begins with ?v= and ends with &featured. You will need the string contained in between, as shown below.


Complete URL ID string





In addition, every YouTube video has a serial number for the actual streaming content. The video request is redirected separately from the initial YouTube request, and the URL contains a googlevideo.com  format per the example below. This URL can be observed in the BASIC > Web Log page of your Barracuda Web Security Gateway when the video begins to load in a browser.



To allow one of these specific YouTube videos:

  1. Go to the BLOCK/ACCEPT > URL Patterns page of the web interface of your Barracuda Web Security Gateway. 
  2. From the original video URL, find the unique ID string that follows ?v=. For example:    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhyAnz0oYWw&feature=related

    The unique URL pattern for the above address is hhyAnz0oYWw. Enter this string in the Allowed Regular Expressions (Whitelist) section. Remember; URL patterns use regular expressions and require regular expression syntax.

    YouTube VideoAllowSpecific.png

  3. Next, attempt to access the specific YouTube video in your web browser. The page will load, but the video will not stream. Go to the BASIC > Web Log page of your Barracuda Web Security Gateway web interface. Look for a blocked request which contains the serial number of the video.


    For instance, the above example URL contains a specific serial number for the streaming video content.

  4. Next, go to the BLOCK/ACCEPT > Domains page. This entire domain name needs to be added to the Allowed Domains (Whitelist)
    section of the page.

In order for pages to render properly, the Content Server content filter category must be Allowed on the BLOCK/ACCEPT > Content Filter page. Alternately, the YouTube content server can specifically be allowed by creating a domain Allow rule on the BLOCK/ACCEPT > Domains page for ytimg.com.

Some videos on YouTube are age restricted and require a user to log in to access the content. Because of the required authentication (and thus navigating to another page on YouTube), this method of exemption will not work with such videos.


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