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Barracuda Web Security Service

How are the browse times generated in the Barracuda Web Security Flex user browsing reports?

  • Type: Knowledgebase
  • Date changed: 8 years ago

Solution #00004898


Scope:

Applies to the Barracuda Web Security Flex.


Answer:

Below is a description of how the browse times are generated for the Barracuda Web Security Flex User Browser Activity and User Browser Summary reports.


The goal of the user browsing activity report is to present a detailed list of every individual domain request that a user made grouped by category. This report is created using data from the Forensics screen in the UI. This report does include estimated browse times and requests to show how much time a user is spending on each domain. These times are determined by using a start and end time for each domain visited. If the same domain is visited within a 1 minute window then the end time for that domain is extended. If the same domain is visited outside this 1 minute window then another entry with a new start and end time is recorded and this process repeats. Entries are then totaled to provide a total time for each domain.

 

Please understand that these are best guess estimations and that times in this report can appear bloated. This is because very heavy content sites can have duplicate times reported. For example, if a user visits cnn.com and this site pulls content from 5 different domains, the report will list all 5 domains during the same time period. So, in essence, 2 minutes of ‘browse time’ may appear as 10 minutes on this report (2 minutes for each of 5 different domains).

The goal of the user browsing summary report is to present how much total time a user spends surfing the Web each day by using web requests/connections. Because its goal is to reflect actual time spent on the Internet, it must account for activities that occur in the background without the user initiating new requests such as: having multiple tabs or browsers open at the same time, web ads that constantly auto-update, and webmail or streaming media sites that constantly refresh as long as the browser window is open.

 

In order to more accurately reflect user behavior vs. auto generated web traffic, this report does not include these overlaps and background activities. Using the example above (cnn.com) the ‘browse time’ in the report will be recorded as 2 minutes regardless of the number of domains visited/requested during this 2 minute window or number of tabs open or if streaming media happens to be playing at the same time. Since these two reports present opposing views of the same data, their totals will rarely match for a user when compared for a given time period.

 

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