DNS Content Categories

Table of Contents

Levels of Categorization

When adding a policy and determining which categories of content to block, there are several levels of categorization to choose from: High, Moderate, Low, and Custom. Categories included in the High, Moderate, and Low levels are predetermined and cannot be changed. Custom includes all levels—High, Moderate, and Low—as well as categories unique to Custom. With Custom, you can select categories and create your own custom list of categories to block.   


High, Moderate, and Low Category Levels

  • High—Blocks adult-related status, illegal activity, social networking, video sharing site, and general time-wasters. Includes all Moderate and Low content categories. Note that not all content categories are listed under High. There is a sub-listing of content categories that are only available to Custom.
  • Moderate—Blocks all adult-related websites and illegal activity.
  • Low—Blocks pornography and anonymous web surfing.
  • Custom—For the creation of a custom grouping. Lists all content categories.

The High, Moderate, and Low levels propagate upward. Low categories are included with Moderate and both Moderate and Low category presets are included in High. 

AlcoholAlcoholChild Abuse Content
AuctionsCannabisDNS over HTTPS and DNS over TLS (Transport Layer Security)
CannabisChild Abuse ContentExtreme
Chat and Instant MessagingDatingFilter Avoidance
Child Abuse ContentDNS over HTTPS and DNS over TLS (Transport Layer Security)Pornography
DNS over HTTPS and DNS over TLS (Transport Layer Security)Filter Avoidance
Filter AvoidanceHate Speech
GamblingIllegal Drugs
GamesLingerie and Swimsuits
Hate SpeechNon-sexual Nudity
Illegal DrugsPornography
Lingerie and SwimsuitsTerrorism and Violent Extremism
Non-sexual NudityWeapons
Online Communities
Online Storage and Backup
Peer File Transfer
Photo Search and Images
Social Networking
Streaming Video
Terrorism and Violent Extremism
Web-based Email

Custom Category Level

Custom includes all categories included with the High setting as well as the following categories that are unique to Custom. These Custom settings are not propagated upward to any other setting.

AdvertisementsInternet of ThingsRegional Restricted Sites (Poland)
Animals and PetsInternet TelephonyReligion
ArtsJob SearchSaaS and B2B
AstrologyLotteriesSafe for Kids
Business and IndustryMilitaryScience and Technology
Cloud and Data CentersMobile PhonesSearch Engines and Portals
Computer SecurityMuseumsSex Education
Computers and InternetNature and ConservationShopping
Conventions, Conferences, and Trade ShowsNewsSocial Science
CryptocurrencyNon-governmental OrganizationsSociety and Culture
Digital PostcardsNot ActionableSoftware Updates
Dining and DrinkingOnline Sharing and CollaborationSports and Recreation
DIY ProjectsOnline MeetingsStreaming Audio
Dynamic and ResidentialOnline TradingTobacco
EducationOrganizational EmailTransportation
FashionParked DomainsURL Shorteners
File Transfer ServicesPersonal SitesWeb Cache and Archives
FinancePersonal VPNWeb Hosting
Freeware and SharewarePoliticsWeb Page Translation
Government and LawPrivate IP Addresses as Host
HackingProfessional Networking
Health and MedicineReal Estate
HumorRecipes and Food
Illegal ActivitiesRegional Restricted Sites (Germany)
Illegal DownloadsRegional Restricted Sites (Great Britain)
Infrastructure and Content Delivery NetworksRegional Restricted Sites (Italy)

Content Categories Definitions

  • Adult—Directed at adults, but not necessarily pornographic. May include adult clubs (strip clubs, swingers clubs, escort services, strippers), general information about sex, non-pornographic in nature, genital piercing, adult products or greeting cards, information about sex not in the context of health or disease.
  • Advertisements* —Banner and pop-up advertisements that often accompany a web page, other advertising websites that provide advertisement content. Advertising services and sales are classified as Business and Industry.
  • Alcohol—Alcohol as a pleasurable activity, beer and wine making, cocktail recipes, liquor sellers, wineries, vineyards, breweries, alcohol distributors. Alcohol addiction is classified as Health and Medicine. Bars and restaurants are classified as Dining and Drinking.
  • Animals and Pets* —Information about domestic animals, livestock, service animals, pets and their care. Veterinary services, medicines, and animal health. Pet and animal training, aquariums, zoos, and animal shows. Includes animal shelters, humane societies, animal centric charities, and sanctuaries, bee keeping, training, and animal husbandry; dinosaurs and extinct animals.
  • Arts—Galleries and exhibitions, artists and art, photography, literature and books, performing arts and theater, musicals, ballet, design, architecture. Cinema and television are classified as Entertainment.
  • Astrology—Astrology, horoscope, fortune telling, numerology, psychic advice, tarot.
  • Auctions—Online and offline auctions, auction houses, and classified advertisements.
  • Business and Industry—Marketing, commerce, corporations, business practices, workforce, human resources, transportation, payroll, security and venture capital, office supplies, industrial equipment (process equipment), machines and mechanical systems, heating equipment, cooling equipment, materials handling equipment, packaging equipment, manufacturing: solids handling, metal fabrication, construction and building, passenger transportation, commerce, industrial design, construction, building materials, shipping and freight (freight services, trucking, freight forwarders, truckload carriers, freight and transportation brokers, expedited services, load and freight matching, track and trace, rail shipping, ocean shipping, road feeder services, moving and storage).
  • Cannabis* —Websites that focus on the recreational and medicinal consumption of cannabis. Sites may include marketing, discussions about legal and regulatory issues, growth and production, paraphernalia, research, and investment in the cannabis industry. Dispensaries, cannabinoid (CBD oil, THC, etc.) based products are also included.
  • Chat and Instant Messaging—Web-based instant messaging and chat rooms.
  • Cheating and Plagiarism—Promoting cheating and selling written work, such as term papers, for plagiarism.
  • Child Abuse Content—Worldwide illegal child sexual abuse content. Child Abuse Content is globally enforced within DNS and SWG security. Selecting or disabling this feature is not an option.
  • Cloud and Data Centers* —Platforms used to serve cloud infrastructure or data center hosting to support an organization's applications, services, or data processing. Due to the de-centralized nature of these domains and IP addresses, a more specific category cannot be applied based on content or ownership.
  • Computer Security—Offering security products and services for corporate and home users.
  • Computers and Internet—Information about computers and software, such as hardware, software, software support, information for software engineers, programming and networking, website design, the web and Internet in general, computer science, and computer graphics. Freeware and Shareware is a separate category.
  • Conventions, Conferences, and Trade Shows* —Seminars, trade shows, conventions and conferences themed around a particular industry, market, or common interest. May include information about acquiring tickets, registration, abstract or presentation proposal guidelines, workshops, sponsorship details, vendor or exhibitor information, and other marketing or promotional material. This category includes academic, professional, as well as pop-culture events, all of which tend to be a short-lived or annual event.
  • Cryptocurrency* —Online brokerages and websites that enable users to trade cryptocurrencies; information regarding cryptocurrencies including analysis, commentary, advice, performance indexes, and price charts. General information about cryptomining and mining businesses are included in this category but domains and IP addresses directly involved in mining activities are categorized as Cryptomining.
  • Dating—Dating, online personals, matrimonial agencies.
  • Digital Postcards—Enabling sending of digital postcards and e-cards.
  • Dining and Drinking—Eating and drinking establishments, restaurants, bars, taverns, and pubs, restaurant guides and reviews.
  • DIY Projects—Guidance and information to create, improve, modify, decorate and repair something without the aid of experts or professionals.
  • DNS over HTTPS (DoH) and DNS over TLS (Transport Layer Security)* —Encrypted DNS requests using either the DNS over HTTPS (DoH) protocol or the DNS over TLS protocol. These protocols are typically used as a layer of security and privacy by end-users, but the encryption hides the destination of the request and passes it through a third-party.
  • Dynamic and Residential—IP addresses of broadband links that usually indicates users attempting to access their home network, for example for a remote session to a home computer.
  • Education—Education-related, such as schools, colleges, universities, teaching materials, and teachers' resources, technical and vocational training, online training, education issues and policies, financial aid, school funding, standards and testing.
  • Entertainment—Details or discussion of films, music and bands, television, celebrities and fan websites, entertainment news, celebrity gossip, entertainment venues. Compare the Arts category.
  • Extreme—Material of a sexually violent or criminal nature, violence and violent behavior, tasteless, often gory photographs, such as autopsy photos, photos of crime scenes, crime and accident victims, excessive obscene material, shock websites.
  • Fashion—Clothing and fashion, hair salons, cosmetics, accessories, jewelry, perfume, pictures and text relating to body modification, tattoos and piercing, modeling agencies. Dermatological products are classified as Health and Medicine.
  • File Transfer Services—File transfer services with the primary purpose of providing download services and hosted file sharing.
  • Filter Avoidance—Promoting and aiding undetectable and anonymous web usage, including CGI, PHP and Glype anonymous proxy services.
  • Finance—Primarily financial in nature, such as accounting practices and accountants, taxation, taxes, banking, insurance, investing, the national economy, personal finance involving insurance of all types, credit cards, retirement and estate planning, loans, mortgages. Stock and shares are classified as Online Trading.
  • Freeware and Shareware—Providing downloads of free and shareware software.
  • Gambling—Casinos and online gambling, bookmakers and odds, gambling advice, competitive racing in a gambling context, sports booking, sports gambling, services for spread betting on stocks and shares. Websites dealing with gambling addiction are classified as Health and Medicine. Government-run lotteries are classified as Lotteries.
  • Games— Various card games, board games, word games, and video games, combat games, sports games, downloadable games, game reviews, cheat sheets, computer games and Internet games, such as role-playing games.
  • Government and Law—Government websites, foreign relations, news and information relating to government and elections, information relating to the field of law, such as attorneys, law firms, law publications, legal reference material, courts, dockets, and legal associations, legislation and court decisions, civil rights issues, immigration, patents and copyrights, information relating to law enforcement and correctional systems, crime reporting, law enforcement, and crime statistics.
  • Hacking—Discussing ways to bypass the security of websites, software, and computers.
  • Hate Speech—Websites promoting hatred, intolerance, or discrimination on the basis of social group, color, religion, sexual orientation, disability, class, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, gender identity, sites promoting racism, sexism, racist theology, hate music, neo-Nazi organizations, supremacism, Holocaust denial.
  • Health and Medicine—Health care; diseases and disabilities; medical care; hospitals; doctors; medicinal drugs; mental health; psychiatry; pharmacology; exercise and fitness; physical disabilities; vitamins and supplements; sex in the context of health (disease and health care); tobacco use, alcohol use, drug use, and gambling in the context of health (disease and health care).
  • Humor—Jokes, sketches, comics and other humorous content. Adult humor likely to offend is classified as Adult.
  • Hunting—Professional or sport hunting, gun clubs and other hunting related sites.
  • Illegal Activities—Promoting crime, such as stealing, fraud, illegally accessing telephone networks, computer viruses, bombs, and anarchy, websites depicting murder and suicide as well as explaining ways to commit them.
  • Illegal Downloads—Providing the ability to download software or other materials, serial numbers, key generators, and tools for bypassing software protection in violation of copyright agreements. Torrents are classified as Peer File Transfer.
  • Illegal Drugs—Information about recreational drugs, drug paraphernalia, drug purchase and manufacture.
  • Infrastructure and Content Delivery Networks—Content delivery infrastructure and dynamically generated content, websites that cannot be classified more specifically because they are secured or otherwise difficult to classify.
  • Internet of Things* —Domains used to monitor the general health, activity, or aid in the configuration of Internet of Things (IoT) and other network-aware electronics. Additionally these sites may provide software or firmware updates or allow remote access to administer the device. IoT exists in both consumer and professional segments, in products such as printers, televisions, thermostats, system monitoring, automation, and smart appliances.
  • Internet Telephony—Telephonic services using the internet.
  • Job Search—Career advice, resume writing and interviewing skills, job placement services, job databanks, permanent and temporary employment agencies, employer websites.
  • Lingerie and Swimsuits—Intimate apparel and swimwear, especially when modeled.
  • Lotteries—Sweepstakes, contests, and state-sponsored lotteries.
  • Military—Military, such as the armed forces, military bases, military organizations, anti-terrorism.
  • Mobile Phones—Short Message Services (SMS); ringtones and mobile phone downloads. Cellular carrier websites are included in the Business and Industry category.
  • Museums* —Museums and exhibits, both online and physical, dedicated to preserving information regarding subjects that could be of general interest or highly specialized. Subjects could range from art, history, science, or be of cultural importance.
  • Nature and Conservation—Sites related to natural resources; ecology and conservation; forests; wilderness; plants; flowers; forest conservation; forest, wilderness, and forestry practices; forest management (reforestation, forest protection, conservation, harvesting, forest health, thinning, and prescribed burning); agricultural practices (agriculture, gardening, horticulture, landscaping, planting, weed control, irrigation, pruning, and harvesting); pollution issues (air quality, hazardous waste, pollution prevention, recycling, waste management, water quality, and the environmental cleanup industry).
  • News—News, headlines, newspapers, television stations, magazines, weather, ski conditions.
  • Non-governmental Organizations—Non-governmental organizations such as clubs, lobbies, communities, non-profit organizations and labor unions.
  • Non-sexual Nudity—Nudism and nudity, naturism, nudist camps, artistic nudes.
  • Not Actionable* —Sites that have been inspected but are unreachable or do not have enough content to be assigned a category.
  • Online Communities—Affinity groups, special interest groups, web newsgroups, message boards. Excludes websites classified as Professional Networking or Social Networking.
  • Online Document Sharing and Collaboration* —Cloud-based software used to create, convert, or edit documents. Collaboration and sharing features may be available with access permissions typically configured by the author. Documents may be stored online or available to download.
  • Online Meetings—Online meetings, desktop sharing, remote access and other tools that facilitate multi-location collaboration.
  • Online Storage and Backup—Offsite and peer-to-peer storage for backup, sharing, and hosting.
  • Online Trading—Online brokerages, websites that enable the user to trade stocks online, information relating to the stock market, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, brokers, stock analysis and commentary, stock screens, stock charts, IPOs, stock splits. Services for spread betting on stocks and shares are classified as Gambling. Other financial services are classified as Finance.
  • Organizational Email—Websites used to access business email (often via Outlook Web Access).
  • Paranormal—UFOs, ghosts, cryptid, telekenesis, urban legends and myths.
  • Parked Domains—Websites that monetize traffic from the domain using paid listings from an ad network, or are owned by 'squatters' hoping to sell the domain name for a profit. These also include fake search websites which return paid ad links.
  • Peer File Transfer—Peer-to-peer file request websites. This does not track the file transfers themselves.
  • Personal Sites—Websites about and from private individuals, personal homepage servers, websites with personal contents, personal blogs with no particular theme.
  • Personal VPN—Virtual private network (VPN) sites or tools that are typically for personal use, and, may or may not be approved for corporate usage.
  • Photo Search and Images—Facilitating the storing and searching for, images, photographs, and clip-art.
  • Politics—Websites of politicians, political parties, news and information on politics, elections, democracy, and voting.
  • Pornography—Sexually explicit text or depictions. Includes explicit anime and cartoons, general explicit depictions, other fetish material, explicit chat rooms, sex simulators, strip poker, adult movies, lewd art, web-based explicit email.
  • Private IP Addresses as Host* —Private IP addresses which are used as the host part of a URL. Private IP addresses are meant for internal use behind border routers only, so they are not publicly routable.
  • Professional Networking—Social networking for the purpose of career or professional development. See also Social Networking.
  • Real Estate—Information that would support the search for real estate, office and commercial space, real estate listings, such as rentals, apartments, and homes, house building.
  • Recipes and Food* —Sites dedicated to sharing or discussing information about cooking, recipes, and food or non-alcoholic beverages; cultural aspects of cuisine and food; diet descriptions and adherence tips, general nutrition information about foods. Use and instruction on cooking appliances and utensils. Food celebrity, lifestyle, and enthusiast blogs.
  • Reference—City and state guides, maps, time, reference sources, dictionaries, libraries.
  • Regional Restricted Law (Germany)—URLs that are restricted in Germany due to content which may be unlawful as determined by the regional government.
  • Regional Restricted Law (Great Britain)* —URLs that are restricted in Great Britain due to content which may be unlawful as determined by the regional government.
  • Regional Restricted Law (Italy)—URLs that are restricted in Italy due to content which may be unlawful as determined by the regional government.
  • Regional Restricted Law (Poland)* —URLs that are restricted in Poland due to content which may be unlawful as determined by the regional government.
  • Religion—Religious content, information about religions, religious communities.
  • SaaS and B2B—Web portals for online business services.
  • Safe for Kids—Directed at, and specifically approved for, young children.
  • Science and Technology—Science and technology, such as aerospace, electronics, engineering, mathematics, and other similar subjects, space exploration, meteorology, geography, energy (fossil, nuclear, renewable), communications (telephones, telecommunications).
  • Search Engines and Portals—Search engines and other initial points of access to information on the Internet.
  • Sex Education—Factual websites dealing with sex, sexual health, contraception, pregnancy.
  • Shopping—Bartering, online purchasing, coupons and free offers, general office supplies, online catalogs, online malls.
  • Social Networking—Social networking. See also Professional Networking.
  • Social Science—Sciences and history related to society, archaeology, anthropology, cultural studies, history, linguistics, geography, philosophy, psychology, women's studies.
  • Society and Culture—Family and relationships, ethnicity, social organizations, genealogy, seniors, child-care.
  • Software Updates—Websites that host updates for software packages.
  • Sports and Recreation—All sports, professional and amateur, recreational activities, fishing, fantasy sports, public parks, amusement parks, water parks, theme parks, spas.
  • Streaming Audio—Real-time streaming audio content including Internet radio and audio feeds.
  • Streaming Video—Real-time streaming video including Internet television, web casts, and video sharing.
  • Terrorism and Violent Extremism—Terrorist or extremist websites that promote death or violence as part of their ideology. Sites may contain graphic or disturbing images, videos, and text. Some sites may not advocate terrorism but share first-hand material of a violent nature.
  • Tobacco—Pro-tobacco websites, tobacco manufacturers, pipes and smoking products (not marketed for illegal drug use). Tobacco addiction is classified as Health and Medicine.
  • Transportation—Personal transportation, information about cars and motorcycles, shopping for new and used cars and motorcycles, car clubs, boats, airplanes, recreational vehicles (RVs), and other similar items. Note, car and motorcycle racing is classified as Sports and Recreation.
  • Travel—Business and personal travel, travel information, travel resources, travel agents, vacation packages, cruises, lodging and accommodation, travel transportation, flight booking, airfares, car rental, vacation homes.
  • URL Shortener—Domains used to shorten long URLs, brand URLs, or may obscure the final destination of a hyperlink.
  • Weapons—Information relating to the purchase or use of conventional weapons such as gun sellers, gun auctions, gun classified ads, gun accessories, gun shows, and gun training, general information about guns, other weapons may be included. Government military websites are classified as Military.
  • Web Cache and Archives* —Cached or archived web content often stored for preservation or to decrease load times.
  • Web Hosting—Website hosting, bandwidth services.
  • Web Page Translation—Translation of web pages between languages.
  • Web-based Email—Public web-based email services. Websites enabling individuals to access their company or organizations email service are classified as Organizational Email.

* Denotes a new content category.

Legacy DNS Content Category Definitions < DNS Content Categories > DNS Content Category Changes