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Network Appliances: Content Filter This lesson discusses the content filter. A content filter is a network appliance that is able block traffic based on rules and filters. Traffic needs to flow through a device and it can be evaluated in different ways such as keywords in the URL or the category of web sites. Content filters can be used in many different environments such as parental controls and office productivity to prevent employees from spending too much time on certain web sites. Content filters can be hardware, software or cloud-based.