Lancs Filtering Advice
I've been asked recently to look at the possibility of providing youtube access in school for teachers. All our filtering is currently provided by county but we could sign up to devolved filtering which would allow us to enable access to certain sites. This would obviously allow all users access to the sites we "white list". So, the advice I'm after is what do you people use to control internet access?
The options I'm aware of are the CLEO provided Network Edge Device, which would be free (bonus). My concern here is that we are quite a large school and I'm not sure if using this would slow down our connection i.e. will it cope with the amount of traffic we have? The other option would be to get an ISA server (or whatever it is they call it now) but this is going to cost both money and our time.
Any suggestions or experiences you have had would be much appreciated
The obvious option is a smoothwall box.
Thanks for the reply,
Originally Posted by Geoff
Is this something you use? Are there any advantages of using a smoothwall box over the CLEO NED box (with it being free)
as I say we are only wanting to enable youtube, so getting something like smoothwall seems a bit OTT, but then again if the NED box won't cope with the traffic is this the best option
People in the past have had interesting issues with the NED boxes. This thread springs to mind.
The smoothwall option is a little more costly but vastly more flexible. You basically run everyone through your devolved filtered connection and let smoothwall sort out the filtering. I doubt the youtube request will be the last thing you are asked to unblock and using the NED starts to get a bit unwieldy, not withstanding it's other issues.
We're in Cumbria so a slightly different setup probably.
We currently have a Smoothwall box for student web traffic and use the NED box for Staff internet access. It's worked ok for a while, but I'm getting issues that I'm really fed up with now so toying with either consolidating all to the Smoothwall box or building my own Squid box for staff. The major niggling issue I have with the NED box is the fact that certain websites just won't login through it, such as talktalk/tiscali webmail, or there's something weird with Yahoo mail that happens also that we keep reverting back to the default cache for. (It's not just webmail, there are also various other sites that the NED box just causes issues with).
The other thing I don't particluarly like about the NED box is the logs (hopeless) and the filtering isn't the easiest/nicest to configure.
We're a small school, but I do know of much larger schools (ie 1200 students + staff) who used to run on only the NED box with no major issues.
Plus 1 for a Smoothie - best thing I ever purchased at my last place.
And it also gives you the option that you can say allow for kids 15 mins of youtube per hour lesson meaning that they can't just waste all the time on it.
Mike_ash we have it opened at the filtering level at county, and then at local level using an ISA box we filter it out for students and staff. Noticed your in lancashire if your not to far from Preston you are welcome to come have a look how we have done it.
We have just assigned filtering rights to myself and the ICT Co-Ordinator (and the head) and use MyLgfl to access the filtering. We just add the sites we feel appropriate to allow to the allow list... Simple and it works. We've just opened up YouTube at a pupil level as it was previously only at a staff level (two seperate network ranges for curric and admin) and it's working well so far. Our rule is that children are not allowed to access YouTube unless accompanied by a member of staff.
Cumbria secondary school here. We purchased a BLOXX appliance a few years ago and loved it so much that we upgraded to the 1250W. The appliance is excellent, support is good and proxy abuse is now practically zero. It will cost you a fair bit of money initially, but I cannot speak highly enough of it.