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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Lightspeed vs Smoothwall in Technical; Originally Posted by Gaz One thing no one has mentioned is after sales support. How do both company's compare? Good ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaz View Post
    One thing no one has mentioned is after sales support. How do both company's compare?
    Good point.

    Smoothwall support used to be very quick and very knowledgable. More recently support response has been much slower than it used to be, once you speak to someone they know the product well. You'll find a couple of threads on the forums regarding this, with responses from Smoothwall regarding this.

    Over the time I have had lightspeed I have rung support a few times both to ask questions / test the knowledgeability of them as well as check response times. They have been very good.

    That isn't me trying to talk down Smoothwall by the way, it's a well known issue currently which I'm sure they are trying to address.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RTFM View Post
    unlike Smoothwall which still touches the traffic and manipulates it which is frustrating.
    If you put the rules in the right place and order it is completely unmolested and managed just logged we have a number of sites that go through and are just logged and nothing else is done to them for very particular reasons its all about how its setup and how you set it all to process rules and the info its given.

    I'm with @Domino, simple lists of The Good, Bad or Ugly are old technology, the Internet is changing and saying if we haven't seen that page we block it is not benefiting teaching and learning which is the key here its being obstructive, you might as well make staff do there research at home and give you the website they want the kids to be on and just stick that in a proxy list as only allow traffic to these sites and make your own up ala early 2000s style with ISA lists! That will save you a lot of money if you take that stance, or even just turn the net off really....

    Dynamic analysis is the future sites change that much especially as they become more dynamic in style with new developments in the web so yes a site may have been good to look at last week when a human reviewed it but what stopped it becoming filled with adverts for enlargements or patches and creams (I'm sure you know what I am meaning)? Dynamic analysis would go ooh thats not right and do something about it from what you have said is a guy looked at it said its Edu-Safe and passed it on and the first you know is little Johnny is looking at Katie Price with a lack of clothes and a complaint from a parent.

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    It is worth pointing out that Smoothwall does not rely solely on Dynamic content analysis, we also have a blocklist team who compose and manage URL lists, so the smoothwall does filter based on URL lists as well as dynamic content analysis. There are several other componants of filtering that Smoothwall includes too although you would be best to ask your sales representative to explain these when you have the demonstration as it is easier to see than for me to explain.

    RTFM's post is interesting because there are 3 ways to allow a site - 'Allow' which still applies content modification, 'Whitelist' which bypasses all content modification and 'Allow by default' where you don't tell the smoothwall what to do either way and let it decide based on DCA.

    As others have said, the best thing to do is to trial some solutions and see which works best for your setup.

  4. Thanks to AMLightfoot from:

    Jollity (12th February 2013)

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    Regarding the whitelisting of sites, Smoothwall support have been remoted in, looked at an issue with a whitelisted site being manipulated, tested this through guardian then through squid and admitted that the site was being manipulated by guardian despite the fact it was in a whitelisted category........

    Take from that what you will.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jollity View Post
    Has anyone done any trials recently comparing Smoothwall against Lightspeed
    I've previously (a couple of years ago) used SmoothWall, and we've just had a Lightspeed server installed here (replacing another server that just fell over dead one morning). The Lightspeed server seems resonable so far, if a little heavy-handed with filtering, and sites can be catagorised somewhat haphazardly - lots of Chinese language resources seem to be classed as "adult", for instance. Lightspeed uses a user client installable on workstations to give data about who is currently logged on to which machine (although you can have a web-based login too), and that user agent has made a couple of our Windows 7 machines bluescreen. It seems to install okay after reimaging, though, so maybe it's just some random incompatability with something else.

    Smoothwall can be run as a virtual machine, so you don't have to run another dedicated bit of hardware, although Lightspeed does seem to do quite a nice line in mobile device management systems (I haven't tried it out yet, and it is a little pricy (£20) per device compared with Meraki's system (£0)).

  7. Thanks to dhicks from:

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Lightspeed uses a user client installable on workstations to give data about who is currently logged on to which machine (although you can have a web-based login too), and that user agent has made a couple of our Windows 7 machines bluescreen. It seems to install okay after reimaging, though, so maybe it's just some random incompatability with something else.
    Had forgotten that bit, it's something we have found quite useful as an audit trail, so to speak, of who has used what machine, when etc.

    We installed the agent via MSI onto 500+ machines and had no bluescreen issues though, will keep an eye out for it though in future

  9. Thanks to RTFM from:

    Jollity (12th February 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by RTFM View Post
    an issue with a whitelisted site being manipulated, tested this through guardian then through squid and admitted that the site was being manipulated by guardian despite the fact it was in a whitelisted category........
    I've noticed this happen too.

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    Interesting posts, I am going to trial Lightspeed too as I have had enough of the support at Smoothwall, its been mentioned lots on but about how bad its got but the simple case is that if the nice lady on the phone says that no one is available at the moment then its a 2 week wait for a response.

    Didn't realise the MSI thing with lightspeed though, how does that live with BYOD filtering?

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    Gaz
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTFM View Post
    That isn't me trying to talk down Smoothwall by the way, it's a well known issue currently which I'm sure they are trying to address.
    I think their solution is to increase the cost of support 3 fold.

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    It will default to an SSL login page if the user is not recognised, or you can exclude IP ranges from authentication and filter by IP range, or you can filter by individual IP, PC name or OU. Filtering by an OU is so handy if you want to filter by a room.
    Last edited by RTFM; 13th February 2013 at 10:05 AM.

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    CyberNerd (13th February 2013), Eappariello (13th February 2013), Jollity (16th February 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaz View Post
    I think their solution is to increase the cost of support 3 fold.
    Cost or number of support staff?
    THey need to do it fast. April is approaching an I'm going to be looking more closely at lightspeed too.

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    Gaz
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    Cost, its gone from £300 to ~£1000 for support renewal

    But I can only assume the extra cost is going towards recruiting more people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaz View Post
    Cost, its gone from £300 to ~£1000 for support renewal

    But I can only assume the extra cost is going towards recruiting more people.
    The Lightspeed cost to resellers is circa £3 per user/device per year (I forget which contract 3 or 5 yrs possibly). How does that compare to smoothwall these days?

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    I have been told £20 is for a lifetime licence of the device and there is a annual charge if required. Also, if using MDM in an educational environment Meraki does not work effectivley, as when I trialed it I had to enable all devices to connect to the App store breaching my AUP. The Lightspeed product has more control in this area.

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    Hi David,

    Please go back to your partner, this sounds like a perpetual license the anual is much much lower.


    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    I've previously (a couple of years ago) used SmoothWall, and we've just had a Lightspeed server installed here (replacing another server that just fell over dead one morning). The Lightspeed server seems resonable so far, if a little heavy-handed with filtering, and sites can be catagorised somewhat haphazardly - lots of Chinese language resources seem to be classed as "adult", for instance. Lightspeed uses a user client installable on workstations to give data about who is currently logged on to which machine (although you can have a web-based login too), and that user agent has made a couple of our Windows 7 machines bluescreen. It seems to install okay after reimaging, though, so maybe it's just some random incompatability with something else.

    Smoothwall can be run as a virtual machine, so you don't have to run another dedicated bit of hardware, although Lightspeed does seem to do quite a nice line in mobile device management systems (I haven't tried it out yet, and it is a little pricy (£20) per device compared with Meraki's system (£0)).

  21. Thanks to Eappariello from:

    Simcfc73 (26th February 2013)

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