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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Lightspeed vs Smoothwall in Technical; “We were an existing Smoothwall customer but had decided to look for another solution due to some issues we had ...
  1. #31
    frank_7's Avatar
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    “We were an existing Smoothwall customer but had decided to look for another solution due to some issues we had been having when we came across the Lightspeed product after some research. We were slightly dubious as we hadn’t heard of the product or Lightspeed but decided to arrange a demonstration unit after hearing about its successes in the US plus the raft of features and level of filtering it claimed to offer.

    Once received, a quick walk through with Lightspeed’s technical team and we were away.

    We have been using the web filtering and SPAM filtering components of the suite ever since and have been blown away with the its ease of use via the intuitive user interface and the level of information it is providing us with.

    The reporting features enable us to send search engine queries reports to e-safety staff, it provides us with logon and logoff details of users as well as the detailed web filtering, protocol and bandwidth usage all of which are easily drilled down into for more detailed information.

    With Smoothwall we were constantly playing catch-up trying to stop students accessing proxy avoidance sites but since using the Lightspeed Solution this has been reduced dramatically, to the point where is his almost non existent.

    The level of support available from Lightspeed has been faultless. Every support case has been resolved in a short space of time and they are always willing to help with any queries. The product is always evolving and growing with features that are requested by the user.

    All in all I consider the Lightspeed to be a far superior product to Smoothwall in all respects and would happily advise anyone to take the plunge”

  2. #32
    Eappariello's Avatar
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    I will answer this and hope my posts dont get taken down by a Smoothwall MOD I would like to answer more questions about our product here, but most replies are taken as sales related so are taken down.

    The agent gives realtime and rich information of which user is logged on where (there is an agent for thin client servers also), plus what groups, OU's computer name, computer OU etc. This means for school owned devices the filter always knows what policy should be applied transparently. For environments allowing personal devices "BYOD, BYOT"...did I miss any ?, the filter can be set to ask for authentication of "Unknown" devices. So, school owned devices authentication is transparent, personal devices have to authenticate before access (or get a defined default policy).
    Add to this no proxy settings, or proxying in any form and BYOD is very easy.

    Hope this helps explain the concept.

    Simon

    Quote Originally Posted by Simcfc73 View Post
    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?

  3. #33
    Eappariello's Avatar
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    Some good discussion on here regarding filtering techniques.

    I would be happy to explain how Lightspeed's URL DB is in conjunction with other features such as MyBigCampus (Discussed elsewhere on here), if anyone is interested, for comparison sake

    Simon

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eappariello View Post
    Please go back to your partner, this sounds like a perpetual license the anual is much much lower.
    At BETT, I was told £5 per device per year or £20 per device for a perpetual license.

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    I'm a year in using Smoothwall and in my limited experience:

    - Support - Good when you get them on the phone. They never, ever reply to a support portal request.
    - Filtering and Firewall seem pretty good now that we've got if configured roughly how we want it. Had a horrendous time with https filtering and authentication on iPads and iMacs though which still isn't really resolved.
    - Our UTM failed and they were pretty good at helping us to set up a 2nd box on an old server using a temp license key. Make sure you've got same day response on your contract though. We thought we had but didn't so it took ages to get our box shipped out to Germany and back.
    - cost is more expensive than the Lightspeed though as I recall.
    - reporting on the Smoothwall is clunky and doesn't always show URLs that you know have been browsed to. I'm told this is getting a complete revamp soon though.

    Now my (brief) experience with the lightspeed rocket:

    - had an online demo with US lightspeed sales and was very impressed by the product and agreed to give it a trial.
    - Engineer turned up (late) and tried to install the lightspeed to cover our ICT Suite only. Couldn't do it.
    - Told me it didn't work with VLANs (???!!!), said I should hook it up to a single PC to give it a go, then left.
    - Tried hooking it up myself with limited help from their tech support but it wouldn't play ball fully.

    So I can't really compare the lightspeed on a technical level or in a real world environment but if they can't even get the trial to work I wasn't about to move away from our Smoothy.

    I saw a Fortinet install the other day though and that looked really good....

  6. Thanks to midweek from:

    Jollity (16th February 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by midweek View Post
    Now my (brief) experience with the lightspeed rocket:

    - had an online demo with US lightspeed sales and was very impressed by the product and agreed to give it a trial.
    - Engineer turned up (late) and tried to install the lightspeed to cover our ICT Suite only. Couldn't do it.
    - Told me it didn't work with VLANs (???!!!), said I should hook it up to a single PC to give it a go, then left.
    - Tried hooking it up myself with limited help from their tech support but it wouldn't play ball fully.

    So I can't really compare the lightspeed on a technical level or in a real world environment but if they can't even get the trial to work I wasn't about to move away from our Smoothy.

    I saw a Fortinet install the other day though and that looked really good....
    Strange, in what way would it need to deal with VLAN's? If it sits transparently between your core switch and your firewall I don't see what difference VLAN's would make? It's quite possible there is a big difference and I am showing my ignorance??

    From my experience the support was good and completely remote, doesn't sound like you had much joy though

    Another thing to add though that has come to mind about Lightspeed is the wiki, it is a good source of lots of information and guides
    Last edited by RTFM; 13th February 2013 at 09:07 PM.

  8. #37
    Eappariello's Avatar
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    VLANs 802.1q is supported by the transparent bridge.

    Sorry you was told otherwise. We will endeavour to make sure this information has been given to all our partners.

    Simon

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    I am pleased this subject seems to have raised some interest.

    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.
    Thank you for sharing your experience, dhicks. Is your memory that Smoothwall's categorisation was noticeably better? If the cost were the same, which would you go for?


    Quote Originally Posted by frank_7 View Post
    “We were an existing Smoothwall customer but had decided to look for another solution due to some issues we had been having when we came across the Lightspeed product after some research. We were slightly dubious as we hadn’t heard of the product or Lightspeed but decided to arrange a demonstration unit after hearing about its successes in the US plus the raft of features and level of filtering it claimed to offer.
    Thank you to you too, Frank. One rather silly question: are you quoting someone else? I am confused by the speech marks around your post.

  10. #39

    plexer's Avatar
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    Client for telling it who's on like identd? Yuck.

    Ben

  11. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    Client for telling it who's on like identd? Yuck.

    Ben
    exactly what i thought...

  12. #41


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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    Client for telling it who's on like identd? Yuck.
    Any sort of client sucks when it comes to filtering, utterly.

  13. #42

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    I have had demos for both Smoothwall, Barracuda, and Lightspeed. Of the three we are leaning toward the SmoothWall UTM-3000 coming from a Cisco ASA5510 firewall and iBoss 8550 content filter.

    I found the feature set of the Lightspeed rather limited. I can not speak to support for either company, but most of the negative comments about Smoothwall seem to be centered around support.

    I was hoping to ask what features other than support caused you to want to leave smoothwall or select LightSpeed over it?

  14. Thanks to antmanvolpe from:

    Jollity (17th February 2013)

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    Eappariello's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    Any sort of client sucks when it comes to filtering, utterly.
    It's an option not mandatory, but it gives rich information that isn't available from a challenge or the IP headers.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eappariello View Post
    It's an option not mandatory, but it gives rich information that isn't available from a challenge or the IP headers.
    What additional information does it provide please?

    Ben

  17. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    What additional information does it provide please?

    Ben
    Real time login and logout information, distinguished names, user and computer OU info (handy for location based filtering), multiple IP info ( for clients having multiple IP's and IP4 plus IP 6), also lets us be aware of fast user switching if enabled.
    Of course not everyone uses AD so there is also support for different ldap clients and a OS X version.

    Probably stuff I have forgotten, you don't have to install it, but it gives nice detail, is <1mb invisible on the client itself.

    Simon

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