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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Lightspeed vs Smoothwall in Technical; Originally Posted by RTFM I'd certainly have a trial of a few different Firewalls, I dont personally think Smoothwall is ...
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    rpmoore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTFM View Post
    I'd certainly have a trial of a few different Firewalls, I dont personally think Smoothwall is in the same league as Sonicwall from what i've seen of both products. Smoothwall may disagree
    At the moment, I would agree. SonicWALL is a polished firewall and I have a lot of respect for them. Smoothwall has focussed on delivering the best web content filter for education, and I have to admit have taken our eye off the firewall side in recent years. This is why we are now addressing those issues with the introduction of L7 and also things like a new QoS module within the firewall. We have also recently employed a full time UI designer and will soon be overhauling the interface to make the product easier and more accessible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbios View Post




    EDIT: Can anyone give me any opinions on the smoothwalls email security and anti-spam optional addon?
    I use it (there isn't many bit's I don't use across the fleet....) I like it and it does a good job at sorting the spam out, I put a couple of feature requests in for the Zap module (email scanning) and most of them are now in the product such as the quarantine notices if no spam is held which I know other EG members also requested and a couple of other bits.

    The quality of scan is good, most spam is correctly identified and the odd bit that comes through seems to be caught up with by the definition updates within 36hrs. One thing I have noticed is we don't get much virus based emails which either is that its missing them (which would be worrying) or we are just not prone to that. At one of my previous schools we were prone to a lot of email virus attacks as well as spam but I guess that might have died away now as a threat for the moment.

    I am happy with the Anti-Virus on the general browsing so it is working well on that, in-fact we were one of the test sites for the new Vipre AV engine that replace the old Clam one and we found it picked up a lot of sites and prevented access which was great stopping them at the gateway

    So yes very happy and not having any issues so well worth adding on if you have your own in-house mail system

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbios
    Can anyone give me any opinions on the smoothwalls email security and anti-spam optional addon?
    Quote Originally Posted by john View Post
    The quality of scan is good, most spam is correctly identified and the odd bit that comes through seems to be caught up with by the definition updates within 36hrs.
    Just for comparison, Lightspeed's anti-spam features aren't quite up to that standard yet. The spam filter seems to be filtering out more emails than it should, although I' sure the system will get better over time - as I understand, we're one of the first batch of schools to use Lightspeed's anti-spam features, so you can understand it not being perfect first time. We've sent a couple of feature requests back to Lightspeed (combine spam summary emails for accounts with multiple aliases, set time period of spam summary emails), and having no-summary-email-if-no-emails-to-summaries sounds like a sensible one to add to that list.

    I'm not quite sure what system sits behind Lightspeed's GUI, whether it's something SpamAssasin-based or their own system or what, but we seem to have no control over how that system marks spam - there seems to be no way to override an email being marked as spam, even by creating a custom pattern-matching filtering rule. We're not quite sure yet if that's a configuration problem our end (our managed IT service providor is looking in to it), a bug in Lightspeed's implemenattion of how it handles pattern-matching rules, or simply how it's meant to work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    (our managed IT service providor is looking in to it)
    Just picking up on this, and nothing to do with Lightspeed or filtering. Is your IT Support outsourced from this line? If so, what sort of experience do they have with Lightspeed (or any content filter for that matter)? Is it outsourced to LEA?

    From a personal point of view not sure i'd feel comfortable with anyone outside of the school being in control of this aspect. If they were, how long do responses take for unblocking sites, re-categorising etc?

    Just all little things which come to mind when I think of an external support company being in control of filtering.

    Cheers

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTFM View Post
    Is it outsourced to LEA?
    No, we're a private school. Our IT support company have a lot of experience supporting schools, they have a proper helpdesk and call-tracking system and so on, and I manage the web filtering on a day-to-day basis myself, no problem there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    No, we're a private school. Our IT support company have a lot of experience supporting schools, they have a proper helpdesk and call-tracking system and so on, and I manage the web filtering on a day-to-day basis myself, no problem there.
    Ahhhhh just curious / being nosy back to the topic at hand anyway!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Just for comparison, Lightspeed's anti-spam features aren't quite up to that standard yet. The spam filter seems to be filtering out more emails than it should, although I' sure the system will get better over time - as I understand, we're one of the first batch of schools to use Lightspeed's anti-spam features, so you can understand it not being perfect first time. We've sent a couple of feature requests back to Lightspeed (combine spam summary emails for accounts with multiple aliases, set time period of spam summary emails), and having no-summary-email-if-no-emails-to-summaries sounds like a sensible one to add to that list.

    I'm not quite sure what system sits behind Lightspeed's GUI, whether it's something SpamAssasin-based or their own system or what, but we seem to have no control over how that system marks spam - there seems to be no way to override an email being marked as spam, even by creating a custom pattern-matching filtering rule. We're not quite sure yet if that's a configuration problem our end (our managed IT service providor is looking in to it), a bug in Lightspeed's implemenattion of how it handles pattern-matching rules, or simply how it's meant to work.
    Instead of using Spam Assassin, of indeed trying to build our own engine from scratch we decided that there were people far more qualified on antispam than us. We use the Mailshell engine, which regularly ranks as the most effective OEM solution available - see recent review. .

    Similarly the antivirus/malware component of our product is VIPRE.

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    Did anyone see the Cyberoam stand at Bett? The sales patter was certainly very interesting, but the guy openly admitted that they have failed to make themselves known in this country, despite having an 'allegedly' capable and competitive product.
    I got an email last week from them with a link to this: http://www.cyberoam.com/downloads/Re...ew-CR35iNG.pdf

    Any thoughts? We've got SW here provided by LA, but still interesting.

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    Hi there,

    when getting quotes for the Lightspeed box, they are coming back with 1 Day Installaltion @ 900 (at least)!

    Do these things really need someone to install it for you? I would have thought from initial switch on the process would be quite straight forward so long as you have a printed copy of the manual handy!

    What are your experiences?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bodminman View Post
    Hi there,

    when getting quotes for the Lightspeed box, they are coming back with 1 Day Installaltion @ 900 (at least)!

    Do these things really need someone to install it for you? I would have thought from initial switch on the process would be quite straight forward so long as you have a printed copy of the manual handy!

    What are your experiences?
    We got quoted 750 for on site or 450 for remote.

    I'd suggest you can haggle 900 down quite easily if its a deal breaker.

    As for configuring it yourself, the lightspeed wiki is good with video tutorials on most stuff so i'd probably say yes, you can do it yourself with a little time to sit and go through it

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    Quote Originally Posted by bodminman View Post
    What are your experiences?
    We had oddly patchy Internet performance with our new Lightspeed device plugged in to our (also new) SonicWall device. The solution that worked was to plug a mini switch in between the two devices. This was our external IT company sorting this and they didn't really stop to figure out why this worked, but my guess is that both devices modify IP packets as they come through and look for things like timestamps to spot certain traffic. If both devices were efficient enough and timestamping not too fine-grained I'm guessing that one device could pass packets on to the next with what looks like no change in timestamp, which might be what caused confusion. That's just a complete guess, though, all I know for certain is that we've got a mini desktop switch plugged in between the firewall and the Lightspeed server.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    We had oddly patchy Internet performance with our new Lightspeed device plugged in to our (also new) SonicWall device. The solution that worked was to plug a mini switch in between the two devices. This was our external IT company sorting this and they didn't really stop to figure out why this worked, but my guess is that both devices modify IP packets as they come through and look for things like timestamps to spot certain traffic. If both devices were efficient enough and timestamping not too fine-grained I'm guessing that one device could pass packets on to the next with what looks like no change in timestamp, which might be what caused confusion. That's just a complete guess, though, all I know for certain is that we've got a mini desktop switch plugged in between the firewall and the Lightspeed server.
    sounds like a duplex mismatch between the Sonicwall and Lightspeed IMO

    Sometimes you need to set the ports at speed and duplex rather than just auto

    Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    We had oddly patchy Internet performance with our new Lightspeed device plugged in to our (also new) SonicWall device. The solution that worked was to plug a mini switch in between the two devices. This was our external IT company sorting this and they didn't really stop to figure out why this worked, but my guess is that both devices modify IP packets as they come through and look for things like timestamps to spot certain traffic. If both devices were efficient enough and timestamping not too fine-grained I'm guessing that one device could pass packets on to the next with what looks like no change in timestamp, which might be what caused confusion. That's just a complete guess, though, all I know for certain is that we've got a mini desktop switch plugged in between the firewall and the Lightspeed server.
    We've trialled Lightspeed and Sonicwall together and didnt have these issues. Not particularly helpful for you but just so you know.

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    Eappariello (26th February 2013)

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    Yep will almost certainly be duplex mismatch - autosense doesn't always get it right, and some equipment re tests every so often also so settings can change.

    Its generally good practise to hard set speeds in the computer room, especially if connecting NIC to NIC rather than NIC to Switch.

    Simon


    Quote Originally Posted by SchoolsBroadband View Post
    sounds like a duplex mismatch between the Sonicwall and Lightspeed IMO

    Sometimes you need to set the ports at speed and duplex rather than just auto

    Dave

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    I have had this issue with a Cisco router and a WAN switch, the auto sensing did not work and we had to manually set the duplex on the ports.

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