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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Sonicwall Firewall and Internet Filtering in Technical; Hi, Looking at web filtering for next year. I had a few quotes from the big hitters but they are ...
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    Olliesaurus's Avatar
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    Sonicwall Firewall and Internet Filtering

    Hi,

    Looking at web filtering for next year. I had a few quotes from the big hitters but they are unfortunately out of my budget,

    Has anyone come across Sonicwall devices at all? They are within my budget but I haven't really had any experience with them

    All feedback is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks

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    We have a SonicWall in. As a firewall its great, the filtering isnt upto the job for education from our experience though so we put in a Lightspeed box with it. They're working very well together thus far!

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    Olliesaurus's Avatar
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    Thanks for your reply,

    What issues did you have with the filtering to make it not so great for education?

    Just want to get the bigger picture before I spend!

    Thanks again

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olliesaurus View Post
    Thanks for your reply,

    What issues did you have with the filtering to make it not so great for education?

    Just want to get the bigger picture before I spend!

    Thanks again
    The best thing you can do is trial it. We got the impression it was more of a corporate filter from using it / seeing a few demos of it etc.

    I'll happily give you the details of who we purchased through though if you want a trial / demo of it, if you havent already got someone! I'd certainly suggest seeing it for yourself before making a decision though. As i said, as a firewall its great

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    Olliesaurus's Avatar
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    If you don't mind that would be fantastic,

    I am currently using county filtering so anything is better really!

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olliesaurus View Post
    If you don't mind that would be fantastic,

    I am currently using county filtering so anything is better really!

    Thanks
    Lol, I hear that! Stepping out of LEA was the best thing we ever did!!

    I'll PM you the details shortly

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    Hello,

    We have been using a SonicWall NSA 240 for the past three years or so as the firewall and web filter on our small school network of about 200 nodes. We are presently looking for a different solution. Our experience with SonicWall has been okay overall and we will consider a different SonicWall device.

    The firewall component has always worked perfectly, and the web management interface is easy to use.

    The filtering is pretty good. Our basic goal with filtering is to block major distractions like facebook and major bandwidth wasters like streaming video etc, and to make sure that a child will not accidentally get porn up on their screen while searching for something innocent, and if they go looking for it it should be at least challenging and it should get logged.

    There have been some challenges. Blocking facebook for instance using the site blacklist feature worked until we realized all kids had to do to get around that was use https://facebook.com/ (SSL Site). To cure this we turned on SSL control which decodes the SSL request to see what URL is being requested and blocks based on that. This worked, but for unknown reasons caused problems for certain SSL sites that staff and administrators needed to access. The biggest problem we had with the SonicWall NSA 240 was getting it to allow different levels of access to different users. In our case we wanted to allow youtube access for teachers but not students and to generally allow teachers much less restricted internet access. We configured SSO and set it up to authenticate against our AD. This seemed to work well at first but then is started to fail intermittently when under heavy use during the day. We have never been able to figure out what the trouble was. I have also not been overly impressed with SonicWall's support site. It just seems way more difficult to find information there than it is on other site I use. I always get the impression that not alot of resources are going towards supporting this device.



    Just my $.02
    rj45

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    kevin_lane's Avatar
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    We have had the same issue with our Virgin juniper box they had to block thier whole ip range

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    Quote Originally Posted by RTFM View Post
    we put in a Lightspeed box with it. They're working very well together thus far!
    We have both SonicWall and Lightspeed boxes working together, both provided by an external company. For some reason we could get the two to work together if directly connected via an Eternet cable, we had to put a small switch in between the two. Other than that they work fine together. If I was buying a firewall myself I would just use MonoWall or similar on whatever hardware was around (or just buy a small 1U device).

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    We have both SonicWall and Lightspeed boxes working together, both provided by an external company. For some reason we could get the two to work together if directly connected via an Eternet cable, we had to put a small switch in between the two. Other than that they work fine together. If I was buying a firewall myself I would just use MonoWall or similar on whatever hardware was around (or just buy a small 1U device).
    We have ours cabled directly in, nothing in the middle. I'd have guessed the issue was with the config on the sonicwall rather than the lightspeed as we have no config on the lightspeed relating to the sonicwall.

    In our case our layer 3 switch has a default next hop of the sonicwall but is plugged through the lightspeed, its transparent so the sonicwall doesnt see the traffic coming from the lightspeed box but rather the layer 3 switch.

    Was your external company never able to diagnose / fix the problem as they do work if configured right......

    Drop me a PM if you like, we can compare settings?

  11. Thanks to RTFM from:

    dhicks (27th June 2013)

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    Olliesaurus's Avatar
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    Hmmm general consensus being that Sonicwall on its own isn't up to the job,

    Thanks for your feedback, greatly appreciated,

    Thanks,

    Olliesaurus

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    We have an NSA240 here too and I have to agree that the filtering component of it isn't the best.

    We just have several catagories enabled such as Porn as an extra layer to our rubbish Smartcache box and even with just a few categories enabled we notice a considerable hit on the bandwidth.


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    Hi,

    For education the SonicWALL does not yet have the granularity that you require to do the best job. It does have a lot of application control that other filtering units are missing. We are generally providing SonicWALL with a hosted Netsweeper solution that seems to give the control that is needed, backed up by the bandwidth management and profiling that the firewall can offer.

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    Olliesaurus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psillars View Post
    Hi,

    For education the SonicWALL does not yet have the granularity that you require to do the best job. It does have a lot of application control that other filtering units are missing. We are generally providing SonicWALL with a hosted Netsweeper solution that seems to give the control that is needed, backed up by the bandwidth management and profiling that the firewall can offer.
    I am currently using hosted Netsweeper from County, its not that great to be honest, it doesnt look much different to the filtering on the Sonicwalls, I was looking at getting the NSA3600 Sonicwall, starting to think twice now though.

    Thanks for your input

    Olliesaurus

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    On all things it depends on how things are set up and what you want to get out of it. A central local authority Netsweeper setup is going to look very different to one that you have created and manage yourself. It is the same with the SonicWALL.

    We can provide you with ademo SonicWALL if you want to try it out and get a feel for what it can or can't do. Just let me know.



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