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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Which Webfilter? in Technical; Hi there, In recent months we've been getting more and more dissatisfied with our local county provided Internet service and ...
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    SiP
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    Which Webfilter?

    Hi there,
    In recent months we've been getting more and more dissatisfied with our local county provided Internet service and we've decided to go it alone.
    We're going around the houses getting quotes from all over the place and I just wondered if anyone had any advice on who to go with in terms of web filtering. I really like the look of Smoothwall for firewall/filtering but there are other companies out there such as Watchguard that seem to be quite a lot cheaper, but the lower price worries me that there may be something I'm missing and to be honest we've had enough of unreliable and need something solid from day one that can provide us with easy to use web filtering that doesn't rely on me sitting there all day adding websites to a black list (which is effectively our current system).

    So anyone's experiences positive or negative with Web filtering would be appreciated. It's for a mid-large Secondary School.
    Last edited by Dos_Box; 18th October 2013 at 02:29 PM.

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    I am telling you now if you are in Education Watchguard will not peform to what you need to do.

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    SiP
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    Sorry is there any chance you can elaborate a bit on that, thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by SiP View Post
    Sorry is there any chance you can elaborate a bit on that, thanks
    It isn't granular enough nor is it comprehensive enough to cover a school on the webfilter side.

    Firewall brilliant webfilter not.

  5. Thanks to glennda from:

    SiP (15th October 2013)

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    zag
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    Lightspeed are one of the big smoothwall competitors.

    They have a lot simpler interface I think and it does things like block p2p with a single click.

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    SiP (15th October 2013)

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    We use Dansguardian with Squid. Both Free.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SiP View Post
    Hi there,
    In recent months we've been getting more and more dissatisfied with our local county provided Internet service and we've decided to go it alone.
    We're going around the houses getting quotes from all over the place and I just wondered if anyone had any advice on who to go with in terms of web filtering. I really like the look of Smoothwall for firewall/filtering but there are other companies out there such as Watchguard that seem to be quite a lot cheaper, but the lower price worries me that there may be something I'm missing and to be honest we've had enough of unreliable and need something solid from day one that can provide us with easy to use web filtering that doesn't rely on me sitting there all day adding websites to a black list (which is effectively our current system).

    So anyone's experiences positive or negative with Web filtering would be appreciated. It's for a mid-large Secondary School.
    Smoothwall all the way for me, used it in 2 schools and its never let us down and neither have the team at Smoothwall

  10. 2 Thanks to john:

    SiP (15th October 2013), tom_newton (15th October 2013)

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    SiP
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    Quote Originally Posted by john View Post
    Smoothwall all the way for me, used it in 2 schools and its never let us down and neither have the team at Smoothwall
    Thanks John, is there anything in particular about Smoothwall that makes it your choice?

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    We have just had a quote for 10k for smoothwall and thats without their hardware. We used RM Smart Cache before which was wasn't good but cost £490 pa. Its going to be a hard task pursuading the governors to stump up that much more!

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    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by Watty08 View Post
    We have just had a quote for 10k for smoothwall and thats without their hardware. We used RM Smart Cache before which was wasn't good but cost £490 pa. Its going to be a hard task pursuading the governors to stump up that much more!
    Unfortunately they appear to have increased their prices in recent years. Then again they are a fast growing company so if people are prepared to pay that then we cant really complain. I know filtering is a big part of our school.

    I like the box and the development features, but their support response times and value for money have been going badly downhill with their success.

    I'm certainly going to compare other systems when our 3 year deal is up.
    Last edited by zag; 15th October 2013 at 12:08 PM.

  14. 2 Thanks to zag:

    SiP (15th October 2013), Watty08 (20th January 2014)

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    Thanks for that feedback Zag. Certainly will be shopping around.

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    We use a hardware appliance from Sophos that generally does the job we need.
    We are prepping to come away from our local council run ISP and go it alone ourselves. And while we will lose the county's access to smoothwall, we are more than confident that the box from sophos will do the job we need.

    It took me about an hour to get our first one up and running.
    You roll in groups from AD, tell it what types of sites each group can get (educational, avertising, streaming media etc etc etc) and frommthere you leave the categorisation to Sophos.
    Occasionally, you need to change a website's group, or add one of the more obscure sites (our business and IT department regularly have us unblocking uncatagorised sites from local businesses)
    All in all, it works very well. It isn't particularly expensive and buing the box gives you access to a virtual build FOC which I recently used to build a farm after an update dropped the internet for an hour (Not Sophos' fault)

    Just my two penneth.

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    zag
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    The Sophos box was excellent, a far better interface than smoothwall which had only 3 clicks to access any feature.

    I loved it but when ours died one day, sophos didnt appear to support it very well. They sent us a few old reconditioned servers and I got the feeling they didn't care very much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    It isn't granular enough nor is it comprehensive enough to cover a school on the webfilter side.

    Firewall brilliant webfilter not.
    Perhaps not for a large secondary but for a smaller prep school like mine it has been fine. It blocks what it needs to and does so very well.

    Also noticed in the newest version there is an option to use Websense cloud for filtering rather than running Webblocker on a local server. Whether thats a good thing depends on how you view Websense I guess

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    Quote Originally Posted by sidewinder View Post
    Perhaps not for a large secondary but for a smaller prep school like mine it has been fine. It blocks what it needs to and does so very well.

    Also noticed in the newest version there is an option to use Websense cloud for filtering rather than running Webblocker on a local server. Whether thats a good thing depends on how you view Websense I guess
    Really?

    If I am honest anything that uses URL based filtering rather than inspection like Smoothwall does wouldn't cut it in Education.

  20. Thanks to glennda from:

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