+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 52
Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Smoothwall Network Guardian Negatives? in Technical; Hi All, I've read some wonderful things about Smoothwall on this forum, and as a result of that, spoken with ...
  1. #1
    mb2k01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,139
    Thank Post
    189
    Thanked 230 Times in 195 Posts
    Rep Power
    92

    Smoothwall Network Guardian Negatives?

    Hi All,

    I've read some wonderful things about Smoothwall on this forum, and as a result of that, spoken with them and had a web demo of Network Guardian today. I've also planned a full-site evaluation before the end of the month....so all looking pretty good!

    But.... In an effort to gain as much info as possible and make a well-informed decision, I'd be keen to hear from anyone who has something negative to say about the product! (Surely there is something negative?!)

    Does anyone have anything negative to say about the product/company?
    Is there something that Network Guardian doesn't do as well as an alternative?
    Has anyone moved from Network Guardian and gone elsewhere? (If so, why?)

    Thanks will be issued to all!

  2. #2

    FN-GM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    16,216
    Thank Post
    893
    Thanked 1,773 Times in 1,529 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    Rep Power
    461
    There is a member called Tom on this forum and he is pretty high up within smoothwall so he might be able to help we positives.

    I haven't used it myself i use websense. I have had nothing but good reports of other users though.

  3. Thanks to FN-GM from:

    mb2k01 (10th March 2009)

  4. #3

    john's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    10,399
    Thank Post
    1,516
    Thanked 1,056 Times in 925 Posts
    Rep Power
    303
    A negative, the box doesn't make a cup of tea and hasn't got a built in cup holder unlike my servers and PCs

    But on a positive side if your lucky and buy it you may get a free Smoothwall mug with your name on it

    Sorry for not being too serious, but for the features you get in it, and cost of it, it is very much worth its money.

    PS - As a former Websense user at a place I used to work at, I'd far rather have the Smoothwall box anyday over websense, websense was just over complex, required too much messing with and really not that good for schools IMHO. It may work in global firms etc but not schools.

  5. 3 Thanks to john:

    GAV (11th March 2009), mb2k01 (10th March 2009), tom_newton (11th March 2009)

  6. #4
    mb2k01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,139
    Thank Post
    189
    Thanked 230 Times in 195 Posts
    Rep Power
    92
    Indeed! It was Tom that I made initial contact with after reading lost of his posts!
    No nasty suprises yet then! (And I hate hot drinks, so even the lack of that service doesn't worry me!)

  7. #5
    ICTNUT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Hereford
    Posts
    1,419
    Thank Post
    196
    Thanked 249 Times in 122 Posts
    Rep Power
    62

    Talking

    The guys at smoothwall have been chasing me for an evaluation for some time so last month I caved in and setup a VM within our VMWare setup.

    I had the VM (Network Gaurdian) installed in 30 mins, had it configured and running in about 2 hours and since then, about 5 weeks now, I have had nothing but complaints

    I LOVE THIS THING !

    Yes I am buying it at the end of the month, yes thier support team is the mutz nutz, the fact that most students complain that they cannot get to the proxies they used to be able to, staff not being able to randomly download rubbish and yes more complaints from them.

    I know its working !

    What have I used for the last 3 years Ihear you ask, Bloxx, never again.

    Bad Points, hmmmm let me see.

    1 - It takes a little getting used to the way that guardian works with regards to filtering if you have never been exposed to a 'proper' filtering system but once you have played with itfor a few days you'll get the hang of it.

    2 - Getting my head around the reports at the moment and this is taking time, maybe this is not a bad point just lack of user enthusiasm

    Anyhow give it a go you have nothing to loose but alot to gain, and if you decide that you don't want it after the eval throw it this way I'll have another one.

  8. 3 Thanks to ICTNUT:

    GAV (11th March 2009), mb2k01 (10th March 2009), tom_newton (11th March 2009)

  9. #6

    john's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    10,399
    Thank Post
    1,516
    Thanked 1,056 Times in 925 Posts
    Rep Power
    303
    Worth adding to the Reporting thing, as the good Sir Tom will confirm, but I know the update thats due this month (don't know the date but Tom will) has many more reporting features and reporting stuff in so that may help with reporting Ozan.

  10. 2 Thanks to john:

    mb2k01 (11th March 2009), tom_newton (11th March 2009)

  11. #7

    plexer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Norfolk
    Posts
    13,580
    Thank Post
    722
    Thanked 1,684 Times in 1,499 Posts
    Rep Power
    432
    well I've been a smoothwall customer for about 7 or 8 years now and for what their solutions do and the price they can't be beaten.

  12. 3 Thanks to plexer:

    GAV (11th March 2009), mb2k01 (11th March 2009), tom_newton (11th March 2009)

  13. #8


    tom_newton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Leeds
    Posts
    4,485
    Thank Post
    867
    Thanked 854 Times in 675 Posts
    Rep Power
    197
    Bad points... theres this one sales guy called Gav... ah wait, I won't be mean to the poor lad

    Seriously, though - if you're thinking "mm, reporting, maybe I should have a go at that" - john is right, hang on until FP2 (ETA 24/03) and the reporting system gets an overhaul. The new variant is based on what we have now, but there are loads of templates - including things like "most viewed bbc news articles (by name)", "top wiki editors" and all sorts of crazy things we couldn't do before. We also hope to run a few reporting classes by webex/gotomeeting at some point. If you would be interested, let me know.

  14. 2 Thanks to tom_newton:

    john (11th March 2009), mb2k01 (11th March 2009)

  15. #9
    ninjabeaver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Norfolk
    Posts
    1,090
    Thank Post
    183
    Thanked 100 Times in 88 Posts
    Rep Power
    46
    Negative Point ......

    Still not got my mug. Grrrr... I was promised it at BETT2009.

    Everything else is positive though. Frickin awesome piece of kit. Kids hate it though, staff love it.

    P.S. Any way you can send me a PDF or some more of those Safety posters you had at BETT2009.

    @MBraham - BUY IT!!

  16. 2 Thanks to ninjabeaver:

    GAV (11th March 2009), mb2k01 (11th March 2009)

  17. #10
    contink's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    South Yorkshire
    Posts
    3,791
    Thank Post
    303
    Thanked 327 Times in 233 Posts
    Rep Power
    118
    Hmm... I think the main negative is the learning curve which at times can feel a bit like you need an ice axe, pitons and some strong rope to get up but they counter that with considerable patience and a willingness to walk you through things.

    Given the nature of filtering it's easy to see why it's so complex and one key thing that springs to mind is that this is not something you're going to give to a teacher to manage.. It really isn't simple... but with time, a large amount of coffee/tea/strong vodka you can get through..

  18. 2 Thanks to contink:

    mb2k01 (11th March 2009), tom_newton (11th March 2009)

  19. #11


    tom_newton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Leeds
    Posts
    4,485
    Thank Post
    867
    Thanked 854 Times in 675 Posts
    Rep Power
    197
    Simon,

    I will tickle Gav again about your mug - he is on the case

    I should think we can manage a pdf of those posters...
    Solutions » Best Practice Guide to Safe Social Networking » SmoothWall
    has the links on the right.

    I am fairly sure there are hardcopies left - if anyone wants a couple let me know, and I will ask Sue where she's hidden them

  20. Thanks to tom_newton from:

    Netman (11th March 2009)

  21. #12

    Ric_'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    7,592
    Thank Post
    109
    Thanked 770 Times in 598 Posts
    Rep Power
    183
    I have a UTM (the appliance) and it's great. Plug it in and you're fully configured in 15mins!

    Reporting sucks IMHO (but as Tom says, they're fixing that) but you can still find all the information you need through the log search functions.

    Once man-in-the-middle SSL is added (also this month I believe) it will be truley awesome!

    I will admit that I had to phone support one time for something really random (I'd broken something ) and the tech support guy was a little inflexible but I got him put in his place and have since spoken to another couple of guys and they were ace!

    I'd like to find more negatives... but I can't... the box even looks nice!

  22. 2 Thanks to Ric_:

    mb2k01 (11th March 2009), tom_newton (11th March 2009)

  23. #13
    ninjabeaver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Norfolk
    Posts
    1,090
    Thank Post
    183
    Thanked 100 Times in 88 Posts
    Rep Power
    46
    Quote Originally Posted by tom_newton View Post
    Simon,

    I will tickle Gav again about your mug - he is on the case

    I should think we can manage a pdf of those posters...
    Solutions » Best Practice Guide to Safe Social Networking » SmoothWall
    has the links on the right.

    I am fairly sure there are hardcopies left - if anyone wants a couple let me know, and I will ask Sue where she's hidden them
    Thanks,

    I'm now going to build a Smoothwall Shrine to your awesomeness.

    *Lights some candles and joss sticks.*

  24. 2 Thanks to ninjabeaver:

    GAV (11th March 2009), mb2k01 (11th March 2009)

  25. #14
    Danielbarron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    21
    Thank Post
    0
    Thanked 5 Times in 4 Posts
    Rep Power
    12
    There must be reasons why other products are bought. Could be features, support, price, sales guy, being unknown, not trusting something new, too much of a learning curve, hard to use or configure, backhanders, school/county policy, better the devil you know, or anything. Negative feedback is great so one knows what to fix.

  26. #15
    mb2k01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,139
    Thank Post
    189
    Thanked 230 Times in 195 Posts
    Rep Power
    92
    Thanks to all who replied between me finishing watching Liverpool and getting back to work this morning! Hugely appreciate the time you've spared to reply.

    Tom - Would it be worth holding off signing up to the evaluation with Claire until after 25th so that I can see the new reporting features?
    Also, if I did install the eval site-wide, and it became obvious it was something we couldn't live without, would it be possible to just change the key somewhere and carry on using the same installation?

SHARE:
+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Installing Smoothwall Network Guardian s/w
    By Zourous in forum Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 1st April 2009, 04:05 PM
  2. Smoothwall - Network Guardian - Windows Updates
    By Macinator in forum Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 6th March 2009, 11:03 PM
  3. Smoothwall - Network Guardian Temp Bypass Feature
    By Macinator in forum Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 17th February 2009, 05:30 PM
  4. Smoothwall - School Guardian Eval
    By Macinator in forum Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 17th February 2009, 03:11 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •