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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Sophos Web Appliances in Technical; Hi All, Currently getting quotes for a new filtering system as our LEA is kindly withdrawing our current Websense server. ...
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    Nexarius's Avatar
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    Sophos Web Appliances

    Hi All,

    Currently getting quotes for a new filtering system as our LEA is kindly withdrawing our current Websense server.

    Has anyone any experience of the Sophos appliances (WS100, WS500 etc)?

    The licensing appears to be considerably cheaper than Smoothwall!

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    Does the sophos box content filter or just filter for virus content?

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    When you say filtering are you talking web filtering or.......?

    If its just web filtering your after then surely something like Smoothwall would be a better option than a Sophos piece of kit....?

    Sorry if i've missed what you were after

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nexarius View Post
    Hi All,

    Currently getting quotes for a new filtering system as our LEA is kindly withdrawing our current Websense server.

    Has anyone any experience of the Sophos appliances (WS100, WS500 etc)?

    The licensing appears to be considerably cheaper than Smoothwall!
    We were given one by the LA - we have an WS1000, it's OK - it does stop bad pages with bad content & bad downloads, e.g, viruses - it shows it's processing downloads and scanning them... but it's only as effective as Sophos is normally...



    It blocks URLS ok, I don't think it's the best product around but it does offer granular filtering and some dynamic detection for high risk sites.

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    the smoothwall SWG boxes have scanning and file type blocking for downloads and with them you can buy a seperate firewall from them, or get something like a UTM1000 from them which is 2 in 1.....

    I'd just go with something a bit better than Sophos!

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    I do indeed mean content filtering as well as anti-virus.

    I do like the look of Smoothwall, but it is *considerably* more expensive than the Sophos option. And I mean considerably - the annual licensing fee for Smoothwall is 3 times that of the Sophos solution!

    Our LEA is offering their centralised basic filtering package (which wouldn't allow us any control whatsoever) for £180/year, so if I'm going to persuade them the school to choose local filtering instead then it needs to be cheap!

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    You seem to be a little in between a rock and a hard place. You either stay with county filtering and then the responsibility is not on the school or you go the whole hog and get the right filter in that will let you be confident the pupils arent doing things they shouldnt be. Ultimately if you do go with local filtering and not county thats your responsibility so you need to get the solution in you feel comfortable with and have confidence in, not the one which is cheapest and will do an 'ok' job.

    End of the day its a safeguarding issue and thats well worth spending some extra money on to get the best solution in. If your senior management can't see that then make sure you stress it to them that they are compromising by getting a cheaper solution.

    Sophos may well do a fine job but there is likely a reason is so 'considerably' cheaper.

    If you haggle with Smoothie they usually will talk numbers with you and you might be amazed how good value you can end up getting Smoothwall for.......

    Filtering is one area i am glad we didnt do on the cheap as you'd be amazed the difference smoothwall has made to our school in terms of pupils working on task and the confidence we have in it to do the job right......

    Others may disagree but the above is just my opinion

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    We're a small primary school with only 200 pupils, so our requirements are really quite basic. Sophos meets the Becta standards and from talking to another techie who's used it at schools, it seems to mostly do the job.

    I know it won't be as flexible as Smoothwall, but we don't need anything fancy!

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    If you're all boys or mixed - you need something more... pro-active than Sophos.

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    the fact your a small primary does make a slight difference as the SWG-1200 and UTM-1000 options are a little overkill for your needs!

    That doesnt mean a smaller SWG or UTM box wouldnt be a better option for you over Sophos though.....

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    Yes, I'm sure they would be better. I'm currently discussing this with one of the sales droids, hopefully she'll come back with something appealing!

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    I've been using a Sophos Web Appliance WS500 since August 2011; it's been a good box for us up until about 3-4 months ago when video streaming became our biggest issue. The box would clog up with about 5-6 streams from YouTube, literally causing a blockage for all other internet access. After much testing and proxy bypassing for the YouTube content, our broadband handled it without an issue and our web filter played nicely. So my gripe would be, if there was a firmware update, it wasn't designed for many streams of video content. Other than that, it works a treat for filtering, catching bad things and report naughty searches direct to my phone.

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