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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Websense v Bloxx v Smoothwall in Technical; Our current web filtering (Websense) is due for renewal at the end of August. Don't get me started on that ...
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    Websense v Bloxx v Smoothwall

    Our current web filtering (Websense) is due for renewal at the end of August. Don't get me started on that as a renewal date, as the salesmen only get in touch once the head of department has gone on holiday...

    Never had any issues with Websense, but the renewal price seems steep - 50% up on when we last renewed in 2008 (3 year contract, obviously). Our current supplier is recommending Bloxx as a cheaper solution, but having read a few messages on here it seems Smoothwall is the preferred option.

    Just to fill you in a bit on the network layout - we have two servers, one of which acts as web server and the other holds the student's accounts. Websense is installed on the second one, where the replacement would be installed (or alongside if a hardware solution). One other thing we're looking into is some spam filtering for the staff accounts (annoyingly their email is on the first server). A combined solution would be great, I see Smoothwall do both - what's their pricing structure like?

    Only found a brief moment to look into this so far as I'm trying to get stuff finished before I go on holiday on Thursday. Any help is appreciated.

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    Sorry, forgot to add - we have around 300 students, 70 staff and 200 PCs/laptops over the site.

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    maveriick's Avatar
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    We have m86 here just re-upped along with new hardware.

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    Out of the 3 my choice of preference would be as follows, based on my personal experience with them and how effective their software is

    1- Smoothwall
    2- Websense
    3- Bloxx

    Smoothwall wins hands down simply for the fact that it is so versatile in comparison to the others and the licensing model allows for ease of change for additional scope or for reduction. Best to speak with @tom_newton or any of the smoothwall chaps to see what they say.

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    smurfomatic (1st August 2011)

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    I shan't answer as I am disgracefully biased, but if you have any "can I do XYZ" with smoothwall questions, I'd be happy to help.

    With Smoothie you are looking at something that doesn't sit atop a windows server, so it'd be either a hardware appliance, or a.n.other server converted into a dedicated smoothwall box.

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    Thanks nephilim - as I said, had no real problems with Websense just don't think it's worth the price they're charging.

    Tom - we only really need straightforward stuff - filtering based on category, AD integration to apply different filtering to staff and students, add our own URLs to whatever category.

    Can you give me a rough idea of costing for a hardware appliance as we don't really have a server we can give up entirely? It'd certainly free up some resources on the second server, which is an added bonus!

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    Fire me a pm/email with your details and I'll sort it out in the morning

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    We trialled Smoothwall and Bloxx and went with Smoothwall and are very happy with the decision we made.

    We've also upgraded from just having an SWG-1200 to having a UTM-300 as well.

    I've no experience of Websense so can't comment on that.

  10. Thanks to RTFM from:

    seanlaz (29th July 2011)

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    No experience of Bloxx or Websense but very happy with Smoothwall. Its not always obvious how to set things up but when you are unsure the telephone support is excellent.

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    Thanks for all the advice. We're probably going with Smoothwall - after explaining that Websense was too expensive, Bloxx then quoted more...

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    Quote Originally Posted by smurfomatic View Post
    Thanks for all the advice. We're probably going with Smoothwall - after explaining that Websense was too expensive, Bloxx then quoted more...
    thats a shame, we just renewed our Bloxx appliance and are very happy with it. If you try hard enough you can get huge discounts

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    featured_spectre's Avatar
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    Trouble with bloxx is that its filtering lists allow a surprisingly large amount of bad material through, where as Smoothwall and websense let in significantly less.

    *edit* and I know this from first hand testing of all 3 solutions!
    Last edited by featured_spectre; 2nd August 2011 at 10:18 AM.

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    tom_newton (2nd August 2011)

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    Demodog - the Bloxx price was roughly twice that of Smoothwall. The Bloxx rep did say they could do something with the price, but I didn't think I'd get a 50% discount...

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    As someone who moved from a Websense place to Smoothwall (I changed jobs thats how I did it before those that know me think hmmm hows that work) the Smoothwall is light-years ahead of WS, and its much more educationally though of and the support is significantly better and the actual UTM Hardware is great Love my UTMs wouldn't be without them.

  18. Thanks to john from:

    tom_newton (2nd August 2011)

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    guys to use the youtube media option on bloxxx do you need an additional "media filter" box



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