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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Content Filtering in Technical; Hi everyone. Don't post very often, but of a lurker TBH. Anyhoo, looking at getting rid of our Cyberoam web ...
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    ASJ
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    Content Filtering

    Hi everyone.
    Don't post very often, but of a lurker TBH.

    Anyhoo, looking at getting rid of our Cyberoam web filter as it just not good enough. The Dir of IT had the guys from Smoothwall in today to have a chat and he seems to be quite keen.

    I'm after some feed back good and bad about the smoothwall product and other options.

    Thanks a lot
    Andrew

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    I can't rate and thank SmoothWall and their Technical Support Engineers enough!

    From my first initial meeting with Sean and Craig at the BETT 2011 Show back in January, we then had numerous (on-site) meetings with their Account Manager/Engineers to discuss our requirements and to answer our many questions and concerns regarding the suitability of SmoothWall.

    We even had the UTM-1000 appliances delivered a couple of months prior to the scheduled installation date, to allow us time to test (play!) within a test environment.

    I admit, It was a big leap (as we previously had RM SmartCache2) only because we are using the full additional facilities that the UTM-1000 appliances offers besides just content filtering (firewall, DNS, DHCP, VLANs, SSL VPN, Numerous Routing rules, isolated Wireless provision etc).

    The helpdesk support has been outstanding, no query or question has been left unanswered or resolved and they even go beyond their means to assist even when it is not SmoothWall at fault (e.g. Tim helped me when an IT Dept. would not give me their 'public IP' address for their service we were connecting too!, and on a couple of occasions I have spent over 2 hours on the phone to Jason who answered every single one of my questions).

    It may not be the cheapest solution, and I know that you can purchase just the SmoothWall software solution, but for us the UTM-1000 appliances combined with comprehensive hardware/support has already proved a wise decision.

    They only thing I have noted recently, is that at times the response times to helpdesk tickets may be the next day or so, but I think this is being looked into (and probably my fault for spending too much time chatting to their engineers! )

    Edit:
    Forgot to mention that there has been a few issues with Vipre AV updates, but that was related to Vipre and not SmoothWall and a fix was available online/via support.
    Last edited by MYK-IT; 13th October 2011 at 01:44 PM.

  3. 2 Thanks to MYK-IT:

    seanlaz (13th October 2011), tom_newton (23rd October 2011)

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    andyrite's Avatar
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    Same views as @MYK-IT. It's the best out there.

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    tom_newton (23rd October 2011)

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    See ... if you had been to a few of the NetworkNorthants meetings you could have spoken to a raft of local schools using SW

    I think you also need to think about what you want to do with your filtering.

    What reports do you want it to generate? How often? Who will view them?
    What devices will be accessing the internet through it? Do they require authentication? NTLM?
    Do you want to tie it into your AD? Have bespoke groups or based on security groups? Nested groups?
    Do you need to support time restrictions?
    Are you also using it as a firewall? Do you NAT?

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    Same here for Smoothwall....the only complaint I have with it, is that it has ruined my favourite Friday afternoon job of "spot the kid on a game and ban the site the game is on" as since Smoothwall went in, I don't think I've seen a kid on a game :-)

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    tom_newton (23rd October 2011)

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    I can't really comment on Smoothwall (I've only used the free version, which was fantastic, the schools one is just a lil' expensive for a primary school of our size!) but we've found that Squid/Dansguardian works very well and then whatever slips through that gets caught out by MS Forefront's web filtering.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    smoothwall is amazing...the chaps there in all their glory really do a cracking product

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    tom_newton (23rd October 2011)

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    ASJ
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    Just want to thank everyone who replied.

    I believe 2 smoothwall appliances being installed on Thursday

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    Good lad! Smoothwall is the way forward IMO, and whilst bloxx and websense have a place for businesses (most definitely) smoothwall trumps them for education.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MYK-IT View Post
    They only thing I have noted recently, is that at times the response times to helpdesk tickets may be the next day or so, but I think this is being looked into (and probably my fault for spending too much time chatting to their engineers! )
    Yes it is - two new support engineers have accepted positions at Smoothwall this month, so things should improve soon.

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