Web Filtering Options
On April 1st this year I am to take a position of Schools IT Manager at a local primary school,
at the moment they get there web filtering from the LEA via a central websense box. At the end of March the
LEA will be disbanding the schools team and the schools will lose access to the web filtering they currently receive.
I have no experience in setting up web filtering as this is something my previous boss insisted he would do (knowledge is power),
so my questions are as follows;
- What is a good solution for a school (e.g. smoothwall, symantec cloud etc)
- Which solutions are cost efective (e.g. best value)
- Minimum and ease of install (e.g. is any special hardware needed etc, will companies set it up for a fee etc).
- Ease of use after installation.
Thanks in Advance.
Smoothwall Smoothwall and Smoothwall :) That is the simple and quickest answer :)
You can get a rack mount appliance so buy the box, fit the box, 30 minutes at max to get initial basic configuration done and then it just looks after itself :) It really is that simple :)
What sort of price is smoothwall ???
Its really difficult to get an answer at them when you want one.
It depends on the product, package, size of UTM, features you need etc... also any LA options etc... So I cannot help with that, all I can say is when I last reviewed UTM based appliances Smoothwall came out Best Value.
You need to contact an Education Account Manager to help, BETT will be interfering a bit as they will be here from Tues onwards (late on usually ready for Wednesday opening....) Maybe @tom_newton can poke someone to give you a call to help. They are certainly good people to talk to to ensure you get the right options for your needs :)
In between the replies I have had a call from a lady called Hannah and arraged to see her at BETT on Friday :-).
Love the fact that I stumble across this exact topic posted today while sitting in my chair uttering profanity at my monitor while my current internet security provider (cloud based) tells me that the fix for an issue i've been investigating for 2 months is to put a PAC file exception in so that traffic for said website (WebEx and its desktop client) is routed direct to the net away from their services.
Low and behold I then phoned the account manager to advise I will be cancelling the contract as July as routing traffic away from their services is an unacceptable solution for a school environment.
Anyways, down to the point.
I'm looking for a web security package in the form of Web Filtering/Security and Email Filtering/Security.
Ideally said offering would be able to handle in-house profanity filtering which the current provider cannot offer as its cloud based and routing all traffic outside the network and back in just seems f'ing stupid... As you can also guess I wasn't the person who brought this solution.
In order for the in-house email profanity filtering i'm going to be looking at an in-house solution.
Hardware is not an issue due to a massively overspecced VMware farm.
Smoothwall looks OK on paper and have heard of them throughout the years but cannot see any email security offerings on the website and would like to know how/what solutions other users use to fore fill their needs.
Come see us on stand D322 @ BETT. We've just our first FTTP install in Milton Keynes inc content filtering etc.
Smoothwall is good but there are others as good if not better in my opinion that also doesn't have per user licensing costs which can rack up quite easily.
Originally Posted by Tefters
Would love to but wrapped up in other projects at the moment :(
I'll find out when the next NetworkNorthants meeting is (nudges @Ashm) and you can come up to meet our schools ... I think we have pretty much every perceivable option in Northants now! I'm sure some are local enough for them to do some demos for you.
The Smoothwall email filtering won't do your internal mail, I use a custom transport rule in Exchange 2010 to deal with that myself, what the Smoothzap module does is AV and AS the incoming mail from the outside world and scan mail going to the outside world. I know it has been mentioned before about using it for internal stuff so it maybe on the radar as a future development..... @tom_newton
Originally Posted by Tefters
Squid + Dansguardian / PFSense.
Smoothwall certainly isnt without its faults.
In terms of other options, there are Bloxx and Lightspeed which are purely filters not UTM devices so you'd have to purchase a seperate firewall which isnt always a bad thing.
There is also Sonicwall which do UTM devices.
There are obviously more options than just those but they are the ones we are looking at with our Smoothwall coming up for renewal :)
I'm looking at a Lightspeed box we have in on trial at the moment and the interface is so much simpler than Smoothwall and we've had no problems with it (pushing 600 students through it currently).
As for prices, one can't be that much more expensive than the other as they are all competing for the same market so its much of a muchness if you barter hard.
Securus would do this, but its expensive and the false positives are crazy.....
Originally Posted by Tefters
Weve had Censornet installed for 6 months now ... nice piece of software .... reasonable price ....
Another Smoothwall customer here.
A few notes would be that the support is amazing....when you get through to them. You can sometimes log a ticket and have to wait an age to have somebody ring you back, even if you chase. However when they do log in they are really knowledgeable.
One thing to remember is that none of the filtering solutions come out of the box ready for you, although you will have "something" setup in 20/30 mins, regardless of school, you will spend a good month or so tinkering to make it do exactly what you want. Especially when SLT keep moving goalposts ;)
Having run this it doesn't cut the mustard for Education IMHO.
Originally Posted by cpjitservices
Smoothwall is brilliant and something I would love to use again just my clients at the moment don't do filtering being non-education now.