Protex Web filtering
We are having to change our ISP as of the 1st April, we have decided along with a number of other schools in our area, to go with e2bn.
Their filtering software is Protex, is anyone else using this currently? What are your thoughts on it? Any issues i should be aware of?
It's worth noting that we were told in November our Internet etc was not being supplied through the council anymore as of 1st April 2014. we had to make a decision by the end of December, so no one in and around MK had much of a chance to investigate all avenues thoroughly (it's all a bit shady, with MK Council having signed up to a group and were charging almost double what other companies offered)
Thanks in advance
We're on E2BN Protex through our LA and it's the biggest pain in the ass I've had the misfortune to come across, now I don't know if this is because our LA are managing it and not passed anything on to us or what, but the control we have extends to which of their proxy servers we use.
In the end I stuck the entire school on the unfiltered proxy and filter everyone in house.
Aside from this, all Protex is underneath is Dansguardian and Squid with huge block lists.
We're not through our LA, so we will have direct contact with e2bn, for any queries and port unblocking requests etc etc, so hopefully we won't run into some of the problems you have. It is being all done through an Equinnet box installed in our server cupboard.
Thanks for your post
We have Protex provided through E2BN and supported by the LA. I have been able to contact them directly and it wasn't terrible to get ports and sites unblocked. However we have moved from having (a very unreliable) box on site to a hosted solution since then, so don't know if that would make it more difficult.
We are planning a move to Lightspeed to allow greater flexibility, better support for a guest network and more importantly, decent support for MDM.
In summary, I have a sense that it's not the best out there, but couldn't point to a particular issue other than not having much control. If you're going with E2BN, give it a go. AFAIK it's included, so not much to lose unless it means that the broadband connection is more expensive than the other offers you've had. You can always add something else later if you need to.
e2bn was the cheapest on offer out of around 4-5 companies (and ironically, if we do a speedtest on site, it says e2bn is our supplier anyway, they supply the OU who then supply the internet to the rest of the schools in Milton Keynes at the moment), and yes, it does include protex with it, we have been told we can integrate it in AD and this obviously brings good granular control along with it, if it works as it should.
I'm based in Suffolk and support two Schools using E2BN/Protex. On the feature side there is no management portal to give you control over the service and monitor performance. This would be standard with any of the main commercial providers. On the cost side we find E2BN through our LEA more expensive than most to the specialist schools broadband providers. One thing I find frustrating is that its very difficult to get any technical detail on the service offered. It may be the costs are justified but without a full specification of the product its difficult to make a comparison.
One of my schools is in the process of switching to Zen Internet FTTC with an in-house filtering/proxy server using open source Dansguardian/Squid. We expect to get close to 80Mb/s as we are across the road from the cabinet. Costs for this I expect to be under 1K/year compared to around 3K from our LEA. A bit more risk/responsibility for the School but we have a very tight budget so 2K saved on ICT is significant. I had hoped to run the two services in parallel for testing and comparison but as always timescales have got the better of me and we will be switching 1 April. I