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Learning Network Manager Thread, Schools internet provision breakdown in Technical; After the success of my last post I was wondering if people have any good suggestions in regard to schools ...
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    Schools internet provision breakdown

    After the success of my last post I was wondering if people have any good suggestions in regard to schools internet connections.

    Presently one of the schools I have just taken over has a well.. dangerous internet connection. No network firewall to speak of and practically no filtering. There are only 15 machines on site so the requirements are low but County wants a 6,200 installation charge and 4,200 a year fee to provide a dedicated 4meg line and all appropriate security etc.

    So I am looking at costing up some alternatives and wondering what people have done to achieve a more cost effective success either bringing in other services or hosting your own.

    Thankyou

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    simpsonj's Avatar
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    Might be worth having a word with RM as they can provide the internet connection and filtering.

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    Quillyn (19th May 2011)

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Smoothwall firewall/filter with a normal business line would do the job

    Or a free version is Squid/dansguardian although it doesn't quite do all the features of Smoothie

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    tom_newton (19th May 2011)

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    Jamman960's Avatar
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    Connectivity wise an ADSL line would provide more than enough bandwidth - especially if you can get Fibre to the curb in the area or ADSL+2

    Filtering/firewall wise you could look at smoothwall or go with a dansguardian/squid setup

    I don't get why the county would even suggest going for a leased line at those sort of prices when there are so few pc's on site, we(an independent school) currently pay around 40 per month for an ADSL+2 line that operates at 16mbit down, 1.3 up(if we're lucky) and have around 100 workstations accross 2 sites(connected via Gbit FSO), we don't have that many issues with it at all and have so far(touch wood!) had no downtime in 2 years during school hours bar 1 or 2 router resets.

    We're currenlty with Cerberus networks, we used to be with BT but they were charging 60/month for a slower ADSL Max connection.
    Last edited by Jamman960; 19th May 2011 at 05:45 PM.

  7. 2 Thanks to Jamman960:

    Quillyn (19th May 2011), tom_newton (19th May 2011)

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    I can't believe i'm saying this, but RM is a good bet as their sevice comes with SafetyNet. For a small setup like yours it's probably simplest. This is what we have

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    Quillyn (19th May 2011)

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    I only really know RM in regards to their workstations. Not a clue what the rest of their systems are like, what are peoples thoughts on their internet services?

    I am concerned about using something like Dansgard or smoothwall with keeping the filtering up to date. With only a couple of hours on site a week I fear they would eventually become to easy for the children to work around as I have seen in some high schools.

    Though I will note they are concerns, having only ever briefly used smoothwall for some internet filtering & cache.
    Last edited by Quillyn; 19th May 2011 at 06:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quillyn View Post
    I am concerned about using something like Dansgard or smoothwall with keeping the filtering up to date. With only a couple of hours on site a week I fear they would eventually become to easy for the children to work around as I have seen in some high schools.

    Though I will note they are concerns, having only ever briefly used smoothwall for some internet filtering & cache.
    This is a valid concern with the free editions - we do commercially supported filtering options (and some ISPs will resell these too) which are very easy to manage once set up.

    You will almost certainly be OK on a DSL line with so few PCs, I would personally avoid the expense of a leased line, and go with consumer grade dsl.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    RM's broadband services are very straightforward. It just works. The only outage being the day South East Water dug through our phone line! SafetyNet is thorough and works fine for our (primary) school. Pay extra if you want SafetyNet plus and the freedom to fiddle with the filtering yourself. We haven't and notify RM of any exceptions needed by email which are usually dealt with within the hour for update overnight. PM me if you want to know more.

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    enjay's Avatar
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    The price they're quoting is reasonable for the product, but the product is vast overkill for a 15-PC network. Something like BT Infinity for Business at 50 would be worth a look, assuming it is available in your area, but if not, a decent speed of ADSL line would suffice.

    As others have said, RM provide filtering as standard on their services, although it should be noted that this is domain-wide, so you can't set different levels for different users. That said, they do a product called SmartCache which would allow you to control this yourself, price is 2-3k purchase then less than 1k per year (cheaper than that if you're Primary).

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    kevin_lane's Avatar
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    There are only 15 machines on site so the requirements are low
    that isnt not alot of computer and i bet they are not being used all the time are they ?? would it not be best to get either decent router and have a small business connection

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    I have the same set up at a few of my schools and just finished looking into all the different options. RM was my choice. They offer adsl+, twin copper and fibre. I have gone for the twin copper at 10mb but the adsl+ would also do and is cheaper.

    They already handle the firewall and filtering for lots of schools so for me its a no brainer.

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    How about a Virgin business line 10 meg (max 8 meg average according to virgin) 39 per moth and includeds a telephone line ... Opendns for free filtering or smoothwall if you want more control over who gets what in the school ..

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    something like a UTM-300 from Smoothwall would do filtering and firewall in one and then just speak to BT is what i'd do

  18. Thanks to RTFM from:

    john (24th May 2011)

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    If possible go FTTC. This is far more cost effective and generally gives a faster services than the leased line I'm sure you'll have been specified.

    If you like PM me and I'll let you know what speeds and services are available at your location.

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