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Network and Classroom Management Thread, AB Tutor vs Impero vs Securus in Technical; Hi, We currently use Ranger for network security, Smoothwall for filtering and ABTutor v6 for Classroom management. We also have ...
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    HCC
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    AB Tutor vs Impero vs Securus

    Hi,

    We currently use Ranger for network security, Smoothwall for filtering and ABTutor v6 for Classroom management.

    We also have Ranger in place and I was considering ditching it because version 7 was a joke - Ranger Central LOL. Ranger hasn't really changed since V5 - We only really use it rarely to find out who used a PC last. It was essential in Win95 era but now things have moved on with group policy etc It seems a bit redundant.

    I'm considering changing from Ranger and ABTutor, to either Impero or Securus (unless there is a better product I havn't considered).

    The reason for changing from ABTutor:
    ABTutor v6 is in use by a few teachers but they often don't use it because of a few issues. It often crashes on client PC's and I almost always get the message abtutor had a problem send error report when I logon to student Pc's as an admin.
    Staff Laptops with a wireless conncection can't show their screen to 30 student PC's because there isn't enough bandwidth to do so- so it crashes.
    Staff can connect to computers in a different room - often when they choose a room to connect to it connects to a few PC's in a different location - This could be a DHCP\DNS issue though.
    Whenever the program gets updated we have to visit lots of laptops to update them, and meanwhile have inconsistent versions across the site. - It looks like impero has a central console to avoid this problem?
    The product is very standalone in it nature - I would much prefer a central console which teachers then connect to. At the moment policies (like banning the internet) are set very differently depending on the teacher, and they get confused by polices a previous teacher set. - I want to set the polices then teachers turn them on or off,
    The one good thing about AB is the price, much better value than either of the alternatives I'm considering. Do you get what you pay for?

    Does impero have these problems?

    I know Securus and impero do two different jobs, - but they often achieve the same result - students on task and maintaining the security of the network. The big problem with securus is the cost, so it might be more useful at the moment to first of all consider ABTutor vs Impero (since they do the same job).

    So ABTutor vs Impero. Is the grass greener on the other side?

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    BrotherSidious's Avatar
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    For classroom managment we have switched from Sanako study 100 (rubbish) to Lanschool. Lanschool has proved very stable and reliable in our Windows XP environment (we have a vanilla network in case that makes a difference to you).

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    I can only comment on ABTutor and Securus, but I would say you need both - ABTutor for when the teacher is looking and Securus for when they're not. With Securus there is then the debate on whether you still need filtering at all - there are arguments to say that you protect the kids better without it in some cases - see here: Turn the filters off and use Securus for that debate

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    WE have just got Impero V3 and its excellent, and deploys via MSI.

    Download the 30 day trial and try it on a suite.

    It ticks all the boxs with ofstead and our staff love it.

    Moved over from synchroneyes and study 100, both of which are Vastly inferior.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HCC View Post
    The reason for changing from ABTutor:
    ABTutor v6 is in use by a few teachers but they often don't use it because of a few issues. It often crashes on client PC's and I almost always get the message abtutor had a problem send error report when I logon to student Pc's as an admin.
    Staff Laptops with a wireless conncection can't show their screen to 30 student PC's because there isn't enough bandwidth to do so- so it crashes.
    Staff can connect to computers in a different room - often when they choose a room to connect to it connects to a few PC's in a different location - This could be a DHCP\DNS issue though.
    Whenever the program gets updated we have to visit lots of laptops to update them, and meanwhile have inconsistent versions across the site. - It looks like impero has a central console to avoid this problem?
    The product is very standalone in it nature - I would much prefer a central console which teachers then connect to. At the moment policies (like banning the internet) are set very differently depending on the teacher, and they get confused by polices a previous teacher set. - I want to set the polices then teachers turn them on or off,
    The one good thing about AB is the price, much better value than either of the alternatives I'm considering. Do you get what you pay for?
    1. Crashing - If you contact abconsulting regarding the crashes they will find the root of the problem and sort a fix out for it.

    2. Wireless - What is your current wireless solution like? Have a look at ruckus if you've money to play with, it will easily sort your bandwidth issues (otherwise you'll have the same issues irregardless of what software you use).

    3. Connecting to other machines - this is probably related to your first issue, include it in your email to customer support and they'll try and sort it for you. I've had a similar issue before - do you machines get DNS from a local server or from the county? Alternatively, you could set password at classroom level, so even if another machine is picked up, they wouldn't be able to connect to it.

    4. Updating - if you go to tools, client maintenance, then tick check for older client programs, you can update the whole site from one machine (as long as they are on).

    5. Policies - you can create a set of policies, then import them onto the teacher machines and remove their access to creating policies, then all staff would be seeing the same thing and this would remove any confusion.

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    Have to say we use ABTutor and find it reliable, had netsupport school trial for a while and seemed very buggy and crashed often. We also like the licensing model needing only a license per teacher rather than client. Doiwnside of ABTutor is it is a bit slow when remotely accessing a desktop or viewing, we have win 7 and aero enabled on all machines which could be the possible cause. You can switch this off on the client but it then is visible to the end user when viewing a desktop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsnetman View Post
    Have to say we use ABTutor and find it reliable, had netsupport school trial for a while and seemed very buggy and crashed often. We also like the licensing model needing only a license per teacher rather than client. Doiwnside of ABTutor is it is a bit slow when remotely accessing a desktop or viewing, we have win 7 and aero enabled on all machines which could be the possible cause. You can switch this off on the client but it then is visible to the end user when viewing a desktop.
    Did you roll out via MSI? I'm not sure if it installs the mirror driver by default - affects speed a lot! Try manually installing on a few machines making sure you install the mirror driver, then see if it's any better?

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    I rolled out the 6.3 version of ABTutor MSI they have a problem with 6.4 MSI, something to do with language packs. I will check to see if mirror driver is deployed, almost sure it is though.

    Just checked and it is not, will have a play and see if it's any better.
    Last edited by jsnetman; 29th June 2010 at 10:34 AM.

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