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One solution: DSL Sharing, Firewalls and Filtering?

Posted on 2001-09-04
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Last Modified: 2013-11-16
I have a home network using DSL from Covad and a LinkSys EtherFast DSL Cable Router. The Router comes with a firewall. What I need to add to this picture is a porn filter to protect my kids from the junk out there.

I've searched a bit and not found one solution, so I'm turning to you experts. I'm willing to replace the LinkSys router if necessary with a Firewall/Filtering/Router solution. Anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks.

Brian

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Question by:btphelps
11 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:jwalsh88
ID: 6453855
Are you talking about URL filtering?  I would keep your Linksys router and get software for your computers.  Like surf control's Cyber patrol for $50
Go here:
http://www.surfcontrol.com/products/cyberpatrol_for_home/product_overview/index.html

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Author Comment

by:btphelps
ID: 6454045
These kinds of products--SurgWatch, NetNenny, CyberPatrol--are useful for a single computer. These products typically require installing and maintaining it on each individual computer and legally one copy/one license per computer. A filtering package integrated with the firewall reduces the complexity and administrative overhead.

Brian
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by:jwalsh88
ID: 6454189
well I will tell you that there is no product except for products like this that are good at web content filtering.  And you can get the software that runs on one box and all HTTP traffic runs through that one box.  But, now you are talking business rates since protecting multiple computers are priced differently then protecting just one.  And these products get very expensive in the business pricing.  Compare the products from surfcontrol
Home version
$50 dollars a computer
Business version Only 5 seperate computer license
$1,000 dollars

This is hypothetical but you can get what I am saying.  Unless you have somewhere in the area of 15 or more computers it doesn't make sense to get the business version.

There might be some other products that are cheap and setup a HTTP gateway/proxy, which is what you are looking for, but I would be willing to bet that they aren't any good and wouldn't filter out nearly enough to even be effective.
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Expert Comment

by:asweinstein
ID: 6459522
Take a look at the Watchguard SOHO, they have a WebBlocker option for $49. I have installed this once, and it seemed to work well. The SOHO's are $449, and they include a 4-port hub. www.watchguard.com.
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by:jwalsh88
ID: 6460277
btphelps,

That wouldn't be cost effective, unless you have more then 10 computers.  Not to mention I know that product and it's not that great.  It does not do a very good job of blocking porn, or give you a detailed report of everything every users has done.
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Author Comment

by:btphelps
ID: 6461334
asweinstein, jwalsh, thanks for the comments. I looked into the WatchGuard SOHO and it appears to be a good product, and it uses The Learning Companys CyberPatrol product as its filter. But you say it's not that good a product. What gives you that impression?

But the smallest Watchguard unit appears to be a 10 user license, which at $395 might be overkill. You're right, it'd be more cost effective to run an individual copy of one of the porn filters on each machine.

But I haven't given up yet. I've run these porn filters (X-Stop) and I hate how they soak up CPU and I/O. I don't like their foreground presence. So I'm going to hunt a bit more.
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Expert Comment

by:jwalsh88
ID: 6461357
Whats bad about it is that the watchgaurd product isn't all that great to begin with, if you put web content filtering on that box it will really slow things down when you have multiple boxes access websites through it.  on top of that it's an okay web filter but not nearly as good as surfcontrol's.  That's why I said it wasn't very good.  because for less money you get better protection.
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Author Comment

by:btphelps
ID: 6461392
jwalsh,

You sound like you are familiar with a couple of the porn filters. Why do you like Surfcontrol bette?

B
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Accepted Solution

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jwalsh88 earned 600 total points
ID: 6461477
I have used quite a few and while I haven't used there home version I know there enterprise version is about as good as it gets.  What I have read about the home version I really like.  I don't comment on the other web filtering software packages that I think are comparible but that's because I have never used them.  But I am sure they are good too.  Now, I have to admit, the watchguard product has changed their web blocking software.  The software they are using now is the same software that I am recommending you buy for your desktop.  Sorry, just didn't realize it.  Haven't worked with watchgaurd in awhile.  No real reason to they aren't worth the price you pay.
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Expert Comment

by:anzen
ID: 6667572

Have You seen this one ?

http://proxomitron.org

You could install it onto a "gateway" machine and set up client browsers to use it as a "proxy", next all You need is to download (or to create) some set of rules to "cleanup" unwanted pages/sites

Regards
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Author Comment

by:btphelps
ID: 8437214
jwalsh, thanks for all your comments. Saw that I hadn't closed this Q out.

FYI, I found a new version of ZoneAlarm Pro that has web content filtering built in. You can buy a 2-license version for around $99, and a single license is $49, if I remember right. That's the solution I finally chose.

Brian
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