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Reccomendation: Internet Filters/ Parental control software

Posted on 2006-04-24
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-03-10
Looking for Internet Filter/ Parental control software for junior elementary/elementary classrooms. If the software doesnot have centralized administration, a customizable installer would be a good substitute, or an easy way to standardize all the installations (I have over 120 classrooms, in 6 locations...I need this easy as possible).
     Thats really about it. I have looked at Net Nanny and liked it for the most part. I like how you can override on the fly with the right password. I didn't see a way to really "administrate" an entire network of netnanny protected machines, and the fear of 120 stand-alone apps is quite frightening.
     The 150 points up for grabs will be divyed (sp?) according to usefulness of the suggested responses. Thanks in advance!!
Question by:RiceyRice
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Expert Comment

ID: 16530474
This is a great option- you tunnel all internet traffic through this device and setup rules based on a number of rules that you can turn off/on. You can also tune it based on users/groups.



Assisted Solution

conradie earned 150 total points
ID: 16530495

Expert Comment

ID: 16531251
There are actually some really good filtering ISP's out there that do this for you.

I have heard NUMEROUS good things about this web filtering ISP designed especially for schools www.twotrees.com

What you would pretty much do is proxy your internet traffic through them via a VPN, they create logs and notify you of any flags. It keeps clutter off of the desktop and leaves it to an ever so changing filtering professional.

Fishnet security.com
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Assisted Solution

ImmediateAction earned 150 total points
ID: 16533222
You could use WinGate as your internet connection sharing / monitoring software, and use the PureSight plugin for your content filtering requirements; I am pretty sure they match Microsoft’s discount for educational / non profit entities; maybe better.

Wingate will allow for:
To plugin to an Active Directory
Remotely connect to your school to monitor what the current activity on your gateway is.
Create a VPN between the schools, no vitrual adapters, a routing based solution.

The PureSight plugin:
Is attached to the www proxy server and will scan for objectionable content you specify;
i.e. Pornography, Web mail, Hate, Weapons, Stock Market, Jobs, Drugs, Administrator Specific, Sports and other ones.

There are three connection methods you can use with WinGate, and one enhanced one called intercepts; these can also filter on different levels than just the content.

1. NAT, basically gives LAN Clients a direct connection to the internet(needs gateway and dns).

2. Proxies. www, ftp, real audio, rtsp, telnet, tcp mapping, udp mappings, pop3 proxy, smtp mapping etc..

3. WinGate Internet Client (WGIC) (compatible to Windows) (needs dns on client).

a) Catches network requests, and passes it through to the WinSock Redirector Service on the WinGate Server to handle. Can also handle request originating from the internet for services on the client computer; it depends what mode you specify for the application name; can over ride to let an application to use NAT; override for no network access for the application; not allowed to execute etc..

b) Also allows you to monitor from the server what applications are currently running on the computers

c) With an enterprise license, you can centrally administrate the WGIC's

d) Can distribute as a group policy object

4. Intercepts (Transparent Proxy)
Most of the proxies allow for intercepts, also some of the servers, like smtp.
*If a LAN client is using the WGIC or NAT connection method to browse webpages on the internet, we can setup for example the www proxy server to intercept any NAT/WGIC connection to port 80, and pump it up through the proxy to get the benefits of caching, data scanning and policies etc.. In the case of the SMTP server, catch any requests on port 25, if the senders domain is not setup, denied.

Expert Comment

ID: 16533304
*And I would be damned impressed if the kids need to be blocked from viewing the stock market :)))

Author Comment

ID: 16533494
Great...I appreciate everything so far...

I will leave this open for another day or so.

Expert Comment

ID: 16539741

Accepted Solution

imreble1 earned 150 total points
ID: 16539883
Did someone seriously say ISA server.. I was hoping to have this question closed without a mention of that sad excuse. Maybe a good idea for someone >100 (thats pushin it) but not anymore.

Websense, we sell and support websense, another one is Bluecoat we support also, i wouldnt reccomend it though. Iprism, and Surfcontrol also fall under these categories. They are good, take some initial setup and configurations, but not in line with budget for a school. I have friends that work in the industry, and if your budget is hurting for $$$ as much they are you wouldnt "try" to afford it. They took the approach as they cannot afford another person to hire to administer, let alone spend the time messing with the box themselves, licences and any other issues that could arise (they aren't clockwork thats for sure).

I am not sure about wingate and Puresight reviews, never used it before.

And for ease of install, how the hell could it get any easier than setting up a vpn and a network route on 6 different location, (if this is fact how it is set up).

<Removed by GranMod>

Expert Comment

ID: 16552879
If you have the money Surfcontrol is a good filtering solution. It does not impact your speed and is fully customizable. It is only good if all of your sites access the internet thru the same pipe.

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