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Blocking websites from certain users

Posted on 2007-08-09
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Last Modified: 2007-12-19
My router does this in a very limited fashion. I would like to control which sites certain users are able to visit at various hours of the day. Does anyone know of any hardware that can control access for at least 50 computers? Thanks.
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Question by:rbichon
7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 19662518
The best bet is to install a proxy server. This will allow you to control access, monitor activity, and automatically cache frequently used pages for quicker access. Several of Proxy server apps can be found at the following sites, but there are many more available.
http://www.computalynx.net/software/cproxy/features.asp
http://www.websense.com
http://www.surfcontrol.com/ 
http://www.rhinosoft.com/AllegroSurf/

You can also control access using Internet Explorer and do a mass deployment using the IEAK (Internet Explorer Administration Kit), but it is rather a nuisance to update.
IE7:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/ie/bb219517.aspx
IE6:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/ie/bb219520.aspx

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Author Comment

by:rbichon
ID: 19663092
Are there no hardware solutions then?
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 19663597
Many routers have some basic filtering, the mid and upper level routers often offer add on web filtering services, such as WatchGuard's WebBlocker service:
http://www.watchguard.com/products/webblock.asp

Then there are Web filtering dedicated appliances such as:
http://www.surfcontrol.com/Default.aspx?id=925&mid=61
http://www.firewall-servers.com/

However, using a PC and Proxy server software, is usually the most affordable, and gives you good control.
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Expert Comment

by:rsivanandan
ID: 19663647
Look for netscreen firewalls, some of them come with inbuilt functionality (www.juniper.net)

Cheers,
Rajesh
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Accepted Solution

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mikecr earned 2000 total points
ID: 19664041
How about a Barracuda appliance? I have installed them and they work GREAT!

http://www.barracudanetworks.com/ns/news_and_events/index.php?nid=60
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Expert Comment

by:moondist
ID: 19666630
I'm using a couple Fortigate 100A's (http://www.fortinet.com/products/telesoho.html) for 50ish users at each site and a site to site VPN. Performs well under these loads. You can configure time schedules, allowed url lists, blocked url lists, for groups and individual systems (users and/or IP) based on internal groups or AD integration - all the standard firewall functions then some.  Added perks of antivirus, antispam, IPS at the perimeter for a yearly support/services subscription all for a good price point. Any Cisco ASA appiance will also do what you want, but for more $$. I've used the Fortigates for several months now and am pleased with them so far.  
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Expert Comment

by:budchawla
ID: 19671697
Just to mention another one that hasn't been mentioned... we use SonicWALLs extensively for many sites and this functionality is available as well as a host of other great features... the smallest Pro device should be adequate for your needs...
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