Schoharie Schools Save Time with Bloxx Content Filtering
“Comparing my previous solution with Bloxx is like comparing a Yugo to a Bugatti Veyron. I am extremely impressed by the Bloxx Web content filter and it has made this part of my job much easier – I spend much less time managing content filtering.”
David Holmes, Network & Systems Technician, Schoharie Central School District
Learning is the mission of Schoharie Central Schools. The successful completion of this mission depends on the sincere efforts of all those involved in the educational process: students, staff, family, and community. With an emphasis on the value of acquiring and using knowledge for the betterment of both the individual and society, students should graduate as self-confident, conscientious, contributing individuals who will continue as life-long learners.
Schoharie Central School District previously used the SonicWall Pro 2040 solution for Web filtering. David Holmes, Network & Systems Technician at the school, had numerous problems with students accessing anonymous proxy servers. These are sites where users can log on and surf the internet anonymously, out of sight of the Web filter and the reason they’re so successful is that they’re so easy to create. As soon as a proxy site is discovered and blocked by a Web filter, the students can easily create another one to surf anonymously until the Web filter discovers it.
“The SonicWall unit was meant to pass 40 Mbs with all features turned on but in reality was incapable of sustaining over 5 Mbs. This was a deal breaker when our ADSL line was upgraded to a 10 Mbs fiber connection..”
Following the major problems that the SonicWall device was causing, Holmes wanted a solution that was much more effective at blocking anonymous proxies. He needed much more granular control over the content filtering and a solution that didn’t cause a bottle neck in its internet connection.
After evaluating a number of solutions, Holmes chose the Bloxx Web content filtering appliance to track the School District’s 800 users.
Bloxx Web filtering deploys Tru-View Technology which is able to identify and block Web pages in real-time, even if it has never been accessed before, meaning that even if students create a new proxy, it will be identified and blocked instantly.
Following installation of the appliance, Holmes found it very easy to manage and that it was outstanding in solving all his previous problems.
Holmes has been very impressed with Bloxx’s anonymous proxy blocking ability.
“The staff are now confident that the students are surfing the Internet safely, as previously, they could access any site unmonitored simply by logging on to an anonymous proxy. Who knows what they were looking at before they were caught? Now Bloxx blocks them instantly and the students are surfing the internet in a much safer environment.”
Holmes enthuses, “not only is Tru-View Technology great at blocking anonymous proxy sites, it’s saved me so much time. In terms of misclassified Websites, with our previous solution I had to report an average of 10 of these a week to their Support Team; with Bloxx, I’ve reported one and I’ve been a customer for almost a year. Yes, I’m a VERY happy customer.”
Another feature Holmes has found very useful is its easy integration with the Schoharie network via LDAP.
“I was easily able to define different groups with different access restrictions and this has been a huge help and time-saver for us. Now, for each group we are able to easily tailor internet access and define different policies.”
“A good example is blocking all https traffic for students but still being able to whitelist specific https Websites for them.”
“Being able to do this has greatly reduced the tight rope we had to walk in the past between blocking content that might not have been appropriate for students but should have been allowed for the teachers.”
“Bloxx also comes with a terrific reporting functionality. We use the reports mainly when we have a complaint from a teacher about one of the students. I have been able to save time by working with one of the building administrators; I’ve given him a restricted log-in to the Bloxx interface and he can instantly create and run reports whenever he has the need without coming to IT.” Holmes comments.
“I find the extra features that come as standard with the Bloxx appliance to be extremely beneficial.”
“I can customize blocking to any unwanted internet traffic that I want, for instance, instant messaging and peer-to-peer. An extra layer of edge protection is provided through its anti-virus and anti-phishing control built into the Bloxx Web filtering unit.”
“I am extremely impressed by the Bloxx content filter and it has made this part of my job much easier – I spend much less time managing content filtering,” remarks Holmes.
“Our last content filter was an all or nothing solution. We could not tailor it to individual groups within the district, for instance. User productivity has definitely increased, through this flexibility. Because there’s not a blanket policy for all, I receive far less complaints about Web pages being blocked that should be allowed for particular subjects.
“Comparing my previous solution with Bloxx is like comparing a Yugo to a Bugatti Veyron.”