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Internet blocking software

Internet blocking software

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On a network of say 12 computers what's the best way to stop access to websites such as facebook or adult sites.?

We paid for a firewall a few years ago and that does a decent job. However, it's pretty easy to bypass that if someone wanted to by a simple google search.

Is there a cost effective way to block these sites to safeguard our IT infrastructure?

I looked at a product called smoothwall a few years ago but that looked to be quite expensive for what we wanted.

Any advice would be appreciated.

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Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
01st Jul 2013 13:10

Where I used to work

they had some specific website blogging software which cost about £1500 per year for a similar sized network. It wasn't 100% and there was ways around it. It sometimes blocked websites that you actually wanted to look at. Your staff will always find a way if you block Facebook they will access it though their smart phones. You are far better off developing a policy to manage it instead of using software to try and wipe it out totally, with disciplinary action if needed if someone is out of line. 

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By RussellD
01st Jul 2013 13:11

OpenDNS

In a similar size network, I applied OpenDNS. (it may have been referred to in the Netgear router I was using - not certain if they are linked or not) Using that you can select what to block including social media, forums, adult sites etc.

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By mrme89
01st Jul 2013 13:14

Trend Micro

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By Captainblack
01st Jul 2013 15:11

Some routers can do this

Some of the more sophisticated ADSL routers (such as http://www.billion.uk.com/product/wireless/7800dxl.htm) will do this for you. Not good for general blocking like "all adult sites" but OK for nominated domains like facebook.com.

Otherwise yes, Trend Micro, Websense, etc.

Also, you should put in place an Acceptable Usage Policy and get the staff to sign up. It won't stop them accessing the site(s) but your position on the matter will be clear and the door left (very publicly) open so that you can deal with 'abuse' formally.

Of course, they will probably just use their smart-phones instead!

Captain

 

 

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By 3569787
03rd May 2016 17:12

Basic Routers can do this

;

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By MissAccounting
01st Jul 2013 16:00

I have one of these installed on our network and you can block any site you want via the content filtering option - http://www.ebuyer.com/237217-zyxel-zywall-usg-20-unified-security-gateway-appliance-91-009-072003b

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Replying to CHambridge:
By djn24
01st Jul 2013 16:11

Does that mean you have to type in the website that you want blocked?  If so that would not be any good as it would be impossible to block them all.

It seems that it would be possible to bypass this as it's similar to what we use now. Think the use of proxy sites etc can get around them. It's frustrating.

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By MissAccounting
01st Jul 2013 16:21

You can use a white list feature where you only allow certain stes to be accessed and everything else is blocked.

OpenDNS may be more suitable for what you want but to be honest even the most locked down system has a workaround so the best bet is to give them more work to do!  Mobile phones for one!

Edit - another method could be to log each computers internet traffic but you would you have to monitor it at specific intervals which may not be ideal!

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By Captainblack
01st Jul 2013 16:27

Rather than trying to out-smart the workforce better to make the position clear, what's acceptable, what's not. Then you can enforce the situation.

Captain.

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By leicsred
01st Jul 2013 16:52

AVG

We are just about to go over to AVG cloudcare, seems a good product and includes virus protection etc. Might be what you need, we are similar size to you and have tried the less managed solutions and found that they are too time consuming.

As I say, we haven't used it yet (soon) but might be worth a look

 

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By JC
01st Jul 2013 17:26

Hosts file ...

No software required

Use the 'hosts' file in - C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\Hosts

Run Notepad (as Adminstrator) and amend the Hosts file with each site you wish blocked

This will block access to any sites specified in the 'Hosts' file without the need for additional software

(works on Xp, Vista & Windows 7)

On the assumption that all internet access is not being routed via the server this will need to be done on each local pc

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By SThornton
05th Jul 2013 15:03

I agree...

...it's better to include it in the policy.

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By Hosted Accountants Ltd
16th Jul 2013 17:50

AVG

We use and supply Endpoint and AVG - the latter comes with web blocking software which is very easy to configure to whitelists or simply to block social media, for example.

Dan

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By JC
16th Jul 2013 18:06

AVG nasties ...

Whilst AVG is OK and hoovers up a lot of users with its free version it does have a couple of annoying areas

Tries to insert its own browser toolbar, as do java downloads etc. Regrettably their default for download is set to ON, whereas it SHOULD BE OFF - i.e. the user should have to take positive action to download rather than action to prevent downloadThe AVG search engine is a sub-set of Google. Unfortunately sub-set is the operative word because it doesn't pick up all the search entries picked up by Google. Therefore if you have a business that shows on Google it may/may not show on AVG - rubbish! AVG are aware of this and acknowledge that it may be discriminating agains certain business but have no intention of fixing the issue

Neither of these recommend AVG

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By Hosted Accountants Ltd
16th Jul 2013 18:59

AVG
Thanks JC - we use the Enterprise/business versions just to clarify. We wouldn't use the free version.

Certainly website blocking is a feature being asked for more and more with our service.

Dan

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