Internet Content Filtering FAQ
- What is MOREnet's Internet Content Filtering?
MOREnet's Internet Content Filtering powered by Netsweeper is a package that allows each participating organization to control the flow of web traffic on its network. With this software, an administrator can block access to different filtered categories as well as disallow certain specific URLs and file types.
MOREnet offers two different varieties of filtering: MOREnet-hosted and member-hosted.
MOREnet-hosted filtering is set up so that the organization has control over setting up filters, overrides and different allow and block lists, but MOREnet manages the hardware and software and can troubleshoot problems.
Member-hosted filtering allows the organization to have complete control over all hardware and software since it is all installed on hardware owned by each organization. MOREnet can assist in troubleshooting problems.
- Does anything have to be installed on workstations?
MOREnet-hosted: In many cases, nothing will need to be installed on workstations. However, a software client is available to install on each Windows workstation that allows more functionality than using the service without the client. The client is protected from being uninstalled by an admin password.
Member-hosted: Members can choose to install the software client to enable remote filtering. Otherwise, members must have a server with Netsweeper filtering software installed.
- Will Netsweeper filter e-mail?
Netsweeper only filters web traffic. Webmail could potentially be affected, depending on what filters are set up.
- Who decides what is filtered?
Each organization can set up its own filters and decide what to block and what to allow. Netsweeper maintains a large database that contains URLs separated into different categories to be blocked. These categories are dynamic lists and are updated daily.
MOREnet-hosted subscribers initial filtering settings will be configured by MOREnet Technical Support based on default categories that address CIPA-compliance and security practices, plus any additional categories you may specify on the order form. You can then change the category selections and otherwise customize your organization’s profile at any time.
How can I find out if a URL is being filtered?
You can test a site at http://www.netsweeper.com/Support/Test%20A%20Site or use the tool provided in the webadmin interface under URL Tools.
- How can I request a URL to be blocked/unblocked?
Enter the URL into the URL Alert under the URL Tools section in the webadmin interface.
- What if I have configured two filters for the same IP address?
The least restrictive filter will always take precedence over any others if there is a conflict.
- Can I override a block to allow access?
Yes. An administrator with an override ID and password is able to allow an override to a block that is in place.
- What types of reports are available?
MOREnet-hosted: Currently, weekly and daily reports are available upon request. Reports are sent to the organization's designated administrator via e-mail, either nightly or every Sunday night.
For more information, see MOREnet-hosted Internet Content Filtering Reporting Options.
Member-hosted: The administrator has full access to the Netsweeper reports server and can run whatever reports he/she wishes.
- I use NAT on my network; will this affect my filtering performance?
MOREnet-hosted: NAT should not interfere with Netsweeper’s actual filtering function in any way. However, since all traffic will appear to come from one IP address, this will affect how Netsweeper reports information. In addition, when an override is used in a NATted environment, the entire network will be unfiltered instead of just one IP address, unless a client is installed on the workstation.
- I've already got an Internet filtering system in place; can I run both mine and Netsweeper?
For filtering to work properly, only one filtering product should be run at a time.
- What happens if the filtering server fails?
MOREnet-hosted: MOREnet has configured each server to "fail open." Fail open means that, should a server stop functioning, Internet access will continue to function normally. However, it will not be filtered until the server is running properly.
Member-hosted: This option can be configured by each organization as it sees fit.
- What are custom categories?
Custom categories give administrators the ability to create their own filtering criteria. This ability allows administrators to create custom lists of websites and keywords that can be blocked or allowed and can be tailored to each organization.
- On the MOREnet-hosted solution, why can I see other organizations' custom categories?
Due to the way the software was designed, all organizations can see every custom category created, no matter who creates them. However, these custom categories do not affect other sites unless specifically enabled, which is not recommended.
- What hosting options are available from MOREnet for content filtering using Netsweeper?
Subscribers can choose to have MOREnet host it for them or deploy a filter server locally and get comprehensive reporting of your private IP addresses.
- What are some of Netsweeper’s features?
Netsweeper features include:
- Web-based administration
- Scheduled filtering
- Filtering overrides
- Silent tracking
- Granular categorization
- Whitelists and blacklists
- Filtering at the global, group or user levels
- https filtering using their client filter
- Off-network filtering for laptops when away from your network
- Proxy-based filtering (locally hosted only)
- Comprehensive reporting (locally hosted only)
- Filter by private IP addresses (locally hosted only)
- For more detailed information on these features, see Netsweeper’s website: http://www.netsweeper.com/Education/Internet%20Filter%20for%20Education
- Is filtering available for devices that leave my organization’s network, like laptops?
A desktop client is available that can be installed on a computer to allow for remote filtering. Operating systems currently supported are: Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista.
- My organization uses MOREnet’s Member-hosted Internet content filtering service. Can I use my existing server/equipment with Netsweeper?
It may be possible to use existing equipment, but it depends on your current implementation. The Netsweeper server is a software appliance that includes its own operating system so it does not use Windows, just the hardware. You will need a dedicated machine to host the Netsweeper server software. Larger implementations may require additional servers. Minimum requirements for a small to medium installation are:
- Pentium IV or Dual AMD Athlon MP 2.0 GHz
- 2 GB of RAM (more increases performance)
- 200 GB IDE Drive
- 10/100/1000 Network interface
- Is training available for Netsweeper?
Yes. MOREnet will provide training on the web filtering administration interface and on the installation for Member-hosted implementations. Please refer to MOREnet’s training schedule at http://solutions.more.net/apps/training/schedule/ to view upcoming training opportunities.
- My organization is not a current subscriber to MOREnet’s filtering service. How can I sign up to use Netsweeper?
Please contact MOREnet Technical Support.
- Will Netsweeper be able to block proxies using https (secure servers)?
Yes. Through Netsweeper’s real-time categorization engine, the URLs of new sites are quickly identified, categorized and distributed.