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East Durham College – Smoothwall Filter Case Study

What’s the background?

East Durham College (EDC) offers high-quality technical and professional education and training for young people, adults and employers in the North East of England. Operating across three campuses, EDC has more than 500 members of staff and 2,300 students.

Andy Barker, Network Manager at EDC manages the college’s IT, telephony and print systems.

What was the challenge?

Previously EDC had Sonicwall in place. Andy explains their reason for changing, “we had the previous solution for a long time so we were looking for something with modern features and more throughput.”

“It was important for the new solution to have safeguarding and reporting aspects, firewall protection, age-appropriate filtering, be compliant with new government legislation, and above all, it had to be a simple but integrated solution that’s suitable for all users.”

Andy continued, “we heard about Smoothwall on Edugeek and as we have close ties with local schools, we went to see it in action. We looked at several solutions but chose Smoothwall as it has more education features.”

How Smoothwall helped

Andy explained the benefits of using Smoothwall, “Smoothwall has helped us greatly with throughput and has especially enhanced filtering. We’ve also saved additional server resources as well as staff time in maintenance!”

“Smoothwall is significantly better at identifying inappropriate and appropriate content compared to our previous solution. Also, the submitting of a block or unblock request has been very useful for highlighting false positives.”

Andy went on to discuss the features of Smoothwall, “we find reporting especially helpful as there are so many options to get fine-grained reports. It’s also useful that we can create detailed user block rules. The safeguarding suite has been very useful for us as safeguarding is now a very important aspect for our daily operation.”

Discussing the daily management of Smoothwall, Andy commented: “the solution is very easy and simple to use which is an added bonus on top of the great features!”

Andy explained the college’s experience of using Smoothwall with BYOD, “introducing BYOD was a huge plus as without Smoothwall we had to use several systems to get the same features.”

When discussing implementation and support, Andy commented “installation was a lot easier than I expected. On our most recent change a few months ago, Smoothwall’s support team were very helpful and helped us identify a fault with the network setup.”

Andy summarised the college’s experience of Smoothwall. “I would recommend Smoothwall as overall it is a highly integrated, cost-effective solution that is loaded with features and easy to use!”

Haptic Networks are a Smoothwall Premier Partner who provide a multitude of technology solutions to private and public sector organisations in the UK and internationally. This case study was carried out in partnership with Haptic Networks, for more information on their solutions, visit their website.

I would recommend Smoothwall as overall it is a highly integrated, cost effective solution that is loaded with features and easy to use!

Andy Barker
East Durham College

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