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Mullion School – Smoothwall Filter Case Study

What’s the background?

Mullion School is a state secondary school located on the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall, UK. The school was established in 1978 and became a specialist performing arts school in 2005.

They have 560 students and 70 members of staff. The school’s BYOD policy allows all students and staff to bring their personal devices onto the network.

Network Manager Nick Blundell oversees the IT network and ensures that students and staff alike are kept safe online — regardless of which device they are using.

What was the challenge?

Nick wasn’t confident with the filtering quality of his previous solution. Websites were not being filtered correctly and students were accessing bandwidth-heavy websites: “The number of things the students could access was ridiculous and it was slowing our Internet connection right down.”

The school deployed a BYOD policy and Nick wasn’t satisfied that his previous solution would filter mobile devices. The fact that it wasn’t compatible with Active Directory was a major problem that he needed to fix.

Most importantly, Nick didn’t have confidence that the solution could protect the students: “We were concerned with the previous solution — something really bad was going to be accessed”.

How Smoothwall helped

After evaluating three web filtering solutions, Nick decided on Smoothwall Filter. The superior filtering quality of Smoothwall Filter was the standout feature: “The filtering — particularly on proxy and gaming sites — was much better on Smoothwall than the other solutions”.

Smoothwall’s Content-Aware web filtering has restored his confidence and he’s now sure that inappropriate content will not be accessed: “I feel much more confident now Smoothwall is in, it’s nice to know it’s doing its job”.

Excessive bandwidth use had previously caused slow Internet access, Nick has now brought this under control with Bandwidth Reporting: “At lunchtimes, they were really hammering the bandwidth. It’s so much better now, I can really limit bandwidth use”.

He was also pleased with the installation process and the pre-sales support: “The solutions engineer was very helpful; we were up and running in just a few hours”.

With confidence restored in his network, Nick is now satisfied that the students are protected better than they ever have been before: “Having experienced many previous solutions, it certainly is the best choice I’ve made.”

“Smoothwall really thought about what we needed in a web filter. They actually listen to what schools really want”.

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Smoothwall really thought about what we needed in a web filter. They actually listen to what schools really want.

Nick Blundell
Mullion School

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