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24 Dec 2015

Lawnswood School

Who

Lawnswood School is a specialist high school based in Leeds, with over 1500 users.

The Challenge

They needed a solution that could control internet access in the school and also for school-owned devices outside of the network

Big results

Smoothwall’s Secure Web Gateway effectively blocks children from accessing gaming and social sites during lesson time

What’s the background?

Lawnswood School has a proud history stretching back over a hundred years, and over recent years has seen many significant milestones. The school is now housed in a new building with excellent facilities and was recently awarded specialist status in Mathematics and Computing. This has enabled the school to enrich the curriculum, facilities and continue benefiting students with cutting edge developments.

IT Manager Noel Reynolds looks after Lawnswood’s network which comprises of over 1500 users on 400 PCs with some thin clients and laptops.

What was the problem?

Lawnswood School needed a filter that could competently control Internet access – particularly for home users working on school-owned laptops. Noel also wanted a solution that would work on VMWare ESX Server to prevent him having to purchase or maintain any additional hardware.

As a VMWare-ready solution, Secure Web Gateway was an obvious choice and Noel said he found the evaluation process surprisingly straightforward and Smoothwall staff supportive to his needs.

Secure Web Gateway effectively stops students wasting valuable lesson time on games or social sites and is very good at blocking proxy sites, which are a massive problem in most schools.

Noel Reynolds IT Manager

How Smoothwall helped

Noel purchased Secure Web Gateway and BYOD filtering as a replacement for their existing Bloxx filter and was immediately pleased to find his renewal premium reduced. From the outset, Secure Web Gateway’s filtering performed well, accurately detecting and blocking a range of problem content, including proxy sites and games. The remote and mobile filtering solution was also a key element for Noel, who particularly needed to control laptop users to prevent them installing web-based downloads and reduce the chance of virus infections as a result of unrestricted browsing at home.

The regular Feature Packs issued by Smoothwall also help to keep Secure Web Gateway up to date with emerging threats and trends – such as the rise of online gaming in schools.

Noel comments on his experience of working with Smoothwall. “The trial version was easy to install and use and the sales team were very helpful throughout. Smoothwall have very good support AND sales – which is rare these days. The Secure Web Gateway effectively stops students wasting valuable lesson time on games or social sites and is very good at blocking proxy sites, which are a massive problem in most schools. Another great selling point is that it is constantly improving, for example, the newly added Flash Blocker will stop a lot of online flash games on the fly.”

Smoothwall’s remote device filtering is a unique product, as far as I know no other filter works at home in the same way. It allows me to effectively control home Internet access, stopping users from installing programs and lowering the chances of picking up viruses from dodgy sites.

Noel Reynolds IT Manager

Further Reading
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