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10 Feb 2017

New College Durham

Who

New College Durham (NCD) provides FE and HE courses to over 15,000 full and part-time students, and has recently been identified as the top performing college in the North East.

The Challenge

NCD needed a reliable web filtering and firewall solution that included safeguarding features to comply with the new Prevent Legislation.

Big Results

After implementing Smoothwall’s UTM solution, the college now provides a consistent, safe online experience for all users.

Bloxx is moving to a cloud only solution and this can’t offer us everything we need.

Julian Benson Enterprise Applications Controller

What’s the background?

New College Durham (NCD) provides FE and HE courses to over 15,000 full and part-time students and is amongst the top colleges in the UK, recently being identified as the top performing college in the North East. The college has recently been awarded an outstanding grading from Ofsted, with their excellence and innovation also been recognised by the awarding of the Learning and Skills Improvement Service Beacon Status.

What was the problem?

Julian Benson, Enterprise Applications Controller at NCD, explained that their previous web filtering and firewall solution no longer met the college’s requirements, “Bloxx is moving to a cloud only solution and this can’t offer us everything we need”.

Julian also highlighted issues they had been experiencing and are keen to move away from with the new solution, “We were using one appliance for the proxy and one for wireless traffic. Issues were becoming more apparent, for example the fail over to the other appliance wasn’t as smooth as previously.”

If anyone’s thinking of migrating from Bloxx, Smoothwall is a direct replacement with a fuller feature set and is more reliable.

I’d definitely recommend Smoothwall – it’s reliability and features are fantastic! 

Julian Benson Enterprise Applications Controller

How Smoothwall helped

After evaluating four solutions, Julian felt that having the ability to meet the Government’s Prevent Legislation was vital, “Having web security that safeguards our children is nowadays as important as the technical features such as SSL intercept. This combined with the excellent pricing puts Smoothwall a level above the competition.”

When discussing the set up process, Julian stated, “It was easy. I got more or less everything up and running myself, and the support team were on hand to assist with the few things I couldn’t do alone. The learning curve of being able to use Smoothwall on a daily basis was much easier and quicker than expected too.”

“The support team have continued to be very helpful, one of my queries was answered in a few minutes which was great!”

When asked about the overall success of Smoothwall’s UTM solution, Julian commented, “The features available are fantastic, particularly on the safeguarding aspect, and the reliability is second to none!”

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Further Reading
How and Why We're Evolving New Ways to Protect Children in Schools.
10 Dec 2018

How and Why We're Evolving New Ways to Protect Children in Schools.

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Smoothwall announces partnership with Safeguard Software to unify physical and digital realms for safeguarding children
26 Nov 2018

Smoothwall announces partnership with Safeguard Software to unify physical and digital realms for safeguarding children

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How Active Monitoring Can Protect Pupils: True Story
13 Nov 2018

How Active Monitoring Can Protect Pupils: True Story

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