What's the best solution platform for Internet content filtering?

Let's begin by defining terms...

Now let's take a look at some of the Positives and Negatives of each approach...

Appliances: Positives

Appliances: Negatives

Appliances are an excellent approach to providing Internet content filtering. Quality units are available in a wide range of sizes, with performance covering the spectrum from small business up to the largest enterprise.


 Software-Only: Positives

Software-Only: Negatives

As you can see, the negatives of software-only solutions can often outweigh the positives.  Even after successfully implementing this type of solution, the negatives of running in a complex, multi-vendor environment continue.  For example — let's say the software was installed on a standard server computer, and a new version of the server's Operating System (OS) has just been released.  Now you are faced with some interesting questions: Should you install the new version?  Will the software-only solution be compatible with the this new OS version?  If it is not, then what will stop working — just the software-only solution, or will all other applications running on the server be affected?  Can you afford to delay the OS upgrade, or does the new OS version contain a security patch that must be installed immediately? 

Despite these negatives, tens of thousands of companies have successfully implemented and are enjoying the benefits of software-only based solutions. In some situations, they just make good economic sense (e.g. very small installations or where users are spread across many remote locations).


Turnkey: Positives

Turnkey: Negatives

In theory, a hybrid solution could offer the strength and best advantages of each of the approaches discussed above.  Unfortunately, current turnkey solutions tend to exhibit more of the disadvantages of each approach.  They are typically not as fast, reliable and easy to configure as appliances, nor are they as cost-effective as software-only solutions.

It is possible that a quality turnkey solution will become available in the future, and we constantly evaluate new product offerings.  Currently, there are no specific examples of this type of solution that we can recommend.