Not all cloud content filters are created equal. That’s what Director of Technology Justin Dover learned when he deployed Securly at Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, Tennessee. After a few too many speed bumps, Justin left Securly in favor of another cloud filter: Lightspeed Filter. Now, Justin can breathe easily, thanks to Lightspeed’s painless on- and off-site filtering plus in- depth reporting.
Trial and Error
Harpeth Hall School is a distinguished private school for girls, serving approximately 750 students in grades 5 through 12 plus 150 staff members. In order to support Harpeth Hall’s take-home device initiative — all students get their own Windows laptops — Justin knew he needed to invest in a web filter with powerful mobile filtering.
“I needed a content filter that would work on devices no matter if they were on campus or off,” Justin said.
Not only was Justin concerned about blocking inappropriate content, he wanted the schools’ devices to be protected in the event of cyber attacks.
“Cybersecurity is a big deal that requires multiple layers of protection to prevent the bad guys from getting in,” he explained. “Having the internet filtered for all security content while the devices are off-campus is a critical part of our protection plan.”
Justin had several other items on his checklist, too. The filter needed to be easily deployed; decrypt SSL traffic; and provide powerful reporting.
To fulfill all these needs, Justin chose the web filtering solution Securly. He quickly had regrets.
“The deployment was a disaster with Securly,” Justin remembered. Upon going live, all the school’s machines were forced into YouTube’s restricted mode, blocking essential video content for classroom instruction. The issue required four hours of troubleshooting.
“Next, we had all sorts of problems with the DNS redirects and SSL certs with users not on campus,” Justin explained. “Securly could not fix this issue, even after taking the matter up several tiers of support.”
Harpeth Hall was granted a full refund from Securly — but Justin still needed to find a content filter to support Harpeth Hall’s technology program.
Lightspeed to the Rescue
Fortunately, Justin heard about Lightspeed Filter, a cloud filtering and monitoring solution built for K-12 education. With support for Windows (and every other OS) plus a simple cloud deployment, it seemed like just what Justin needed.
“We slowly started testing the Lightspeed Filter agent when it was still in beta,” Justin said. He was pleasantly surprised by Lightspeed’s easy rollout. “The deployment was easy and Lightspeed had all of the features we were looking for.”
Thanks to Lightspeed’s Smart Agents — proprietary, on- device filtering agents, which also decrypt SSL traffic — Harpeth Hall students get a safe online experience everywhere they take their laptops. This is a relief not only to Justin’s team, but also to the students’ parents.
“For some parents, filtering the internet at home is a technically challenging task,” Justin pointed out.
“With Lightspeed, we are helping the parents with an excellent content filter that is preventing their children from accessing inappropriate content.”
How does Justin know students aren’t misusing the internet? Through Lightspeed Filter’s reporting tools. “The reports are easy to use and show all of the details we are looking for quickly,” he confirmed.
With drill-down capabilities; a clear, graphical interface; and a customizable reporting dashboard, Lightspeed Filter delivers all the insights Justin’s team needs.
Justin particularly appreciates Lightspeed Filter’s Internet Overview report, which provides key insights on students’ consumption of web resources. “It quickly shows us where users are spending the most time,” he said.
"It just works!"
Three months after implementation, with the Windows Smart Agent out of beta, Justin is a happy customer. Unlike Justin’s experience with Securly, managing Lightspeed has been a breeze.
“We implemented Lightspeed Filter on hundreds of student computers with no issues in three months,” he said. “That is a massive win in my book!”
“Lightspeed now provides excellent filtering and reporting, no matter if their device is on or off campus,” Justin confirmed.
Justin says Lightspeed Filter provides everything he needs in a K-12 filter — without all the management headaches.
“The key factor is it blocks the bad stuff but allows them to get to all of the content they need to access,” Justin said. “It just works!”