Your Biggest Questions About SmartAgents™ Answered

We’ve just announced our new SmartAgents for Mac and Windows, making our cloud filter, Lightspeed Filter (formerly Relay), a smart solution that goes way beyond Chromebooks. Filtering a Chromebook is pretty straightforward since it’s tied into G Suite and filtering the device primarily comes down to filtering a browser. Filtering Windows and Mac machines is more complicated. Here are answers to the most common questions we get about our new SmartAgents for Mac and Windows.

Do the SmartAgents filter just a browser?
No. Some other filtering providers try to call a Windows browser extension a filter, but Mac and Windows devices need a root-level filter that sees more than just browser traffic. Our agents see all activity on devices, and filter any app and any browser. (If you’re comparing solutions, make sure you find out how other filter agents work and what traffic they’re able to filter.)

Can students remove SmartAgents?
No. We’ve been filtering for schools a long time and know-how to protect you from students who may try to remove filtering controls. Our agents are hardened, secured—and they can’t be removed by students.

How do your agents handle user identification?
We can integrate with your SIS, G Suite, Google Classroom, Active Directory, Azure/Office 365, and other directory systems. That’s how we get user identification to apply appropriate user policies and get user-based activity reports.

How do the agents deal with SSL?
For a long time, to decrypt SSL traffic (like Google search terms) schools had to go through complicated processes of setting up trusted-man-in-the-middle proxies, creating PAC files and managing trust certificates. All those hassles are gone with SmartAgents. Filter’s Smart Agents have built-in decryption. You don’t need to do a thing.

What about traffic we don’t want to decrypt?
SmartAgents, by default, decrypt educational sites, Google, YouTube, and other need-to-know traffic. But they won’t decrypt sensitive banking and financial information. You can also customize this.

How are the agents installed?
You can download your school’s custom agents from Filter. Then deploy them using the tool you use to push out other software: typically, G Suite, GPO, or an MDM.

What OSes are supported?
To do all the complex filtering work effectively, SmartAgents need a modern operating system: Windows 10 or later, or Mac High Sierra or later.

How are SmartAgents updated?
As we add new features and fixes, agents silently auto-update (in the evenings, so schoolwork is never impacted).

What about BYO devices that can’t have agents installed?
We have a solution for them, too: our BYOD Filter. It ensures that guest, student-owned, and older devices across your network that don’t have SmartAgents remain filtered and CIPA compliant.

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Reimagine the inspired and interactive classroom for remote, hybrid, and in-person learning. Lightspeed Classroom Management™ gives teachers real-time visibility and control of their students’ digital workspaces and online activity.

  • Ensure all students interact with only the right online curriculum — precisely when they’re supposed to use it.
  • Push out vetted curriculum links to all students at the same time.
  • Block inappropriate or distracting web sites and apps.

Ensure scalable & efficient learning device management. The Lightspeed Mobile Device Management™ system ensures safe and secure management of student learning resources with real-time visibility and reporting essential for effective distance learning.

  • A centralized, cloud-based solution for infinitely scalable device, application, and policy controls
  • Self-Service App Library, where teachers and students
    can access and install approved curriculum and learning tools
  • Remotely deploy, change, and revoke hundreds of policies and educational applications, while reducing typical downtime and costs

Prevent suicides, cyberbullying, and schoolviolence. Lightspeed Alert™ supports district administrators and selected personnel with advanced AI to detect and report potential threats before it’s too late.

  • Human review
  • Real-time alerts that flag signs of a potential threat
  • Intervene quickly before an incident occurs.
  • Activity logs provide visibility into online activity before and after a flagged event

Protect students from harmful online content. Lightspeed Filter™ is the best-in-class solution that acts as a solid barrier to inappropriate or illicit online content to ensure students’ online safety 24/7.

  • Powered by the most comprehensive database in the industry built through 20 years of web indexing and machine learning.
  • Ensure CIPA compliance
  • Block millions of inappropriate, harmful, and unknown sites, images, and video including YouTube
  • Keep parents informed with the Lightspeed Parent Portal™

Gain complete visibility into students’ online learning. Lightspeed Analytics™ gives districts robust data on the effectiveness of any tools they implement so they can take a strategic approach to their technology stack and streamline reporting.

  • Track education technology adoption and usage trends, eliminate redundancy, and drive ROI
  • Monitor app and content consumption to facilitate early adoption and effective utilization
  • Assess risk with visibility into student data privacy and security compliance