Oldies but goodies updated

As Brainstorm comes to an end, I decided to write an update to the oldest article I could find.  Technology changes every day and what was important years ago may not be relevant or needed today.

In an article produced in June 2004, it was titled, “What type of internet should I get?” It is still true that you need to know the audience for which you want to filter.  For fewer than 10 computers, I would recommend using Microsoft’s Family Safety software.  You can pay for a license if you like, but if you are using a Windows computer this software is free.

In the future, if you have a question on how to fix, configure, or use something,  you can always do one of two things: Use  a search engine to find out more about the subject or simply contact me at derrick.hall@seattle.gov.

Topic: What type of internet filter should I get?

When choosing an internet filter, think about the following items:

  • Who are your users? Users doing research or just browsing the net?
  • Are you managing 10 or fewer computers or a large lab?
  • Hardware you are using, older machines may run slower.
  • Hardware or software device? Software can slow your computer down.
  • Do you plan to expand your lab in the future?

Internet filters are great to keep users from accessing sites you don’t want them to access from your computers.  Most internet filters would work great when you’re using them at home because you’re managing just the one computer.  In a public computer lab, you normally have several computers that you have to maintain.  If you are managing fewer than 10 computers then you can use any of the software filtering companies out there such as Cybersitter or NetNanny or ContentProtect.  The cost for these types of software filters cost from $29 – $39 dollars and they normally have nonprofit and academic discounts.

If, however, you’re looking to manage more than 10 computers or you’re trying to save time when it comes to updates you may look at some hardware or proxy type of options.  Proxy solutions would require a server with proxy software installed on it.  The problem with the proxy solution is you might disable other types of access to the internet; also your initial configuration could take time.  With a hardware filter solution it would filter each piece of traffic from the internet