Clearswift Web Appliance ENW review

Clearswift’s latest web filtering appliance offers extensive workplace AUPs and aims to get tough with the wave of new web threats. In this exclusive review we see whether it succeeds.

Price
£13,590

The debate about personal internet use in the workplace may rumble on but it's still clear that unmonitored access is costing businesses dearly with lost productivity. The new mantra is to allow some personal use to keep the troops happy but retain overall control with clearly defined AUPs.

This means web filtering solutions have to be even more flexible as they need to strike a happy medium between the two requirements. Having focused on web filtering for many years, Clearswift has a lot of experience in this field and in this exclusive review we put its latest Web Appliance ENW through its paces.

This is Clearswift's flagship appliance aimed at businesses with between 500 and 3,000 users. Clearswift has a strong partnership with Dell so the hardware platform comes courtesy of a PowerEdge R610 1U rack server. This choice gets our thumbs up as in our exclusive review we rated it as one of the best rack servers we'd seen.

Single deployments will only need one of the quartet of Gigabit ports as the ENW is designed primarily to function as a standard web proxy. A transparent proxy mode is also supported but will require a suitable switch capable of intercepting and redirecting web traffic.

A heap of new features are included in v2.0 of these appliances. Kaspersky still handles all anti-virus functions whilst Sunbelt Software continues to look after anti-spyware scanning duties but Clearswift's URL filtering has a stronger focus on malware and phishing threats.

The URL database gets boosted from 40 to 76 categories and better reporting shows where URLs have been classed under multiple categories. An automatic user feedback mechanism is designed to rapidly reduce the number of external sites being classed as unknown and this can also be used to correctly categorise a company's own Intranet sites.

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