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.

We could create policies to allow access to a selection of these sites, possibly during lunch breaks and only for specific users. Another useful addition is a URL classification tool where you enter the web address and the appliance will tell you which category it falls under. We did find during testing that effective control of IM apps such as Windows Live will require additional firewall rules to be configured and P2P apps are out of the equation.

The Report Center offers a good range of predefined reports which can be customised to suit. We could see the most popular sites, those generating the most traffic, who was visiting them, what spyware activity was occurring and so on and all can be exported to PDF or CSV formats. This has also been improved to allow reports on specific policy routes to be created.

We were impressed when we last looked at Clearswift's web filtering appliance and this latest version delivers a number of important updates. Its category database is now one of the largest and the policy based access controls see enough improvements to make it highly suited to an extensive range of business requirements.


Clearswift’s web access policies do present a steep learning curve to newcomers but once you’re familiar with them they are easy enough to create. Better controls for IM and P2P apps would be welcome but the new features in this latest v2.0 version do make the Web Appliance ENW a highly versatile solution for strictly controlling and monitoring web access in the workplace.

Chassis: Dell PowerEdge R610 CPU: 2 x 2.26GHz Xeon E5520 Memory: 4GB DDR3 Storage: 3 x 146GB 10K SAS hard disks in RAID-5 RAID: Dell PERC 6/i controller Network: 4 x Gigabit Ethernet Power: Dual hot-swap supplies Management: Web browser Options: HTTPS scanning for 500 users, £2,950 ex VAT

Dave Mitchell

Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.

Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.