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Web safety, monitoring and control

CensorNet Professional - Frequently asked questions

What is CensorNet Professional?

CensorNet Professional is designed to allow you to quickly and affordably implement an effective Internet Usage Policy for your network(s). This will increase productivity, make your network more secure, reduce bandwidth wastage, improve compliance and limit exposure to Internet borne threats.

The technical bits...

CensorNet Professional is a versatile web proxy server (HTTP/HTTPS) that filters web content using a number of techniques. These include a part-cloud based database of hundreds of millions of web sites, real-time and human inspection of content in multiple languages, sophisticated image analysis, anti-virus URL reputation and more. If you can see it in your web browser, it can be controlled by CensorNet Professional.

The product itself is managed via an easy to use web interface and although Linux based, it integrates seamlessly with Active Directory for single sign on authentication. The product supports granular filter rules using group based policies, scheduling, multiple administrator roles, computer and user identification, bandwidth limiting, comprehensive reporting and more. For a full list of features please see the product features page.

Is this a software or a hardware product?

Primarily this is a software product which is available as a "software appliance". This means you can download a CD image, burn it to a CD and install onto your own hardware by booting the machine with the CensorNet CD in the drive. Installation takes approx 45 minutes.

There is also a Virtual Appliance for VMware virtualisation environments, such as VMware Server or ESX/i. If you use an alternative such as Citrix XenServer, you can use the OVF (Open Format) file to convert it for use in non VMware environments.

If you are looking for a plug-and-play appliance we offer a range of 1u 19" servers with the CensorNet software pre-installed and ready to go. Please ask our sales team for details.

How is the initial cost of my requirements calculated and are there any ongoing costs?

The software license fee is based on the number of concurrent Internet users that will use the proxy server and is billed in advance based on a minimum 12 month term. We think this is the fairest way for our customers and allows them to only pay for what they need. For some types of organisation, the number of concurrent users will match the number of PC's (e.g. in a normal office environment) whereas for others it may not (e.g. a school environment, where there may be 100 computers but may not all be in use at once). We cater for both scenarios with our concurrent user model. There are price breaks which determine the cost per license that you will pay.

At the end of the 12 month period you have the option to renew again and the price will be based once again on the number of concurrent Internet users you require - which may have increased or decreased.

We also take into consideration the type of organisation (business, government, education, charity) and the geographic location. There are special discounts for purchasing multiple years in advance.

The license is all inclusive - there are no extra costs for technical support or product updates. Please contact our sales team for a personalised quote.

Is CensorNet Professional suitable for schools?

Yes. CensorNet has a long history working with schools around the world to provide a safe Internet experience for pupils and students. In the UK, CensorNet Professional has been accredited by the government advisors for education, BECTA, to ensure it is suitable for use within schools. The product also complies with CIPA and CensorNet are members of the Internet Watch Foundation, who campaign against illegal child abuse images online.

Do you provide discounts for education or not-for-profit organisations?

Yes, we discount our normal retail price by as much as 50% for education and charity customers. Please contact our sales team for a personalised quote.

Is there a "try before you buy" evaluation version?

Yes, you can try the software before purchasing. The only limitation is time. Once you activate the product you can use it fully featured for 10 days. If you require more time, there is the option to extend this to 30 days by clicking a button. If you decide to purchase, we simply issue a new license key by e-mail and you can continue to use the product for the term of your license.

How scalable is CensorNet Professional?

This depends on many factors and therefore it is impossible to say for certain, however on a mid-range specification (32-bit) with full single-sign on authentication the proxy server can handle up to 500 concurrent users within a 15 minute period. For larger networks, consider our high availability option and/or having multiple servers with replication to spread the load.

CensorNet used to be open source. What happened to that version?

The open source project finished in 2005 and the software is no longer recommended for production environments. The web site remains for historical reasons as there are still a number of people using it around the world. The reason the project finished was purely commercial. To be able to address the demands for new features from the community, CensorNet Ltd was incorporated and privately funded to develop a proprietary, closed source version of the product. If you are a user of a version of CensorNet open source and would like to upgrade, please contact our sales team for a special discount.

Is CensorNet suitable for home users?

Whilst there is no reason you could not use CensorNet at home, the licensing is probably cost prohibitive. We recommend the solution from PureSight, who are CensorNet partners.

Does CensorNet Professional filter e-mail as well as web ?

No, please see our CensorNet MailSafe solution for e-mail management, security and compliance.