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Hybrid Web Security

CensorNet Hybrid Web Security (HWS) platform offers the best of both worlds - the security and control of an on-premise or endpoint component, together with the flexibility and mobility of a centralised cloud service.


Designed to act as an umbrella for web security across head office, branch office and remote workers, CensorNet HWS provides a single pane of glass to discover, analyse and control web activity across multiple networks and devices.

Uniquely, the CensorNet HWS platform uses a proxy-less approach which significantly reduces latency, preserves the user’s real IP address and maintains privacy by allowing the browser to maintain direct communication with the designated web server if the request is allowed. This results in a fast and unobtrusive experience which does not hinder productivity or cause frustration to end users.

In addition, the follow-the-user philosophy ensures web access control passes seamlessly from desktop to laptop to mobile and therefore provides a consistent browsing experience for the end user. More sophisticated than DNS-based solutions and involving considerably less overhead than pure proxy solutions, the CensorNet HWS platform extends to networks, roaming users, standalone computers, tablet devices and BYOD – providing the IT department with complete visibility and control.

CensorNet HWS incorporates a wide range of web access control functionality such as real-time anti-malware scanning, URL reputation analysis of billions of web pages, multi-platform endpoint software and a sophisticated policy and reporting engine.

Security – Provides advanced web security with real-time malware protection and URL reputation lists.

Management – Fast low latency web security with centralised management which enables BYOD initiatives and extends web usage policies to unmanaged devices. Allows flexible policy engine, time by user or user groups and includes user authentication and allows policies to be applied to individual users or user groups.

Reporting – Offers real-time reporting including visibility of productivity and compliance by user, domain and actions, top trends as well as a customised report builder.

Deployment – Flexible deployment methods for any type of network and optimised for the most demanding networks.

Download a full feature list

Increase network security – Prevents accidental or intentional access to malware, inappropriate and illegal web based content.

Manage distributed networks – Modern networks consist of many different components such as a corporate network, branch office networks, standalone computers, remote workers and Smart phones. The ability to centrally manage and report on users across all these deployment options reduces IT administration considerably.

Enable BYOD – Allows employees to use their own devices and extends their web access policy to those devices for a consistent web browsing experience.

Increase productivity – Embraces BYOD initiatives and limits access to time wasting web sites during working hours.

Improve bandwidth availability – Blocks or restricts access to bandwidth intensive downloads or applications.

Achieve compliance – Aids compliance with BECTA , CIPA and other regulatory compliance related to web activity.

Rapid return on investment – Prevents malware outbreak and associated down-time and costs and delivers instant return on investment.

Low total cost of ownership – A simple licensing model based on the number of users to manage, easy deployment, and no hardware or 3rd party software licensing requirements.

Reduce legal risk exposure – Blocks known illegal content, inappropriate web content and creates an audit trail of activit



How does it work?

The hybrid cloud web filtering product has been designed to provide a consistent web access experience across multiple devices and networks – without proxying between the customer network or the endpoint and the cloud service. The easy to use yet powerful web dashboard provides a “single pane of glass” view of web activity across your organisation. The following diagram illustrates the components of the system:


  • Cloud Dashboard – Centralised management and reporting dashboard
  • Cloud Gateway – Network based software appliance for enforcing local control e.g. BYOD
  • Cloud Link – Endpoint software for Windows & Mac* devices which enforces web security policy off the network
  • Mobile Gateway – Proxy middleware for roaming smartphone and tablet devices


The web dashboard, available at http://www.cloudwebfiltering.com is an easy to use yet powerful management tool for administering users, groups, filter rules, policies and reports. Whether you have 1 or 10,000 devices located in one area or geographically disperse, everything is managed via the web dashboard. In addition, the dashboard has a comprehensive and mature RESTful API for developers to easily integrate it into existing applications.



  • Unique proxy-less architecture – we don’t proxy data from your end point device to our cloud.
  • You browse with your own real IP address over whatever connection is available
  • We allow you to offer a consistent web browsing experience across multiple devices (desktop, laptop, mobile)
  • Centrally manage your web browsing policies via our “single pane of glass” dashboard
  • Handle Bring Your Own Device traffic easily
  • Alleviate the burden of proxying from your internal VPN links saving precious bandwidth and improving the user experience

End point protection

To take advantage of our unique proxy-less architecture you will need to protect your end point devices with a mixture of tools that are included with the product. These are described below:

  • Cloud Gateway – this is a software appliance that can be installed on the network as a physical or virtual appliance. Cloud Gateway intercepts local network web traffic, provides Active Directory authentication and a Captive Portal for Bring Your Own Device environments.
  • Cloud Link for Windows – this is a software agent that runs on 32-bit and 64-bit Windows operating systems. Cloud Link intercepts web traffic on any web browser and provides transparent authentication with Active Directory. The service is secured with a password to prevent the end-user from disabling or uninstalling it.
  • Cloud Link for iOS – this is an app for Apple iOS devices (iPhone, iPad) that provides a custom browser which can be locked down by MDM profiles

What is Hosted Web Security?

Hosted Web Security is a web content filtering service hosted in the cloud that enables you to quickly and effectively centrally manage web access for fixed or mobile computers (and devices). You are able to define rules which allow or deny web access based on conditions such as time, user, group, domain or category.

What is Software-as-a-Service?

Software-as-a-service is a method of delivering the software without needing to install hardware on the local network. The product is hosted in data centres on the Internet and the management of the product takes place by logging into a web site.

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

Pricing is per user. Licenses are paid for yearly in advance, with multiple years attracting a discount. You continue paying for as long as you are using the service. There are no hidden extras – everything is included in this price.

We also take into consideration the type of organisation (business, government, education, charity) and the geographic location.

Is Hosted Web Security suitable for schools?

Yes, the product supports school-friendly features such as search engine Safe Search and YouTube in Schools. The product is also CIPA compliant and BECTA accredited. Schools that are managed by their respective councils or districts should be aware that the product requires outbound access on port 1344 (TCP).

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

Yes, we discount our normal retail prices for education and charity customers. Please contact our sales team for a personalised quote.

Do I have to use client software?

No, you do not have to. You can deploy our Cloud Gateway software appliance instead however the Cloud Link client software is useful for mobile or roaming computers and is easily deployed via Group Policy. Most customers will deploy a mix of Cloud Gateway and Cloud Link to achieve the level of filtering they require. Please contact our sales team for advice.

What operating systems are supported?

All operating systems are supported by the Cloud Gateway device and currently Cloud Link is available for Windows and Android, with iOS support coming in January 2013.

Can I use my router with Hosted Web Security?

If you have a router which support ICAP and can act as an ICAP client then potentially, yes, you can use the router to redirect web traffic to the Hosted Web Security platform. Please talk to our sales team for further information.

Is there a “try before you buy” evaluation version?

Yes, you can try the service for free for 30 days. If you decide to purchase, you simply continue using the service and we send you the invoice.

Is it possible to host Hosted Web Security in my own data centre ?

Yes, if you are an ISP or a Managed Service Provider, we can offer you the platform to host on your own servers, virtual machine or cloud infrastructure. Please contact our sales team for more information.

CensorNet for Education

Schools have a duty of care to provide a safe Internet experience for all their pupils and staff and need to demonstrate reasonable and effective measures to control access to the Internet.

Find out more

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