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FAQ for Network Administrators without ProtexLocal

Can I have different filters for different users?

Yes - assuming that your Protex supplier is following our installation guidelines and that your own LAN can be set up to allow users to connect to the Internet on different ports.

Protex's policy is that all client sites should be able to access all appropriate profiles. This means that schools must be able to connect to the remote Protex system on the full range of ports configured. The main profiles set up as follow:

  • 8081: Primary
  • 8082: Middle
  • 8083: Secondary
  • 8084: Staff
  • 8086: Sixth form
  • others may be configured on any of the unused ports in the range 8080 to 8089.

NOTE: this will likely exclude the use of third party internal caches - if all web traffic is directed internally to a local cache then it is likely that the cache server must be configured to use a parent proxy (your Protex suppliers' filter array) on a single port. In most cases it will not be possible to set up your cache to use different upstream proxy ports based on the user's identity. If you want or require internal caching to improve the local browsing experience then we suggest using either ProtexLocal or ProtexLocalVA. If you have spare server capacity then ProtexLocalVA (Virtual Appliance) can use your existing cache hardware to provide full control over your internal, age-related filtering. See the Products page for more information.

In general there are two ways to provide different filter policies to different users: either a policy based on desktop location or by the user.

The first of these would be useful in, say, the staffroom. Here all computers can be configured to access the Internet on port 8084 (Staff) while the ICT suite accesses on, say, port 8082 (Middle) regardless of the user who logs in.

The second option relies on either the network operating system (Windows Server, for example) modifying the port used to connect to the Internet based on the user's identity. For example, Windows policies can be used to set the proxy name and port for users when they log on to the network.

We do not have a local proxy - how do I configure local PCs?

The browser on each PC must be set up to point to the correct proxy (your Local Authority will be able to tell you the name of its proxy) on the correct port. The default ports are 8081:Primary; 8082:Middle; 8083:Secondary; 8084:Staff. This can be done in several ways depending on the operating systems of the clients, the particular browser, the network operating system (if applicable), and whether you want to set a filter profile by computer or user. Please talk to your local systems manager about how this can best be done on your particular LAN.

What do I do if I want a site blocked?

If you find a site which you think should be blocked then please complete this form.

What if I am blocked from a site I think should be allowed?

Click the button on the block page and complete the online form it links to.

When submitted the details are logged centrally and will be considered by the filtering team. All requests are checked and if appropriate the site will be released. List changes are distributed to all Protex servers within 30 minutes of the change being implemented centrally. In many cases a simple list change is all that is required but some requests may require more investigation or information before a decision can be made.

What can I do if my school does not agree with a Protex or LA decision on a site?

Ultimately the filtering policy at each level (Protex, Local Authority, School) is decided at that level.

E2BN Protex implement a central policy which local Protex systems can, to a large extent, override be they run by a Local Authority or within an individual school. The extent to which a school can override its Local Authority settings is a matter for the LA.

For complete control the school must be able to direct Internet traffic to an unfiltered source - on the Protex cache servers within an LA this is port 8090. Access to this port is restricted to approved IP addresses and is under the control of the LA. So, the school must get approval from its LA before installing any third party filtering solution as the LA must be certain that it is adequate for the task. Some LAs may insist that the filtering solution has Becta approval (which Protex does) and may also insist that any such school-based filtering service is directed to the Staff profile on the Local authority system rather than an unfiltered feed from the caches. This is a Local Authority policy decision and not under the control of Protex.

If in doubt please contact your LA directly.


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