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Anywhere Filter School Mobile Filtering Solution—Key Buying Questions

pdfAnywhere Filter Key Buying Questions(248K)

To help you make the right purchasing decision for your school or district, please read the mobile filtering questions and answers below. 

QuestionAnswer
Do I have to replace my existing school- or district-wide filtering solution? No. Anywhere Filter™ can be deployed as a standalone mobile filtering solution that works together with your existing filter. It can work side-by-side with your school or district-wide filtering solution, so that when your iPad® or other mobile devices leave the network, Anywhere Filter detects this and instantly activates. It can be configured to always filter your mobile devices or to just filter them when they leave your network.
Can I setup specific filtering profiles for students and teachers or for different groups? Yes. We have a Groups feature in the administrator interface that allows you to create and apply different filtering profiles to groups of iPad devices. We also integrate with Casper Suite (by JAMF Software), so you can use their groups or smart groups to apply filtering profiles. In addition to this, Anywhere Filter Cloud™ works with the Google Management Console and Chromebook™ notebooks to deliver different filtering profiles by individual or group.
Is Anywhere Filter built for schools?

Yes. Anywhere Filter was developed specifically for education. It supports learning by balancing the needs of both the IT staff and educators. It blocks inappropriate content and empowers educators to easily select web resources appropriate for their lessons.

What does it cost? What is the licensing model? There’s a one-time cost for the appliance or virtual appliance and also an annual software license. Technical support, updates, new features, and maintenance are included in the cost of the software license. For deployments under 500 devices, there are standard license sizes in 50-device increments. Our Enterprise licensing starts at 500 devices; we have a per device charge based on the actual number of devices deployed.
Is Anywhere Filter just a proxy? No. Anywhere Filter uses fast, lightweight communication instead of just proxying traffic back through your school’s network.  When a user makes a request to go to a site, it sends a lightweight message back to your network. The message identifies the user by device name and checks if he/she has permission to access the filtering category(s) the site belongs to. If the user does not have the required permission, he/she gets a blocked screen and cannot proceed any further. If the user does have the required permissions, the device allows the content from the destination site; this traffic moves quickly because it goes directly through the device’s Internet connection.
How does it work?

Windows® and OS X® Devices
For laptops and MacBook® computers, device drivers located on the server are downloaded either for each individual client or groups of clients using Directory Services (Active Directory® for Windows clients or Open Directory for Apple® clients). Then, Anywhere Filter determines access to sites based on the profile assigned directly to the client or the group the client is in.
 
iOS Devices
Anywhere Filter for iOS is a filtered browser downloaded from the App Store that communicates with the BASCOM solution installed on your network. Our mobile filtering solution either allows or denies access to sites based on profiles that you manage.


 

Chromebook Notebooks
Anywhere Filter Cloud works seamlessly with the Google Management Console to manage Internet access for each user according to their profile. The Anywhere Filter Chrome browser extension is downloaded from the Chrome Web Store and pushed out to each device.


 

iOS Devices
Global Proxy Support delivers filtering for iOS devices, providing another option to the Anywhere Filter browser app. Instead, the standard, full-featured Safari browser can be used. This allows emails, webclips, links and other programs to launch correctly while also filtering apps. However, there are some trade-offs. Global Proxy Support requires traffic to flow through the school’s Internet connection, resulting in increased traffic and utilization of school bandwidth.

Will it allow us to use Google Docs? Yes. Many of our current customers are using this software now.  In particular, Anywhere Filter Cloud on a Chromebook notebook works with the Google Management Console to provide appropriate access to Google Apps for Education (GAfE).
Is Anywhere Filter CIPA-compliant? Yes. Anywhere Filter is CIPA-compliant.
We get our filtering from a regional educational service organization and we have limited control over how it works. Will Anywhere Filter work in this scenario? Yes. We have many customers in exactly this situation. BASCOM Technical Support will work with your organization to make sure Anywhere Filter is deployed correctly.
Does it provide tracking and reporting for iPad devices? Yes. There’s a reporting system built into the administrator interface of Anywhere Filter, so you can run access reports on a device. However, there is no tracking to determine the location of a device.
When using the Anywhere Filter browser app for iOS devices, how is an iPad configured? Restrictions need to be made on each iPad or iOS device. Safari® must be disabled* including the ability for the user to install and purchase apps. Most schools are also disabling FaceTime and YouTube. Settings can be pushed out to groups of devices using a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution.
*Global Proxy Support enables the Safari browser to be used.
How is the Anywhere Filter browser app configured? Anywhere Filter settings for the browser are configured by the administrator. They can be made on each individual device or pushed out using BASCOM’s auto configuration feature.
Is Anywhere Filter an appliance-based solution? Anywhere Filter is delivered on a traditional appliance or as a virtualized machine. It's also offered as a cloud-based solution.
What operating systems are supported by Anywhere Filter? Anywhere Filter supports Windows, OS X, iOS, and Chrome OS™ operating systems. A single Anywhere Filter license can include various mobile devices.
We’re not allowing our students to take home iPad devices and laptops. Do we still need mobile filtering? Some schools are having problems with free and unsecured WiFi signals that are accessible from inside their buildings. Students and teachers with school-owned devices are using outside WiFi and getting unfiltered access to the Internet. The Anywhere Filter mobile filtering solution keeps your devices secure by filtering them no matter how they’re connecting. Also, students are setting up their smartphones to act as hotspots, then logging into them to get unfiltered access. While we can’t prevent students from doing this, we can ensure that if a school-owned device gets online this way, it will still be filtered.

 

 

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Copyright © 2015 BASCOM Global Internet Services, Inc. BASCOM, BASCOM Global Internet Services, Inc., Anywhere Filter, Anywhere Filter Cloud, Frontera, Patronus, and My Communitas are trademarks or registered trademarks of BASCOM Global Internet Services, Inc. All other products are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. Certain uses protected under U.S. Pat. No. 5,987,606. All rights reserved.