Websense is a venerable player in the web content filtering arena and this year’s entry was no exception to its record of solid products. The Web Security Suite 6.3 is a collection of capabilities in a single software package that addresses most challenges of internet access from the enterprise. The product requires its own server and runs in several operating environments, including Windows and Linux.
Installation is straightforward and is guided by wizards as one would expect. While the management interface is a bit cluttered, it is easy enough to navigate that you won’t miss anything important. Policy management is easy and there are many available categories and protocol filtering options.
Policy customization is a strong point of the Web Security Suite. There is a lot of granularity available when building policies and you can apply both black- and whitelists allowing certain sites that might otherwise be blocked. Clients may be added by IP, network or through Active Directory.
The product filters based on URL, file type, protocol, instant messaging and per-to-peer traffic. It also protects against spyware, phishing/pharming, bots and other malware. We found performance strong, and this application is appropriate for organizations of just about any size. Support is above average and the vendor conducts ongoing research into sites that should be blocked. It then updates the Web Security Suite server automatically. The support section of the website contains the usual features and premium 24/7 support is available at additional cost.
Documentation is above average. It is supplied in PDF format and is installed on the server during product installation. It also is available online. The installation and admin guides are well written and organized, but we would have preferred more screen shots.
Priced at the high end, Web Security Suite can get pricey in large installations, especially given that it requires its own server and full support is an extra cost option. However, the product is sufficiently easy to manage that its overall cost of ownership should not be onerous. For its flexibility and wide range of protection options, we rate Websense Web Security Suite Recommended.