N2H2 is generally considered to be one of the best content/URL filtering products on the market, and looking at in this group test, it is easy to see why.
Sentian is another snap-in for Microsoft ISA server. Installation is extremely simple, as is configuration. The windows for adding users, groups and IP addresses, and for setting filtering rules, are straightforward and very usable. All information is logged, and can be analyzed in a number of different reporting formats.
There are a number of options for internet filtering, and you can easily specify which option is appropriate for each category of prohibited URL. The most brutal is to block the site, and show the user a warning screen. However, there may be some URLs that you would rather users didn't go to, but don't feel too strongly about. In this case a soft block is performed which gives the user the option of bypassing the warning screen and continuing.
The warning screen can be set so that users can ask for permission to view the URL, and the administrator can then unblock it for that user. Users can also be given override privileges, which allow them to view a prohibited site for a set period of time. All this is covered in the documentation, which is of an extremely high standard, well written and easy to follow.
All filtering rules can be scheduled, which allows you to manage internet traffic. Sentian is extremely flexible in the assignment of filtering rules, enabling you to mix and match between users, groups, IP addresses and filtering rules to give the best solution for your particular business.
There is also the facility to create a global list of prohibited URLs, preventing anyone, regardless of who they are, from accessing that particular web site.
Sentian analyzes URLs, and this cuts down processing time considerably, because only suspect web sites are scanned. It also matches URLs against those in its blacklist database.
This database is maintained by a dedicated team of reviewers who not only spend their days amid the murky parts of the internet, but also react to customer suggestions. Sentian automatically downloads the latest version of the database to ensure currency.
Sentian is an extremely powerful product. While it offers all the standard URL filtering functions, the elegance with which it performs its scans, the flexibility of its filtering rules and the accuracy of its comprehensive database make this an outstanding internet security solution. And it is suited to all kinds of organizations.