Echo Suite is a software package that installs as client-server architecture. It has the additional ability to install in a peer-to-peer or server-centric environment as well. We chose to implement the client-server architecture and we were pleased with the product’s intuitive installation. The installation, both for the server and the desktop clients, is guided by easy to follow wizards and is fairly straightforward. We liked the fact that the client agent can be installed without the need to touch each client computer. The management software also is functional and intuitive.

The administrator sets up the filtering policies by creating profiles using the management console. Profile settings are easy and the product has a starter blacklist. Admins can add sites to the blacklist and the blacklist can be updated. Logging of all users in near real time can be displayed in the log window. This allows admins to monitor users without interfering with the user’s work.

We found that the product performed well and offers URL filters, application filters, instant messaging filters and email filters. Documentation consists of a quick start guide and a user guide. Screen shots and clear descriptions make the documentation excellent for users at just about any level. The developer’s website includes a support area where documentation, frequently asked questions, a knowledge base and email contact make support for this product solid.

At $30/seat this is a solid value for smaller organizations, but for larger organizations the price is at the high end for this type of product. Overall, we liked this product, but felt that it was a bit pricey in large environments. While we found its flexibility very good, we also found that it lacked some of the extra features that characterize many other products of the genre.