Phantom iBoss Web Filter
Strengths: Very easy to deploy and configure with a flexible policy engine
Weaknesses: None that we found
Verdict: A highly comprehensive appliance with a great amount of flexibility makes the iBoss this month's Best Buy
The iBoss Web Filter from Phantom Technologies is a full-function web content management appliance with a lot of configurable features. It goes beyond web content filtering and can be used to control access to game applications, peer-to-peer applications and instant messengers such as AIM and Yahoo! Messenger. This provides a great amount of control over users. One of its most interesting features is the ability for administrators to set up individual policies for specific users. A user who may need access to applications or sites blocked by the general policy can log in via their web browser and access these sites seamlessly.
The iBoss is a straightforward install. The initial IP and network configuration is done by connecting to the box through a HyperTerminal session and typing in the numbers at the prompts. The rest of the configuration is done through the web GUI. This has a clean, organised look and is intuitive to navigate.
This product can plug right into the existing Active Directory structure so that policies can be configured easily, according to the group structure already in place. Policies are easy to configure and can be set up on a group, computer, or user basis. Policies can include a number of ways of filtering or blocking internet content. The iBoss can monitor user desktops so administrators can play back possible policy violations or misuse by users.
Documentation includes a short installation guide that gives instructions on how to configure the network information and get the iBoss up on the network. There is also a PDF user's guide that goes more in-depth into configuration and features. This has screenshots and examples.
Phantom Technologies offers comprehensive phone and email support, as well as a nicely organised online support area on its website. This support area includes access to technical documentation, a knowledgebase, downloads and product news.
At a price of c£1,050 with no extra per-user fees, this is solid value for money. The iBoss offers an expansive feature set that is easy to use, all at a reasonable price, winning our Best Buy this month.