Websense Web Security 6.3
Strengths: Highly configurable, with granular policies and many group options
Weaknesses: Interface could be cleaner, a bit pricey
Verdict: This staple of the web content filtering market is always a good bet for just about any size organisation. Recommended
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. While the management interface is a bit cluttered, it is easy enough to navigate. Policy management is simple, and there are many categories and protocol filtering options available.
Policy customisation is a strong point of the Web Security Suite. There is a lot of granularity when building policies and you can apply both black and white lists, allowing certain sites that might otherwise be blocked. Clients may be added by IP, network or through Active Directory.
The product filters 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 organisations of 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 web site contains the usual support features and a premium 24/7 support program is available at an additional cost.
The documentation is above average. It is supplied in pdf format and downloads on the server during product installation. Also available online, the installation and admin guides are well-written and organised, although we would have preferred more screen shots.
Priced at the high end of the range, this can get pricey in large installations, especially given that it requires its own server and full support is an extra cost. 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 6.3 as Recommended.