School and student safety
6 reasons DNSFilter is the best web filter for schools
September 3, 2020
Like every industry, the education space is crowded with cybersecurity vendors. It can be challenging to sort through the dense field of hardware and software solutions, each designed to fulfill a slightly different need.
At LanSchool, we know how difficult the choice can be. We thoroughly vetted the industry’s wide range of options ourselves in search of best-in-class providers we could partner with, and as a web filter, DNSFilter surpassed the competition.
Here are 6 reasons we chose to partner with DNSFilter to provide educators with affordable network security:
1. It delivers all the benefits of the cloud, including support for distance learning.
It’s common for schools to have on-premise firewalls that are responsible for stopping malicious and suspicious web traffic before it enters the school network. But when students are learning from anywhere other than on campus, those firewalls won’t protect them.
DNSFilter is a cloud-based software that works not only on school campuses but also on any home-schooling network, ensuring web traffic is being filtered no matter where learning is happening. Moreover, as a software solution, it’s more cost effective to set up than a firewall, which requires physical installation.
It’s also easier to maintain — DNSFilter continuously updates its algorithms based on new threat data and is manageable from a central dashboard.
2. It provides enterprise grade software at an education price.
There’s a reason Fortune 500 companies outside the education space use DNSFilter. The software is served from robust infrastructure that beats even well-known public DNS networks when it comes to performance and reliability. According to DNSFilter Security Researcher Peter Lowe, the company has not experienced any national outages in its five-year history, meaning its customers’ network protection has gone uninterrupted.
Additionally, the solution is priced to be affordable for educational institutions. LanSchool customers can add DNSFilter for a very competitive price, especially considering DNSFilter’s premium feature set.
3. It leverages AI to catch new and unknown threats.
Some schools also use it to block sites that consume high quantities of school network bandwidth, such as streaming platforms. It can even block students from using common workarounds, such as virtual private networks (VPN) and proxy software.
DNSFilter’s artificial intelligence scans for suspicious content across 45 categories, including malicious domains, phishing, reputation indicators, counterterrorism, child pornography, and more.
But far from relying on old threat data like a firewall would, DNSFilter uses a combination of up-to-date, third-party threat feeds and machine learning to create algorithms that are excellent at identifying malicious web traffic in real time. In fact, Lowe said DNSFilter has even discovered threats up to 59 hours before other vendors caught up.
That means that even if a traffic source hasn’t been identified as threatening by other teams, DNSFilter can catch it and eliminate it before it can do any harm.
Of course, DNSFilter also wants to ensure its algorithms don’t become so strict that they block the good traffic with the bad, so the company uses human verification to examine flagged issues and continually improve the company’s algorithms.
4. It provides easy Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) compliance.
With one click, you can turn on DNSFilter’s CIPA Compliance settings, which enforce the filter’s SafeSearch and YouTube-restricted mode and block sites across 13 categories of inappropriate content.
Your school will still ultimately be responsible for writing your Acceptable Use Policy as required by CIPA, however DNSFilter will handle the enforcement of that policy.
5. It offers better analytics and functionality than free filters.
Free web filters are better than nothing, but they don’t typically come with analytics or management consoles. That means schools have no visibility into the threats that are being blocked.
Free filters also don’t typically function outside the school network, making them unusable for distance learning. Unsurprisingly, they also don’t cover as many threat categories or protect against new and unknown threats the way DNSFilter does.
DNSFilter’s web-based dashboard makes it easy for administrators to see a global view of all sites and analytics – regardless of size, complexity, and location. With the reporting dashboard, administrators can evaluate and measure their DNS traffic, including reports for queries per second, most active sites, threats seen, and top requests.
6. It works on virtually any device.
Most filtering solutions have limitations around their device compatibility, but DNSFilter works on Chrome, Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android, so schools can leverage the software no matter what devices (or mix of devices) they’re using.
That also means that as schools adopt new devices, they can continue to use DNSFilter, saving the overhead of having to research and train on new software.
Get a 30-day trial of DNSFilter
DNSFilter is simply the most powerful web filtering solution on the market, and we’re delighted to offer it to LanSchool customers at an education-friendly price, starting with 30 days of complimentary access.
Want to try it for yourself? Sign up for a free trial of DNSFilter here.