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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General iPrism

What is iPrism?

iPrism is a full-featured, dedicated Internet filtering appliance designed for high performance and reliability. The only appliance-based solution truly optimized for filtering and inter-operability, iPrism enables organizations to effectively monitor, block and report on their users' Web, IM, and P2P activity.

Why is iPrism better than software-only solutions?
  1. There is no additional hardware or software to purchase, install, or manage. iPrism does not require additions to workstations, servers, firewalls or other network components.
  2. iPrism provides automatic operating system and application software updates. Software solutions force their customers to download and install any patches, upgrades, etc.
  3. Since iPrism includes both hardware and software, there is only one vendor to contact for support. Software solutions may require multiple vendor contacts depending on the issue.
  4. iPrism is platform-independent and works in virtually any environment. This allows iPrism to easily adapt to changing network equipment. Software vendors may not work in certain platforms or network equipment and do not easily adapt to change.
  5. iPrism offers a much lower total cost of ownership.

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Do you block web sites by IP address?

No. iPrism filters by full URL names and includes the ability to block top level directories while allowing subdirectories for maximum flexibility and precision control. URL-based filtering is required to properly handle virtual Web site hosting. Since many ISPs host multiple Web sites on the same server, products that block based only upon IP address will incorrectly block every site on the hosted Web server, even though some sites do not contain inappropriate content.

What happens if someone enters an IP address to access a site?

iPrism will automatically detect IP address entry and properly handle them as if the site had been entered by URL name.

Can users circumvent iPrism filtering?

No. In the recommended configuration, iPrism controls all network traffic to and from the Internet. Any attempts to bypass the filter are blocked and logged as an access violation.

Are user override privileges supported?

Yes. When a user tries to access a blocked Web site, a message indicating that access was denied is displayed instead of the requested page. This page allows users with override privileges to enter a password for immediate access to the requested Web site.

How do I receive software updates?

You may select to have software updates automatically downloaded and applied to your iPrism or manually apply software updates when you choose. Automatic software updates are performed without any user intervention.

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Does iPrism offer reporting?

Yes. In addition to proactive filtering and blocking of inappropriate Internet access, iPrism provides full monitoring and logging of all successful and unsuccessful Internet accesses, giving your organization a complete profile of user activity. Comprehensive "best-in-class" reporting is built into every iPrism appliance and is included at no extra charge. For large enterprises with multiple iPrism units, centralized aggregated high-performance Enterprise reporting is available using the Enterprise Reporting Server (ERS).

Briefly, pre-defined and user-created iPrism report types include:
  • Interactive - for those times when you want an on-screen report, right now
  • Background - for those times when you need to multi-task while running reports, with delivery options
  • Scheduled - for daily, weekly, and monthly reporting with delivery options
  • Real-Time Monitor - for those times when you need to view real-time user traffic for testing or policy verification
Note: key reporting features include multi-level drill-down, column sorting, email/ftp delivery, and PDF/CSV file options. Progress status is provided for scheduled reports, and large reports are delivered in email-friendly chunks.

Multi-unit iPrism reporting options include:
  • ERS - Enterprise Reporting Server provides high-performance, aggregated reporting for multiple iPrism units
See iPrism Reporting for example screen shots and more information.

What if I only want to monitor Internet access?

You can determine on a category-by-category basis whether you want to monitor access, block access, do both or do neither. When monitoring, reports are available allowing you to show detailed site-by-site access or summary reports showing what content categories are accessed by which users.

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Does iPrism filter other internet services?

Yes. iPrism can control access to a wide variety of other productivity and bandwidth draining services, such as streaming audio, streaming video, FTP, IRC and ICQ chat. Additionally iPrism filters IM and P2P protocols.

How does iPrism connect to my network?

Depending on the iPrism model, the appliance will have dual 10/100Mbps network interface cards, or dual Gigabit network interface cards, and is typically connected between your router and LAN. Other connection options exist to meet special needs.

What does an iPrism filtering subscription include?

Subscriptions include the following:
  • Automatic, daily database updates
  • Automatic operating system and minor software upgrades
  • Hardware and software support

What categories are in the iGuard database?

Detailed category definitions can be found at: http://www.edgewave.com/products/iprism/iprism-iguardCategory.asp

What are the differences between the iPrism appliance models?

The primary differences are in performance and hardware redundancy. Models 3000/3100/11000 can handle greater amounts of traffic due to greater CPU, network interface, memory, and disk capacities. These models are generally 3X the ability of the Model 1200 (or more). They also provide disk, fan, and power supply hot-swap features. See Appliance Specifications.

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