FAQ's

FAQ's

CS-1, CS-8 and CS-8 Pro

Overview

ComSifter CS-8 offers full flexibility for installations that have different filtering needs for different users within the organization. Eight individual filters are available. Each filter may be configured to the requirements of the users in that filter. hat

 

  1. Does ComSifter require any special software on user computers?

  2. Can users bypass ComSifter?

  3. Is ComSifter a firewall?

  4. How can I tell if ComSifter is working?

  5. Many web sites load much faster since installing ComSifter. How is this possible?

  6. I found a site that has inappropriate content. What should I do?

  7. A site that I believe should not be filtered is filtered. What should I do?

  8. Does ComSifter filter email (spam)?

  9. Does ComSifter check for viruses?

  10. What happens if I have a power outage?

  11. Is there a way for me to change the Sensitivity Level setting?

  12. Can ComSifter block MP3 and Kazaa music downloads?

  13. Does ComSifter block port-hopping programs such a Kazaa and Morpheus?

  14. How do I get ComSifter to download the latest blacklist?

  15. How do I download the latest software?

  16. Is there a way to change the message on the denied screen?

  17. Is there a way for our teachers’ PCs to be unfiltered?

  18. We need to add more PCs to our network. What should I do?

  19. Some of our PCs are Mac and others are Windows. Is there a problem?

_____________________________________

 


Does ComSifter require any special software on user computers?

No. User computers will be automatically redirected to ComSifter based on setting in the DHCP server.

Back to top

 


Can users bypass ComSifter?

It is possible for a knowledgeable user to reassign the Internet Gateway on their local computer if they know the IP of the Internet Gateway. There are two ways to solve this issue:

  1. Most routers or gateway devices have a setting that only allows certain IP’s to connect. By configuring the router or gateway device to only allow connections from Comsifter’s IP will prevent the user from bypassing ComSifter.

  2. Late generation Operating systems such as Windows XP and Windows 2000 have security policies that can prevent a user from changing network settings. Applying these policies will prevent the user from bypassing ComSifter.

 

Back to top

 


Is ComSifter a firewall?

Comsifter's CS-1 and CS-8 include Port Blockers that are used to prevent application such as Kazaa and messenger programs from operating. CS-8 Pro includes an industrial-strength Firewall that is easy to set up with the Comsift Wizard and the Administrator can engage special rules for special applications.

Back to top

 


How can I tell if ComSifter is working?

The simplest test is to try a known blocked site for each sensitivity setting.

Level 1 any address below

Level 2 www.mail.yahoo.com               (email) 

Level 3 www.casino.com                      (gambling)

Level 4 www.adult.com                        (pornography)

Back to top

 


Many web pages load much faster since installing ComSifter. How is this possible?

ComSifter incorporates a caching proxy. A web page that is visited is stored in ComSifter. Another user requesting the same web page will be served directly from ComSifter, not from the Internet. This results in an almost instantaneous response to the user request and reduces bandwidth requirements of the Internet connection.

Back to top

 


I found a site that has inappropriate content. What should I do?

As the administrator for ComSifter you may add the site to the Banned Site List.

Back to top

 


A site that I believe should not be filtered is filtered. What should I do?

As the administrator for ComSifter you may add the site to the Exception Site List.

Back to top

 


Does ComSifter filter email (spam)?

ComSifter is not an email filter, nor is it a Spam filter. You may find that some HTML emails are missing advertising and offensive material. This would indicate that the email is referencing a banned site on the Internet.

Back to top

 


Does ComSifter check for viruses?

ComSifter does not check for viruses.

Back to top

 


What happens if I have a power outage?

ComSifter will automatically reset itself. No user/operator intervention is required.

Back to top

 


Is there a way for me to change the Sensitivity Level setting?

Yes, as the administrator for ComSifter you can change the Sensitivity Level, add to the Exception Site List, add to the Banned Site List and change the Access Denied page.

Back to top

 


Can ComSifter block MP3 and Kazaa music downloads?

There are two methods used to block the downloading or swapping of music files. The first of these is not allowing a file with an .mp3 extension to be downloaded per Sensitivity Level settings. This alone will not prevent peer to peer file swapping programs from swapping files as they use a different port than a browser. To stop these programs a second method needs to be engaged -- Port Blocker. By only allowing essential ports to be open the ports that are used by peer to peer programs are closed thus preventing the programs to operate properly.

Back to top

 


Does ComSifter block port-hopping programs such a Kazaa and Morpheus?

Yes, ComSifter uses patent-pending technologies in Port Blocker to keep port-hopping programs from finding an open port. Even if the port-hopping program tries to use port 80 (http), it will be blocked.

Back to top

 


How do I get ComSifter to download the latest blacklist?

ComSifter automatically updates its blacklist from the Internet. This is done between 11PM and 6AM daily or weekly depending on Service Plan. No user/operator intervention is required.

Back to top

 


How do I download the latest software?

ComSifter automatically checks for new software on a weekly basis. This is done between 11PM and 6AM every Monday morning. No user/operator intervention is required.

Back to top

 


Is there a way to change the message on the denied screen?

Yes, as the administrator for ComSifter you can change the Sensitivity Level, add to the Exception Site List, add to the Banned Site List and change the Access Denied page.

Back to top

 


Is there a way for our teachers’ PCs to be unfiltered?

Yes, the ComSifter Administrator can add any IP to the Exception IP List. This can include teachers, administrators or anyone that needs unfiltered access.

Back to top

 


We need to add more PCs to our network. What should I do?

There are no special requirements for adding PC’s to the Network.

Back to top

 


Some of our PCs are Mac and others are Windows. Is there a problem?

ComSifter CS-1 sees only requests for Internet pages. It does not see, nor care, the operating system of the requesting PC. Comsifter CS-8 and CS-8 Pro use a small utility on client computer to identify the computer log-on information. 

Back to top