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LAN & WAN Reviews

Parental Controls - In Use

Once you've created the user profiles on your HS-100W, you will have to log into your account before you can surf the web or use any Internet programs. Things work exactly as you might expect, blocked programs are blocked, and filtered content is filtered. Obvious things like pornography and violence websites were blocked effectively by my tests. According to Blue Coat, their content filtering service is unique in that not only does it block URLs stored in its database, but it will also analyze full page content as a second line of defense. And even though I have dealt with few other content filtering services, I felt the HS-100W performed solidly.

Durring my testing of the content filtering, I came across a sizeable headache! After having logged on with my test account "Jack" and running some tests, it came time to login as "Jill", but I had not seen any logout options... where could they be? I looked high and low to no avail, and eventually had to unplug the router to get things reset.

I later discovered that the logout option is presented by a popup (Figure 15 ) which my browser's Popup Blocker discreetly blocked - so be careful not to make the same mistake! When I told ZxYEL about this, they informed me that their next firmware release will have the ability to present a logout screen simply by typing "logout" in your browser.

The Logout Popup Window

Figure 15: The Logout Popup Window

With all these features, you can see why I consider the HS-100W's Parental Controls to be one of its stronger points. Given this type of control, you can imagine that even if you do not have children, the HS-100W could still be attractive for small business use and even simple wireless hotspots.

NOTE!NOTE: The HS-100W Parental Control feature essentially acts as a captive portal for all Internet access - similar to Internet services found at hotels and wireless hotspots. This means that all Internet traffic is by default blocked until a user launches a web browser and logs into a valid Parental Control account. This can be bypassed for up to 10 users by entering their computers' MAC addresses into the Parental Control Bypass list.

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