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Brown County Schools is comprised of six public schools in and around Nashville, Indiana, including three elementary, one intermediate, one junior high and one high school. Brown County Schools offer small class sizes with a student-centric environment, providing students with the highest quality educational experience.
David Phelps has been at Brown County Schools since 2010 and recently became the Technology Director. The district had a costly Barracuda Web Filter in place, but they often exceeded the licensed device limit on the appliance. Phelps needed to find a better solution for the growing campuses in order ensure the network stays secure, CIPA compliance requirements are met, and students and teachers have segmented access. Phelps decided to search for another solution.
Untangle was recommended to Phelps by a consultant who had seen Untangle used successfully at another school. With the free trial available, Phelps was able to evaluate Untangle NG Firewall prior to purchasing. “Being able to utilize our existing servers was the first benefit I saw with Untangle,” said Phelps. By installing Untangle’s NG Firewall solution on their existing servers, Phelps did not have to worry about purchasing additional hardware.
The Brown County Schools network serves many functions and diverse users. Each of the six campuses provides devices to students and teachers, with Wi-Fi in every building. Phelps does not allow a public Wi-Fi network, except at the high school, where students can connect their personal devices. “While we have an open network at the high school, I closely monitor bandwidth utilization to ensure learning takes priority,” said Phelps.
The new user interface is a nice improvement. The Dashboard provides me with a quick view of my network.
To ensure CIPA compliance, every device that is connected to the network is filtered. Phelps has two policies in place: one for students, and one for teachers and administrators. The student policy is specifically designed to meet the rigorous filtering requirements demanded for legal compliance. “Virus Blocker, Web Filter and Ad Blocker are critical applications,” said Phelps. “The apps work together seamlessly to ensure that our children are protected from inappropriate content, and the network and its connected devices are protected from malware.”
Phelps plans to further refine the policies over time to meet the individual needs of each school site and grade level. “Untangle makes it easy to put policies in place,” said Phelps. “It’s fast and straightforward to add or tune rules based on evolving requirements. The ease of use, ability to see relevant reports, and be alerted to incidents is light years beyond what we saw with Barracuda Web Filter.”
I haven’t had to call support very often, but when I do they are very helpful and responsive.