Exploring the SafeSquid filter proxy

Safety Filter

Article from Issue 161/2014
Author(s):

If you are looking for a secure option for home surfing and want to protect your children against questionable web content, you need a filtering proxy. SafeSquid is a commercial proxy tool, but it comes with a free version for private users.

SafeSquid acts as a proxy for home users and small to medium-sized networks. The software sits between the browser and the Internet and provides a number of content filters (including for Flash) to make surfing more secure by defining domain blacklists and scanning for malware. Additionally, SafeSquid provides access control in the form of website categories and profiles, as well as an image recognition feature for blocking pornographic material.

Thanks to a cache for web pages and images, in combination with intelligent prefetching for web pages, the SafeSquid also accelerates the surfing experience. A convenient web interface lets users evaluate logs and generate reports. Although the name might make you think otherwise, SafeSquid does not actually use the open source Squid proxy under the hood; instead, it uses a C/C++ in-house alternative developed by the vendor Office Efficiencies. SafeSquid also relies on Bash and Perl scripts for various application cases.

The vendor provides a free version and several commercial alternatives. The free Composite edition is likely more interesting for home users. One difference between the free and commercial variants is that the free version is limited to a maximum of three users. If more than three users access the network filter suite that is centrally installed on your home network, you need the commercial version [1].

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