Monday, 13 June 2011

More on CCProxy and Home Web Access Management

Well I've had a 10-client license CCProxy(TM) installed and operational for twelve days now, and I simply cannot sing its praises loudly enough!
Their email support has been exemplary (even in the face of a "dumb-user-error" on my part)
Everything I have wanted it to do, ... it has done.
Three times I have wanted special functions from the product and every time it was already there, built-in and  available, with some additional explanation from the support team.
Specifically I wanted:
To be able to set up multiple time/web filters per user/device
iPods only access web from 5am to 10:30PM M~F, cant access Facebook(TM), Tumblr(TM), Picnik(TM) during homework times
PC's access web any time, cant access Facebook(TM), Tumblr(TM), Picnik(TM) during homework times
As per my first blog on this topic, they explained how that was done

I did not want each separate filter definition to consume one of my 10 user licenses
In my first blog on this subject I had said
The catch with this approach is that it appears to consume TWO client licenses so in our case we need a minimum of FOUR licenses per child (2 per iPod and two per desktop - per child) so there go eight licenses immediately. This means we are forced to buy the minimum paid license which happens to be 10-user for US$70 (as at Jun 2011). Still that is a one-off cost so for the flexibility its not bad.

i.e. When you enter an allow filter for an IP/MAC it shows a user count of 1
When you then enter a blocking filter for that same IP/MAC it shows a user count of 2
... even though its for the one user and one device
Once again, however, the authors had thought of this, because the user-count from a license perspective is the number of concurrent users accessing the system at one time.
To quote their response:
The number of accounts is based on online clients which means you can create 20 accounts, only 10 of them available at the same time.
I wanted to be able to filter the logfile analysis by pattern-matching rather than individual definitions
The drop-down filter allows filtering on any ONE of the defined User names e.g.
  User1_PC-Allow OR User1_PC-Filter OR....
Whereas I wanted all entries starting with User1 e.g.
User1_PC-Allow; AND User1_PC-Filter; AND User1_iPod-Allow; AND User1_iPod-Filter

The solution was as simple as entering the string into the "Log Analysis" "Filter" textbox then clicking  "Analysis" and waiting ... the waiting bit was what this "dumb-user" got wrong - DOH!

Two final tips for this blog:
  1. Even though the default time blocks are hour-to-hour, minuted periods can be manually specified
    If you use the tick-boxes to select filter times you only have 00:00~01:00, 01:00~02:00 ...22:00~23:00, 23:00~00:00. 
    You can however, specify times such as 20:00-23:30 by typing it into the daily time schedules.
  2. I found it helpful to visually record my filter definitions in an excel spreadsheet so I could visualise the times I wanted to apply filtering or blocking on

No comments: