The test, conducted in Moux, France, compared Blue Coat WebFilter to Websense v6.1, SmartFilter v4, Surf Control and ALSI Intersafe.
The test shows that WebFilter accurately categorized a significantly higher number of URLs—2.4 times as many as Websense, 1.5 times as many as SmartFilter, 1.3 times as many as SurfControl and 3.8 times as many as Intersafe—across all the “super categories” the laboratory determined for pornography, criminal/illegal, gambling, hate/violence, spyware and weapons.
Accuracy is an extremely important aspect of URL filtering. As the report notes in the executive summary, “It is all too easy to simply take it for granted that a URL filter gets it right—categorizing every entry correctly…but what happens if it doesn’t? Or if it simply doesn’t know what to do with a URL it finds?” Through a strict testing regiment, the laboratory determined that WebFilter provides the highest degree of accuracy overall.
Unlike other URL filtering products, Blue Coat WebFilter does not rely on site-mining processes such as Web crawlers to find new Websites and applications. Instead, to ensure accuracy and relevancy, Blue Coat leverages its large URL research customer base of off-box OEM deployments, its free K9 solution for families and individuals and its “on-proxy” WebFilter deployments to increase the size of its database. On average, these customers feed more than 50 million URLs each day into the Blue Coat research engine, which has an overall database of 13.5 million URLs. In addition, Blue Coat Labs actively monitors and classifies spyware sites and assesses existing URLs with specialized algorithms to ensure ratings stay current and accurate. To further strengthen the size and accuracy of its URL database, Blue Coat uses Dynamic Real-Time Rating (DRTR™), a unique, proprietary tool that categorizes new or unrated URLs “on the fly” as users attempt to access them.
The report concludes, “Our results also showed that—in the real world—Blue Coat WebFilter is simply more flexible and intelligent than the other databases in the test, in terms of how it is able to collect and categorize URLs that the others either cannot find in the first place, or do not have the means of categorizing at all.”
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