A wireless network content filter is tool that can be applied to a wireless WiFi network to filter out undesirable website content and prevent customers, guests, and members of staff from inadvertently downloading malware onto their devices and the network.
Why Use a Wireless Network Content Filter?
A wireless network content filter is most often implemented for online security purposes. The filtering mechanism is configured to prevent network users from connecting to websites that are known to contain malicious software or that may have been constructed with the sole intention to commit fraud. Ultimately, a wireless network content filter protects WiFi networks, the devices that connect to the WiFi network, and network users.
Harmful sites such as those containing exploit kits that download malware to users’ devices can be blocked, and a wireless network content filter can also be configured to prevent third party adverts from being displayed. Online advertising networks are often hijacked by hackers, who integrate their own fake advertising to lure network users to malicious websites that download malware or have been constructed to execute phishing attacks.
A wireless network content filter can prevent data theft by blocking file uploads to the Internet. This measure can be applied to prevent workers from stealing contact lists, or to block hackers’ command and control server communications. The content filter can also be used to inspect the content of encrypted websites – those that have valid security certificates to verify their authenticity, but which can also be exploited to deliver malware payloads.
Providing customers, guests, and staff members with access to the Internet via a WiFi network introduces risk, and a content filter for WiFi helps mitigate the risk to a minimal level. However, there are other important reasons for using a wireless network content filter.
Content Control Filtering on Wireless Networks
Content control filtering on wireless networks allows WiFi operators to block specific categories of website content such as pornography. This control is commonly used for public WiFi access points and places of business that promote a BYOD policy, and can be used to block obscene or offensive website content. Schools and libraries often use content control filtering to protect minors from potentially harmful images, as required by the U.S. Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).
In some countries employers can be found liable for the online activities of workers, such as when employees access sexually explicit or discriminatory website content, or employer’s wireless networks are used for illegal activities such as software piracy or for copyright-infringing file downloads. Many enterprises block these sites and activities to minimize liability.
Content control filtering on wireless networks can also help to maintain or improve productivity. Many companies choose to block access to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to prevent timewasting by employees, but research has shown that almost as much productivity is lost by employees visiting online shopping websites and travel websites.
A Wireless Network Content Filter Can be Used for Bandwidth Management
A WiFi network content filter can be used to control use of available bandwidth. There will be times of the day when the load on a wireless network will be high, and this will have an impact on Internet speed for everyone – potentially making certain web-based applications such as email temporarily unavailable.
Video content in particular requires a considerable amount of bandwidth, and many websites – Facebook for example – load videos automatically. A wireless network content filter can be used to limit bandwidth by user or user group to prevent wireless networks from being overloaded. It is also possible to generate reports to determine sites being accessed that have a detrimental effect on Internet speed. Informed decisions can then be made to control access to those sites and services.
DNS Filtering for Wireless Networks
DNS filtering for wireless networks is a quick and convenient method of restricting access to website content. Each time a website address is entered into a browser, it must be checked against an Internet phone book known as the Domain Name System, or DNS. The DNS translates the domain name into a corresponding IP address before the website is loaded in the browser.
DNS filtering for wireless networks works by denying requests for access to specific sites at the DNS level. If a DNS block is in place, the end user attempting to access a prohibited website will have a page displayed advising that the access to the website has been blocked.
The Internet can be filtered at the DNS level by an ISP or the entity running the DNS service. Many ISPs use WebTitan’s DNS servers to filter the Internet and control content on behalf of their clients using the WebTitan Cloud for WiFi content filter because of its ease of use, flexibility and multi-tenant facility.
The WebTitan Cloud for WiFi content filter allows specific websites to be blocked, such as those contained in the child abuse image content URL list (CAIC List) as well as individual sites specified by each client in a blacklist.
WebTitan Cloud for WiFi can also be configured to block website content by category: Gambling, gaming, social media, adult content, or streaming sites. Content can also be blocked by keyword term and sites can be rated and assigned a score. If that score is exceeded, the site will be blocked.
WebTitan Cloud for WiFi – A Powerful Wireless Network Content Filter for Total Control of Content
WebTitan Cloud for WiFi allows wireless Internet service providers to control how their networks are used, and enables them to monitor Internet activity. Our wireless network content filter is a cost-effective way for both ISPs and their clients to minimize liability, improve employee productivity, reduce the risk of cyberattacks, and control bandwidth.
Our powerful wireless network content filter can be quickly and easily be deployed, is straightforward to configure, and has granular controls to allow acceptable Internet use usage policies to be easily applied. It is compatible with all operating systems and networks, has no limits on bandwidth, and is scalable to thousands of network users.
Key Benefits of WebTitan Cloud for WiFi
- No additional hardware required.
- No software downloads necessary.
- Quick and easy deployment.
- Imperceptible impact in Internet speed.
- Scalable solution for organizations of all sizes.
- Unlimited content filtering across multiple WiFi hotspots.
- Intuitive controls for easy content filtering.
- Granular controls allow extensive web filtering.
- Uses Active Directory integration to allow content filtering by user groups and at an individual employee level.
Looking for a WiFi Content Filtering Solution for your Business?
If you are interested in protecting your WiFi network, or if you would like greater control over the content that can be accessed by your network users, contact our sales team today and request a free trial of WebTitan Cloud for WiFi. The free trial will enable you to evaluate our network content filter in your own environment and help you make an informed decision about implementing a DNS filtering solution for your wireless network.
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or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Should I enable SSL inspection on my WiFi content filter?
Most websites encrypt the connection between the client and the website for privacy and security. SSL inspection allows the WiFi content filter to decrypt those connections, inspect the content, and then re-encrypt. If you do not enable SSL inspection, you will not have visibility into those encrypted connections, and that is a security risk as hackers often hide malicious activities in HTTPS traffic.
Can a network content filter prevent malware downloads?
One of the most common reasons for implementing WebTitan Cloud for WiFi is to prevent malware downloads. This is achieved using blacklists of known malicious sites and data fed into the AI-based solution from an active database of 650 million users. The solution can also be configured to block certain file downloads from the Internet, such as executable files which are commonly used to install malware.
Is WebTitan Cloud for WiFi suitable for MSPs?
The WebTitan suite of products was developed from the ground up with the needs of MSPs in mind. MSP features include multiple hosting options, including hosting in your own data center, flexible pricing with monthly billing, easy integration with existing systems via our API, full AzureAD integration, extensive reporting to show clients the attacks that have been prevented, a host of sales and marketing materials and tools, and the option of having the solution in white label form ready to take your own branding.
Can I enforce different Internet usage policies based on location with your wireless internet filter?
Yes. With WebTitan Cloud for WiFi it is easy to apply different filtering controls for individual access points, for groups of access points, or for the entire network. It is also easy to apply content control measures for individual employees, user groups, and departments.
Will a WiFi content filter affect Internet speed?
The best way to ensure Internet speed is not affected is to use a DNS-based WiFi content filter. These solutions work at the DNS lookup stage of a web request and apply filtering controls without downloading any content. DNS-based WiFi content filters such as WebTitan have no latency so Internet speed will be unaffected.