GuidesProxy-Pro GateKeeper: Keeping Users Productive

Proxy-Pro GateKeeper: Keeping Users Productive




Proxy-Pro GateKeeper from Infopulse faces the challenge of having to differentiate itself in an already crowded market, consisting of well-entrenched market leaders like WinProxy, WinRoute, and SyGate, along with the increasingly well-known Internet Connection Sharing software built into versions of Windows, starting with Windows 98 Second Edition and Windows 2000.

Proxy-Pro GateKeeper from Infopulse has all the key elements of a good proxy
server and goes one step further. GateKeeper enables enterprises to decide
which Web sites employees can visit by blocking out those it deems
unproductive.

As opposed to being a NAT proxy, where the IP addresses of packets are simply transformed by the proxy server, GateKeeper is a full-fledged proxy server. It has services for HTTP, FTP, Telnet, RealAudio, POP3, SSL, Socks 4, Socks 5, And Mapped Link (TCP), and Port (UDP). Along with having built-in proxy services, GateKeeper offers a public API that allows administrators to write their own proxy services.

Also included, as is the case with most servers that are configurable via HTTP, are customizable HTML pages. Customizable HTML pages are standard in the server market; so such a feature is more of a requirement than a unique feature, similar to the way the capability to configure the software via Web browser is. A network administrator cannot afford to spend time going from building to building on a large campus or business, and therefore needs most server software to have Web configuration and administration features.

Like most proxy servers on the market, GateKeeper caches commonly accessed information for use by other clients to keep network traffic down. In some ways, though caching can be a disadvantage. If a client machine wants to access a Web site that changes frequently, as in the case of a news sites, it might not get the most up-to-date information.

The last important requirement GateKeeper includes is the capability to double-function as a firewall. This enables it to control what information gets in and out of the network, and therefore allows the enterprise to keep bad information and hackers out.

What we find to be GateKeeper’s best unique feature though is its capability to set up rules. This software package can be based off of NT domain user names and used to authorize which Internet sites users can visit. This makes it an effective tool cut down on time wasted by employees performing the ever-popular activity of Web surfing while on the clock. By authorizing users to go only to certain sites, GateKeeper has the potential to dramatically cut down time spent unproductively without spying on users and taking away their right to privacy.

Registered GateKeeper users can download EventVision via Infopulse’s Web site. EventVision is an add-on to GateKeeper that provides an easy-to-read statistical report of proxy use, including Web addresses that users view. This will help enterprise find non-productive Web sites and ban access to sites that take up workers time and create an increase in network traffic.

GateKeeper is presented as an inexpensive and effective proxy server that meets almost anyone’s needs; however, it’s licensing plans can get expensive. Prices range from a three-user license for home use at $79, to $399 for an unlimited user license for any size of business or small office home office.

Proxy-Pro GateKeeper is a wonderful software package for serious business proxy server use, but it falls short for small office home office market it is also targeting because of its price. For an enterprise having serious problems with users visiting unproductive sites though, Proxy-Pro GateKeeper is one for the shortlist.

Pros: Rules and other Internet resource restrictions

Cons: High cost for upper-level licenses compared to other proxy servers, Cannot compete with Windows Internet Connection sharing that are built into latest versions of Windows in SOHO market

Version Reviewed: 3.5

Reviewed by: M.A. Dockter
Last Updated: 2/28/02

Date of Original Review: 1/11/01

Latest Posts

Related Stories