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School District WAN Visibility Tool

A school district WAN visibility tool can deliver multiple benefits to any educational institution operating a local area or wide area network. Simple to deploy, the deep packet inspection software monitors network and user activity to help protect school networks from online threats, investigate misuse and encourage students to act responsibly online.

More than a web content filter with Big Brother capabilities, a school network monitoring tool can help:

  • Troubleshoot network problems and improve the performance of the network.
  • Identify trends in web usage to assist teachers in their guardianship and educational roles.
  • Recognize attempts to circumnavigate web filter settings with VPNs and proxy browsers.

These benefits exist regardless of whether the educational institution is operating a single LAN, multiple VLANs or a district-wide WAN that allows users to connect to it wirelessly from their mobile devices. The school network monitoring tool provides total visibility across the entire network without impacting network performance or creating a high maintenance overhead.

How a School District WAN Visibility Tool Works

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A school district WAN visibility tool uses wire data analytics to extract user metadata from network packets and analyzes the metadata to identify what protocols and applications are being used. This process provides much richer metadata than traditional flows and allows accurate visibility of who is using the protocols and applications, what data is being accessed, and from what devices.

The analytics are presented in a human-readable format, and provide system administrators with the option to roll up and drill down into the metadata in real time in order to identify security issues, troubleshoot network problems and eliminate user abuse of the network. For educational institutions, this deep level of analysis has multiple benefits.

Network and Bandwidth Management

The total visibility of user and network activity can assist administrators with network management. Issues such as bottlenecks can be investigated and rectified quickly, while unused network resources can be identified and reallocated to improve network performance. The totally visibility of network activity also helps educational institutions comply with their audit and compliance obligations.

One particular issue affecting educational institutions is bandwidth. There is never sufficient bandwidth to satisfy the demands of a technically-aware school – especially one that provides wireless Internet access for its students. A school district WAN visibility tool can identify which users or applications are hogging the school´s bandwidth, and actions can then be taken to ensure there is sufficient bandwidth for critical and educational applications.

Benefits to Students and Teachers

Several methods exist for protecting students from online risks and inappropriate material. Many educational institutions have implemented web filtering software to comply with local child safety regulations or qualify for e-rate discounts. The issue with web filtering software is that, by simply blocking access to potentially dangerous websites, children never learn about the risks that exist. They are also more likely to access dangerous websites from outside a protected school environment .

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By monitoring online activity, a school district WAN visibility tool provides an insight into the nature of sites students are attempting to access. Education can be provided about why certain sites may contain risks and how students should conduct themselves online. Teachers can also use the information provided by the visibility of the school network monitoring tool to prepare lessons that are of more relevance to the younger generation and their interests.

The LANGuardian School Network Monitoring Tool

The LANGuardian school network monitoring tool from NetFort is powerful “agent-free” network traffic and security monitoring software that, as a school district WAN visibility tool, can help protect school networks, investigate misuse and encourage students to act responsibility online.

The significance of our school district WAN visibility tool being “agent-free” is that the software can be managed centrally to provide a single reference point for all user and network activity across the school district. It is not necessary to install software on each individual device – reducing maintenance overheads  and monitors all devices connected to the network.

LANGuardian´s  wire data analytics process provides much richer data than traditional flow data analytics, allowing more accurate visibility of what website domains are being visited and what proxies may be connected to the network. Our versatile software can be configured by an individual user, or team, to send real-time alerts when specific networks events occur, or to analyze and report on historic data.

In addition to the school district WAN visibility tool passively capturing traffic flowing through the network, it can recognize devices connected wirelessly to the network, identify applications using random port numbers, or standard port numbers for non-standard purposes and report on what is happening on the network´s infrastructure by username, IP address, subnet, file name or web address.

With LANGuardian school network monitoring tool, educational institutions can monitor their networks inside and out, and analyze network activity quickly and easily through a web interface. There is no interaction with devices on the network, and therefore LANGuardian´s school district WAN visibility tool has no impact on network performance.

Try LANGuardian Free for Thirty Days

If your educational institution would like greater visibility of activity on its network, or if the mechanisms currently used lack the versatility to adequately protect school networks, investigate misuse and encourage students to act responsibility online, you are invited to try our school district WAN visibility tool free for thirty days.

Our invitation enables your educational institution to evaluate our school district WAN visibility tool in your own environment, with no contracts to sign, no credit cards required and no commitment to continue using our school network monitoring tool once the free trial period has concluded. Naturally, full customer and technical support will be available to you throughout the trial.

Contact us today for more information about our invitation to try LANGuardian free for thirty days or with any questions you have about our school district WAN visibility tool.

 

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WAN Visibility
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