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Background; How it Works and FAQ

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Registered: 06-04-2007

Background; How it Works and FAQ

The main Aladdin page contain basic details about what the system does:
Briefly the Aladdin service runs on a Network Appliance that resides on PlusNet's own network and filters any traffic that passes through it using two powerful tools.
Customers on the trial are routed through PlusNet's network slightly differently. This pushes all traffic through the Aladdin solution as it travels towards your connection. 
If your question is not covered here please raise it in the forums. Additional questions/answers will be added based on that feedback.

Problems/Getting Started
What should I do if my connection goes wrong?
Contact the CSC in the usual manner. Normal support for the trial is provided Monday - Friday 9.00am-5.30pm. Out of hours the CSC have been briefed to use a special temporary-account procedure to get users back on line if their service is disrupted.
How can I tell if I'm included on the Aladdin trial?
In a command window run tracert (help here). If the first hop shows you are on the trial.
Can I use non-PlusNet DNS servers when on the trial?
Yes, any DNS servers can be used whether on or off the trial.

Content Filtering
What are the content filtering categories?
We have selected four basic groups initially: Malware Safe, Family Safe, Office Safe and Public / Restrictive. We need to keep a limit to the amount of groups, but we would be happy to change these based on feedback.
What categories are blocked in these groups?
See the MS Excel file Aladdin_Content_Definitions.xls attached at the bottom of this FAQ for a full breakdown.
Is there a lookup tool I can use to check if a site is blocked in a particular category?
Yes. Visit and click on “Checking the classification of an URL”.
How can I report a URL if I think its classification is incorrect?
Use the tool mentioned in the previous question and follow the instructions in the lower part of the page to send an update request.
Is there a way for users to whitelist a site to override central blocking?
A Parental Control Agent due for beta release in August will provide this functionality. Whitelisting can be permanent or temporary (configurable by the parent).
Will this Agent run on both Windows and Mac computers?
The first version will support Windows only.
Timescales for producing a Mac version will very much be driven by market demands. New
A site was blocked but using the classification checker shows it is unclassified. Does that imply unclassified sites are blocked by default?
No; in addition to URL classification checks eSafe includes a WebWatch service which blocks unsafe sites. This uses a list maintained by the Content Security Response Team. Visit and enter the site name into the WebWatch search box to check it against this list.
I want to change my user-profile - how can I do this?
At present this is a manual process that requires a ticket to be raised at the trials link; hence changes will not be instantaneous. Please keep such requests to a minimum.

Where is data collected by the eSafe units stored?
Aladdin only creates logs in eSafe farm that is installed in the ISP cloud. The main purpose is problem trace and statistic collection. eSafe creates logs that are based on source IP, and not on userID, thus no direct connection exists between the customer and their IP. We (PlusNet) have a full control over who can access files on eSafe and those files never leave the appliance in any way. More than this – we could configure eSafe to operate without logs at all. This would make the system work even faster.

General Questions
I already have an antivirus, why do I need this service?
* It is a fact that many PCs have antivirus installed, yet are infected with malicious code
* The service protects you when the desktop product is not updated, or if it fails (technical problem, end of license, etc.)
* Desktop antivirus does not provide adequate Spyware protection
* Desktop products do not protect against all Web surfing threats
* Just like in larger organisations, the desktop antivirus software should only be treated as the last defence
Does it replace my desktop antivirus?
* The service is designed to be the first line of defence and provide a sense of security whilst surfing the Web
* It is advised to use a desktop antivirus too. Especially for:
          o Inspecting files on CD-R, flash disk, removable media
          o Files downloaded from file sharing and P2P applications
          o Specific virus cleaning needs
I have a personal-firewall, isn’t it enough?
* Firewalls are designed to prevent a hacker break-in’ it does not protect you from malicious content you are exposed to whilst Web surfing
* Many Organisations don’t use firewalls for content security, they use specialised products to scan “on the wire” - You should do the same!
* Many personal firewalls ask questions few people know how to answer: “Do you want to allow microsoftf1.exe to connect to the Internet?”
* In short – a firewall is a good idea, but it cannot be relied on for content security
I have a home network, should I install the service on all PCs?
* The service transparently protects all PCs connected to the home network.
* There is no installations needed on any of your PCs
* You need to do no maintenance whatsoever
Does the service inspect file-sharing (KaZaa, eDonkey, BitTorrent)?
* Most file-sharing downloads are music and movies with no malicious content
* Downloaded software (usually pirated) is scanned by the desktop antivirus since it is impossible to do so whilst in transit.
* This is why you still need a desktop antivirus. However, desktop antivirus doesn't inspect content while surfing – so we need the service.
* NOTE: Software downloaded from sites like and even from pirate sites is inspected.
Can you guarantee that with this service I will never have viruses?
* No security product can provide a 100% guarantee . However, without doubt the level of the service is close to that of, or even better than when using desktop products only.
* Combining even the simplest desktop antivirus with the Secure Surfing service would dramatically reduce security threats.