Transitioning your web filter is a big deal. It’s something that needs to be done carefully and thoughtfully – and ideally with the support of multiple team members. But what exactly should you be thinking about when you’re transitioning from your current web filter to a new one? A web filter is a must for any school, district, or library. It’s the first line of defense against inappropriate content and helps keep your devices safe. Having a solid web filter isn’t enough, it’s important to make sure it’s helping you achieve your goals with the right features and settings you require.  

Why You Should Transition to a New Web Filter 

You need to stay up to date with web filtering technology. As new devices and technologies come out, you will want your web filter to support them. Is your current web filtering solution capable of keeping up with new devices, apps, and websites? Technology moves at a fast pace, so ensuring your web filter can consistently meet your filtering requirements is key.  

The internet can be a dangerous place for students, and it’s important that your school or district has the best security possible in place for protection. Does your current web filter have features that help keep students safe online, preventing inappropriate or unsafe content from reaching your users. Not only do you want to keep malicious online content out of the hands of your students, but you will also want to make sure your current solution protects against cyberthreats like viruses or malware.  

What You Should Consider When Transitioning to a New Web Filter 

Making a decision to migrate from one web filtering solution to a new one can be challenging and involves many considerations. Your school or districts’ needs for filtering content will dictate what features are most important when selecting your next solution. Keep in mind what may or may not be working with your current web filter to help determine what you are considerations.  

Considering Factors for a New Web Filter: 

  • Cost – What is your budget? 
  • Product Features – What features and functionality do you need. 
  • Support – Including training and documentation. 
  • User Experience – How easy is it to use for you and your team to use. 
  • Security – Will it protect all devices and is it up to date. Timing – When you are up for renewal and when you would like to migrate.  

Make Sure you Have a Plan for Your Transition 

It is crucial to have a plan in place before you transition. A good web filtering provider will help with transition, but it’s still important that you know what to expect and how to deal with any issues that arise during the process.  

To create a transitioning plan, keep in mind: 

  • How long will it take? 
  • Will there be any downtime? 
  • What steps does our current provider need from us prior to their handoff date so that everything goes smoothly for us and our new provider.  

A part of your planning process you will need to consider the overall timing of your transition. In many cases you will need to have your current solution run in parallel with your new solution in order to migrate. The time of year is also another consideration you will want to think about. Many will look to make the move during the summer months when school is out, but this may be detrimental to determining if there are issues with the transition as there won’t be any students or teachers on the network. If you make the change over the summer keep in mind how you will be able to fully test your new filtering solution to limit any issue once school is back in session.  

Transitioning from Your Current Web Filter to Netsweeper 

As you can see, there are many things to consider when transitioning your web filter. You may be tempted to ignore some of them or rush through the process; however, if you want a smooth transition that yields positive results for both your school, students, and staff, it’s important to take the time necessary to make sure everything goes smoothly.  

To hear a firsthand account of how our clients Jackie and Todd from Shiawassee RESD transitioned from their previous web filter to Netsweeper, check out our podcast Making the Move: Shiawassee RESD’s Transition to Netsweeper