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I would like to reopen https://serverfault.com/questions/381599/monitoring-work-users-and-their-network-habbits question as I believe it should be allowed to ask for specific scenario question. I think multiple people/work places can benefit from this as it's something very common nowadays (blocking facebook etc). The question is very specific and one "GOOGLE -> software to stop workers accessing facebook" line won't cover it. I do agree software does change but that's why answers / questions can be updated/edited and more answers can be provided with time. The question doesn't ask about price range or what is better but simply asks for software / solutions that can help. Answers don't nessecary need to be software related. It could be said that one should introduce proper GPO allowing or disallowing some websites.

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  • Re: it being OK to have questions where the answers change over time - this is true to some extent. All answers change over time, but that doesn't mean that a question tied to a specific point in time is OK. (e.g. "What's a good salary for a sysadmin?": in addition to all the other reasons it's a bad question the average salary range changes constantly - we'd never be able to keep up with the changes, and the top-voted answers would be stale within a year...) – voretaq7 Apr 20 '12 at 20:46
  • As we now have this meta topic I've scrubbed most of the comments on the question itself. If the question gets re-opened I'll knock out the rest. – voretaq7 Apr 20 '12 at 20:51
  • I believe my scenario is legit. I don't ask only about software to deliver but general approach too. Ways to do it (block on firewall, block in DNS, etc). Also the software being on market today will be there in a year or two (with some exceptions) and if some really good software will show up someone can add it too. If people won't add it it won't make the software suggested useless. Also the most voted and accepted answer isn't always the best for one's scenario so most people should read thru all answers to choose the "RIGHT" one for them. – MadBoy Apr 20 '12 at 20:57
  • At the very least, it'd be good if the spelling mistake in the question title could be fixed (by someone who cares, presumably). – womble Apr 25 '12 at 4:49
6

The practice of implementing blocks in the workplace is very common, but the choice of the software to do so is not really a topic we can help you with. There are lots of options out there (rigging your DNS server to say NXDOMAIN for facebook.com, blocking their IP blocks on your firewall, installing Websense or another kind of content filter, etc.) - you need to do the research on each one.

If you were asking "I have Websense installed, how do I make it do X?", or "How can I block Facebook using OpenBSD's pf firewall?" that would be on-topic, but what you're asking for us to do is recommend software based on requirements we can't know. That in and of itself is bad, but when combined with Jeff's analysis of why questions about product/service recommendations are bad it creates a question that we can't reasonably answer in a way that will have lasting value.

I'm just one guy though - there may be other opinions.

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  • Sure but I know some options on how to approach this. However I don't know them all. Asking about very specific scenario like you mention is a bit of a problem for me since I didn't know about pf could be used for this. That's why I think software related questions should be allowed since I don't know every single software on the market and google search is not always helpful. If you ask a question about Backup's I can provide you with 4-5 alternative software's and I think this should be allowed to be asked. In a year most of those software will still be on the market. – MadBoy Apr 20 '12 at 20:52
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  • Nice Zoredache. – MadBoy Apr 20 '12 at 21:09
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    In a year most of those software will still be on the market. - they may still be on the market but they may no longer be a valid answer to a question along the lines of "what is the best backup software for A specific scenario" because the other tools available for that scenario may have improved while the software listed here has stood still, rendering the answer less than helpful. I'm not using the same enterprise backup software now that I was 5 years ago for this precise reason. And a simple list of software with no attempt to categorise it isn't that helpful. – Rob Moir Apr 22 '12 at 14:08
  • I wasn't asking for a list of software only but for advice on what to use based on experience etc. I do think this topic is over so you can just leave this question. You guys decided how you want it. That's fine. – MadBoy Apr 22 '12 at 21:44
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The Stackexchange software works badly for polls and lists of things. As your question is asked right now people are just going to provide links to various products. This will not be very useful. It doesn't encourage people to add any useful information, that isn't already documented elsewhere.

In stead of asking for a list of things, you should see if you can modify your question to ask, how do I evaluate the list of things.

A question like 'I am currently looking for content filtering software, what features and functionality should I be looking for for when I evaluate the various solutions.' is more likely to be left open, and will probably be just as useful when combined with the lists you can get from Wikipedia, and search engine results.

Here is an example for switches. The 'what features/how do you evaluate' style question still will result in a fair amount of answers, but they will be more useful in the long term, and will not encourage vendors, to spam the site recommending their products.

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  • +1 - Asking about what features you should be looking for (or looking to avoid) is a fantastic question. And the answers will be valuable in a few years when all the current software has disappeared. – voretaq7 Apr 20 '12 at 21:20
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So can anyone recommend good and easy to use software...

If that's not a shopping question, which is totally off topic, then what is it? Once you ask such a thing the rest of the question is irrelevant.

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If I were in your shoes I would move my question to IT-Security.

I found nothing wrong with your question - though. So I voted for a reopen.

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  • I removed the question. I found some software on my own and since I can't get recommendation's looks like I'm going to test them all. – MadBoy Apr 22 '12 at 21:55
  • @MadBoy My recommendation would have been squid. – Nils Apr 23 '12 at 20:58

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