Untangle 7.2 includes Internet portal functionality

The popular Internet gateway Untangle now includes a Web-connection launch pad feature called Captive Portal. IT pro Rick Vanover highlights the new feature.

In a number of previous blog posts, I’ve mentioned how the Untangle gateway appliance delivers a lot of powerful features; including many available for free. I’ve used Untangle in my personal lab, and have been very pleased with the product. Version 7.2 of the Untangle appliance has been released and includes the new Captive Portal feature.

Captive Portal is one of the free applications that works alongside basic functions such as DNS and DHCP as well as content filtering, adware protection, QoS and many more. The Captive Portal provides the following features:

  • Allows network administrators to enforce an Internet usage policy (terms of use) before being able to connect to the Web.
  • Enforce authentication via a username and password (including Active Directory)
  • Establish time access policies
  • Customizable start page
The customizable start page, for example, allows you to populate text that describes the terms of use for the network traffic that you are providing. This is, of course, in addition to the other Web traffic patterns that are permitted by the other Untangle applications on the appliance. The Captive Portal application also keeps logs of systems and their logon attempts from the Web start page. Couple this with the content logs of the other applications of the Untangle appliance, and a solid offering takes shape from the free offering. The customizable start page is shown in Figure A below:

Figure A

Figure A

The Untangle appliance touts its solution as a solution for the small and medium business as well as educational institutions. The traditional appliance may be a little more powerful than the average home user requirement, but in the case of my lab it has served very well. Untangle also offers a special version for smaller networks called Re-Router which runs as a virtual machine on the system connected to the Internet.

Are you in the open-source or free Internet gateway space? If so, how do you enforce Web usage policies without a tool like the Captive Portal?