Why does the installation of ICS require a dedicated PC?
ICS performs tasks, such as traffic count, user access control and network protection, for which reliability and security are particularly important. Internet Control Server is built in such a way that all possible interactions of its components are accounted for and, therefore, installing ICS on a dedicated PC makes it predictable and reliable solution.
Why is FreeBSD used as the basis for ICS?
During the development of Internet Control Server we could choose from three of the most common operating systems: Windows, Linux and FreeBSD. Firstly, we were interested in system’s security, followed by stability and cost. Linux and FreeBSD are both more secure and stable than Windows and require fewer resources. FreeBSD and Linux are freeware operational systems. Eventually the choice to use FreeBSD was due to its higher conservatism and hence better predictability of development which is very important for a system providing security.
Is Internet Control Server certified?
At this moment our system does not have an ACP certificate. Our product is oriented towards end users who employ the system themselves and not resell it to other users. In that instance their activity is not covered by copyright laws and does not require certification. Therefore for majority of our users certificate is unnecessary and they don’t have to bear its cost while purchasing the system.
Is the cost of open source applications included in the price of ICS?
No, the cost of all the freeware (open source) components of ICS is not included in its price. The main freeware components of ICS are: operational system FreeBSD, Apache web server, database management system MySQL, Squid proxy server. The price of ICS comprises the cost of applications developed by us, as well as uniting all the components of ICS into an organized system.
How is ICS different from a proxy server?
It is likely that an HTTP proxy is implied here. HTTP proxy server (Squid proxy) is one of the components of ICS. It would be incorrect to compare ICS and a proxy server. Squid proxy logs user requests to web sources and ICS analyses and adds those requests to the overall statistics of user actions, allowing the administrator to adjust user access to various web sources.
What is the minimal knowledge level required in order to operate ICS?
There are two answers to this question:
In order to install ICS on your network you need to know how it’s built (topology) so you can understand where to install ICS; which addresses are given to the PC’s on the network so you can assign the correct addresses to the external and internal interfaces of ICS; and finally you need to know how users on the network differ from one another (for example, each user has his own login and password on Windows server or local PC, or each user works on a PC that has a particular address, etc) in order to set the correct user access in ICS. All other ICS settings are done according to your internet connection details which have to be given by your service provider (router address, DNS server address, provider’s proxy server address, etc)
In order to operate ICS and track company’s internet activity one simply has to know how to work with a web browser. Some of our clients assign that task to the general manager’s secretary who reports back to him on the company’s activity.
Why did you choose to reject some models of ICS?
ICS-300, which had the most functions, concluded 80% of ICS purchases. After gathering user feedback, we have decided to not limit the system’s functionality but instead adjust the cost of license depending on the number of users. We still offer our clients additional functions and configurations of ICS but there is just one basic model.
We have a system administrator. Why should we use ICS?
A good system administrator is no alternative to routers, switches and servers that he manages. Likewise, our servers are not an alternative to administrator but a tool that aids his work.
Can’t we develop a system similar to ICS on our own?
A good programmer can undoubtedly create a system similar to ICS. However, taking into account that our company with its vast experience in internet technology and billing has spent around 7 years on developing ICS, you can calculate how much it’s going to cost based on the programmer’s salary and not even considering the need for constant support or programmer’s possible resignation. Development of your own system can only be justified if the readily available solutions can’t be used for your company.
Can the functionality of ICS be expanded?
Of course it can. We are constantly working on new functions of ICS which are added to newer versions and program upgrades. Furthermore, you can influence the development of ICS by voting for a suggested function on our website or submit a request of your own if it’s not already added to the list. The votes are gathered within one month and the results are forwarded into development of ICS. We are currently working closely with clients and testers on the functions they would like to see in our system.
How often are upgrades released?
ICS upgrades are released every 2 months. New versions of the system are released every 3 months. We also upgrade the system whenever critical errors are discovered.
How can the demo version period be extended?
Extension of the trial period beyond the standard 35 days is done on a case to case basis; in case you did not have enough time to test all the functions or if you are waiting for a new function to be released.
Is ICS a billing system?
Billing is a process of billing customers for goods or services. In terms of internet services ICS performs all the tasks of a billing system aside from printing the actual accounting documents. Hence ICS is not exactly a billing system. However, functions of calculating the consumed resources, needed to bill the users, are only a third of all ICS functions, which also deals with managing user access and network protection. In that regard ICS is significantly more than just a billing system.
How is demo version different from the fully functional one? What happens with the system after the trial period is over?
The only difference between demo and full versions is the validity period. Demo version works for 35 days. After the end of the trial period no data will be deleted from the system, it will simply stop responding to changes in settings and gathering new information.