Internet Filtering

Winnefox offers Internet filtering; there is no additional cost for filtering.

In the Winnefox Library System, web content and network traffic are filtered in three ways. 


All traffic on the network passes through our second-generation Palo Alto firewall.  The firewall inspects each packet of data that passes through it to determine if it’s safe or not.  Currently it is not set up to filter any web content by general category.  Only known bad traffic is halted, such as from a malicious website. 

Meraki (Markesan, Oxford, Wautoma) 

Each library uses at least one Cisco Meraki device to provide wireless access to the public.  The Meraki does have a basic content filter that blocks pornographic, sexual, or other objectionable adult material on any device using that wireless access point.  This is turned off by default, but it’s easy enough to activate if a library chooses to do so.  

ESET not only protects a computer from viruses, malware and hacking, but also can provide granular content filtering for any computer on the network.  By default, filters are not applied to any computer in the network.  However, some libraries have requested that a content filter be applied to their public computers. 

The default filter will block known websites in these categories: 

  • Inappropriate Adult Materials 
  • Gambling 
  • Criminal Activities 
  • Image Search 
  • Malware and Phishing

It is possible to fine tune the filter for your library as well.  We can block and unblock many different categories beyond the default options, and even add or remove single websites from a block list.  For instance, you could allow the Wisconsin Lottery website access despite the general block on gambling.  If a patron requests that you remove the filter, there is a procedure for staff to do that on the computer itself.

It’s important to note that new websites pop up all the time, and no filter is perfect.  There is some machine intelligence at work with most filters to detect new objectionable content, but they primarily work by compiling lists of bad websites and blocking them.  If someone has objectionable material on their personal Facebook page, and Facebook is allowed, the filter will not stop it. 

Updates happen several times a day, but there’s no way to block everything in real time.

Also of note, to qualify for federal E-rate funding, a library must by CIPA-compliant.  No Winnefox library is currently CIPA compliant because of the stringent filtering requirements.  For more information on CIPA, check this out:

For more information on filtering in libraries, check out this ALA website: