RSA - Fortinet 'wins' Deep Throat Porn filter test

The controversial 'Deep Throat Fight Club' test of porn filters held at this week's RSA security show has declared a winner

The controversial 'Deep Throat Fight Club' test of porn filters held at this week's RSA security show has declared a winner. According to organizers Untangle, the best performer was Fortinet.

Fortinet detected 97.7 percent on the main blocking porn test, only a whisker ahead of rivals Watchguard (97.3 percent), Websense (97.0 percent), SonicWall (96.1 percent), and Barracuda (94.0 percent).

On the 'porn categorization' test, which measured performance against a human making judgements, Fortinet again came out top, again the margins were small, the percentages almost identical, and the order of success exactly the same.

In other words, it depends how you look at the results. Is the fact that all products blocked at least 94 percent of porn requests in the automatic blocking tests good, or the fact that they missed up to six percent bad?

Already, Watchguard - which came a very close second in the tests - has questioned the methodology, pointing out that URL filtering can be circumvented in a number of ways. The methods are startlingly diverse. Porn hunters can use everything from short URLs, website proxying, and even log into https-based sites such as and not be noticed by standard URL filtering, Watchguard has claimed.

Untangle's tests were based on googling 50 porn search terms, choosing ones that were 100 links deep against which to measure the filters. The products were then graded against a human making the same judgements. The full list of sites has been included in a spreadsheet that can be downloaded from the company's website (30MB download).

To be fair to Untangle, the open source company probably intended the tests to present a baseline level of URL filtering effectiveness. Any technology can be bypassed if the user has the knowledge to do so.

"If you are expecting to block all porn, all these products will not be effective, however if you're looking to control and monitor porn usage as much as possible these products make great candidates," wrote Untangle's Dirk Morris, in his post-test blog.

Watchguard's objections are technically valid, but they tend to undermine the point of using porn filtering at all. That said, the company says its firewalls would also work against the bypassing technologies, something not measured in this 'bake-off'. Perhaps what is now needed is a new Fight Club test to look into this aspect of filtering.

Untangle has at least answered the question as to why it had not included its own URL filtering system in this week's Deep Throat Fight Club test.

"We felt including Untangle itself in the test would not be fair, as we know the test set and methodology ahead of time. We also apologize to the vendors (netsweeper, besafe) who requested to be in the test but time didn't allow," said Morris.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John E. Dunn
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?