SIP-Benchmark III was a project of the Digital Opportunities Foundation in 2009 - 2017.
This website is no longer updated. Okay

K9 Web Protection

Blue Coat Systems
Devices supported
Operating system
Mac OS X
Windows 7
Windows 8
Windows Vista
Windows XP
Price *
free of charge
Language of interface
Test date
SIP Bench III, 3rd test cycle, Summer 2014

*Prices might change according to the latest company offers


The overall effectiveness score is fair on adult content and very weak on other harmful content.
There is no major difference in effectiveness between teenagers and children.
There is no major difference in effectiveness between web and web 2.0.
There is no major difference in effectiveness among the different languages.
Effectiveness score with adult content filtering for users up to 12 year old: 2.2
Effectiveness score with other harmful content filtering for users up to 12 year old: 0.0
Effectiveness score with adult content filtering for users 13 years and older: 2.4
Effectiveness score with other harmful content filtering for users 13 years and older: 0.0
Effectiveness score for users up to 12 year old: 1.1 out of 4 points
Effectiveness score for users 13 years and older: 1.2 out of 4 points


Installation of the tool: The installation process is easy and well comprehensible. The installer does not provide advanced options. The installation process is generally consistent. The user has less influence to make adjustments, for example, the destination folder for the installation file can not be chosen.
Configuration of the tool: The configuration process is mostly comprehensible and generally easy to learn. There are a few options to influence or individualize the process. The tool does not provide options to create various user profiles. The design could be improved to match the common standard.
Usage of the tool: The tool provides some options to react, when a website has been blocked, but these options are mainly addressed to parents and not to children. The default message could be optimised with respect to children's capability of understanding. The reporting is overall comprehensible.

Usability of the installation process: 2.3
Usability of the configuration process: 3.3
Usability of the usage of the product: 2.7

Overall score for usability: 2.9 out of 4 points


K9 is a web filter with a very flexible possibility for adjustments. It offers the possibility to choose among different levels of restriction or to customize user profiles. There are numerous content categories to filter web pages accordingly. The parent can indicate specific URLs to be blocked (creation of a black list) or allowed (creation of a white list) by the filter regardless of the content categories. The parents can create keywords black-list which will cause the page blocking if the keywords is found in the URL. The parent can choose to enable or disable Safe Search. The access to P2P applications can be blocked. It is possible to block the social networks by choosing the category of content. It is also possible to set up time restrictions for internet access.


The tool resisted to the main hacking attempts to by-pass it, except the possibility to by-pass the tool using the safe mode.
Overall score for security: 3 out of 4 points


Area of needFunctionalitySpecific issuesAssessment
Management Management of User profiles Create several profiles No
Remote Management Manage on various devices No
Monitoring Remote access to monitoring No
Filtering Customisation Topics Customisation of Filtering Topics Yes
URLs White List Restrict Browsing to White List No
Default White List No
Modification OR Creation Yes
URLs Black List Creation of User's own Black List Yes
Keywords Keywords Default Black List No
Default White List No
Creation of a User's Black List Yes
Creation of a User's White List No
Time Time Limit Settings Set a specific time frame or web access duration Yes
Blocking Message Type Ask for unblocking by parents No
Redirect to safe resources No
Usage Restriction Web Block Access Yes
Monitor Access Yes
Safe search Availability Yes
Social Networks Block Access Yes
Monitor Usage No
Personal data Provision Block No
Streaming Block Access Yes
Monitor Access No
P2P Block the application Yes
Monitor Downloads No
Skype Block chat No
Block video chat No
Monitor No
Prevent new Contact No
Windows Life Messenger Block chat No
Block video chat No
Monitor No
Prevent new Contact No
Email Block email client and/or webmail access Yes


Yes / No
I: installation in 3 steps or lessNo
I: choice of installation for beginners or advanced usersNo

C: different degrees of strength for the filteringYes
C: different content criteria for the filteringYes
C: option to transfer filter configurations between target usersn/a
C: option to transfer filter configurations between devicesNo
C: overall comprehensible configurationYes
C: overall conformity with user expectationsYes
C: overall easy to learnYes

U: alert message in a child friendly languageNo
U: option to customise the reaction in case of blockingNo
U: overall easily operable and comprehensible reportingNo


The Tool prevents the user from by-passing the filter by:Yes / No
Using the IP address instead of the URLYes
Using an alternative browserYes
Changing time and date settings*Yes
Disabling or uninstalling the software without a password*Yes
Closing the filtering tool trough the Task ManagerYes
Using a proxy instead of a direct connection to the InternetYes
Accessing the web-pages through the Google CacheYes
Reaching a website through translation sitesYes
Renaming a blocked applicationn/a
Using Safe ModeNo
Filtering Content personalised by userNo
Filtering Content evolving through timeNo
Filtering Multimedia contentNo
Filtering outbound contentNo

Funded by
Logo: EUEuropean Commission

Cybion Online Business Intelligence

Stiftung Digitale Chancen

coordinated by:
Innova - Technology Transfer and Valorisation

Find us on
Find us on facebook Follow us on twitter