The normally innocuous Puffin has presented itself as a bit of a troublemaker browser in some schools connected to the N4L managed network.

Our support team have identified that some schools using the Puffin browser to access web content are experiencing exposure to more inappropriate material than expected slipping through the filtering levels set.

Some schools choose to use the Puffin browser, particularly on Apple devices, as it can allow Flash website content to be displayed.  However, the browser works by encrypting the content which can mean that content filtering does not have the ability to intercept and filter what it is supposed to.

We aim to provide a safe, predictable and fast internet experience, and have therefore applied a total block to both the free and paid versions of the Puffin browser. We have not applied this block to the Puffin Academy version.

After talking to a number of schools about this issue, we’ve discovered there are often better ways of achieving the outcomes Puffin has been used for. For example, many schools were using Puffin to help their students access the Mathletics website where there is now a dedicated iOS app (application for iPhones, iPads & iTouches).

By blocking the browser, we felt schools, parents and students were getting the best level of service possible at this time from us. Of course, if it is necessary that your school has access to the Puffin browser, it can be unblocked via a phone call from your Principal to our helpdesk on 0800 LEARNING.  Our helpdesk team are also able to recommend alternative browsers which will work with the content filtering and offer the same level of service and safety.

As always, our tireless engineers are working to keep the network up and running, and safe, for all schools.  This includes finding browsers and applications that allow you to run your classrooms and schools the way you want to, with a consistent speed you can rely on.