As an alternative to expensive proprietary servers, check out the Tsunami CPX series of web-caching server appliances developed for schools and small offices by Swell Technology. Based on the open-source Linux operating system, the CPX series offers affordable, easy-to-use, high-performing web-caching products, the company says.

The Tsunami CPX 1000, geared toward schools, can handle two to three T1 lines. Caching servers save bandwidth and increase internet speed by saving a copy of previously visited web sites, so the next time the site is visited, it is reloaded from the local server.

This product performed best when it was compared with other servers priced less than $4,000 at a recent industry-wide marathon event, known as the IRCache Bake-off. The server also performed better than several servers that cost more than $4,000, the company said. The Tsunami CPX 1000, which sells for $2,139, also features access control to block game sites, pornography, or other inappropriate content.

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