Replit for K-12: General reliability?

I work in a school district that is particularly aggressive with its web filtering rules.
Unsurprisingly, the reliability of my students’ network connections to replit has been awful and particularly awful in comparison to last year.

I am trying to determine if this year’s struggles is more the result of Replit’s own growing pains or my particular district’s new firewall policies.

Can anyone else out there speak to the performance of the Education account?
If Replit support is out there, are there steps I can suggest to my IT departmennt?

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Hey @GusReiber welcome to the forums!

You can give this link to your IT department on how to unblock replit https://docs.replit.com/teams-edu/it-administrators-toolkit

There is the normal site (replit.com) and a firewallsed site with all the community featured removed so its only the code editor (firewalledreplit.com).

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I have been reluctant to use the Firewall site, as I suspect it will be treated as a second-class service. Has anyone been using the Firewall site, and if so, how good is it?

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The firewalled site is the same as the normal site but with the Community feature removed, as Ethan said. Bounties also are not accessible.

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Thats a valid concern. I just took a quick look at it (I haven’t since it was first launched) and it has all the newest features so I don’t think it will be treated as such. I can ask Repit staff to confirm if you would like

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sure. But is there a difference in site performance and reliability? The firewalled site could be clustered the same way as the non-firewalled or it could be clustered for less performance and reliability.

@QwertyQwerty88 have you been using the firewalled site happily?

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Not as far as I know. I have used it a couple times just to test it out and it worked fine.

:woman_shrugging: but a staff member has been pinged so hopefully he can answer that.

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$REPLIT_CLUSTER doesn’t change in firewalled repls, and the same CDN is used. In fact, some pages load faster and take less RAM because elements are stripped off

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@UMARismyname that’s good to know. I’ll give it a fresh try. You have been using it and satisfied with the site performance so far this school year, I take it?

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Is teams for education using the firewalled site? Today during a lesson in my Web Design class the teams projects became unavailable for me and all my students. I was still able to load the projects in my standard Replit account, but nothing in either of my two teams.

As a heavy use of teams for education in our classes, I can attest to performance being rather worse this year than last year… We’ve had a number of times it drop out and show replit error pages (or Cloudflare error pages).
There did seem to be a reasonable outage today though, whole class having issues accessing, with it coming back up and down again.

The other thing I would add is feature changes breaking things… Issues with automatic testing breaking, changes to the UI which broke other parts of the UI and in some limited cases inconsistent running of programs.

I’m a big fan of using replit and have been doing so for a number of years, but classrooms need stability and reliability far more than new shiny features. Classrooms aren’t fans of the move fast and break things approach…

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I’ll echo the issues of @amulholland

I use Replit in all my classes daily, and the number of connection issues or tests breaking that have arisen this year has been excessive compared to previous ones. I’ll agree that when rolling out new features for Education, you consider limiting them, or somehow allowing teachers to opt out for some time.

We had to use the firewalled site, because managing the firewall for all the students in our environment was not feasible and as soon as we whitelist replit, students start using it for games and proxy.

Firewalled replit has been not reliable either though I’m afraid, and it’s currently flagged globally by google as a phishing site, so we can’t even access it.

I would verify that http://id.firewalledreplit.co/ works for you first. Currently in our location (Northeast US) it is flagged as a deceptive site by google, so no one can access it. It’s a pain to keep using replit and needing to find various ways to make it work, the teachers are frustrated and looking into alternatives.

The site has been very slow for us this year, sometimes making the student wait five solid minutes. I’m not sure if we have the firewall version or not. How would I tell?

@MikeMcGuire1 you can find the details here: Firewalled Replit | Replit Docs The gist is that you can navigate to a mirror of the Replit IDE that has a number of community features stripped out. The goal being to let school IT debarments block the shared code on the main site that often includes games, easy access to ChatGPT, and proxies to other things that might be less than school appropriate.

You would know if you were on the Firewalled version mostly because you had typed https://firewalledreplit.com into your browser. There is also a little icon.

In years past, I have assumed Replit’s slowness was the result of my school’s firewall and web-filtering policies that blocked some of Replit’s CDNs and short-circuited some of its live session tracking. This year, Replit has also been slow for me at home, so I am hoping to compare notes with folks like you.

@RobertBaker4 … you are saying what I have feared, but thanks for the data point.

My own experience with Replit site performance (Specicially with Assignments on the Education Plan) has improved greatly over this past week. If others have been struggling as I was 2 weeks ago, you have reason to expect improvement based on my anecdotal experiences this week.

@not-ethan or @QwertyQwerty88 Any chance you can confirm Replit made some improvements that might make sense as a proximate cause for the improvement? Then I feel like I could mark this issue as “solved”.

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Seems like a firewall issue on your districts side – my district is using replit flawlessly and it’s quite a blessing.

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@DaveBoyo Do you happen to know if your school or district uses a 3rd party web filter, what flavor, and what if any steps they took to ensure Replit related requests were whitelisted? As troll like as my post may sound, I am a huge fan of Replit as well.
…anecdotally, I have been continuing to have a solid experience since my struggles several weeks back. Would love to know if that is because of some specific fix.

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All I can say is that we use GoGuardian for our districts firewall. It’s highly customizable, even per class and furthermore, per student.

Of course, my district wouldn’t fork out any money for any paid account. I am just speaking to my students making their own free accounts and sharing the links with me in their google classrooms instead.

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