Barracuda Networks Web Filter 310
Strengths: Easy to manage and highly customizable.
Weaknesses: None that we found.
Verdict: For its ease of use and real value for the money, we rate this our Best Buy.
The Barracuda Web Filter 310 provides solid protection against web-based threats, such as viruses, worms and spyware. This appliance combines a fully customizable web filter with a robust policy engine that can be configured for granular policy control across any type of environment.
Setup of this appliance is straightforward and the tool is configured and running with a base policy in minutes. The initial configuration is done by connecting a monitor and keyboard to the device and setting up the IP and network information. After the initial configuration is done, all other administration is done through the web interface, which we found to be easy to use and intuitive to navigate with very little learning curve.
The appliance comes configured with a fairly solid default policy, but tweaking or even starting with an entirely custom policy is quite simple. Policies can be designed for various groups, including users authenticated through Active Directory. These policies can include many options above just web content and URL filtering, including file-type blocking and application blocking to further prevent possible infection from dangerous web activity. The appliance also constantly updates itself with new spyware websites, spyware rules and algorithms, as well as virus definitions to ensure the latest threats are defended against.
Documentation included a quick-start guide and an administrator guide. The quick-start guide details the steps necessary to configure the appliance for the network environment and to access the web-based interface. From there the administrator guide takes over and provides detailed advance configuration and policy management instructions. The administrator guide also includes many screen shots and diagrams for further illustration.
Barracuda provides three levels of support, each of which include various types of phone and email technical support, as well as access to updates, hardware replacement services, support engineers and monitoring services. There is also a large support area on the website available at no cost that includes documentation downloads, a knowledge base and other resources.
At a price just under $2,000, we find this product to be an excellent value for the money. The Barracuda Web Filter 310 provides solid malware protections at the gateway along with extensive web management capabilities.