Barracuda Spam Firewall 400 v6.1
$3,999 (hardware), Energize Updates (provides the latest spam and virus definitions as well as provides customers with access to technical support, new firmware releases and the opportunity to participate in the Barracuda Early Release Firmware program).
Strengths: Easy to use, manage and deploy.
Weaknesses: None noted.
Verdict: Good solution for any size business so we make this our Best Buy.
The Barracuda Spam Firewall is an integrated hardware and software solution designed to protect the email server from spam, virus, spoofing, phishing and spyware attacks. The Spam Firewall provides comprehensive email content security, spam and virus blocking, data protection, DoS prevention, email continuity, encryption and policy management.
The system deploys either as an on-premise appliance or as a virtual image running on a user's own equipment. It is also available on Amazon Web Services Marketplace. Both on-premise options are capable of clustering for high availability and scalability including geographically dispersed cluster options.
The appliance we tested came out of the box with a quick-start sheet. We had the unit up and running in minutes. The administration and user documentation is web-based on the support site. One also has built-in online help with a decent search function. The web-based user interface was intuitive and easy to use. We were able to do everything we needed without the documentation.
The user configures inbound and outbound email protections. For inbound spam filtering, the admin configures rate control, IP analysis, content analysis and Bayesian analysis - a linguistic algorithm that profiles language used in both spam messages and legitimate email for any particular user or organization to determine the likelihood that a new email is spam. The same features are configurable for outbound email along with added functionality supporting reverse DNS blocking, sender-specific filtering and content filtering.
The content filtering is quite good. We saw support for standard text and attachment scanning, there were some DLP templates available for HIPAA and PCI compliance, as well as support for intent and image analysis. Users could also create any type of custom filter employing the interface. Outbound filtering and encryption options also prevent sensitive information from being leaked outside the organization. The optional cloud protection layer (CPL) shields email servers from inbound malware and DoS attacks while filtering out normal spam before it ever touches the network's perimeter.
The dashboarding element is good, one can even private brand the user interface. Reporting is very well done. There are numerous pre-built reports available. Admins can create custom reports easily using the tool for any information or date range desired. Reports can be programmed to be delivered to an inbox on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Alerting can be done using SMTP delivery for various system and performance events only.
Barracuda offers two levels of support: Basic, included with an Energize Updates subscription, and Premium. Email and phone support is offered 24/7. The fee for Instant Replacement is $1,399, one business day replacement is available for $899. If hardware is more than four years old and the client has maintained an Instant Replacement subscription, Barracuda will replace the old hardware with a new one at no additional cost.