Product Information

Barracuda Spam Firewall 400

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April 12, 2005
Website:

http://www.barracudanetworks.com

Price

$3,999 / £4,079 plus $899for Energize Update service

RATING BREAKDOWN

  • Features:
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  • Ease of Use:
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  • Performance:
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  • Documentation:
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  • Support:
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  • Value for Money:
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  • Overall Rating:
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QUICK READ

  • Strengths:

    The device is simple to use and has some powerful features.

  • Weaknesses:

    Initial set up can be awkward if you need to change the default address.

  • Verdict:

    An effective and undemanding device for the smaller enterprise, especially with the Energize service.

The Barracuda Spam Firewall 400 claims that it can handle up to ten million emails per day with 10,000 active email users, while offering a variety of anti-spam options that should cover most eventualities.

Installing the unit is a simple matter, as long as you are able to accept one of its three pre-set addresses. These can be selected by using a reset button on the front panel.

In practice, we found that we could not work out what the new address would be, and resorted to connecting a keyboard and display unit to it and setting its address to what we wanted.

In any case, once the address has been set, the unit can be configured and managed using a web browser.

The device is administered through a browser interface that offers complete control of all aspects of the system with no need for any arcane command line rituals.

The initial display shows details of all mail-related activity, with a table showing categorized totals of messages passed or blocked, and graphs of hourly and daily mail traffic statistics. There is a network configuration section where the names of your mail and DNS servers can be set.

The system's default action is to block all incoming mail, so it is necessary to add details of all acceptable email domains before anything useful can happen.

There are several anti-spam tools, including blacklists and whitelists, IP block lists and rules, and Bayesian filtering. This needs to be given examples of spam and non-spam email from the email log display.

Every message can be classified as spam or otherwise by simply checking it into the appropriate group. Then, once we had given the system enough examples, it was able to detect and filter our test data with great accuracy.

A further level of customization allows, for example, messages to be put into subject headers, suspect mail to be diverted into quarantine accounts, or for the mail simply to be blocked.

An optional, subscription-based Energize service provides hourly updates of spam rules and a real-time update of spam fingerprints.

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