Barracuda Web Filter 310
Strengths: Easy to manage, full feature set
Weaknesses: Nothing that we found
Verdict: This is a jewel for small and medium-sized enterprises. For its high value and affordability in most environments, we rate this product Recommended
Not much has changed for this product since last year, but that may be a good thing. The Barracuda Web Filter is a solid device with some very nice touches. Features include web URL filtering, which can be based on URL pattern, domain or content category, file-type download blocking, application blocking including update services, IM and music services such as iTunes, plus integrated gateway and desktop spyware protection.
This device is simple and intuitive to use from the moment this device comes out of the box. Setup takes only a few minutes, and policy configuration is just as quick. We really liked the web-based GUI for intuitive management, and the inline deployment makes for simple insertion into the network. This is as close to plug-and-play web filtering as it gets, and the default policy is quite comprehensive.
The appliance is also easily integrated into the network. Policy can be set up for both authenticated and unauthenticated users, and authentication can be based directly on the existing Active Directory structure. This allows for policy to be created based on certain users or groups. Policy construction and customisation is also intuitive, with many predefined categories that are further broken down into more specific sub-categories. You just have to tick the block or allow box and the policy is up and running.
Documentation consists of a quick-start guide and an administrator's manual. The first part provides eight easy steps to get the product up and running, while the administrator's guide provides more in-depth configuration information. Both guides are well-organised and easy to understand, with many screenshots and diagrams.
Barracuda offers both free and purchasable support options. These includes phone and email assistance, live web chat, documentation downloads, a technical forum and training videos.
At a price of less than £1,700, this product offers a great value for money. It is low cost both monetarily and administratively, offering a comprehensive feature set along with simple and