Barracuda Web Filter 310
Strengths: Easy to set up, deploy and manage, many granular policy options
Weaknesses: None that we found
Verdict: A highly capable web and application filter, with protection from malware at an affordable price, making it our Recommended product
The Barracuda Web Filter is an integrated content filtering, application blocking and malware protection gateway. This product combines multiple techniques, including URL filtering and rewriting, and MIME-type blocking to provide powerful control over policies covering website usage. It can block access to websites based on domain, URL pattern or content category, which offers a great amount of granularity when creating web usage policy.
We found this product easy to set up and manage. Setup takes a few minutes and is as simple as plugging it in, turning it on, and setting the IP address. Once the management IP address is set, all administration is done through the interface. One major change we noticed with this version is that the interface is cleaner and easier to navigate. When we placed the mouse over a config tab, it dropped down the sub-categories, which made navigating the GUI much faster.
This product supports granular policies, which can be set up by user, group, or IP address range. It also supports time-based policies and time-based policy exceptions. The Web Filter also offers integration with LDAP directory servers and Windows Domain Controllers for easy deployment using the already created user structure.
Documentation is in the form of a paper quick-start guide and a PDF administrator guide. The quick-start guide illustrates how to connect the device and set the management IP settings. The administrator guide provides detail on configuring and use. Both guides are loaded with diagrams and step-by-step instructions. We would have liked to see some actual screenshots.
Barracuda offers three support levels at various prices for different support options. Some of these options include phone and email technical support, hardware replacement and product updates. There is also a support area on the website, with free access to a knowledgebase, videos and documentation.
At just under £1,699, this product is excellent value for the money. It provides a massive amount of flexibility, integration, ease of management and policy configuration.