Barracuda Web Filter
Strengths: Easy to set up, configure and manage, supports multiple policies, strong value for the money
Weaknesses: Nothing that we could find during our test
Verdict: Barracuda Web Filter is characterised by its strong performance, value and ease of use. Recommended
This product was one of the two best of those we reviewed. It is solid, easy to use and well documented. The Barracuda Web Filter blocks access to websites based on content, content category, domain or URL. Supplied as an appliance, this is an attractive proposition for the enterprise market, designed for simple administration and high throughput.
The device provides a wide variety of internet access options, allowing real granularity when it comes to policy development and application. For example, employees may be grouped, with each team having different web access rights.
Barracuda Web Filter belongs to the class of products referred to as "clientless". This means there is no client software required on the user's desktop or laptop. We found the tool's performance to be first rate, with filters available for URLs based on category, pattern, domain or specific URL.
It integrates with the SafeSurf rating standard, providing protection when using typical image search tools. It can block selected file types, instant messaging and other applications.
The appliance's dash board is comprehensive and easy to read. It provides all the information needed to manage Web Filter. There are numerous reports that cover virtually every aspect of the product's performance. Detailed logs are also available. In addition to web content filtering, Barracuda's device offers spyware and malware filtering.
The documentation is complete, well-organised and easy to use. The quick-start guide is clear and covers initial deployment. All the material includes plenty of screen shots and diagrams to assist in configuration, deployment, policy development and administration.
Barracuda Web Filter is well supported. The documentation is available on the company's website, which also features a technical forum, frequently asked questions section, configuration tips and forms to request a trouble ticket. Email and phone support is available 24/7.
Priced at the low end of the spectrum for this type of product, Barracuda Web Filter is an excellent value for organisations of just about any size. We liked this product a lot and we recommend it for its performance, feature set, cost and ease of use.