Barracuda Spam Firewall 400

Barracuda Spam Firewall 400

Summary: The Barracuda Spam Firewall 400 does its job well, but the extensive configuration options make it somewhat complicated to manage.

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TOPICS: Security, Reviews
15
  • Editors' rating:
    6.5
  • User rating:
    8.3
  • RRP:
    £3,885.00

Pros

  • No user licence restrictions
  • extensive customisation options

Cons

  • Inbound filtering only
  • cluttered management interface

Security appliances tend to be based on relatively modest hardware, and the Barracuda Spam Firewall 400 is no exception. Rather it’s the software that turns this AMD Athlon-powered system into a security appliance: the Spam Firewall 400 runs a security-hardened Linux OS, a SpamAssassin-based anti-spam filter and a proprietary antivirus scanner. The Barracuda Spam Firewall 400 costs £3,885 for unlimited users.

A single Ethernet port connects the Barracuda to the LAN and once assigned an IP address (using a local terminal) setup is done via a browser. A wizard takes you quickly through the initial configuration with, like most such appliances, a choice of deployments. The easiest is to forward SMTP traffic via the network firewall while, if your email server is located outside the firewall, you’ll need to update your DNS records directly to point to the appliance.

Either way, the Barracuda box can be up and filtering messages in just a few minutes and for several domains simultaneously. However, unlike the SurfControl and Mirapoint appliances, it only handles incoming mail.

The default settings will be good to go for most customers, as the Barracuda software features Bayesian learning technology to fine-tune itself as it goes. However, there’s also plenty of scope for customisation, including the ability to modify the spam scoring system directly, add or change external blacklist servers and specify filter keywords of your own. Attachment filtering is a customisable option too, with the usual facilities to block, quarantine and modify suspect messages.

Exceptions can be handled in a number of ways, including white/black lists with users able to modify these directly using a downloadable mail client plug-in. This is only available for Outlook at present, but Exchange is the main target market with an Exchange Accelerator another key selling point. This uses the LDAP service built into the Microsoft mail server to verify recipients before delivering messages, thus easing the burden on the mail server as well as offering protection from directory attacks.

The management interface is straightforward, if not the best we’ve seen. To begin with you’re presented with a status display with graphs to summarise activity on an hourly and daily basis, and facilities to run a number of built-in reports. Activity logs can also be examined from here, together with lists of the blocked or quarantined messages to determine why mail isn’t getting through. On the downside, all this plus the detailed customisation options makes for a cluttered interface and, although it does the job very well, it’s not the easiest of products to get to grips with.

Specifications

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Prices

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Topics: Security, Reviews

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15 comments
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  • 10.0

    THE BEST PURCHASE I'VE MADE! And my end users love me.
    anonymous
  • 10.0

    anonymous
  • 4.5

    After a shipping issue where the RAM DIMMs had fallen out of the box, it was a doddle to install. Then our experiences turned south. The bayesian engine is a nightmare to work with. User input screwed the database quickly, raising our false positive rate through the roof. Having turned that off, over a weekend something inside misconfigured itself and the box swallowed a few thousand emails. They eventually surfaced 4 days later, but the admin tools revealed nothing about what the box was up to. Our MD bought the box off their Web site and we're still trying to get our money back. Avoid like the plague.. .
    anonymous
  • 8.5

    Once installed, our spam problem all but disappeared. There were a few false positives, but we quickly ironed out those problems. All in all, we couldn't be happier with the appliance -- next to no administration overhead, which frees up staff for more important jobs.
    anonymous
  • 3.5

    Too much admin time. They run freeware in the box. I spent hours updating rules, and teaching the box just to come in the next day to do it all over again. Once the employees of the company heard we had an anti-spam solution in place they called me every day to ask why it wasn't working. I wanted to tell them because our CIO was too cheap to buy a real solution. SPAM ASSASSIN is FREE. DONT BUY THIS C**P!
    anonymous
  • 9.5

    As a computer engineer I must say that the Barracuda Spam Firewall has a rich feature set and it is easy to install (just plug it in). The default settings alone stop enough spam to make the price worth while. Compared to other hardware appliances the Barracuda Spam Firewall is cost-effective and works like a charm. IT ACTUALLY WORKS! The tech support is fantastic and I would not think of using a different spam solution.
    anonymous
    • Barracuda spam 400 installation

      I bought barracuda spam&firewall 400 recently. I need some help to install on our network, please help me. thanks
      sanwebs
  • 8.5

    After the initial setup, we plugged it in our mailflow and the spam virtually disappeared. It even got a few viruses our Trend SMTP content scanner didn't catch. After setting the box to quarantine possible false positives per user, users started getting e-mails with their login accounts to manually scan emails held up by it. Thumbs up!
    anonymous
  • 9.0

    Just installing the Barracuda stops already a lot of spam. Letting the Bayesian filter learning is easy. From that point on, the Barracuda does its job. Excellent interface and features, more coming our way. No outbound scanning? It's better to let another box do that work for several reasons. Daily spam management is reduced to 10 minutes, at most. Great product at a descent price and no per user/per domain limitations.
    anonymous
  • 10.0

    I was surprised at how easy it was to use.
    Fill in one basic configuration screen and redirect port 25 to the Barracuda and it was up and running.
    99.5 % of our spam is gone and we have not had one virus sneek through either.
    Very impressed.
    anonymous
  • 10.0

    I don't need an outgoing filter so thats not a minus for me.
    anonymous
  • 10.0

    We run two 400's clustered. I used to get over 50 spams a day as postmaster. I get about 1 or 2 if I am unlucky now. I am not even risking false positives.

    Our user-base no longer complains of spam. This is the best testimony - I never speak to any of them now.

    Support is good and cost is fantastic. Wish they did outbound mail and anti-spyware...Oh look, they do!
    anonymous
  • 4.5

    Barracuda seemed like a great deal. The price for the box was good. Then came then additional fees. Updates and replacement. I had this box crash after 10 months of operation. When I called tech support to get a fix/replacement, there was no support. They informed my that in order to replace the box I needed their replacement warranty. The box is only warrantied for 90 days. No other options are available. It's either pay more money for their warranty which they back date to the time of purchase or be stuck with a dead box.
    anonymous
  • 8.0

    I have no idea why I waited so long to pull the trigger and buy a Barracuda! From the moment I activated it it's been effectively and accurately eliminating spam. While out-of-the-box it seems to be working great, the geek in me insists on playing with the settings. The interface is intuitive, although somewhat sparse in in-depth descriptions. Fortunately the company Web site includes extensive documentation.

    While by no means perfect, if you're having spam problems at your organization, this is a good choice. The end users were thrilled as much as I was, which is saying something, since they're never happy with anything we do :)
    anonymous
  • 10.0

    Works excellent.
    anonymous