Barracuda Web Filter 310 protects network depths from spyware, viruses
Appliance leverages anti-spyware strength to clamp down on viruses, unauthorized applicationsFollow @rogeragrimes
Each content filtering decision can be constrained or allowed by user and group with a policy-driven engine. The Web Filter is also LDAP-enabled so your policies can be tied to directory services groups. When content is blocked or malware is detected, the user is presented with a company-branded alert page.
So how did Barracuda Web Filter do in the lab? Testing was done using Internet Explorer 6.0 and Firefox 1.0 on Windows XP Pro (all unpatched, no service packs). I then surfed to hundreds of sites containing banned content.
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I give Web Filter an average-to-above-average rating in blocking defined content. For the most part, it was able to maintain high accuracy without blocking desirable content. Some blocked content categories, including porn and spyware, had near-perfect detection rates, although some banned content did get through. I was impressed that while porn accuracy was high, Web Filter did not block any breast cancer or human sexuality education sites, as many of the competing products do.
Web Filter blocked most generic Web-based mail sites, but didn’t block any corporate Outlook for Web Access sites. I tried a dozen of the most popular anonymous Web proxy servers, which can allow end-users to bypass content filtering rules, and all were blocked. I was especially glad to see that HTTP URL encoding didn’t fool the Web Filter.
On the downside, I was able to download and install the Yahoo toolbar. I couldn’t download GoToMyPC from gotomypc.com, but could from indirect links found on citrix.com. I was also able to reach several popular hacking sites (including milw0rm.com, metasploit.com, and a mirror backup of vxheavens) without interruption. Virus detection was about 75 percent accurate.
Reporting is perhaps the Web Filter’s low point. While general canned reports are easy to access and print, customized or detailed reports are not available.
Overall, the appliance did well. With a few exceptions, the Barracuda Web Filter 310 should provide more than adequate protection for most networks. Its feature richness and flexibility will make it a top choice for many.