Group1's Inside View...

Based in Campbell, California, this company exploded out of the blocks in 2003 with its flagship email spam filtering appliance.

Since then, Barracuda Networks has added many new types of appliances to cover a wide range of networking/security needs. This includes a Web content filtering appliance and in 2009 Barracuda also acquired Purewire for cloud-based deployment.

Overall, our field experience with this product line has been interesting.


Is Barracuda the right product for you?

We will be happy to discuss your current network environment, your content filtering goals, and share our real world experience with Barracuda's Web Filtering appliance product line.

Please give us a call at (800)738-3570, or drop a quick email to .

Barracuda 310

Barracuda 610

Barracuda 910


Detailed Barracuda info...
(provided by the manufacturer)

The Barracuda Web Filter is an integrated content filtering, application blocking and malware protection solution that is powerful, easy to use and affordable for businesses of all sizes. It enforces Internet usage policies by blocking access to Web sites and Internet applications that are not related to business, and it easily and completely eliminates spyware and other forms of malware from your organization. No more productivity loss trying to repair computers or make computers usable again.

  • Blocks access to Web sites based on domain, URL pattern, or content category
  • Blocks downloads based on file type
  • Blocks applications that access the Internet, including IM, music services, and software update utilities
  • Integrates with "safe search" filters built into popular images search engines
  • Provides integrated gateway and desktop spyware protection
  • Uses Barracuda Web Security Agents compatible with Windows PC’s and Macs to enforce Internet policies on off-network computers.


Powerful, Enterprise-Class Solution
The Barracuda Web Filter combines preventative, reactive, and proactive measures to form a complete Web filtering solution. Designed for the enterprise, the Barracuda Web Filter enables you to set up custom policies for particular users and groups across customizable time ranges. The Barracuda Web Filter integrates with popular LDAP directory servers, such as Microsoft Active Directory, for both authentication and group membership information on which to apply custom policies. Sample uses of group policies include:

  • Restricting access to job board Web sites to only the Human Resources group
  • Defining separate policies for teachers and students at a school
  • Enabling compliance officers unrestricted access to the Web for investigation
  • Providing external instant messaging (e.g., AIM) access only to specific users or groups
  • Restricting personal Web browsing to non-working hours

For organizations that do not utilize directory servers, policies can be defined for unauthenticated users as a whole, locally defined users and groups, or network IP address ranges.

Best of Breed Spyware Protection
The Barracuda Web Filter employs a unique approach to integrate gateway and desktop spyware protection strategies. In providing Web security at the gateway, the Barracuda Web Filter prevents new spyware and virus infections as they attempt to penetrate the network. In addition, the Barracuda Web Filter facilitates automatic removal of spyware from previously infected Windows computers with the included Barracuda Spyware Removal Tool, an ActiveX control that can be served up automatically upon detection of spyware protocol activity (i.e., “phoning home”). By adaptively targeting those machines that are infected, the Barracuda Web Filter provides widespread protection and removal without requiring preloaded client software on every machine on the network.

Easy to Use
With no client software to install and no modifications required to your network, the Barracuda Web Filter is easy to deploy. It has an intuitive user interface for maintenance and monitoring, making it a virtually maintenance-free solution. Even system updates are made automatically by Barracuda Central, an advanced 24/7 security operations center where engineers work continuously to catalog sites used in personal Web browsing and to provide the most effective methods to combat the ever changing spyware variants. Updates are performed hourly so that your Barracuda Web Filter can provide ongoing enforcement of your Internet usage policy and protection of your network.

Large and small organizations alike demand solutions that are affordable not just today, but also in the future as they grow. With no per user license fee, the Barracuda Web Filter is the most affordable content filtering, application blocking, and anti-spyware solution available.

While the Web has certainly proven to be a powerful tool and technology, organizations worldwide have recognized the need to create policies around its usage in the workplace. Analysts estimate that 70% of browsing to pornography sites happens during normal business hours and about 30-40% of overall Internet usage in the workplace is not related to business. While many Web sites targeted at business usage provide safe and secure business environments, an increasing number of Web sites and Internet applications targeting personal usage are hosts to spyware, viruses, and other Internet threats. As such, unauthorized personal Web browsing poses not only a threat to personal productivity but to the security of the network as a whole.

The Barracuda Web Filter is a complete content filtering and application blocking solution designed to enforce acceptable Internet usage policies by blocking access to objectionable content and unauthorized Internet applications. At the same time, the Barracuda Web Filter includes award-winning protection against Internet threats.

Comprehensive Content Filtering
The Barracuda Web Filter combines multiple techniques, including URL filtering, URL rewriting, and MIME type blocking to provide powerful control over policies covering Web site usage. Capabilities include:

  • URL filtering by content category. You can define policies that restrict or allow Web sites based on their categorization. The Barracuda Web Filter includes definitions for 58 content categories, including pornography, violence, hacking, sports, news, dating, and chat sites.
  • URL filtering by domain name or URL pattern. You can customize your content filtering policy to restrict certain Web sites, or look for specific patterns in Web site addresses. Advanced administrators can specify URL patterns to block using the very powerful UNIX regular expression (regexp) syntax
  • Image Safe Search integration (URL rewriting). The Barracuda Web Filter takes advantage of the “safe search” content filtering capabilities built into image search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN. If enabled, the Barracuda Web Filter Image Safe Search feature rewrites URLs for these image search engines to include the URL parameters that restrict display of objectionable content in cached image search results.
  • File type blocking. You can define policies to restrict downloading of files over the Web based on their MIME types. For example, to block downloads of executables, you can block MIME type application/octet-stream.
  • Filtering off-network computers. Barracuda Web Filters now use Barracuda Web Security Agents compatible with Windows PCs and Macs to provide Web filtering on off-network computers.

These controls can be combined to govern Internet usage to increase productivity, reduce exposure to offensive material, and to prevent visits to sites that could compromise security.

Internet Application Blocking
Beyond the standard HTTP proxy solution, the Barracuda Web Filter also enables you to enforce policies governing usage of applications that access the Internet. Features include:

  • Instant Messaging (IM) Blocking. The Barracuda Web Filter enables you to set policy governing usage of public IM clients, including AIM, ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger, and MSN Messenger, and ICQ. These public IM clients can not only provide means for unmonitored communications, but their security vulnerabilities are often the target of those in the hacking community. Blocking public IM communications outright is one strategy to secure information flow and increase network security.
  • Application Blocking. In addition to IM applications, the Barracuda Web Filter includes policies for popular applications that access the Internet, including Internet music applications, software updaters, and popular browser toolbars.
  • IP and Port Blocking. You can customize your own IP blocking policies based on any combination of source or destination network IP address ranges and ports. One common usage of this feature is to prevent compromised machines from accessing the Internet.

The combination of Web and other Internet application blocking techniques enables you to define and implement complete Internet usage policies for your organization.

Advanced Policy Creation
Because different rules may apply to different constituencies in your organization, the Barracuda Web Filter supports extremely granular applications of policies by user, group, or IP address range. It also supports time-based policies. Features include:

  • Default guest and user policies. For rapid deployment, the Barracuda Web Filter comes preconfigured with default guest (unauthenticated user) and known user (authenticated user) policies. You can easily customize default policies for content filtering and application blocking with simple easy-to-use Web forms.
  • User and group policy exceptions. You can customize policies by defining exceptions on top of the default policies. Policy exceptions can apply to content filtering and application blocking rules, and they can apply to specific users, groups, or network IP address ranges. For example, you can set a default policy to block Web access to job sites but create an exception for the Human Resources group to allow them.
  • Integration with LDAP directory servers. The Barracuda Web Filter integrates with popular LDAP directory servers, including Microsoft Active Directory, IBM Lotus Domino Directory, and Novell eDirectory. This integration provides the Barracuda Web Filter with real-time access to user and group membership managed by the directory server. You can define policies that apply to LDAP users and groups.
  • Integration with Windows Domain Controllers. Included with the Barracuda Web Filter is the Barracuda DC Agent, software that can be installed on your Windows Domain Controller. This software provides the Barracuda Web Filter with the username logged at each IP address, and it enables proper application of policy without requiring any user intervention and without a separate login.
  • Integration with Terminal Service Environments. The Barracuda Web Filter provides several methods of integration with Citrix/Terminal services environments. The Barracuda Web Filter can seamlessly integrate with LDAP/Active Directory, NTLM and Kerberos authentication mechanisms to provide single-sign-on authentication in a variety of network environments. Terminal Services users have a choice of using LDAP/Active Directory with Virtual IP support or native Windows Authentication through NTLM or Kerberos integration. This will allow per-user/per-group policy management and reporting in both CITRIX and Windows Terminal Services environments.
  • Local users and groups. For sites that do not use directory servers or who wish to define policies for users and groups not managed by the directory server, the Barracuda Web Filter supports the creation of local users and groups on which to apply policy.
  • Network IP address groups. You can define policies that only apply to certain network IP address ranges or subnets.
  • Warning policies. The Barracuda Web Filter enables you to define policies for Web access that present users with a block page but allow them to proceed after being warned. Warning policies are useful for reminding users about sites which may violate corporate Internet usage policy without blocking them outright.
  • Web traffic monitoring. You can define policies for monitoring specific Web site categories, domain names, or URL patterns without presenting block pages to users or preventing access. Monitoring is useful to assess the potential impact of new policies prior to implementing access restrictions on the user community.
  • Time-based policy exceptions. You can define policy exceptions for both content filtering and application blocking based on time-of-day. For example, you can set a default policy to block access to sports sites but to allow browsing during non-working hours.

The Barracuda Web Filter was designed with ease of deployment in mind. With default policies, even organizations new to Web filtering can get started quickly. Organizations with more advanced filtering requirements can take advantage of advanced policy exceptions and integration with enterprise infrastructure.

Integrated Spyware and Virus Protection
The Barracuda Web Filter includes best-of-breed spyware and virus protection leveraging its heritage as a leading anti-spyware solution. Capabilities include:

  • Blocking access to known spyware sites. As a first line of defense against spyware, the Barracuda Web Filter blocks access to sites known to host spyware.
  • Blocking spyware downloads. The Barracuda Web Filter blocks spyware installed without the user's knowledge or consent - also known as drive-by installs or downloads - as well as any installations from known spyware Web sites.
  • Integrated anti-virus protection. In addition to blocking spyware, the Barracuda Web Filter provides complete virus protection for all downloads. By utilizing dual layer virus blocking, decompression of archives and file-type blocking, the anti-virus engine in the Barracuda Web Filter further protects your network from crippling threats.
  • Detection and blocking of spyware activity. The Barracuda Web Filter secures the organization by detecting spyware access to the Internet, blocking it, and notifying the administrator.
  • Spyware Removal. The Barracuda Web Filter includes the Barracuda Spyware Removal Tool, an ActiveX download that removes identified threats from Windows computers.

By combining anti-virus and anti-spyware at the gateway with desktop spyware removal, the Barracuda Web Filter offers a unique approach to providing universal network protection from malware in a simple, easy-to-use appliance.

Remote Filtering
In addition to protecting the network, the Barracuda Web Filter provides the Barracuda Web Security Agent (WSA), a downloadable client that be installed on remote, off-network Windows computers. With the WSA installed, Web traffic from remote client computers will be transparently filtered through a central Barracuda Web Filter appliance to ensure that Web browsing policies applied to users within the network are also enforced to off-network users. The Barracuda WSA can be centrally configured and deployed and is tamper-proof once installed on client computers. This enables organizations to implement a consistent Web security policy across localized and distributed workforces without the need to invest in or manage additional solutions.

Simplified and Centralized Administration
The Barracuda Web Filter features an easy-to-use Web interface allowing for easy and cost effective administration of the appliance. The Web interface allows you to define, manage and control corporate spyware and Web security policies from one central place.

  • Barracuda Energize Updates. A team of security engineers at Barracuda Central continuously monitors the Internet for trends in spyware and virus attacks. As they detect trends, updates are created for the Barracuda Web Filter. The Barracuda Web Filter is then automatically updated with new spyware Web sites, spyware rules, spyware algorithms, and virus definitions. These updates require zero administration and ensure that your network has comprehensive and accurate protection even as the spyware methods of distribution change.
  • Logs and Graphical Reports. System administrators can view logs or generate graphical reports to provide visibility within the organization. The Barracuda Web Filter can provide information on infected clients, downloaded spyware and viruses, and top blocked users. The Barracuda Web Filter models 310 and higher also support summary reports, including top blocked, monitored, and warned Websites, top Websites by hits and bandwidth utilized, and top clients by hits and bandwidth utilized.
  • No Per User Charges. Barracuda Web Filter pricing is simple. Each of the Barracuda Web Filters is designed to handle an approximate number of users. The Barracuda Web Filter includes a robust feature set at one fixed price with no per user charges. This means the system administrator no longer has to worry about keeping track of new accounts.

Configuration of the Barracuda Web Filter is accomplished through a simple Web based interface that is built into the system. There is no software to install and no CDs or floppies to lose.

Statistics Reporting
The Barracuda Web Filter's administrative tools feature state-of-the-art, statistical reporting that allow you to visualize both overall Web traffic levels as well as the levels of traffic filtered for either policy or security reasons.