Barracuda Networks Spam and Virus Firewall 900 review

Barracuda’s Spam and Virus Firewall 900 claims an impressive anti-spam performance, but at a high price. In this exclusive review, Dave Mitchell finds out if its real world performance and messaging security features are worth digging deep for.

All further configuration is via the appliance's web interface, which opens with an informative status screen showing tables and graphs of hourly and daily inbound and outbound mail traffic. It's all colour-coded, so it's easy to see what mail is being allowed, blocked, tagged or quarantined.

Barracuda Networks Spam and Virus Firewall 900

Barracuda's web interface provides easy access to all security features and opens with a detailed graphical overview of inbound and outbound message activity.

Next, mail recipient domains and the addresses of the mail servers the appliance will be routing mail for are added. Incoming mail must also be routed to the appliance and this can be achieved with a firewall port-forwarding rule, or by changing the DNS MX record.

For inbound mail, Barracuda uses an impressive arsenal of spam detection tools which include Bayesian algorithms, real-time blacklists, reverse DNS lookups, IP reputation analysis, fingerprinting, content filtering, keyword blocking and intent analysis. These are used to derive a score for each message and determine whether suspect messages are blocked, quarantined or tagged.

The Energize Update subscription seems high, but this does also include free access to Barracuda's Cloud Protection Layer (CPL). This can reduce local traffic by applying pre-filters to incoming mail, so spam and mail-borne viruses are stopped before they even get to the local network.

Barracuda Networks Spam and Virus Firewall 900

You can tweak the spam detection scoring system but we found it worked very well on the default values.

Rather than use bogus or old samples of harvested spam to test detection rates, we opted to set up the appliance to scan incoming mail in a totally live environment. This is a far more realistic test of the appliance's detection techniques, since it has to handle new and emerging threats in real time.

We left the spam scores and actions at their default settings and configured our Outlook clients to move any tagged messages into a separate folder. The appliance's message log was monitored during the test and, on completion, was exported into a spreadsheet for further analysis.

Featured Resources

The definitive guide to warehouse efficiency

Get your free guide to creating efficiencies in the warehouse

Free download

The total economic impact™ of Datto

Cost savings and business benefits of using Datto Integrated Solutions

Download now

Three-step guide to modern customer experience

Support the critical role CX plays in your business

Free download

Ransomware report

The global state of the channel

Download now

Recommended

SonicWall warns of imminent ransomware campaign on VPN hardware
virtual private network (VPN)

SonicWall warns of imminent ransomware campaign on VPN hardware

16 Jul 2021
Dell EMC PowerEdge C6520 review: Super dense Gen3 Xeon Scalable
Server & storage

Dell EMC PowerEdge C6520 review: Super dense Gen3 Xeon Scalable

27 May 2021
Dell EMC PowerEdge R750 review: A third-gen Xeon Scalable powerhouse
Server & storage

Dell EMC PowerEdge R750 review: A third-gen Xeon Scalable powerhouse

4 May 2021
Zyxel USG Flex 100 review: Flexible gateway security
unified threat management (UTM)

Zyxel USG Flex 100 review: Flexible gateway security

15 Apr 2021

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

17 Sep 2021
What are the pros and cons of AI?
machine learning

What are the pros and cons of AI?

8 Sep 2021
Best MDM solutions 2020
mobile device management (MDM)

Best MDM solutions 2020

17 Sep 2021