Barracuda (officially Barracuda Networks) is an international technology company specializing in security, networking and storage. Primarily operating with cloud technology, Barracuda has grown rapidly since its inception in 2003 to now encompass hundreds of products and employ thousands of workers. Headquartered in California, Barracuda has been awarded by almost all leading technology publications from PC Pro to Lotus. Barracuda’s SSL-VPN service is a business-focused approach to VPN and has garnered praise from TechRepublic and CNET for its effectiveness and security. Operating without software but requiring a hardware unit, the SSL-VPN is very different than your average VPN and is packed full of innovative features to satisfy even the most security-savvy web users.
Barracuda’s acquisition of 3SP in 2008 signalled the beginning of its venture into the SSL-VPN industry, treating the matter with as much focus on security and privacy as its predecessor. The Barracuda SSL-VPN is managed by the user, meaning that Barracuda stores no logs or files which could be intercepted. Privacy is as guaranteed as it can be, with multi-tier security functions vastly outstripping the competition. Administrators can set up PIN authorization and establish hardware token authentication. The client-less connection between the user’s device and the secure network means completely secure data transfer whether in the office next door or the coffee shop’s free WiFi.
The Barracuda SSL-VPN isn’t your average VPN service, it’s designed and intended for use in a business environment. The secure network and connections enable employees to connect to office networks and work remotely from anywhere in the world; with guaranteed security. Logging and reporting is fully customizable for administrators to monitor the network usage, whilst almost all mobile devices are also supported across a range of protocols. User profiles can be created, managed and monitored by administrators – all of which are logged by audits for added peace of mind. Security features include SSL Tunnelling, Anti-Virus, Virtual Keyboards, RADIUS Authentication and more. The system is fully scalable and the choice of hardware primarily only governs the amount of concurrent sessions at once. Spread across 6 models, the Barracuda SSL-VPN has the capability to administer from 15 to 1000 concurrent users.
With a physical model administrating the Barracuda SSL-VPN, connections are never taken offshore or into other countries. All incoming and outgoing data is transmitted through the dedicated Barracuda servers and protected by a wealth of security products. Encryption is still present, but is facilitated through the hardware of the physical model and so a drop in speed is almost non-existent. Depending on the model chosen, speeds can vary from 1 x 10 / 100 Ethernet to 2x Gigabit Ethernet.
The Barracuda SSL-VPN runs on a single fixed fee for purchase of the console, then a mandatory fee for ‘Energize’ updates and an optional fee for product replacement. There are currently six models available on the market, with the entry-level 180 priced at $1,050 and the premium 880 at $36,313. Mandatory ‘Energize’ updates range from $322 (per year) to $9,785 (per year.) Prices might seem steep compared to other VPNs, but it’s crucial to remember that this is a product aimed at large businesses with serious security needs.
1 Year (180)
1 Year (480)
1 Year (880)
As an international company with thousands of employees, Barracuda’s customer support model is exemplary. Maintaining active and engaging social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) – the Californian company are one of the most approachable on the market. Official channels of support lie in 24 hour phone lines in both Europe and the United States, along with 24 hour e-mail support. The website is packed with extensive tutorials, guides and FAQ sections whilst live chat is also available during working hours. Barracuda can also be reached via a Skype account for free support. The customer service has won awards for being one of the fastest acting and resolving of its kind in the industry.
As with all Barracuda products, the level of detail and complexity can make the system seem like a daunting task to implement. Whilst it would certainly require a technologically-minded administrator, the daily usage by users is an effortless task that requires only a web browser. Barracuda comments that many of their SSL-VPN customers choose to use the software even when working in the office due to the effectiveness and simplicity of the software. The California-based tech giants have successfully penetrated the VPN market and delivered one of the most capable private data transfer networks available, large enough to tackle the security needs of any company around the world.