Unified threat management (UTM) specialist Watchguard has upgraded the security features of its FireBox X e-Series appliances with the second significant firmware refresh in six months.

Fireware version 9.1 adds spam quarantining, POP3 email proxying, inbound server load balancing, and enhanced anti-virus scanning to an already extensive list of capabilities, as befits the do-it-all UTM security model espoused by the company.

It’s the second software overhaul of the Firebox Core, Peak and Edge families in the year since the once slowly failing company was taken private by investment firm Francisco Partners. In April this year, the company announced Fireware version 9.0.

Although there are no earth-shattering features added in the new software, some of the detail is interesting. Anti-virus scanning now includes the ability to scan FTP data, while adding other small but useful enhancements such as scanning file sizes of unlimited size. Likewise, the same applies to features such as WAN failover to a serial modem (useful in point-of-sale applications), and VPN failover, both welcome additions.

Other features should have been upgraded a while ago. Only now do WPA2 wireless encryption and the ability to stop DDoS attacks using the SYN flood appear on the feature list of the Firebox X Edge.

“Through these latest updates, WatchGuard customers will benefit by gaining access to new features aimed at improving overall performance, increasing reliability while enhancing the ease of use in our products’ management capabilities. WatchGuard will continue to deliver products aimed at giving our customers strong, reliable UTM security appliances,” said Watchguard CEO, Joe Wang.

Updates are available for current customers, with 9.1-compliant equipment appearing in the reseller channel by September. Prices vary, depending on model and bundle chosen.