Symantec Mail Security 8300
Strengths: Full of features and flexibility, great for large environments
Weaknesses: The documentation is slightly vague in some areas and could do with clearer explanations
Verdict: Symantec Mail Security 8300 is a strong product for large enterprises that need a lot of protection
Symantec's Mail Security appliance offers features such as filter policies that can be set up for regulatory compliance, data leakage, spam and viruses. It also includes several types of dictionaries, attachment filters and number pattern detection to spot occurrences such as credit cards.
We found this product to be fairly simple to set up. The configuration wizard, while easy to follow, is vague at certain points in the process, for example the configuration of the interfaces and deployment. Once set up, the web interface takes over with a clean and organised tab-top navigation structure.
The dashboard is also well structured and provides a quick, yet detailed, look at the system status. Policy management and settings proved to be simple and intuitive.
This product includes a getting started card and a planning guide, as well as an implementation guide. The first two work together to help guide the configuration of the device by explaining each step of the configuration wizard. However, the explanations simply consist of a "now enter this here" instruction and do not describe steps in much detail. This can leave some steps slightly confusing and the whole process can become a guessing game.
The implementation guide takes over after configuration and this is very descriptive in providing instruction on setting up policies and advanced configuration.
Symantec Mail Security software subscriptions include either basic or business essential support. The first option offers business hours support and access to onsite help. Business essential support extends to 24-hour telephone support, 365 days a year. This costs five per cent more than the basic options.
Each appliance includes three years of next-business-day onsite hardware repair. Symantec also sells an upgrade for the appliance that includes same-business-day onsite hardware repair.
The appliance starts at around £4,580. The Symantec Mail Security 8300 series is licensed on a per-user basis, and pricing varies depending on whether the customer wants to enable the anti-virus, anti-spam, premium content control or any combination of these features. The cost includes content updates, support and maintenance. While this may seem like a lot, the appliance provides a lot of protection and this would be good value for larger environments.