Overall, Symantec Mail Security 7.5 is the best email security program we've tested.

Symantec Mail Security doesn't have the best score in false positives and it is no more than decent in terms of catch rate, but considering both counts, along with feature set, pricing, and maturity, it's our favourite of this type of program.

Symantec Mail Security 7.5 shows a level of sophistication and ease of use that only comes from being a class leader for a long time, and having all the sharp edges rounded off.

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Very easy to configure, Symantec Mail Security has an LDAP configuration that all its rivals should steal. A few clicks are all it takes, and Symantec Mail Security automatically fills in all the necessary query strings and nomenclature to pull user data from Active Directory or other directories.

The administrative interface is clean and easy to navigate, with everything clearly marked and well documented, including Symantec Mail Security's online help, that has good examples. Further, very little needs changing other than the host name and network settings.

Unlike some similar appliances, with Symantec Mail Security there are few settings to change and few needed, considering the SMS caught 96.4 percent of spam with no critical false positives and four bulk false positives out of the box.

The SMS offers a full set of enterprise-class features, including clustering, central management of multiple units, IM protection, and sophisticated content management. Content protection includes no pre-built word lists (some are available at extra cost), but importing lists from other sources is very easy, and there are a large number of pre-made templates for regulatory policies, including GLBA and HIPAA.

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Overall, Symantec Mail Security 7.5 is the best email security program we've tested.

The SMS provides attachment scanning and forwarding of suspicious emails to the admin or a designated person, and it has the most effective anti-phishing engine we've seen, although only 82 percent of phishing attempts were blocked.

Symantec also provides great reporting, logging, and alerts, and very granular granting of administrative rights to different users. Admins will like the very flexible policy-based rule sets, while users will appreciate a very accessible web interface to the message quarantine and a great Outlook plug-in.

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Symantec Mail Security 7.5: Specs

  • Intel Pentium 4 processor or compatible
  • 1 GB RAM minimum (2 GB or more recommended)
  • 512MB disk space minimum (2 GB or more recommended)
  • Intel Pentium 4 processor or compatible
  • 1 GB RAM minimum (2 GB or more recommended)
  • 512MB disk space minimum (2 GB or more recommended)

OUR VERDICT

In addition to great ease of use and performance, Symantec Mail Security 7.5 is not expensive for a product of this kind. And unlike many enterprise-oriented systems, the entry point is very low: the 100-user SMS 8230 starts at less than $1,000 for the hardware and $21 per user per year for the subscription.

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