Strengths: Feature-rich, low cost, easy to manage.
Weaknesses: None that we found.
Verdict: Another fine one from Fortinet. We make this our Recommended product.
The FortiMail-200D from Fortinet features many email security features bundled into an easy-to-manage appliance. It includes anti-virus, anti-spam, onboard identity-based encryption, and content filtering and data leakage prevention through the use of many predefined policies. This product has enterprise-grade features in a package that is designed for smaller deployment environments, such as branch offices or small businesses.
We found initial installation and configuration of this appliance to be simple and straightforward. However, it is all done manually with no assistance from a setup wizard. The initial configuration took us a little while due to a misprint in the documentation, which directed us to the user portal instead of the web-based management console. Once we were able to login, we had no trouble getting around the management interface. We found the interface to be well-organized with a clean layout and intuitive controls. After configuring a few settings we were able to begin filtering mail almost immediately.
This product also features solid email security and data leakage policy templates onboard and ready to go right out of the box. The FortiMail appliance comes preloaded with regulatory compliance templates for PCI DSS, HIPAA, GLB, and SOX to ensure sensitive data is handled properly if it needs to leave the organization. If data does need to leave securely, this solution provides flexible encryption options.
Documentation included quick-start, installation and administrator guides and other supplemental materials. The quick-start guide lucidly detailed the initial setup and configuration of the appliance, but, as we said, did contain an error: In the step for connecting to the web interface for the first time, it just gives the IP address as the URL, which is a problem because it appears that just putting the IP address defaults to the onboard user portal. To get to the management console, the URL needs to be amended with /admin. This small problem in the documentation required us to troubleshoot as to why we could not get access to the management console. After several factory resets, we looked in the administrator guide and found the proper address.
Fortinet offers eight-hours-a-day/five-days-a-week support for the first year as part of the initial purchase price. This plan includes access to both phone- and email-based technical assistance. Enterprises needing 24/7 aid can upgrade for a slight extra cost. All customers also get access to a large online support area that includes a knowledge base, user forums, documentation and product downloads, and video tutorials, among many other excellent resources.
At a price just shy of $5,700 for the appliance, one year of support and one year of anti-malware and anti-spam updates, we found this solution to be an excellent value for the money. While it may be designed for smaller branch office environments, it has the features and functionality of a large enterprise-class mail security appliance. We found that the combination of features and ease of use and management make this appliance an overall great value.