McAfee Email Protection
Strengths: Easy to configure and manage, and loaded with predefined templates for security and compliance.
Weaknesses: None that we found.
Verdict: Scalable, reasonably priced and competent. What’s not to like? Our Best Buy.
McAfee Email Protection offers full-scale email security and content management in a single appliance with flexible deployment options. This tool features scanning of both inbound and outbound mail and provides protection from spam, viruses and other malicious email content. This product also features several encryption options onboard and ready to go, as well as email compliance policy and data leakage prevention functionality.
This solution can be deployed as a virtual or hardware appliance, hosted service or hybrid installation. For our evaluation, we chose to deploy the virtual appliance. We found initial deployment to be quite easy. It took us little time to get the appliance up and running. To get started we first had to load the OVF [open virtualization format] template into our VMware vSphere environment and then we powered up the appliance. After that, we were greeted by a setup wizard which guided us through the steps necessary to get the appliance going with an initial configuration.
After we completed the wizard, we were able to do the rest of the configuration and management using the intuitive web-based management console. We instantly felt comfortable navigating around throughout the console and finalizing our configuration. This appliance comes preloaded with a plethora of compliance policy templates that are ready to go right out of the box. We found it to be quite easy to define email security policy using these templates along with the policy editor. We also found the dashboard to be well designed with many customizable views, including several helpful charts and activity graphs.
Documentation included a getting-started guide and a full administrator guide in PDF format. The getting-started guide was geared more toward the installation of the trial virtual appliance, but we found that it could be quite applicable to the full version as well. It contained a brief overview of how to deploy the virtual appliance, as well as outlined a few of the product features. The administrator guide focused on advanced configuration of the appliance and overall management. We found the administrator guide to contain an excellent amount of detail and step-by-step configuration instructions, but it lacked screen shots and visuals.
As part of the subscription cost, McAfee offers a gold support program, which includes 24/7 phone- and email-based technical aid. Customers can also purchase additional assistance through a wide range of available options. Customers can also access a large support area on the vendor website that includes a knowledge base, product documentation downloads, customer service portal, FAQs and many other tools.
At a subscription price ranging from $25 per user per year on the high end down to $4.75 per user per year, this product does come with a reasonable-size price tag. We found, however, that the McAfee Email Security platform is a solid value for the money for almost any size environment. Not only is it available as a virtual or hosted appliance to cut down on overall cost, it is easy to manage and includes a large amount of predefined templates and settings that are ready to go right out of the box.