The eSoft ThreatWall is an appliance-based offering that provides SMTP mail filtering and also web traffic filtering. ThreatWall can be installed in transparent mode, which allows the device to sit inline with the mail server. Another mode of operation is routing mode, where the ThreatWall is inline with the firewall. The final option is node mode, which allows for the device to be positioned anywhere on the network. Each of the three configurations has advantages and disadvantages. For our test we used the node mode.
The ThreatWall uses most common methods of spam detection and this includes blacklist, heuristics, SPF records and RDNS checks. The HTTP filter uses most major categories of inappropriate content and blocks them. ThreatWall also offers quarantine for spam email which can be integrated into Active Directory so that each user sees only the spam intended for their email account.
The installation of the ThreatWall is quite simple. The first step is setting the IP address on the ThreatWall. Unlike some other devices, the ThreatWall can be configured by the LCD panel on front or also through a web browser. The LCD feature is handy to have since it stops the need of reconfiguring the IP address on the administration system. Once you have finished setting the IPs, a setup wizard launches, which makes it easy to perform most configuration options. The ThreatWall really shines after the wizard setup process is complete.
The web configuration interface is well laid out and is easy to follow. Once we were in the configuration interface we did not need any documentation to help with the setup. The installation does take some time due to the device’s need to download updates and packages.
The only documentation provided is a hard copy quick start guide. All other documentation is available from the eSoft website and also off of the device itself by using the help buttons on any screen. The PDFs are indexed, which makes it easy to find the necessary information.
Support is available in all of the common formats from eSoft. This includes email, web and 24/7 phone support. Pricing for support is $126 per incident or $637 for a year of support. The pricing for the ThreatWall offering was in the middle of the price spectrum. At $3,299 The product offers easy installation and a pretty large feature set.