The FortiMail-100C appliance from Fortinet allows for deployment in transparent or gateway mode, or as a functioning email server all on its own. It can scan both incoming and outgoing email for viruses and other malware, all while monitoring for spam and keeping problem messages from coming into the enterprise.

This appliance can be set up and configured in just a few minutes. The initial setup is guided by a wizard at the first login to the web GUI. This wizard helps set the IP and network information and, after completion, all further configuration is done via the web interface as well. We found the web interface to be simple to navigate with an organized layout. However, it takes a few minutes of using the appliance to get comfortable with how policy and settings are configured.

The flexibility of this tool lies in its many deployment methods. It can be implemented in three different ways. The first is a full transparent deployment, which puts the unit inline between the mail server and the rest of the network. The second is gateway or proxy mode, which allows for the appliance to scan mail and then pass good mail on to the existing mail server. Finally, a full deployment allows the appliance to be both a scanner and mail server for smaller environments.

Documentation included a quick-start guide, as well as a full administrator guide and other supplemental manuals. The quick-start guide does a good job of outlining the initial installation of the product in the network and how to access the configuration wizard. We found all documentation to be well-organized and easy to follow.

Fortinet provides 90 days of eight-hours-a-day/five-days-a-week phone- and email-based technical support with purchase. After the 90 days, customers can purchase additional support.

At a price just under $1,800 for the appliance and one year of the subscription service for mail content management, we find this solution to be an excellent value for the money. The FortiMail appliance offers a good amount of deployment flexibility and a nice feature set.