The eSoft ThreatWall 250 is a powerhouse in a little box. This product packs features, such as spam filtering, anti-virus, policy compliance and gateway-based intrusion prevention, all by way of its Email ThreatPak. The appliance can be deployed transparently either at the gateway or between the mail server and the rest of the network, depending on the needs of the environment. It is also driven by the Distributed Intelligence Architecture from eSoft to quickly assess WPAM (Worldwide Packet Access Model). It also examines viruses and other threats in both inbound and outbound email.

Deployment of this product is almost plug and play. When the appliance is initially connected to the network, it can grab a DHCP address from which the web GUI can be accessed. At the first run of the GUI, the initial configuration appears and, after a few quick steps, the appliance is up and running with a base configuration, as well as all its latest updates.

After all configuration and updates are complete, any additional management and configuration is done from the web GUI as well. We found the interface to be quite easy to navigate due to an intuitive and comfortable layout. Policy can be created with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Documentation included a short, quick-start guide, which outlined the initial setup procedure, and a user guide, which explained how to configure some of the product functions. However, we found the user guide to lack in-depth detail on configuring and managing the appliance.

Customers receive 90 days of no-cost, phone-based technical support, along with ongoing access to online resources, such as a knowledge base and documentation.

At a price just under $2,000, plus $1,000 per year for the ThreatPak, we find this solution to be an excellent value for the money. The eSoft ThreatWall 250 offers easy controls with an excellent feature set at an affordable cost.