McAfee's Email Gateway (IronMail) is an email security and content management gateway device, which provides inbound and outbound protection against spam, viruses, data leakage and other messaging threats. The solution integrates with many existing SMTP architectures.

Installation of the appliance was very easy and straightforward and we were up and running within just a few moments of powering on the device. At first glance, the user interface (UI) of the device seems a little bit counterintuitive. We weren't sure which items were going to present us with a configuration page or show us a graphical statistic. Additionally, we had a slight problem with navigation using Internet Explorer 8, which was easily fixed by reverting to compatibility mode. The dashboard views seemed a bit overcrowded as well.

However, aside from a few minor UI issues, the rest of the solution is full of powerful features. The product combines lots of configuration options for anti-spam, anti-virus, policy, content analysis and encryption. Once a user is acclimated to the system, configuring the various protection options is fairly easy. The appliance itself is very administrative-friendly with lots of alerting, logging, auditing and reporting features. Encryption is handled at the gateway and message level using TLS, S/MIME or integrating with PGP. McAfee also has a particular on-box delivery system for message-based encryption. When a policy element makes a decision that a particular message needs to be encrypted, the solution can use Push (delivery) or Pull (notification) mechanisms for the recipient to be able to retrieve and decrypt the message directly on the appliance itself. An option that some administrators may find useful is integration with a separate McAfee DLP server (which was not part of this particular review).

Documentation and user support via the McAfee website is excellent. Support options are based on the tier of support and the overall cost of the purchase and include hardware support, various tiers of access to certified technicians and high-level dedicated consultants, as well as account managers.