Overall, Symantec Mail Security 7.5 is the best email security program we've tested.

Symantec Mail Security doesn't have the best score in false positives and it is no more than decent in terms of catch rate, but considering both counts, along with feature set, pricing, and maturity, it's our favourite of this type of program.

Symantec Mail Security 7.5 shows a level of sophistication and ease of use that only comes from being a class leader for a long time, and having all the sharp edges rounded off.

Very easy to configure, Symantec Mail Security has an LDAP configuration that all its rivals should steal. A few clicks are all it takes, and Symantec Mail Security automatically fills in all the necessary query strings and nomenclature to pull user data from Active Directory or other directories.

The administrative interface is clean and easy to navigate, with everything clearly marked and well documented, including Symantec Mail Security's online help, that has good examples. Further, very little needs changing other than the host name and network settings.

Unlike some similar appliances, with Symantec Mail Security there are few settings to change and few needed, considering the SMS caught 96.4 percent of spam with no critical false positives and four bulk false positives out of the box.

The SMS offers a full set of enterprise-class features, including clustering, central management of multiple units, IM protection, and sophisticated content management. Content protection includes no pre-built word lists (some are available at extra cost), but importing lists from other sources is very easy, and there are a large number of pre-made templates for regulatory policies, including GLBA and HIPAA.