GCN Lab Review | BlueCat Meridius 1000 Email Gateway Appliance

Pros: Good virus protection

Cons: Clunky management interface, difficult setup, fair spam protection

Price: $9,995

Spam protection: B

Virus protection: A

Ease of setup: C+

Ease of maintenance: B-

Value: B

We had a fair amount of trouble setting up the Meridius 1000. The configuration interface forces you to use a set of little blue buttons on the front of the device to enter its new IP address. But we found these buttons very unresponsive, and it took significant effort just to configure an IP address. This glitch may not bother some admins, but it bothered us.

Once we finally had the device on our network, basic maintenance via the Web interface was not much easier. For starters, the normal interface doesn't allow you to make any changes to the device. For that, you have to download a separate management interface. Once that's installed, changes to the Meridius 1000 require you to create a profile file, update it as necessary, then upload the new profile. The process does not normally trigger a reboot, but it takes time for the new profile to stick. The Meridius 1000 seems married to a clunky, archaic interface that sticks out from the competition like a sore thumb.

When we moved the Meridius 1000 to our closed test network, it performed well in our virus tests and wasn't tricked into any false positives. It stopped 99.8 percent of all viruses we sent it, which was pretty close to perfect. It also recognized 99.9 percent of all good mail that came its way, holding only one good message out of 1,000 as suspected spam.

However, it did slightly worse in our spam testing. It was able to stop 978 of the 1,000 spam messages, and although 97.8 percent isn't a bad mark, it's lower than the top performers. So you might still get a little junk in your inbox if you use the Meridius 1000's standard spam profile.

At $9,995, the Meridius 1000 is pricey compared to others in this review. It provides good virus protection and would likely make a decent choice if you didn't need to change its settings very often.

BlueCat Networks Inc., Toronto, Canada, (866) 895-6931, http://www.bluecatnetworks.com

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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