SonicWall Email Security 9.0 review

SonicWall’s Email Security 9 software mixes tough security measures with extreme versatility


The software is ready go out of the box as it activates a full set of default email security policies. Anti-spam uses predefined aggressiveness settings to class dubious messages as spam or likely spam and send them to the recipient's junk box.

You can easily tweak the settings to suit and choose to have different ones for each message classification. They can be globally rejected, deleted, forwarded to another email address or tagged, and custom settings can be applied to specific AD users and groups.

The Compliance module allows custom message filters to be applied to mail in both directions and comes with a set of dictionaries and ID definitions containing details such as common financial terms and credit card number formats. Any messages that trigger compliance filters can be sent to an internal approval box for authorisation and you can apply automatic encryption or decryption.

We weren't overly impressed with SonicWall's support responses during testing as our licenses expired leaving the appliance in reporting mode. We went through the proper channels to get them renewed but had to wait four days until the support team returned from an extended public holiday.

Performance and Capture ATP

We test email security products in a live environment, as it forces them to deal with emerging and zero-day threats rather than just a stale pile of harvested mail. We left our Email Security host running for three weeks on its default settings and found it be remarkably effective, delivering a 99.2% spam detection rate.

The default anti-spam aggressiveness settings produced surprisingly few false positives but should these be over-enthusiastic, you can change them to suit. Our users were each sent a daily junk summary email so they could remotely view their junk box and, if permitted, release messages and personalise their anti-spam aggressiveness settings.

The Capture ATP feature also performed well, picking up a range of attachment file types, sending them to the cloud sandbox and then releasing them when deemed safe. We tested this by emailing ZIP attachments with malware inside to selected users and ATP deleted them and blocked the emails.

As the administrator, we were sent an email alert each time ATP detected a malicious file which provided a direct link to a status report. It's only when you view the report's summary that you realise just how many cloud scanners the files are checked by.


Even after factoring in the cost of the host hardware and Windows OS, SonicWall's Email Security software still looks comparatively good value. It's highly scalable and very easy to manage, spam detection rates are extremely good and the new Capture ATP feature adds valuable cloud-based protection against the latest mail-borne threats.


You’ll need to factor in a host system but good value, easy deployment and a great spam detection score makes SonicWall’s Email Security software a sound choice for SMBs and enterprises alike


Featured Resources

Preparing for AI-enabled cyber attacks

MIT technology review insights

Download now

Cloud storage performance analysis

Storage performance and value of the IONOS cloud Compute Engine

Download now

The Forrester Wave: Top security analytics platforms

The 11 providers that matter most and how they stack up

Download now

Harness data to reinvent your organisation

Build a data strategy for the next wave of cloud innovation

Download now

Most Popular

RMIT to be first Australian university to implement AWS supercomputing facility
high-performance computing (HPC)

RMIT to be first Australian university to implement AWS supercomputing facility

28 Jul 2021
Department of Veterans Affairs signs a $497M deal with Peraton
IT infrastructure

Department of Veterans Affairs signs a $497M deal with Peraton

2 Aug 2021
Tesla Megapack goes up in flames at Australian battery site

Tesla Megapack goes up in flames at Australian battery site

30 Jul 2021