Microsoft Defender for Office 365 vs Symantec Messaging Gateway comparison


Comparison Buyer's Guide

Executive Summary

Categories and Ranking

Microsoft Defender for Offi...
Average Rating
Number of Reviews
Ranking in other categories
Email Security (1st), Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) (1st), Microsoft Security Suite (9th)
Symantec Messaging Gateway
Average Rating
Number of Reviews
Ranking in other categories
Secure Email Gateway (SEG) (6th)

Mindshare comparison

As of June 2024, in the Email Security category, the mindshare of Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is 13.1%, down from 20.0% compared to the previous year. The mindshare of Symantec Messaging Gateway is 1.6%, down from 2.6% compared to the previous year. It is calculated based on PeerSpot user engagement data.
Email Security
Unique Categories:
Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)
Microsoft Security Suite

Q&A Highlights

Dec 09, 2022

Featured Reviews

Luis-Brown - PeerSpot reviewer
Aug 8, 2023
Allows for easy reporting of problems, valuable anti-phishing, and anti-malware support
Microsoft Defender for Office 365 lacks proactivity in assisting us with preparing for potential threats before they occur. While they employ a substantial amount of threat intelligence to preemptively prevent incidents, their effectiveness diminishes when it comes to delivering proactive threat intelligence alerts from Microsoft. Their focus primarily revolves around managing the internal environment. On the other hand, my other vendor, Check Point, along with my membership in MS-ISAC, supplements me with this type of information. The phishing and spam filters could use some improvement. It is adequate, but it doesn't match the quality of Proofpoint or Mimecast. However, it comes close in effectiveness. Plus, if we're obtaining it for free, investing in the other products seems impractical.
Jul 20, 2022
Good Solution for Spam and Malware Filtering
I have supported the product for a couple of customers and handled migrations for others.  It is basically used to receive emails and then check its hygiene, detect spam, report block-listed emails, and detect viruses. It provides all that reputation filtering that is part of policy group…

Quotes from Members

We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:


"The technical support is good and quick to resolve issues."
"Defender is a SaaS platform, so it offers more flexibility. Managing the permissions is easier. The solution's automated detection and response features are scalable."
"The most valuable feature of Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is data backups that we can provide through ticket requests."
"Threat Explorer is an invaluable tool for me, and it plays a crucial role in helping me discern the origins of various email campaigns, pinpointing where they emanate from, and identifying the individuals within our organization who are affected."
"It also gives the vulnerability status according to the versions you have selected. Let's say you have Google Chrome. It mentions the versions it has, and it updates. Within two hours of an update, it is reflected in the dashboard. That's really nice to have."
"It gives us visibility into threats and, for endpoints, it helps us to prioritize threats. We used to have a lack of visibility, but now our time to detect and respond has decreased."
"Our customers are satisfied with Defender for 365 because Microsoft products are easy to use and customize to meet the client's needs. Everything is in one place, so we can adjust policies as needed for phishing, DLP, ATP, or any other security features that our clients want to apply."
"I like its investigation capabilities, as that is what is most important to me. It is fairly simple with a user-friendly interface."
"What I like most about Symantec Messaging Gateway is its usability. I also find its interface very friendly. The solution has a very good interface."
"Messaging Gateway is stable."
"It has very good capabilities for managing malware."
"Symantec Messaging Gateway is stable and scalable. Installation is easy, and the deployment and maintenance can be done by one administrative person."
"Symantec’s spyware and malware signature database is very good compared to other products."
"I like that it's simple and easy to configure, deploy, and manage. The reporting function has all the features we're looking for, and we are fine with that."
"The most valuable feature of the solution is the content filtering policies because the solution offers huge options for configuration, such as hardware manipulation, et cetera, and the dictionaries make the work easier."
"Symantec is a secure product."


"In some situations, it has not been able to pick impersonated emails having no attachments. Technical support definitely has a scope for improvement."
"They can improve their security in a way where a customer can know if all their attachments are safe or not to open through a report. The solution does its job perfectly, but it never reports to the customer whether those attachments have been stopped before or not."
"This product's effectiveness could be improved, in terms of detecting unwanted spam or even malware between the emails, compared to other products."
"The pre-sales cost calculations could be more transparent."
"The phishing and spam filters could use some improvement."
"Microsoft security solutions work as expected. They are constantly updating the solutions to make them better. At the same time, the changes can impact a customer's environment, and we need to adjust settings. Sometimes we aren't aware of the changes, and nothing is pushed from the backend automatically."
"The certification training for Defender for 365 needs to be deeper and incorporate Sentinel. I took all the security courses except one, and Sentinel isn't included."
"The only thing they should improve is the licensing model. They should stop changing it. A year ago, the five features I mentioned were included in one product. Now, three of them are bundled into one product, and you have to pay extra for the other two. I don't mind paying extra, but I don't want them to change it every year or every six months. I need to know what I'm looking at and not worry about it next year."
"Symantec Messaging Gateway should include better exclusions and exceptions for better administration."
"The documentation could have more detailed examples of how to use the product in various situations. As more companies shift to the cloud, they could better integrate the on-prem and cloud versions through an on-prem client."
"We've had issues in the past where the user finds spam, and Symantec does not recognize it as spam."
"What's lacking when you compare it with Proofpoint and other threat protection solutions is that it does the basic stuff, but we need more advanced threat handling."
"The biggest problem is it's an on-prem product and we're trying to get out of having equipment in data centers."
"They really need to create a good package that competes with Microsoft."
"What needs to be improved in Symantec Messaging Gateway is its local partner support, as it's not as technical. The support my company gets from the partner isn't good. Vendor support is good, but local partner support isn't. I'm happy with Symantec Messaging Gateway as a solution, but the problem is with its partner support. To me, Symantec Messaging Gateway is a complete solution, but it can be very difficult to search the web for resolutions to issues or problems you experience from it. If this could be improved or resolved in the next release of Symantec Messaging Gateway, then that would be good."
"It will provide Excel reports and PDF reports, but it would be great if they supported the concept of Crystal Reports."

Pricing and Cost Advice

"It is much more expensive than using another solution because we have had to include some options and upgrade our license."
"Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is an add-on to the Office license. Many customers are purchasing this solution."
"The pricing is normal. Considering its popularity, it's not overpriced."
"The solution saves money so we have seen a return on investment."
"While Microsoft Defender for Office 365 necessitates pricier E3 or E5 subscriptions, the extensive functionality offered by these licenses across various Microsoft products justifies the investment."
"For licensing, it's usually a yearly package for customers who are subscribed to Office 365, but they can also pay on a monthly basis."
"The product is expensive."
"Compared to other brands, Microsoft Defender for Office 365's pricing is competitive."
"The cost of Symantec Messaging Gateway is too expensive in general. However, the appliance also includes the price of the license in the same bundle."
"A subscription for technical support costs extra."
"Symantec Messaging Gateway’s pricing is very cheap."
"They're a little costly compared to Microsoft."
"For 150 users, we pay INR 1,60,000."
"It's a bit expensive compared to its competitor Barracuda Email Security Gateway but cheaper than Sophos Email."
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Top Industries

By visitors reading reviews
Computer Software Company
Financial Services Firm
Manufacturing Company
Computer Software Company
Financial Services Firm
Manufacturing Company

Company Size

By reviewers
Large Enterprise
Midsize Enterprise
Small Business

Questions from the Community

What do you like most about Microsoft Defender for Office 365?
Threat Explorer is an invaluable tool for me, and it plays a crucial role in helping me discern the origins of various email campaigns, pinpointing where they emanate from, and identifying the indi...
What needs improvement with Microsoft Defender for Office 365?
The product must provide better malware detection. The detection algorithms don't perform the way I hope they would.
What needs improvement with Symantec Messaging Gateway?
The solution takes up a lot of memory. The system becomes slow. The performance must be improved.
What is your primary use case for Symantec Messaging Gateway?
We use the solution to secure our data and emails.

Also Known As

MS Defender for Office 365, Symantec Email



Sample Customers

Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is trusted by companies such as Ithaca College.
Doric, Joblink Plus, Our Lady of Mercy College, Parramatta, PPB Advisory, Slater & Gordon Lawyers, Sydney Adventist Hospital Ltd.
Find out what your peers are saying about Microsoft Defender for Office 365 vs. Symantec Messaging Gateway and other solutions. Updated: January 2024.
789,577 professionals have used our research since 2012.