MailFrontier ASG 2.0 Picks Out More Spam

By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2003-05-19 Print this article Print

Updated in-house spam blocker offers flexibility and ease of use.

Anti-spam toolmaker MailFrontier takes a bite out of junk e-mail with Anti-Spam Gateway Version 2.0, which is worth evaluation by organizations that want to keep spam management in-house. MailFrontier Anti-Spam Gateway 2.0 includes much-needed per-user controls that allowed individual users in eWEEK Labs test network to control what was—and was not—junk e-mail (see screen). Previously, MailFrontier ASG required users to go through an administrator to do this.

MailFrontier Anti-Spam Gateway 2.0
IT managers who have made the decision to keep anti-spam efforts in-house will find MailFrontiers updated Anti-Spam Gateway much easier to administer than previous versions of the product because users can self-administer anti-spam preferences. The subscription fee of $10 to $15 per seat/per year is competitive. In tests, the product was effective at blocking nearly all typical spam in English character sets. It was easy to review junk mail and adjust filter settings to make sure that "good" e-mail that was mistaken for junk was resurrected and subsequently passed through.
  • PRO: Delegates user self-administration to manage lists of good and bad senders; junk mail reports sent on a scheduled basis to end users.

  • CON: No ability to screen based on non-English character sets

    Solid Oak Software Inc.s Alligate Sunbelt Softwares IHateSpam Server edition
    Our experience in controlling unwanted e-mail was very similar to those with other junk-mail filters weve tested, such as Sunbelt Software Inc.s IHateSpam. It was easy for individual users to denote good and bad e-mail. MailFrontier ASG used these individual lists, along with a companywide list, to effectively filter our e-mail.

    We used junk e-mail sent to eWEEK Labs during the past several months, along with messages sent from colleagues and readers, to test MailFrontier ASGs ability to sort the good from the bad. We had very few false positives (legitimate e-mail that was marked as junk), and these were easy to resurrect. However, the system was unable to block e-mail with non-English character sets.

    MailFrontier ASG 2.0, which shipped this week, costs $15 per seat per year for 250 to 499 seats. At 2,000 seats, the per-seat price drops to $10 annually. The subscription includes all MailFrontier spam-filter updates, as well as updates from traditional sources such as Mail Abuse Prevention System LLC and, along with algorithms that screen mail messages for patterns, HTML tags, words and spaces.

    MailFrontier ASG runs on Windows 2000, NT or XP. We recommend installing it on a stand-alone system with plenty of RAM so it doesnt become an e-mail bottleneck. IT managers should be careful to configure the mail topology so that MailFrontier ASG doesnt become a single point of failure.

    MailFrontier has client software for Microsoft Corp.s Outlook and IBMs Lotus Notes. Server-side software is available for filtering Microsoft Exchange, Notes, and Sun Microsystems Inc.s Solaris Sendmail and Postfix.

    MailFrontier ASG supplies an Apache Software Foundation Tomcat Web server and neatly lets users see junk e-mail with a click on a URL in the junk mail reminder message. Our test users could scan suspected junk mail and deal with it with ease. When we found a couple of pieces of legitimate mail in the junk box, it was simple to resurrect these messages and add the senders to our "good sender" list.

    IT managers should know that spam e-mail signatures are collected from thousands of MailFrontier anti-spam users. (This isnt a new development in MailFrontier ASG.) MailFrontier generates a checksum based on a portion of mail marked as spam. These checksums, which MailFrontier calls "thumbprints," are sent to and evaluated by MailFrontier, then sent to anti-spam gateways.

    Senior Analyst Cameron Sturdevant is at

    Related Stories:
  • Editorial: Spam Public Enemy No. 1
  • Bounty Hunting for Spammers?
  • Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo Take On Spam
  • Opinion: Spam Should Be Driving Technical Innovation
    Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant is the executive editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Prior to ENP, Cameron was technical analyst at PCWeek Labs, starting in 1997. Cameron finished up as the eWEEK Labs Technical Director in 2012. Before his extensive labs tenure Cameron paid his IT dues working in technical support and sales engineering at a software publishing firm . Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his analysis is grounded in real-world concern. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at

    Submit a Comment

    Loading Comments...
    Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

    Rocket Fuel