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.
EVALUATION SHORT LIST
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 ORDB.org, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.