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    • #14021
      Jim Jones
      Moderator
      Member Points: 15
      Rank: 1

      I run two different Exchange 2010 environments, one for my employer and one for myself/ consulting clients. At the employers I have a Barracuda Spam Firewall that I am madly in love with, but that cost real money. For myself I’m currently using the built in spam filter but it seems to be doing a worse and worse job. Anybody have a good open source product they really like?

    • #14022
      Michael Pietroforte
      Keymaster
      Member Points: 32,919
      Author of the year 2018
      Rank: 4

      How many mailboxes do you have on your own Exchange server? Perhaps it makes sense to move to Exchange Online (Office 365). I recently moved from Gmail to Exchange Online because Gmail’s false positive rate became unacceptable. I haven’t seen SPAM in my inbox for weeks and no false positive so far. Office 365 uses Exchange Online Protection (EOP) which is a much better SPAM filter than the built-in on-premises version. For a comparison check this out. You can also use EOP for on-premises Exchange. However, I believe on-premises Exchange for small organization doesn’t make sense anymore. As a consultant you better make the move as soon as possible.

      As to Open Source SPAM filters, I somehow doubt that you will get better results. Good SPAM filters live from statistical analysis of a large user base and no one has more users than big freemail providers like Microsoft and Google. Even worse is that many free SPAM filters catch SPAM before they reach the Exchange server. This means that end users don’t receive these emails in their Outlook Junk Email folder. There is nothing worse for an Exchange admin than to receive phone calls every day from users who claim that a very important email they expect must be in your SPAM filter.

    • #14024
      Kyle Beckman
      Moderator
      Member Points: 332
      Rank: 2

      I’ll second Michael’s experience with Office 365.  My family had been using Gmail and recently switched over to Office 365.  While we didn’t have the same problem with false positives, I personally was getting a large number of false negatives.

      I also found it concerning that were were getting so much spam delivered into the Spam folder.  I know for me, nearly 50% of my email was accurately marked as spam and moved to the Spam folder.  At work, we drop anything above a certain threshold just because it is so obviously spam.  I never completely understood why Google saw fit to drop that into the Spam folder if it was so obviously spam.

      After switching, the spam has slowed to a trickle.  I can’t say I’ve seen any false positives since switching either.

    • #14025
      Jim Jones
      Moderator
      Member Points: 15
      Rank: 1

      Just a handful of mailboxes honestly, but it helps to serve as my testbed for everything else that I do.  The beauty of a Technet subscription is that I can run my own stuff here, learning as I go months before I do a deployment for either my primary employer or for consulting clients.  Also helps from time to time when writing articles here. 🙂

      For that reason I don’t really want to convert to Office 365, but it would be nice if I could block things better.  I used to play around with a product called Untangle, but they have since gone to the community/pay versions model where anything you actually want you have to fork it over for.

      Regarding open source availability, a little secret about anything Barracuda puts out there as a product is that they just put a pretty front end and hardware around proven open source products.  Their spam firewall is based on a product called SpamAssassin, the web filter is just Squid.  I’ll probably end up going that route but my Linux-fu is from time to time flaky and I don’t have the time to learn it right now.  So the products are there, at least on the Linux side, but are a bit cumbersome to use and manage.

    • #14029
      Michael Pietroforte
      Keymaster
      Member Points: 32,919
      Author of the year 2018
      Rank: 4

      Kyle, I guess Google is currently experimenting with their spam filter. I found disturbing that even if I told Gmail that a certain email was not spam, the next email from the same sender landed again in the spam folder. Even Google’s own automatically created emails were sometimes marked as spam. Quite funny!

      Another advantage of Office 365 is that if you use Outlook you can mark emails as spam within your email frontend. I suppose that Microsoft uses this information to improve their spam filter. With Gmail I always had to switch to the web frontend.

      Jim, I can understand that you want to get experiences with deploying Exchange. However, in the near future it might be more important that you have experiences with Exchange Online.

      If you want to stay with your on-premises Exchange server, you could try Exchange Online Protection. It only costs $1 per user/month. I‘d say that is close to being free and you get a professional cloud based spam filter. The advantage of a cloud solution here is that you don’t have to take care of the frequent updates. EOP is updated several times per hour whereas the built-in Exchange filter only two times per month!

      By the way, a description of the setup process would be a nice article for the 4sysops blog. 😉 Microsoft claims that it can be done in one hour.

    • #14068
      Volker Bachmann
      Participant
      Member Points: 82
      Rank: 1

      We use an Ironport Mail Appliance (C160) for Virus and SPAM Filtering in front of our Exchange Cluster.

      Yes, it’s expensive but it works great. 🙂

      Regards,
      Volker

    • #14069
      Michael Pietroforte
      Keymaster
      Member Points: 32,919
      Author of the year 2018
      Rank: 4

      Volker, do end users have access to filtered emails?

    • #14071
      Volker Bachmann
      Participant
      Member Points: 82
      Rank: 1

      No, only admins can release mails afaik. That’s best for us.

    • #14072
      Michael Pietroforte
      Keymaster
      Member Points: 32,919
      Author of the year 2018
      Rank: 4

      Interesting, we had a solution like this. At least once a day we got a phone call that an important email was missing. Even though we never found a false positive in the filter, phone calls kept coming in. I guess this solution only works if your end users don’t know that you have a spam filter. 😉

    • #14424
      prejay shah
      Participant
      Member Points: 0
      Rank:

      We usually recommend Mimecast as a SaaS solution for the majority of our customers.

      They use greylisting to prevent spam from reaching the customer, but also offer a business continuity solution through their own webmail site and an Outlook plugin for when your mail server or internet connection goes down, an email archiving solution, email branding and more.  Can’t recommend them enough.

    • #14443
      Diniz Goncalves
      Participant
      Member Points: 0
      Rank:

      Our company uses Exchange 2007 with Cyberoam CR100ia for a firewall and Websense Email Security.

      Cyberoam works great, couldn’t really say the same thing about Websense.

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