Product Information

Ipswitch IMail

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June 28, 2004
Vendor:

Ipswitch Inc.

Product:

Ipswitch IMail (Anti-spam group test)

Website:

http://www.ipswitch.com

Price

IMail Professional with service agreement including Ipswitch Instant Messaging with service agreement - $2,444 for unlimited users

RATING BREAKDOWN

  • Features:
    starstar
  • Ease of Use:
    starstarstarstar
  • Performance:
    starstarstar
  • Documentation:
    starstarstar
  • Support:
    starstarstar
  • Value for Money:
    starstarstar
  • Overall Rating:
    starstarstar

QUICK READ

  • Strengths:

    Lots of well-integrated messaging facilities.

  • Weaknesses:

    Only basic spam filtering.

  • Verdict:

    Get it for the messaging, not the anti-spam.

IMail is a mail server suite offering all the standard mail protocols, web mail, messaging, mailing lists and filtering. The install is easy and the software can use the internal Windows user database or its own user list. We experimented with the former, but having to manually remove the system users, we opted for the IMail internal database. This could cause headaches for organizations using consolidated user management tools.

Virtual servers are configured and inherit the overall configuration. Separate domains could be managed by creating multiple virtual servers, although the effect would be clumsy. Filtering can go to the level of individual addresses, with regular expression-based filtering on any mail header. The users themselves have little control over the process, which is disappointing.

RDNS checks are done on mail sources and RBL support is included (without it, the spam filtering is not particularly impressive).

Handling options are basic. Junk mail can be deleted, forwarded, or tagged with a header. The product does not use spam signatures and so does not receive updates, which limits filtering.

Advanced spammers will have little difficulty beating IMail filters, but the majority of the spam in our test spool has readily identifiable hallmarks. Even without advanced filtering, some basic rules helped IMail catch a healthy amount of spam with no false positives.

Logging is basic too: each entry has a time stamp, a message ID and a spam score, but no explanation of how the score was calculated (making administration tricky). You have the option of logging to a local text file or a log server.

The PDF documentation is adequate, but the context help is better. Once in the GUI, we had no need for the user manual. IMail is easy to set up and maintain, but should be behind a more accomplished anti-spam product. You do not want your primary messaging server doing front-line filtering.

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