CipherTrust's IronMail appliance offers an impressive collection of features for mail security. We were only interested in the anti-spam component and it did not disappoint. Setup is easily accomplished with a wizard GUI though you can get down and dirty with the text console interface if you want.

The web interface is secure and easy to use with superb context help at every stage. It makes you wonder why the company bothers to include a detailed manual.

A dashboard view gives a bird's-eye view of all running services and basic statistics. Admin roles can be delegated too, which is a big plus for enterprise users.

The system can use a wide range of anti-spam techniques, including text analysis, RDNS, RBL, Bayesian analysis, CipherTrust's own statistical reporting service and SPF, but not yet Microsoft's Caller ID or Yahoo's DomainKeys.

Spam is scored according to the results of the various tests and then dealt with according to the overall score. The defaults are good enough for most environments but you can tweak any setting you want for precision tuning.

The order in which mail is handled can be managed too. During a virus outbreak you might want anti-virus scanning performed first, then anti-spam, but for regular use the opposite may yield better performance. This could impact user groups, which can be processed differently by each engine and may affect mail routing depending on the scan order.

New rules can also be created on the fly (carefully) from user-reported mail or at an enterprise level by monitoring honey-pot accounts that the appliance will create and manage.

With a good webmail interface, lots of SMTP security and protection against dictionary attacks, this is a winning solution which is only diminished by a lack of flexibility in creating spam rules for different groups of users. The product tested well and spotted a high percentage of spam with a low ratio of false positives, although it struggled with HTML newsletters.

Product title
Product info
Name: IronMail (Anti-spam group test) Description: Price: $29,250
Great interface and impressive range of features.
Would benefit from more flexible group policies.
An excellent mail security product.

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