How to Choose the Best Anti-Spam Filter — 5 Things to Look for

If you run your own email server, there are many anti-spam services and software that help you fight spam. Many of these anti-spam filters offer similar features, but they’re not all created equal. We’ve put together a list to help you make the smart choice for your business.

These are the key features you should be looking for to get the best bang for your buck:

1. Buying anti-spam software vs outsourcing to a 3rd party anti-spam filtering service

We recommend outsourcing because the sheer volume of spam that’s floating around these days is often debilitating. We have client companies where 98% of mail they receive is spam! Before outsourcing their anti-spam filtering needs, their MS Exchange email server was always busy and someone told them they had to upgrade the server. The fan of the server would always be running like a jet engine. What we found out was that the server’s CPU was just busy processing spam. After outsourcing to a spam filtering service, only good mail comes through, and we confirm for them that they don’t need to upgrade after all.

2. Does the service “mailbag” for you?

Mailbagging means they will temporarily store the incoming email for you in case your email server is down, whether it’s due to maintenance or problems. It’s like “vacation hold” from the post office. That’s helpful because you know someone’s got your back, and your mail won’t be bounced back to the sender. When your email server is running again, your queued mail will flow back to you right away, and nothing’s lost. It gives you a peace of mind, and makes you look better in front of your customers.

3. Easy blacklisting and whitelisting of domains and/or specific email addresses

Whitelisting is the opposite of blacklisting, meaning you want email from that domain (i.e. all mail coming from or that specific email address to come through to you, and not being marked as spam, ever.

4. Report of spam

You want to be able to see what has been blocked, in case there is a false positive and that e-invoice or customer payment authorization email you have been waiting for is being trapped by mistake. This report may come in a form of an email, or direct access to the management portal.

5. Easy recovery of non-spam mail

Since a good anti-spam service will hold all the spam while giving you only the good mail, if there is any false positives, you want to have an easy way to recover the non-spam mail.

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