How do I Choose the Best Exchange Spam Filter?

A. Rohlandt

Choosing the best anti-spam filter for Microsoft® Exchange will depend a great deal on your needs and your budget. The best Exchange spam filter will offer the following: learning ability, real-time updates, anti-phishing protection and user review of suspected spam. Junk mail can no longer be controlled by creating rules or simply blacklisting senders or domains.

A spam filter is designed to clean junk mail from a computer.
A spam filter is designed to clean junk mail from a computer.

Any Exchange spam filter will, by definition, be running on the Windows® operating system, but you still should verify that the program you choose is compatible with 64-bit versions if that is what is being used on your server. Options might include the ability to combine anti-virus protection. This is important because many viruses and Trojan horses exploit the programming in Outlook® which is part of the Exchange system. Pricing of the option versus the cost of standard anti-virus protection will be the determining factor.

Spam represents a very real threat to millions of e-mail users worldwide.
Spam represents a very real threat to millions of e-mail users worldwide.

Real-time updating could be a feature that is desired. The spam protection software is linked to a central database that instantly updates the program when a new spammer or threat is identified. User review of suspected junk mail will help the Exchange spam filter learn what is and is not spam. This also will prevent the anti-spam filter from deleting legitimate messages that might share an element with actual junk mail. The filter should also be able to recognize and stop spam from foreign countries or in foreign languages.

Since Exchange is a Microsoft® product, it probably will be a good a idea to choose an Exchange spam filter developer who is listed by Microsoft® as a certified partner. These firms work more closely with Microsoft® than other independent programmers and receive extra support from the company. They have demonstrated an ability to work within the infrastructure of Windows®-based applications.

The best Exchange spam filter is going to be flexible, powerful and created with foresight to grow with your needs. Prices vary based on the number of users on the server. There are a number of possible programs out there, and most of them will offer a trial period so you can see how easy they are to work with and how well they can fit your needs. After your research is completed and you have made your selection, you can make your purchase with confidence.

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