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Currently we are using bitdefender for mail servers to scan for spam, viruses and content filtering. We chose bitdefender as it receives all incoming emails and forwards them to our internal windows IIS SMTP-service.

Bitdefender is also the protection for our SMTP to not be used as spam relay as it allows certain IPs to send from only.

The question is: are there any alternatives to bitdefenser for mailserver?

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Sure, there are many alternatives to BitDefender.

  • Barracuda makes a drop-in appliance which is used by many smaller companies. I'm not a big fan, but it works well enough.
  • OpenBSD has a the very nice SpamD daemon specifically for greylisting and lightweight filtering in front of 'heavy' techniques such as SpamAssassin or Bayesian filtering. (SpamD doesn't do antivirus on its own.)
  • Google has a hosted service which is super-simple to set up (provided you can change your domain DNS MX records), and can both do spamfiltering, antivirus and email archiving.

For all of the above there are several competing products / similar solutions from others.

Personally, I prefer light-weight greylisting in front of an individual Bayesian spam-filter, as this solution in my experience gives the lowest false positive rate. This does however require some training of the end users. If that's not an option, then I would probably go for a hosted 'set it and forget it' solution next, such as Google's Postini service.

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I get excellent results using a Linux-based mail server running Postfix, amavisd-new, Spamassassin (with the SARE rules), ClamAV, and SqlGrey. It's all free open-source. Very few spams get through untagged.

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thank you. Our environment is windows only at the moment. – Uwe Sep 30 '09 at 16:02

Even bein windows-only, you might want to make a compromise by running SpamAssasin inside a VMware virtual appliance like SAVASM or Spam Vigilante. They're both effective, easy to configure, free and Free.

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