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  1. #1

    Question Hosts with decent spam filtering...

    We have a couple domains and only a few users. We recieve several hunder spam messages per day per user. We've tried a few hosts, as well as hosting our own mail server with dismal spam filtering results.

    Since we're small, we can't really afford to spend a lot on hosting. Are there any domain hosts out there the offer good spam filtering and are reasonably priced?

    We don't have much in the way of requirements. Basically, we need:
    - Good webmail interface
    - SQL server

    Nice to have
    - Domain registration costs included in hosting price
    - MS SQL server
    - ASP

    We're currently looking at ixwebhosting.com, but they don't have a customer forum, so it's really difficult to judge whether or not they are reliable. The price is right and they seem to offer a lot with their hosting.

    ...anywhere else we should be looking?

  2. #2
    Hi,

    I think everyone is getting killed with spam, filters or not. I personally don't filter my e-mail because I'm afraid it would filter out the ones I actually need. There's always something like CommonRoom but until a lot of people switch over I'm afraid it's going to get worse before it gets better.

    Aaron
    Aaron Greenspan
    President & CEO, Think Computer Corporation

    http://www.thinkcomputer.com

  3. #3
    The only real solution I see is to charge postage for outgoing email.

    Really, would 1cent per message kill you? It would definately slow down spammers.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    100 messages per day = 100 cents = 30 dollars a month per user. Outside of 1st world countries, that's a lot of money. So yes, it will kill me :-)

    And Spam! It's getting us all! Here's an email I recently sent to our clients (It's like saying "Sorry, I give up!")

    To our valued clients:

    Here are some updates on the increased level of spam. Note that despite the spam that actually gets through, there are thousands more that are already blocked by our server (apparently, 91% of all emails are spam). At this point, there really isn't much more we can do. Of course, there are tools available to accurately and efficiently block spam, but it will be a very expensive undertaking. For now, we just have to bear the burden of spam.

    IMPORTANT REMINDER
    When sending out important / urgent emails, always request an acknowledgement from the recipient. Unfortunately, in an effort to curb spam, a lot of servers tend to block legitimate emails as well. When possible, use other means of communication to confirm the receipt of a very important email (a text message, phone call, etc.)


    Some news excerpts:

    Spam Now Worse than Ever Before
    (Yahoo! News - 27 Nov 2006)
    A new report from e-mail vendor Postini indicates that spam -- or unsolicited commercial e-mail -- is worse than it has even been. According to the San Carlos, California-based firm, the percentage of spam grew by 59 percent among the 70 billion e-mails that Postini processed from September to November alone, bringing the level of junk e-mail to a striking 91 percent of all e-mails sent.

    more...


    Spam Levels Up by 80 Percent
    (NewsFactor Network - 27 Nov 2006)
    As vendors come up with new techniques, spammers do, too. Image spam began popping up a few months ago, and security vendors responded with products that create a "fingerprint" of the message and match that against new incoming messages. Then spammers began randomizing image spam so that each message was slightly different from the last, therefore evading fingerprinting technology.

    Researchers and I.T. managers are confirming security vendors' claims that spam levels have spiked in the past month -- some say by as much as 80 percent -- and show no signs of decreasing.

    "There are enormous amounts of spam; it's shot up like crazy since the beginning of October," says John Levine, president of consulting firm Taughannock Networks and co-chair of the Internet Research Task Force's Anti-Spam Research Group, which operates a number of e-mail addresses that aren't filtered for spam. "Earlier this year I was seeing about 50,000 spam messages a day, now I'm seeing 100,000."

    more...


    Spam trail uncovers junk empire
    (BBC News - 25 Sep 2006)
    An investigation into a seemingly routine series of spam messages has revealed how sophisticated the business of online crime has become...

    ...Analysis of the net addresses where the e-mail messages originated showed that more than 100,000 hijacked home computers spread across 119 nations had been used to despatch the junk mail.

    ...Anyone clicking on the links in the junk mail messages would get re-directed to one of the 1500 domains - each one of which was made to look like a real organisation. "They were trying to make it look as legitimate as possible," he said. On some of the fake pharmacies, said Mr Peterson, the spammers had gone to the trouble of creating fake biographies for the supposed founders of the online shop. When an Ironport employee went to check the supposed real world location of one shop they found a vacant lot.

    (This is a very interesting article and we recommend you read it in full)
    more...

    The first line of defense is to make sure your office and home computers are adequately protected with the right anti-virus and anti-spyware tools (be forewarned that several free anti-spyware tools are in itself spyware and may include software to hijack your PC).

    Spam has also invaded the Blogging industry. Read about it here.

    As always, we continue to do our best to find ways and means of minimizing the incidence of incoming spam.
    The above I sent Nov 27, the one below Nov 10
    Bot nets likely behind jump in spam
    Robert Lemos, SecurityFocus 2006-10-27

    A significant rise in the global volume of spam in the past two months has security analysts worried that bot nets are increasingly being used by spammers...

    ...average spam volume has increased almost 30 percent...in the last two months...Spam blacklist maintainer TQMCubed has seen a 450 percent increase in spam in two months...the amount of spam filtered out every week by security software maker Sunbelt has more than tripled compared to six months ago.

    ...increasingly the spam emanates from networks of compromised PCs, known as bot nets...

    There is strong evidence that bot nets - networks of compromised PCs - are behind the recent jump in spam.

    "It use to be that 1 in 1,000 was a good success rate for a spam run. Now, it is more likely 1 in 100,000."

    Some Internet users have noticed an indirect effect of the surge in bulk e-mail. Spammers usually put another person's e-mail address in the sender's field of the message. Because many spam and antivirus filters send back a rejection message to the sender, the actual owner of the e-mail address will be inundated with replies.

    The majority of spam now seems to be pharmaceutical and stock related. In particular, image spam--which contains meaningless and random text snippets to throw off filters and an image with the actual advertisement--that touts stocks has surged.

    While better technical defenses are needed, technology only goes so far, said TQMCubed's Hart. Its time that users are taught that anyone who responds to spam has become part of the problem.

    Read the full article here: http://www.securityfocus.com/news/11420

  5. #5
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    Toronto
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    And if you happen to find a host with decent spam filtering, I'd love to hear about it. I've learned to live with incoming spam. But because of spam, we're having outgoing email problems (mails that never reach the recipients). Yahoo! has started to block (on and off) emails from the hosts I use. More about that here.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by one19
    100 messages per day = 100 cents = 30 dollars a month per user. Outside of 1st world countries, that's a lot of money. So yes, it will kill me :-)
    If you're sending 100 messages a day you are either spamming or running a business.

    $30.00 per month is not a large amount when considered as a business expense.

    Consider how much time/money you would save not having to deal with the amount of spam that we see these days!

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    This sholdn't get in technical issues but requests for service if you're looking for a hosting provider.

    Why not stay with your current provider and use a third party mail filtering service such as appriver.
    Upload Guardian 2 - Malicious Upload Scanner - Windows and Linux!
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    Get notified when released

  8. #8
    I'd highly recommend finding a host that offers PostINI. From experience, it's the absolute best spam prevention system that currently exists. Without it, I'm confident my servers would be crawling. And I've had ZERO complaints from clients about valid email being blocked since we implemented it about 6 months ago.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Ramprage
    This sholdn't get in technical issues but requests for service if you're looking for a hosting provider.
    Wasn't sure where it should go. I've got no problem with this post moving to a more appropriate forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramprage
    Why not stay with your current provider and use a third party mail filtering service such as appriver.
    The problem is the bazzillion spams that end up in Webmail. We end up missing legitimate email.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SNorton
    If you're sending 100 messages a day you are either spamming or running a business.

    $30.00 per month is not a large amount when considered as a business expense.

    Consider how much time/money you would save not having to deal with the amount of spam that we see these days!
    100 emails in a 10-hour work day is just 10 emails per hour. That's not spam at all.

    In a country where the basic monthly salary for a new graduate is US$130, would you agree that $30 is a lot of money?

    In any case, it is a sound idea but not realistic. You know that. Email is global so you can't implement something like that.

    You can implement Box Trapper though and only accept emails from a very short list of users. That's fine if you're not looking for new clients.

    And by the way, deleting incoming spam takes 5 seconds so it's not that not much of a problem, specially when we are actively looking at our emails during the day. It'll be a problem if you use a catch-all mailbox which we've totally eliminated about 6 months ago.

  11. #11
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramprage
    This sholdn't get in technical issues but requests for service if you're looking for a hosting provider.
    SNorton, if you're looking for hosting or reseller hosting, then indeed I'm putting you off topic. Sorry about that. You could request a moderator to move this to either Web Hosting Forum if you wish.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by one19
    100 emails in a 10-hour work day is just 10 emails per hour. That's not spam at all.
    That's an email every six minutes. If you spend all day doing nothing but pushing email, then it sounds like spam.

    Quote Originally Posted by one19
    In a country where the basic monthly salary for a new graduate is US$130, would you agree that $30 is a lot of money?
    Nope... If it's your own business, then why would you only pay yourself $130? If you work for someone else, then it's THEIR expense.

    Quote Originally Posted by one19
    In any case, it is a sound idea but not realistic. You know that. Email is global so you can't implement something like that.
    Of course it's realistic. Paper mail needs a stamp to get delivered. I don't see the post office disappearing any time soon.

    Also, it would not be unreasonable for an ISP to provide the first "x" messages for free. If they let too much spam through, then they risk their listing on the "registered postage paid ISP" list. The "one cent" per message was just a starting point. Obviously that amount would change based on the service. It could also be staggered, with cost increasing at certain message limits. It would also allow users to better control how many messages they would send out. ISP's should provide a mechanism where the user could say "stop accepting my mail after 'x' messages."

    Quote Originally Posted by one19
    And by the way, deleting incoming spam takes 5 seconds so it's not that not much of a problem, specially when we are actively looking at our emails during the day. It'll be a problem if you use a catch-all mailbox which we've totally eliminated about 6 months ago.
    5 seconds? Maybe per message... considering the 100+ per day, that's at least an hour a day dedicated to deleting crap that shouldn't be there in the first place.

    Anyhow, I didn't mean this to turn into an argument.

  13. #13
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    Maybe the answer is too look into a specific mail filtering service

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SNorton
    Quote Originally Posted by one19
    100 emails in a 10-hour work day is just 10 emails per hour. That's not spam at all.
    That's an email every six minutes. If you spend all day doing nothing but pushing email, then it sounds like spam.
    If you think one email every six minutes is spam, you probably don't have a clue about spam.

    Are you aware that if I send a message to a client, copy 2 of his staff and 2 of my staff, that already counts as 5 emails? So if I send 2 emails like that in an hour, I have 10. And I'm called a spammer?

    This is spam:
    Quote Originally Posted by BBC Article
    Every day for 14 days the spammers behind the junk mail campaign pumped out more than 100m messages. source
    That's about 5,000 emails every minute. And that's just one campaign by one spamming group.

    Quote Originally Posted by SNorton
    Nope... If it's your own business, then why would you only pay yourself $130? If you work for someone else, then it's THEIR expense.
    I don't pay myself $130 but I have 10 people that I have to pay $130 each. If I had to pay for my emails and those of my 10 staff, then I'd have nothing left as profit. So when the day comes that your suggestion comes to fruit, I'll probably have to close down. And it's not like email is free anyway. I do pay for an ISP and a hosting package as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by SNorton
    I don't see the post office disappearing any time soon.
    And when was the last time you used the post office, may I ask?

    Anyway, you make good points. I hate spam as much as you do and in fact, your not the first to make such a suggestion.

    Cheers!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Airdrie, Alberta, Canada
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    Why not find a host with certain spam measuring systems already in place? You can go in and set your own rules for spam prevention. Even better is a host who offers specific spam filtering services that automatically remove the suspect emails then send you a quaranteen report once a week/day/month. It has cut down our spam levels drastically. And nothing gets deleted until you delete it. Something to think about.
    Dan Bulmer
    CRUSE Hosting Services
    http://www.crusehosting.com
    Full H-SPhere Clustered Servers

  16. #16
    Just point your MX records to Google and let GMail handle it. I get about 50-100 spams a day, but they're all properly identified as spam and quarantined, their webmail interface can't be beat, and you'll also get unparalleled reliability. Not to mention the other collaboration applications they offer...

    http://www.google.com/a/

  17. #17
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    I'm sure a lot of hosts would like to reply to you, but (unless I'm mistaken) unless you post in the requests forum, they can't respond.

    Frank
    Umbra Hosting
    cPanel | Softaculous | CloudLinux | R1Soft | Ksplice
    Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, VPS, Dedicated Servers, Colocation
    UmbraHosting.com

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by crusetech
    Why not find a host with certain spam measuring systems already in place? You can go in and set your own rules for spam prevention. Even better is a host who offers specific spam filtering services that automatically remove the suspect emails then send you a quaranteen report once a week/day/month. It has cut down our spam levels drastically. And nothing gets deleted until you delete it. Something to think about.
    I would agree. There are also companies like Postini, Message Labs, etc. that filter the mail. However, it just reverses the situation.

    Right now, everytime I check my Inbox, I do a quick sweep of spam mails (they get kinda obvious) and remove them.

    For another corporate client, they subscribe to Message Labs. But the thing is, we have someone assigned to look at the reports 4 times a day to identify false positives. Surely, we can "teach" Mailsweeper by adding specific email addresses to whitelists.

    Ultimately, there are ways to fight spam. But for the moment, as much as I hate to admit it, spammers are winning.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous Coward
    Just point your MX records to Google and let GMail handle it. I get about 50-100 spams a day, but they're all properly identified as spam and quarantined, their webmail interface can't be beat, and you'll also get unparalleled reliability. Not to mention the other collaboration applications they offer...

    http://www.google.com/a/
    It's something I've been contemplating. It's just that Google doesn't give any kind of indication how long it's going to remain free (it could be free forever as they like reading our mail anyway)

    If they end up charging, they also don't give any clue on the costs either.

    A good suggestion nonetheless. And for those who don't know this yet, check out the link given. Thanks!

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous Coward
    Just point your MX records to Google and let GMail handle it. I get about 50-100 spams a day, but they're all properly identified as spam and quarantined, their webmail interface can't be beat, and you'll also get unparalleled reliability. Not to mention the other collaboration applications they offer...

    http://www.google.com/a/
    Looks good, but I see one problem...

    How do I retrieve my email with Outlook? GMAIL doesn't provide POP access.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by ffeingol
    I'm sure a lot of hosts would like to reply to you, but (unless I'm mistaken) unless you post in the requests forum, they can't respond.

    Frank
    I did try and post in the "Advertising" area but I don't have permission to post to those groups.

    I chose here because I figured that Spam Control would be a "Technical" type issue.

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