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Successfully moved away from POSTINI to SPAMHERO - some thoughts...

By Andrew Pollack on 05/13/2013 at 02:26 PM EDT

It's been almost a year since Google announced the changes in their "Postini" offering. I've been looking around, and finally chose to give Spamhero a try. As of today, I'm 100% switched over. Here's what I found, and a tip...

Accuracy: I'm can definitely tell you is that Spamhero is accurate. I've had no false positives so far, and just a few spam messages that have gotten through. I had many more of both with Postini. For what spam does get through, you get a custom email address to forward the offending junk to. They process it and use it for refining their filters. In Domino, that's a bit tricky since the incoming messages get converted to rich text and so on.

I created an agent that runs in the mail files on my server. It looks for any message a user drops in their "Junk" folder, and converts it back to a standard text message with all the headers intact so it can be reviewed and then it forwards that copy and deletes the one from the local mail file. My users just know to drop true spam into the Junk folder and forget about it. If anyone wants that agent, let me know.

Cost: I signed up for Postini through a 3rd party reseller back a few years ago when that as how it was done. They never did drop the price and I've been paying too much. Switching to Spamhero will save me a nice bit of cash every month as a result. Their charges are extremely reasonable. It's $7/month, or $5/month if you pay a year at a time. That price is "Per Domain" -- sort of. If you have multiple domains but they're all just essentially pointing to the same users on the same servers, which is typical for many of us holding domains for the future or to protect them, those are "aliases" and do not cost more. If I register one domain and have 10 aliases, it's still one domain.

Additional Costs: You can sign up as many people as you want in your domain and still spent $5/month -- unless you want to allow each of them to manage their own quarantine file. If you go that route, you add $1/mo for each individual quarantine user. Note that each user can have as many aliases as you want. For example, because I use domino, there are several variations on my name that all go to the same place, as well as the "info, sales, postmaster, etc.." types of addresses. These aliases do not add cost.

Configuration: Spamhero seems a little less granular in its configuration than Postini, and I thought I'd miss that. It's so accurate, however, that I'm not finding it to be a problem at all. It's basically the same kind of setup, only with different screens and menus to figure out. I'd say it's more intuitive than managing Postini, but that's not saying much. Overall it wasn't hard, just different. Now that I understand it, it's much easier. It doesn't have quite everything that Postini offered, but it has what you need.

Support: Support has been outstanding so far. Spamhero is a much smaller organization than postini, and that has it's ups and downs. They do have phone support, but they really strongly suggest you use their form or their email. They say right out front that they want to keep costs down. I can respect that, since I do the same thing with Second Signal. When I tried it, it worked very well. I ran into an issue adding in aliases, because the form wouldn't accept "%" or "/" characters in the address. I thought it was going to be a deal breaker for me. I wrote an email and explained that those were valid characters and that I needed them. The response came back about 2 hours later -- they apologized for the oversight and had already fixed it on the web site. Try getting google to do that.

Stability: This may be the downside compared to Postini. Spamhero is clearly a small, tight, organization and while I'm sure they're reliable and I've never heard anything negative at all -- you do take some risks when you're relying on a younger company that is trying to move quickly. For example, they responded to my help message by changing their production website within 2 hours. That was amazing for me, but makes you wonder about change control and security on the inside of the organization. I don't consider smtp mail secure anyway unless it is encrypted, so I'm not too concerned about it. I'll keep the TTL on my MX records to 30 minutes so if they ever do go away or something I can quickly route mail directly to my own servers while they deal with it.

Overall: I'm glad I've made the move. I'm getting accurate results, good support, good performance, and spending less money.


There are  - loading -  comments....

re: Successfully moved away from POSTINI to SPAMHERO - some thoughts...By Ray Bilyk on 05/13/2013 at 09:58 PM EDT
I would love to have a look at that agent... Thanks for the offer!
re: Successfully moved away from POSTINI to SPAMHERO - some thoughts...By Brendan Long on 05/14/2013 at 02:11 AM EDT
Thanks for posting this. I found out recently that our parent company is
migrating to cloud based email and will be switching off the ironport servers
that they have been letting us use for a pittance in 6 months or so.

I was struggling to find a good cost-effective spam filtering solution, but
this looks like it could do the job for our organisation. Cheers!
SPAMHERO - some negative thoughts...By Imtiaz on 12/13/2013 at 12:26 AM EST
I beg to differ. Spamhero was nothing but a big mistake for me.
My emails were rejected by domains saying my SPF was incorrect, some people
could not send me email as they were getting errors.

The boys at SH simply could not help. They tried hard but it was clearly beyond
their skills and knowledge.

I decided to give Postlayer a try, what was there to lose? My email was
becoming a mess and I had to create a gmail account as a backup.

Postlayer worked too well. Straight out of the box it worked brilliantly. I
then started to set up TLD blocks and this was simple. WIth Spamhero they dont
have TLD blocking and you need to fiddle to get this to work, not always

I cancelled two domains with Spamhero and lost $!00 after just a month. But to
me my emails are worth more that messing with Spamhero and chasing them for a
refund that has still not eventuated.

Spamhero is a big NO NO. Give it a miss guys.
re: SPAMHERO - some negative thoughts...By Andrew Pollack on 12/14/2013 at 01:25 PM EST
I ultimately moved off Spamhero because I didn't feel they were blocking
enough. It's true they don't have as many options and features as some, but
the price is right and performance is good.

As to your SPF -- frankly, that's not their problem. SPF is under your control
not there's and it's something your own DNS expert should be handling.
re: SPAMHERO - some negative thoughts...By Anonymous on 12/02/2014 at 03:22 PM EST
SpamHero has nothing to do with your SPF records. Your failure to understand
SPF configuration strongly implies that your other issues were with your
configuration and not with SpamHero.

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