There are two main ways to get your email. Your ISP (Earthlink for example) hosts your email for you and you download it directly from them to your email program. Many businesses do this and it works for them (and for me). The other method is to have your own email server. The benefits of having your own email server is that you can control all aspects of your email – adding new users, spam/virus protection and more.
In the world of email servers there is Microsoft Exchange, which is a VERY powerful and feature rich tool especially combined with Microsoft Outlook. Microsoft Exchange (and Outlook for that matter) is expensive and requires some level of expertise to install, configure and maintain.
Competing with Exchange are many low cost email servers, which are simpler to install and while they might not offer as many features as an Exchange/Outlook combination offer enough features that will be more than sufficient for most businesses.
Kerio Email Server 6.1 is a $500 (for up to 20 users) email server that takes only a few minutes to install (no more than 30 minutes claims Kerio) and offers solid security and anti-spam tools right out of the box.
Founded in 1997, Kerio started selling firewalls and routers but in 2002 launched a mail server product which now has 8,000 customers.
What I like best about Kerio’s email server is its focus on security. Kerio has added SPF (definition), a method of email domain authentication, to augment the already included Caller ID, a similar technology developed by Microsoft. (Read about Microsoft’s Spam/Phishing Guru Speech here)
In addition, the new Spam Repellent feature effectively fights off both spam and viruses by inserting a delay in the SMTP (SMTP definition) handshake (DEFINE), which causes a virus or spam-sending zombie to give up the connection attempt.
“?Our tests showed that Spam Repellent effectively cuts 60 to 70% of spam and viruses before they reach the mail server,”? said Dusan Vitek, VP Marketing at Kerio Technologies Inc. ¬”Best of all, there are no false positives because this technique does not affect legitimate email traffic.”
Kerio has also added dual anti-virus scanning so that mail administrators can use both the built-in McAfee Anti-virus and a third party anti-virus through a provided plug-in. Plug-ins are available for Symantec, Sophos, Grisoft AVG, Eset NOD 32, Computer Associates and for the newly added VisNetic Antivirus. Although Windows is the dominant operating system for small-medium sized businesses there’s many that use Mac OS X or Linux – Kerio runs on thse two platforms as well.
Kerio MailServer 6 is available for download on a 30-day trial basis at www.kerio.com/kms.
If you are using Microsoft Exchange and are looking to switch Kerio offers a free migration tool. If you have another email server, Kerio’s technician’s will gladly help you make the switch. If you are not using an email server, but think one is right for you. Consider Kerio and/or talk to your local solution provider.
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