Additional antispam services

Does Hosting Matters offer any additional antispam options beyond MailScanner?

As of May 2016, yes: after examining various services and evaluating those services for things we deemed most important, we tested several. The components of the testing were designed to gather statistics on overall effectiveness and false positive rates. After selecting the best performing candidates, we further evaluated them on the level of granular control, speed of processing, ability to integrate with existing systems, and cost effectiveness. Of those, we selected one.

After 16 years of not filtering mail destined to our support addresses (the addresses that land in the helpdesk), the sheer amount of junk had reached the point where the time had come: filtering has been put into place to stop the tidal wave of spam that has to be cleared out of the desk on a daily basis. This will have the positive side effects of allowing us to focus more quickly on client tickets, keeping mail processing at the helpdesk level down, and keeping the mail queue on the server holding the helpdesk clean of the buildup of undeliverable autoacknowledgements thanks to spammers using invalid/inactive/nonexistent addresses as the return addresses. 

What this means for clients: mail handling is being put through a filtering process at an external location. Some ISPs, if they are not sending mail for our domain to the appropriate highest priority MX records, may get rejected with a notice to send the mail to the correct servers based on the MX records in place. If you receive a notice of this sort, please head to the helpdesk and open a ticket directly. It is not necessary to log in to submit a ticket; simply use the contact form. Alternately, you can use another email provider - gmail, yahoo, etc. - to send us an email. Please include the rejection message, along with any support-related question you have. We will drop a note to the misbehaving provider and also address the support issue.

What this also means for clients: the service used for this filtering is the same one we can also offer to clients who prefer to have another level of antispam processing done. 


Costs: setups for filtering are done in multiple of five addresses. The first pack of five addresses designated for filtering will be invoiced at $60/year. Each subsequent pack of five addresses is invoiced at $50.00/year. While the number of addresses designated by a client may not be an exact multiple of five, all invoicing is done on the basis of those packs.Invoicing for this, as for domains and secure certificates, is not done on a refundable basis, due the engineering involved in setting up any domains for this service. Because of this, we will grant a 7 day trial period in order for clients to decide if they wish to retain the additional filtering. If not, the setup can be reversed and all mail handling done as usual in the local network. Any pricing changes announced by the provider at any point in the future will be announced to all clients in advance of those changes, so clients using the filtering service can determine if they wish to retain the service. Cancellation of the filtering can be done at any time.

How it works: when a client opts for the additional filtering service, we will request any addresses that are to be filtered. The addresses can be any valid email address at any domain attached to a client account. The only requirement is that the mail for the domain(s) be handled in the local network. With this information, we will create the rules necessary on the local servers, and then update the MX records for affected domains to point primary mail handling to the external filter. Domains for which DNS records are managed externally for mail handled within the local network must have the MX records changed at the third party DNS location in order for the filtering to become active. Mail will be sent to the service for filtering. Spam, viruses, and other such things will be quarantined at that level, and the rest handed off to the local servers for delivery as usual. Email addresses not designated for filtering at the service will simply have mail passed through unfiltered to the local servers, where MailScanner will take over as usual. It is not necessary to have every address at a domain set up for filtering, although this can be done if desired.

Performance: as with all reliance on third parties, there are no guarantees. However, our testing has shown that the effectiveness is excellent, and there have been no discernable delays in processing of mail sent to the filtering service, scanned, and then passed through to the local network. As is our habit, we will periodically take measurement samples to ensure that the flow of mail is as expected. We will also periodically generate reports from the logging on the filter side to determine any issues that need to be addressed related to that filtering.

Management: changes in domains and addresses will be managed by us, just as we manage other systems-level items within the network. Any domains and addreses to be added or removed from filtering can be submitted via a ticket to the helpdesk, as with any other support-related item.

Resellers and dedicated server clients: this additional filtering service is also available for your clients. The overview items listed above are the same for general shared, reseller, and dedicated clients. 

As always, if you have specific questions that are not addressed in this article, or just wish to get started and add filtering for any addresses at your domains, please content us via the helpdesk as usual.

  • 11 Users Found This Useful
Was this answer helpful?

Related Articles

EMAIL: Deferred mail when sending to Yahoo

Issue: Mail sent to Yahoo-based addresses, particularly from mailing lists or forms, results in a...

How can I reduce the amount spam I receive?

The following steps will help to dramatically reduce the amount of spam seen in your mailbox.1....

Cannot send email: No valid recipient error

Symptom: Client using Outlook reports that sending mail fails with an undeliverable notice. The...

How do I set a filter to delete spam using Mailscanner

Standalone filters are unnecessary. To delete mail tagged as spam by Mailscanner, choose the...

Email: Not receiving email

Symptom: Client is not receiving email at one or more mailboxes under their account.Cause: Most...