Spam Control Products Survey

Despite recent industry consolidation, many spam control vendors are still at large. It's hard to tell who's in the lead.

You can see what products people are evaluating here--see comments further down this page. If you add your own data, we will send you a summary of the findings. Please either post your response as a comment, or if you need anonymity, email it to survey@ferris.com and we’ll post your response without identifying you or your organization.

Please use your business email address in the comment form or if you email us your answers (we don't accept personal email addresses, to discourage fake responses generated to promote a particular vendor).

Many thanks -- David Ferris and Richi Jennings


Spam Control Product/Service Survey

Q1. What is the main spam control product or service you currently use?

Q2. Which alternative spam control products or services are you evaluating?

Q3. For each of those products or services, how do you rate the accuracy of the product at catching spam, without filtering out legitimate email too frequently?

  • Excellent
  • Good
  • Satisfactory
  • Poor
  • Very-poor
  • No-opinion

Q4. For your typical user, roughly how often does legitimate email get wrongly treated as spam?

  • Never
  • One per year
  • One per month
  • One per week
  • One per day
  • Several per day

Q5. Any other comments? (e.g., things you like or dislike about those products or services)

Q6. Rough number of people in your organization/company?

Q7. What is your job title; what do you do?

Q8. What type of business/industry is your organization in?

One Comment

  1. Kevin Adams
    Posted September 19, 2008 at 1:38 PM | Permalink

    Q1. Tumbleweed Email Firewall

    Q2. None at this time

    Q3. Good

    Q4. Once per month

    Q5. No.

    Q6. 2800

    Q7. CLient Server Analyst……Email Administration

    Q8. Legal

  2. Posted September 20, 2008 at 6:47 AM | Permalink

    Q1. Postini (via Google Apps)

    Q2. None at this time

    Q3. Excellent

    Q4. Once per month

    Q5. It’s a cloud based service, which is great b/c we don’t have to reboot, monitor or upgrade it.

    Q6. 25 (small business)

    Q7. VP Technology

    Q8. Systems Integration.

  3. dferris
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 12:40 PM | Permalink

    Posting from someone who requested anonymity:

    Q1. What is the main spam control product or service you currently use? Barracuda Spam Firewall

    Q2. Which alternative spam control products or services are you evaluating?

    Q3. For each of those products or services, how do you rate the accuracy of the product at catching spam, without filtering out legitimate email too frequently?
    * Good x

    Q4. For your typical user, roughly how often does legitimate email get wrongly treated as spam?
    * One per week x

    Q5. Any other comments? (e.g., things you like or dislike about those products or services)
    + easy to install and configure
    + personal white and blacklist
    – limitations in a global environment if you wish to run several, physically distributed boxes in one logical cluster (in order to make sure users only get one quarantine and have to maintain only one white and blacklist)

    Q6. Rough number of people in your organization/company? 400

    Q7. What is your job title; what do you do? Global IT Head

    Q8. What type of business/industry is your organization in? CRO / Pharmaceutical

  4. dferris
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 12:42 PM | Permalink

    Posting from someone who requested anonymity:

    Q1. What is the main spam control product or service you currently use? Microsoft Outlook Junk Mail

    Q2. Which alternative spam control products or services are you evaluating? Postini

    Q3. For each of those products or services, how do you rate the accuracy of the product at catching spam, without filtering out legitimate email too frequently?
    * Satisfactory

    Q4. For your typical user, roughly how often does legitimate email get wrongly treated as spam?
    * Several per day

    Q5. Any other comments? (e.g., things you like or dislike about those products or services). The solutions seem to vary in their accuracy – sometimes picking up most spam, sometimes not much spam, and sometimes completely misclassifying good email as spam. Lack of consistency.

    Q6. Rough number of people in your organization/company? 8

    Q7. What is your job title; what do you do? CEO – head of sales, marketing, business development

    Q8. What type of business/industry is your organization in? Technology

  5. dferris
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

    Posting from someone who requested anonymity:

    Q1. What is the main spam control product or service you currently use? Mail Frontier by SonicWall

    Q2. Which alternative spam control products or services are you evaluating?
    None

    Q3. For each of those products or services, how do you rate the accuracy of the product at catching spam, without filtering out legitimate email too frequently?
    * Good to Very Good

    Q4. For your typical user, roughly how often does legitimate email get wrongly treated as spam?
    * One per day to a few per day

    Q5. Any other comments? (e.g., things you like or dislike about those products or services)
    * Q4 should be elaborated upon to also say, “For your typical user, roughly how often does spam get wrongly treated as legitimate email?
    * My answer would be too often, but I think that’s more of a function of the sophistication with which spammers package in their spams.

    Q6. Rough number of people in your organization/company? 3500

    Q7. What is your job title; what do you do? Manager, Records Management

    Q8. What type of business/industry is your organization in? Printer manufacturing

  6. Posted October 11, 2008 at 9:23 PM | Permalink

    Q1. What is the main spam control product or service you currently use?
    cleartext

    Q2. Which alternative spam control products or services are you evaluating?
    none – was a messagelabs customer

    Q3. For each of those products or services, how do you rate the accuracy of the product at catching spam, without filtering out legitimate email too frequently?
    Both Clreatext and Messagelabs were excellent

    Q4. For your typical user, roughly how often does legitimate email get wrongly treated as spam?
    Not ad it happen yet that I know of

    Q5. Any other comments? (e.g., things you like or dislike about those products or services)
    Outbound virus blocking is more important to us than spam filtering

    Q6. Rough number of people in your organization/company?
    6

    Q7. What is your job title; what do you do?
    Technical Director

    Q8. What type of business/industry is your organization in?
    Software distribution

  7. Clayton Lee
    Posted October 12, 2008 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

    Q1. What is the main spam control product or service you currently use?

    Has been Symantec Mail Security for Exchange w/ Premium Anti Spam for around the last 3 years, but we are transitioning to the Cleartext SaaS platform.

    Q2. Which alternative spam control products or services are you evaluating?

    None

    Q3. For each of those products or services, how do you rate the accuracy of the product at catching spam, without filtering out legitimate email too frequently?

    Excellent/Excellent

    Q4. For your typical user, roughly how often does legitimate email get wrongly treated as spam?

    Cleartext – between 1 per month and 1 per year.
    SMSE – between 1 per week and 1 per month.

    Q5. Any other comments? (e.g., things you like or dislike about those products or services)

    SMSE is very resource hungry – one of our key reasons for moving away from it – a lot of our clients only have one or two servers, and SMSE can be a real hit on them.

    Cleartext initial provisioning can be a little patchy (we are provisioning 1-2 new services per month), but once in place the service is good.

    Q6. Rough number of people in your organization/company?

    Internally, 6 consultants. Across all of our managed sites, 500+

    Q7. What is your job title; what do you do?

    I own a small IT consulting company that specialises in IT support for small businesses

    Q8. What type of business/industry is your organization in?

    IT Consulting.

  8. Posted October 12, 2008 at 3:55 PM | Permalink

    Q1. Cleartext ClearEmail MX

    Q2. None

    Q3. Excellent

    Q4. None that IT know of

    Q5. Great portal access to monitor logs, reporting, changing forwarded IP’s etc.

    Q6. 200

    Q7. Information Systems Manager

    Q8. Architecture

  9. John
    Posted October 23, 2008 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

    Q1. What is the main spam control product or service you currently use? Webroot Service

    Q2. Which alternative spam control products or services are you evaluating? None

    Q3. For each of those products or services, how do you rate the accuracy of the product at catching spam, without filtering out legitimate email too frequently?

    Excellent

    Q4. For your typical user, roughly how often does legitimate email get wrongly treated as spam?

    One per month

    Q5. Any other comments? (e.g., things you like or dislike about those products or services) – having both an end user portal and email report is helpful to our varying user base expertise.

    Q6. Rough number of people in your organization/company? 350

    Q7. What is your job title; what do you do? Head of IT

    Q8. What type of business/industry is your organization in? Charity

  10. Posted November 3, 2008 at 6:46 AM | Permalink

    Anonymous response:

    Q1. What is the main spam control product or service you currently use? Cleartext

    Q2. Which alternative spam control products or services are you evaluating? None at the present time

    Q3. For each of those products or services, how do you rate the accuracy of the product at catching spam, without filtering out legitimate email too frequently? Excellent

    Q4. For your typical user, roughly how often does legitimate email get wrongly treated as spam? One per month

    Q5. Any other comments? (e.g., things you like or dislike about those products or services) Easy to manage system eg. rules config for outbound/inbound emails, easy viewing of system on web config/console, blocks 99% of spam great.

    Q6. Rough number of people in your organization/company? 35

    Q7. What is your job title; what do you do? IT Manager

    Q8. What type of business/industry is your organization in? Legal

  11. Posted November 3, 2008 at 6:47 AM | Permalink

    Anonymous response:

    Q1. What is the main spam control product or service you currently use? Cleartext

    Q2. Which alternative spam control products or services are you evaluating? None, but have used Messagelabs in the past

    Q3. For each of those products or services, how do you rate the accuracy of the product at catching spam, without filtering out legitimate email too frequently? Excellent

    Q4. For your typical user, roughly how often does legitimate email get wrongly treated as spam? Roughly once per week – sometimes more, sometimes less

    Q5. Any other comments? (e.g., things you like or dislike about those products or services) Image filtering could be better, but developers are very receptive to feedback

    Q6. Rough number of people in your organization/company? 35

    Q7. What is your job title; what do you do? IT Manager

    Q8. What type of business/industry is your organization in? Education

  12. Posted November 3, 2008 at 6:49 AM | Permalink

    Anonymous response:

    Q1. What is the main spam control product or service you currently use? Cleartext – Clearemail

    Q2. Which alternative spam control products or services are you evaluating? Fortigate FGB60 Appliance for content filrtering and ancillary protection of mail ports on our exchange server

    Q3. For each of those products or services, how do you rate the accuracy of the product at catching spam, without filtering out legitimate email too frequently? Excellent (98%+) Very Happy

    Q4. For your typical user, roughly how often does legitimate email get wrongly treated as spam? Never ( Has not happened in 9 months we have had the service running)

    Q5. Any other comments? (e.g., things you like or dislike about those products or services) Help is always a phone call away, great service, always helpful, great value for money.

    Q6. Rough number of people in your organization/company? 20 25

    Q7. What is your job title; what do you do? Director – Call Centre Manager / Operations Director – Oversee the daily operation of a 20 seat call centre, assist the business and technical teams, look at boatpoint too much.

    Q8. What type of business/industry is your organization in? BPO / Services / Outsource Marketing Services

  13. Posted November 3, 2008 at 6:49 AM | Permalink

    Anonymous response:

    Q1. Clearemail

    Q2. Nil

    Q3. Good to Excellent

    Q4. Can think of three examples in two years

    Q5. On one occasion, the service failed, but clearemail were quick to fix once we worked out the problem

    Q6. 40 to 50

    Q7. IT Manager – one of two IT staff, so very broad range of activities

    Q8. Advertising

  14. Posted November 3, 2008 at 6:50 AM | Permalink

    Anonymous response:

    Q1. What is the main spam control product or service you currently use? SecureMail by Secure Computing

    Q2. Which alternative spam control products or services are you evaluating? none

    Q3. For each of those products or services, how do you rate the accuracy of the product at catching spam, without filtering out legitimate email too frequently? Good

    Q4. For your typical user, roughly how often does legitimate email get wrongly treated as spam? One per year

    Q5. Any other comments? Difficult to learn to manage. Requires training.

    Q6. Rough number of people in your organization/company? 2700

    Q7. What is your job title; what do you do? System Administrator

    Q8. What type of business/industry is your organization in? Transportation and Logistics

  15. Simon
    Posted November 6, 2008 at 4:16 AM | Permalink

    Q1. What is the main spam control product or service you currently use? Webroot Email SaaS

    Q2. Which alternative spam control products or services are you evaluating? None

    Q3. For each of those products or services, how do you rate the accuracy of the product at catching spam, without filtering out legitimate email too frequently? Excellent

    Q4. For your typical user, roughly how often does legitimate email get wrongly treated as spam? One per year

    Q5. Any other comments? (e.g., things you like or dislike about those products or services)Extremely accurate performance,intuitive management portal and reporting features combined with fast and efficient support.

    Q6. Rough number of people in your organization/company?

    Q7. What is your job title; what do you do? Managing Director

    Q8. What type of business/industry is your organization in? IT

  16. Posted November 6, 2008 at 5:32 AM | Permalink

    Q1. What is the main spam control product or service you currently use?
    Webroot

    Q2. Which alternative spam control products or services are you evaluating?
    none – was a messagelabs customer

    Q3. For each of those products or services, how do you rate the accuracy of the product at catching spam, without filtering out legitimate email too frequently?
    Both Webroot and Messagelabs are very good

    Q4. For your typical user, roughly how often does legitimate email get wrongly treated as spam?
    Very rarely.. Usually when we are purposefully testing 🙂

    Q5. Any other comments? (e.g., things you like or dislike about those products or services)
    Management control with Webroot

    Q6. Rough number of people in your organization/company?
    15

    Q7. What is your job title; what do you do?
    Managing Director

    Q8. What type of business/industry is your organization in?
    Integrator and VAR

  17. Alan
    Posted November 7, 2008 at 2:52 AM | Permalink

    Q1. What is the main spam control product or service you currently use?

    > Webroot Email Security SaaS

    Q2. Which alternative spam control products or services are you evaluating?

    > None

    Q3. For each of those products or services, how do you rate the accuracy of the product at catching spam, without filtering out legitimate email too frequently?

    > Excellent – We have not seen a single spam message be delivered to our company email system

    Q4. For your typical user, roughly how often does legitimate email get wrongly treated as spam?

    > None that IT know of

    Q5. Any other comments? (e.g., things you like or dislike about those products or services)

    > Very impressive solution with the customer service to match

    Q6. Rough number of people in your organization/company?

    > 90

    Q7. What is your job title; what do you do?

    > Senior System Administrator

    Q8. What type of business/industry is your organization in?

    > Business Travel

  18. Posted November 8, 2008 at 5:21 AM | Permalink

    Spam Control Product/Service Survey
    Q1. What is the main spam control product or service you currently use?
    Webroot E-Mail Security SaaS
    Q2. Which alternative spam control products or services are you evaluating?
    None
    Q3. For each of those products or services, how do you rate the accuracy of the product at catching spam, without filtering out legitimate email too frequently?
    Excellent
    • Excellent
    • Good
    • Satisfactory
    • Poor
    • Very-poor
    • No-opinion
    Q4. For your typical user, roughly how often does legitimate email get wrongly treated as spam?
    Never
    • Never
    • One per year
    • One per month
    • One per week
    • One per day
    • Several per day
    Q5. Any other comments? (e.g., things you like or dislike about those products or services)
    Devastatingly accurate. Also filters out 100% of known viruses
    Q6. Rough number of people in your organization/company?
    40
    Q7. What is your job title; what do you do?
    Senior Vice President / CTO
    Q8. What type of business/industry is your organization in?

    IT Consultants providing outsourced IT support to several hundred clients

  19. dferris
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 3:30 AM | Permalink

    From a large retailer:

    These are my opinions – not my company’s but I wanted to get an enterprise survey in as it seems to be a lot smaller companies respond so far.

    Q1. What is the main spam control product or service you currently use? Currently we’re using IronMail/SecureMail from SecureComputing

    Q2. Which alternative spam control products or services are you evaluating? We just did a POC evaluation the latest SecureMail (hw & sw) with IronPort, PrrofPoint and Messagelabs. MessageLabs was just too expensive so we didn’t test it fully. The other 3 processed about 2.5M messages each during the POC. Cisco we estimated to be 99.9% accurate, ProofPoint 99.5% and SecureComputing 78.3%. While renewing with SecureComputing was the cheapest option we couldn’t justify “getting the same spam faster”.

    Q3. For each of those products or services, how do you rate the accuracy of the product at catching spam, without filtering out legitimate email too frequently?

    IronPort: Excellent
    ProofPoint: Good
    SecureMail: Very poor

    Q4. For your typical user, roughly how often does legitimate email get wrongly treated as spam? With SecureComputing – even on the latest h/w & s/w we got daily false positives (all the Ziff Davis email is always quarantined). We haven’t put in an override to see if the vendor ever fixes it. A lot of stuff scores borderline with SecureMail – with ProofPoint and Cisco it’s either spam or not. One of the two said their scoring distribution looks like a bathtub so you get a lot that are for sure legit, a lot that are for sure spam and a small number that’s border line. With SecureComputing so much is scoring between 40 and 70 (good and bad) you can’t trust it unless you’re willing to tweak it every day. If you’re a small business or if you’re domain is not a spam target you may not notice the poor performance of SecureMail but if you’re getting up to a million messages/week.the performance is unacceptable.

    Q6. Rough number of people in your organization/company? 45,000 (each user has access to any of 4 domains so we have 180,000 address attracting spam).

    Q7. What is your job title; what do you do? IT Architect

    Q8. What type of business/industry is your organization in? Non-computer Retail/Wholesale

  20. dferris
    Posted January 12, 2009 at 9:04 AM | Permalink

    From a small financial services firm:

    Q1. What is the main spam control product or service you currently use? Postini

    Q2. Which alternative spam control products or services are you evaluating? ???

    Q3. For each of those products or services, how do you rate the accuracy of the product at catching spam, without filtering out legitimate email too frequently?
    * Poor

    Q4. For your typical user, roughly how often does legitimate email get wrongly treated as spam?
    * Several per day XX

    Q5. Any other comments? (e.g., things you like or dislike about those products or services)
    * Lots of spam is getting through, especially in the last few weeks. Specifically, we are getting up to a dozen or more e-mails a day that Postini is not stopping that purportedly are coming from our own email address to our own e-mail addresses.
    * I hear great things about Cloudmark’s accuracy, but we use hosted Exchange and our vendor (Aptix) has a deal with Postini.

    Q6. Rough number of people in your organization/company? 5

    Q7. What is your job title; what do you do? Managing Partner; Manager

    Q8. What type of business/industry is your organization in? Finance

  21. dferris
    Posted July 9, 2009 at 5:13 PM | Permalink

    From an anonymous contributor:

    1) gmail
    2) none
    3) good
    4) one per day
    5) –
    6) 2
    7) IT
    8) Consulting

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