Windows IT Pro readers voted Sunbelt Software's iHateSpam for Exchange as the best software they use. Clearly, the war on spam is still being waged and our readers make sure they have iHateSpam as part of their arsenal. The software quickly installs on Microsoft Exchange 5.5, 2000, or 2003 servers and uses two field-tested spam detection engines. By using both the iHateSpam for Exchange heuristic engine and the latest Cloudmark signature engine, current tests report greater spam detection with low false positives. To reduce the chances of the software incorrectly quarantining legitimate email messages, users always get email from people in their Contacts folder. Users can also review captured spam and can create their own personal whitelists and blacklists. As the administrator, you can also fine-tune the aggressiveness of the spam engines based on tunable parameters.

One user who testifies to the importance of iHateSpam for Exchange in his environment is Steve Withey is director of IT for Sevin Rosen Funds, a top-tier venture capital firm. He manages about 50 users and his environment runs all the standard Microsoft BackOffice products. He says, "Spam was out of control. When looking for an antispam product, one important criterion was to have a tight integration with Microsoft Exchange. We tested a few products that required the users to go to a separate URL to view, whitelist, and blacklist spam and they hated it. They felt it took too many steps." Withey read about iHateSpam in a magazine review a couple of years ago and thought he'd give it a try. He implemented the desktop version and then the server version after its release. He found it extremely easy to install and had it running in less than 30 minutes. "The product is just about idiot-proof. If you have any knowledge of Windows applications, you can use this product. I might have opened the manual for the initial install (just to be sure I had all the prerequisites installed). However, once that was done, it was relatively easy to understand and configure. I've probably done half a dozen upgrades of the products on 'production' servers without any trouble."

Spam was a huge problem at Sevin Rosen Funds. A number of the partners in the firm have had the same email address since the late 80s, early 90s. Withey says, "In those days, you were happy to give you email address out to everyone who asked for it. Today, those email addresses are on just about every spammers list (and they tell two friends who in turn tell two more friends and so on). My top five spam receivers gets a combined total of around 1500 spam messages per day. The legitimate email they receive is less than 5 percent of those 1500 messages!"

Sevin Rosen Funds end users' have become huge fans of the product and like that they can control their own spam. They can simply drag good and bad email messages to the respective Whitelist and Blacklist folders and no longer have to visit a Web site or run and learn a third-party application. Withey originally only installed the product for a few users in the Dallas office but he soon was getting requests from other users wanting the product installed. He says, "iHateSpam has freed up time for the firm's partners to read only the legitimate email. The product has been a hit with us since the very beginning!"