Kerio tunes mail server to fight spam

Kerio Technologies last week released a new version of its mail server with a focus on mobile users, administration and helping users battle the spam and viruses that plague e-mail today.

Kerio MailServer 6.1 , which is designed primarily for small and midsize businesses seeking an alternative to Microsoft's Exchange Server, includes a host of e-mail hygiene features, and support for Apple's Tiger operating system and Microsoft's Outlook-like Entourage client for the Mac.

Also new is the Kerio Synchronization Plug-in for Outlook, which supports offline access to contact and calendar data for roaming users.

To combat e-mail-address spoofing, Kerio is adding support for the Sender Policy Framework (SPF), a method for authenticating e-mail domains. The server already supports CallerID, a similar technology developed by Microsoft.

Another new feature, Spam Repellent, inserts a delay in the SMTP handshake, causing a virus or spam-sending zombie to fail in its attempt to connect to the server. Kerio officials say the feature can eliminate up to 70% of spam and viruses.

"They are putting everything together in a nice package and aiming it at the SMB space," says Michael Osterman, president of Osterman Research. "They have this Spam Repellent feature to do connection blocking, so you can stop spam before it gets to the network. That is fairly important, because I think we have gotten to the end of content filtering in a way, and now you have to stop spam further back in the network, so you don't have to handle the bandwidth."

On the anti-virus front, MailServer 6.1 will support the use of a second anti-virus software package in addition to the McAfee software built into the server. Kerio is adding support for VisNetic Antivirus to its current lineup, which includes Symantec, Sophos, Grisoft AVG, Eset NOD 32, and Computer Associates products.

Also new is an HTML editor for Kerio's Web mail client, which will allow for the use of rich text in the client. The editor works with Internet Explorer,Firefox and Safari Versions 1.3 and 2.0. A free/busy feature will make the client compatible with Outlook. The company also has added performance enhancements to its Web Mail Mini client, which is designed for such devices as cell phones and PDAs, and older browsers.

In addition, Kerio is adding a simplified version of the MailServer administration console, a remote tool that lets users add or delete user accounts.

The server starts at $499 for 20 users. The version with built-in McAfee anti-virus protection starts at $899. MailServer 6.1 runs on SuSE and Red Hat Linux, Apple's Jaguar, Panther and Tiger, and all versions of Windows Server.

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