MailFrontier was a messaging security company selling email gateway security software and appliances. In February 2006, it was acquired by SonicWall. SonicWall is another security company, best known for its firewall and Virtual Private Network (VPN) appliances. MailFrontier products were rebranded to SonicWall, including what is now called SonicWall Anti-Spam Desktop (formerly MailFrontier Desktop, formerly MailFrontier Matador
). SonicWall Anti-Spam Desktop Version 184.108.40.20629 was installed and tested for this review on Windows Vista with Microsoft Office Outlook 2007.
SonicWall Anti-Spam Desktop is an Outlook plugin that provides anti-spam and anti-phishing functionality at the client level. With a combination of user input, challenge responses, and content filtering, SonicWall Anti-Spam Desktop does a good job of keeping Outlook inboxes clear of spam. SonicWall Anti-Spam Desktop is supported on Windows 2000 with Outlook Express 6.0, Outlook 2002 or 2003; on Windows XP with Outlook Express 6.0 or Outlook 2003 or 2007, or Windows Vista with Outlook 2003 or 2007. It really is an Outlook or Outlook Express solution only.
SonicWall Anti-Spam Desktop , at just under 7.5MB, installs smoothly as long as Outlook or Outlook Express are not running. The Wise installer passes through the typical screens including installation overview, license acknowledgment, and installation path. The installation offers five language options for the installation only; US English, German, French, Italian and Spanish. The License Agreement seems to be in English only. When the installation is completed, selecting the Finish button opens a browser windows to http://www.sonicwall.com/us/.
Opening Outlook after installing SonicWall Anti-Spam Desktop initiates the First Run actions. A popup recommends allowing SonicWall Anti-Spam Desktop to parse Sent Items and white list the recipients. SonicWall Anti-Spam Desktop assumes that people you have emailed already represent addresses that are not likely spam and can be added to the Allowed People list. The Allow and Block lists and other user configured settings are important components of customization which increase the accuracy of anti-spam assessments. Users can even block based on the character set in the message body, including Asian and Middle eastern languages. In addition, SonicWall is leveraging its anti-spam experience in processing millions of messages a day into the filtering of email (through its Network Grid) for SonicWall Anti-Spam Desktop. It's dynamic and takes into account the constantly evolving efforts of spammers. User interaction also contributes to Network Grid.
Enterprises know that spam is best dealt with at the gateway and not passed through the network to the email client. SonicWall's gateway appliances can use the Allow/Block lists from SonicWall Anti-Spam Desktop to drop messages before they make it to Outlook. SonicWall Anti-Spam Desktop can still be used on the client in corporate settings to capture spam that makes it through the gateway and incorporate user-specific preferences.