MailScanner (Un)Covered

By Robin Bains

September 16, 2013

I would like to start by saying Thank You to all our customers and clients and resellers for trusting us with such an important part of their messaging and security infrastructure. We will always do our best to provide you with the best product, support and value.

 I’ve been receiving a lot of requests on the main differences between BarricadeMX PLUS and the open source project MailScanner.  A lot of you have been asking “Robin, why can’t I just use the open source version of MailScanner?”.   Well, if you use our products, you already are, with a lot of extras added on to make your job easier.

Here is a short list of the features that BarricadeMX PLUS provides:


  1. Haraka – Our Haraka filter is the next level in filtering.  Fully event driven and super scalable.  Have a busy server, Haraka can handle thousands of simultaneous connections and not bring your server to it’s knees.  The smart filtering built into Haraka quickly identifies spam and rejects it immediately. Read our previous post on Haraka for more information here:

  2. Full Web Interface – PLUS has now enabled you to make all configuration changes right in your browser.  This is not a glorified web based text editor in which you edit the configuration files but a fully database driven system.  No more scrolling through endless lines of configuration data to find that relevant data. Everything you ever needed to configure or modify is available to you right up front.

  3. Postgresql Database – Since we migrated from mysql, our database issues have disappeared. The replication engine allows each node in a cluster to have the latest config data.  If the master node ever failed, the scanning nodes would carry on until the master comes back online. At that point, all nodes would get the latest config data.

  4. Reports and Reporting Module – Our reporting module is highly configurable. You can add as many or as little filters to satisfy your reporting needs.  Pull your reports in CSV or PDF format.  You can save customised reports instead of having to recreate them.

  5. Advanced Greylisting – Greylisting is a very effective way to reduce the amount of spam and traffic you need to process.  To implement greylisting correctly was not an easy task, but we made it work and results were well worth it.

There is so much more such as Recipient Splitting, Watermarking, URI checks, SPF checking, Rate Limiting / Throttling, Quarantine reports.

All of us need some type of support at one time or another. This is what separates us from others.  When you have a server down or your sales team is missing an order via email, you need to be able to track the issue down quickly. We are there for you.  You can call or email us.  We’ve been tracking our time to resolve support tickets and able to resolve 95% of issues within 2-3 hours of receipt.  Most are resolved even faster. Our team has a very deep and thorough knowledge of email and networking.  We are able to quickly pinpoint the problem and offer a solution.  We can offer 24*7 support if you require it.

We use and support MailScanner.  Our MailScanner Gold repository is a great option MailScanner users.  We have combined MailScanner, Spamassassin, ClamAV and all Perl dependencies and other essential components and put them into a RHEL/CentOS Yum repository. No more checking for updates across multiple sites and no more Perl OS updates breaking MailScanner or SpamAssassin.  With a single “yum update” you’re covered.

Use our Free Beta repository as much as you like. This contains all the latest versions of everything you need.

 As a user of MailScanner, we also like to contribute back to the community.  Some of our contributions have enabled MailScanner to use databases and LDAP for its configuration, the Spamassassin cache which is in use on all installations of MailScanner and our original ideas gave birth to MailWatch and paved the way for all of the derivatives of it that followed.  We also contribute to SpamAssassin and have produced the DecodeShortURIs and SaveHits plugins along with a lot of FSL_* rules which are now part of the base ruleset used by SpamAssassin.

In closing, my answer to the question  “Robin, why can’t I just use the open source version of MailScanner?” is you most definitely can.  If you have the time, knowledge and resources available to you it may be the right solution.  If you don’t, then BarricadeMX PLUS and our support team is the solution.

I look forward to hearing from you. My email inbox is always open!  Please send me your comments or concerns. If you feel we could be better in any way, let me know. You can reach me at or call me at +1.202.595.7760 ext.602.

Thank you for reading my first blog post for Fort AntiSpam.  I’ll be posting information about our products and new developments in Email Security so please keep checking back. We will be setting up a sign-up form so you can be notified when new information is posted.


Best regards,

Robin Bains

Business Development Manager



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