Everything has its negative side. Email has its own evil twin brother; spam. We as emails users, suffer everyday due to the amount of spam we receive every day. Most of the spam we get to our direction is cleaned by the spam filters deployed at the email servers. Although this is the case, we still get some amount of unwanted emails to our Inbox.
There are a several ways of blocking spam and most prominent ways are use of a good spam filter at the server level and if required at the client level, and the use of a spam appliance. The spam filter is software developed and configured for filtering the unwanted emails before it reaches your email client. The software can be installed at the email server level as well as the client level. The success of the spam filtering depends on the ability of the spam filter based on the filtering rules and algorithms. When it comes to the spam appliance, the story is bit different. This is not a software product for filtering unwanted emails; rather this is a hardware product. Have you seen firewall or load balancer hardware products? Yes, spam appliance is the same.
Do you need a spam appliance? This is one of the popular questions when it comes to buying a spam filtering solution. Imagine scenarios where you get only a couple of unwanted emails a day and your organization is small or medium scale. In this case, you may want to have a spam filter installed in one of the two levels. Since your company is a small entity, you may not get thousands of emails every day. Therefore, investing in a good spam filter is enough for your purpose. In case if your organization is a large organization where you receive thousands of emails and thousands of spam emails every day, it is ideal for you to go for a spam appliance.
The spam appliance is specifically designed and produced for catching spam and you need to connect this to your email server. The spam appliance is equipped with an operating system (a light weight operating system, mostly a Linux flavor) and spam filtering software which is hardware based. The spam appliance is more robust and efficient when compared with the software counterpart. But this robustness and efficiency come with a cost. The spam appliance is quite expensive compared to the software based filters and only affordable for medium or large scale businesses.