Review: iHateSpam for Exchange

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Once installed and running, iHateSpam for Exchange performed quite well, but the installation got off to a rocky start.<

Once installed and running, iHateSpam for Exchange performed quite well, but the installation got off to a rocky start.

The software demanded (but did not provide) new versions of some Windows components. Also, the software correctly identified the Exchange service but failed to display the name correctly, which other products had done, calling it "instance 1" instead.

A couple of errors were visible in the documentation, too: "Set the delete threshold to be same as the delete threshold," is not very illuminating. Fortunately, the context help is much better.

Once installed and running, it is easy to manage. Policies are set up globally and then on a per-group policy basis which offers good flexibility.

Users can whitelist by domain, display name and email address, and the software cheekily whitelists by default. Character sets can be used as spam-scoring criteria which is useful if you are receiving a lot of foreign language spam or junk mail routed from some relays. Custom filters are easy to create but are quite basic and not as comprehensive as we would like.

The actual spam detection was adequate although it struggled with a lot of mailing lists – even plain text ones.

A nice touch is a drag-and-drop whitelist/blacklist in Exchange, which allows users to easily manage their own filters by simply placing messages in the appropriate email folder. The documentation says this can take a while to take effect, but it seems quick to update in testing.

A number of useful graphs are built into the MMC management snap-in, offering snap-shot views of current performance as well as trend analyses.

One downside: we were highly disappointed not to be able to reach support after hours.

As a pure anti-spam solution, we think iHateSpam has a way to go. Some of the basics are solid but the overall result lacks some advanced features and, without a supporting suite of other facilities, it needs to be a lot stronger to stand against stiff competition.


Well-integrated, easy to manage and maintain.


Tricky set-up. Lacks advanced anti-spam features now standard elsewhere.


We expect more from a pure-play anti-spam offering.


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