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In September 2003, eWEEK teamed up with Internet service provider WiscNet and some of its customers for a comparative evaluation of anti-spam systems. In this special report, eWEEK Labs catches up with some of the participants to see what anti-spam system they decided to go with and why—and how their choices have held up over time.

WiscNet, based in Madison, Wis., is a nonprofit, membership-based association of public and private organizations with a primary emphasis on education, research and public service. The association currently serves 100 mail domains and about 20,500 e-mail accounts.

At WiscNet last month, Postini Inc.’s Perimeter Manager Enterprise Edition—the anti-spam service selected by WiscNet after our evaluation—filtered 2.61 million e-mail messages and quarantined more than 300,000 pieces of spam, one-third of which contained a virus.

Three organizations that were part of our initial evaluation each decided to use a product or service other than Perimeter Manager Enterprise Edition. The School District of Cambridge, based in Cambridge, Wis., chose FrontBridge Technologies Inc.’s TrueProtect service; the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay went with Sunbelt Software Inc.’s iHateSpam software; and Carroll College, in Waukesha, Wis., decided to use Solinus Inc.’s MailFoundry appliance.

In the case studies that follow, eWEEK Labs explores the challenges these organizations faced and the lessons they learned one year after implementing their respective anti-spam systems.

And what a year it’s been. We’ve seen the failure of federal CAN-SPAM legislation to stem junk e-mail, as well as the breakdown of the Internet Engineering Task Force’s MARID (MTA Authorization Records in DNS), which has stymied efforts to advance the promising SenderID e-mail authentication scheme.

Each of the anti-spam tools that we cover in this package succeeded in adapting to the changing spam battlefront, but this was due in no small part to administrators’ clear ideas about what constituted spam for their respective organizations and how to deal with it.

Click here to read the case study of the Cambridge, Wis., school district.

Click here to read the case study of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Click here to read the case study of Carroll College.

Technical Director Cameron Sturdevant can be reached at

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