Review: MX Guarddog

I stumbled across this site, and decided to give it a try. Yeah, I don't know if it's even a legit service, but I decided to route ALL my mail through them.

Their price is 25c per email address per month, which is cheap if you have just one address. I, unfortunately, use four. If I decide to use MX Guarddog permanently, a couple of these will be going away because I'm that cheap.

You can get around this fee by putting a link to their service on your site. These are text links that you embed in your pages. They also offer a second link program, which goes to a parter website, which is an online diamond buyer, diamonds2cash.com. I'm not sure how trustworthy they are, but they didn't get found in any searches related to scams, fraud, or rip off. I'm currently getting 10 tokens a month, and when that's banked, I'll remove some links.

MX Guarddog seems to be a combination of a greylist and a Spamassasin-style spam filter. They appear to use LogSat SMTP Spam Filter server on Windows.

What you do is change your MX records so all your mail is routed through their servers first, then forwarded to your servers.

That's the good news. It's cheap, and is a functioning greylist, which is good.

They also have a broad customer base, so that helps to build a list of good servers. That was the problem with greylisting on my own - if you don't have a good list of good servers, it takes forever to get your mail. That's just unacceptable because you often need to reset website passwords, and a delay sucks.

Some servers don't even retry to sent the resetting email if it's greylisted. This is the main risk with greylisting.

I got an email confirmation from Ebay in three minutes. That's not too bad.

The bad news, in my situation, was that a huge amount of spam was being sent directly into my server -- over a hundred messages per day. The spammers had already got the servers on a list of servers that would accept email, and associated it with my email address. So for a few days, I kept getting spam, but it eventually died out.

The MX Guarddog was a little bit aggressive, and rejected some good messages. The quarrantine system worked well, and the quarrantine messages are clear. You just release and unblock the address, you'll get the messages.

Summary

Pros: cheap/free, effective, good quarrantine messages, doesn't introduce a long delay.

Cons: aggressive enough to give some false positives, all greylists are risky.