Solved

To choose a POP3 Parser

Posted on 2006-11-09
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Last Modified: 2008-03-06
Hi! We have a Windows SBS 2003 and uses the built in POP3 Connector for downloading mail through our ISP. About 25 mailboxes. We're tired of this 15 minutes parsing and other things that POP3 Connector limits because of it's nearly useless interface.

What other pop3 parsers are good to use?
No advices who leading us to use Exchange as direct delivery, we already have it in mind.

Trying and configurating takes some time and risks to interrupt the mail process for all or some employees (it's already did) :p. I've tried pop3 beamer who seems nice at first glance. After a while there appears to be doubles of some messages. Also mail sended from inside our organisation to mailboxes that not exists in Exchange, was sended back with error delivery, instead of routing it to our ISP's smtp-server. I've configured Exchange to act that way. I don't know why pop3 beamer are disturbing this at all, but now with pop3 beamerservice uninstalled it works as before - mail to unknown mailboxes routes to our ISP's smtp.

With above you understand a little about our needs.
- And u also understand I'm not interested in POP3 Beamer as advice :-).
- That does not matter if the program costs some dollars. POP3 Beamer costs 180$ and that's fine if it would working.
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Question by:dingir
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by:
trenes earned 200 total points
ID: 17905179
Hi dingir,

The only parser I know and have used is vPOP3.
You might wanna take a look at that one.


Cheers!
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by:dingir
ID: 17905226
Hi trenes! Thank's for answer.

That was a hugh software! We're not out for replacing Microsoft Exchange, just the parser for pop3 download from our ISP. But it appears to support forwarding to an Exchange Server on same LAN, so I will take it as a advice though.
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by:trenes
ID: 17905234
We use it at one office to connect to another ISP to retrieve email.
Because the hoster of one of our domains doesnt want to send email to machines that have another Isp.
On the backend we have Exchange 2003 SP2.
This scenario looks pretty much the same as yours thats why I posted.

Hope not to have scared you...
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Author Comment

by:dingir
ID: 17905251
Not much :)
I will await a day or two, though.
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Assisted Solution

by:redseatechnologies
redseatechnologies earned 200 total points
ID: 17905332
Hi dingir,

There is a simple solution, stop using POP3 connectors - they are all rubbish.

But, as you don't want that answer - look at GFI -> http://www.gfi.com <- their pop3 connector can download at lower intevals, although that is not really recommended.

The reason why it is 15 minutes between downloads is simple - it stops flooding the internet with useless requests and, it will be less likely to corrupt an inbound email.

The reasons to NOT use ANY pop3 connector are simple, first, IMF isn't going to work, second, Recipient filtering wont work, and finally, you are sending your email credentials out, over the internet, in clear text!

-red
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 17907679
Read my blog entry on why POP3 connectors shouldn't be used.
http://www.sembee.co.uk/archive/2006/09/25/25.aspx

Then get your email configured to be delivered directly. You will find that Exchange is a lot happier working how it was designed.

Simon.
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Assisted Solution

by:cjtraman
cjtraman earned 50 total points
ID: 17907811
try pop@gify (www.popagift.com)
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Author Comment

by:dingir
ID: 17912893
Sembee
I don't need fact about not using a pop3 parser. I already telled ya. However if you help me with a catchall-box (which means NOT sending NDR's) and a easy working antispam/spamtrainer, there's only time and resources needed to configure Exchange for taking e-mail directly. I know you'dd be happy making me use Exchange for direct delivery, and that little help might do it :-).

redseatechnologies and cjtraman
Maybe there is less problem (regarding my question) to continue use Microsoft POP3 Connector. POP3 Connector, compared with other solutions, may be the most reliable alternative -- and are in that way we need, the simpliest alternative until Exchange can be used for direct delivery.
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by:Sembee
Sembee earned 50 total points
ID: 17913712
You don't want to use a catch all.
Catch all mailboxes are nothing but a spam and virus trap.
The best way to work with Exchange 2003 is to have email delivered directly by SMTP and then configure recipient filtering and the tar pit.
Any email destined for users who exist will be delivered directly immediately.
Any email destined for unrecognised users (misspelling or just spam) will be rejected at the point of delivery. An NDR will be generated, but by the server that is sending the message. You will not get blacklisted for spreading back scatter and a legitimate email sender will get a failure message immediately. If they are sure that they have the address correct and continue to get the failure message from their own server then they will often contact the recipient to find out if it correct.

To give you an idea, I have a site that drops 10,000 messages a DAY that are misaddressed. If those messages were delivered to a catch all, then they would have to be filtered, and also use up a lot of bandwidth. You save a massive amount of bandwidth by rejecting the messages at the point of delivery, something that a POP3 connector cannot do, because the messages have already been delivered.

Furthermore, if your server is targeted with an NDR attack, you will not generate the NDRs, you will just come in to the office one morning and find that the catch all mailbox has 100,000 or more messages in it that are all spam. It will be impossible for you to filter legitimate from spam so you will just delete the whole lot. Don't forget that if you have accepted those messages in to a mailbox, then your store will have increased in size. Depending on the size of the attack you may well have a down Exchange server because you have hit the database size limit.

As for anti spam and anti virus filtering, I have actually found that the same technique deals with both. That technique is greylisting. I have written about greylisting on my blog, but it basically rejects all email with a temporary failure. Spammers and virus bots don't try again, legitimate servers do. Greylisting can be carried out by both GFI Mail Essentials and Vamsoft ORF but require the messages to be delivered directly by SMTP to work correctly. Greylisting doesn't require any training.

The most effective method for dealing with viruses no anti virus company actually does. The best way for them to work would be to have a reject everything but... list. You would then put in the extensions and file types that you would allow. For most sites this list would be about half a dozen file formats.

Unfortunately the AV companies are as bad as Microsoft, and operate on the allow everything unless told otherwise, as it limits the support calls from people who don't understand why something does not work. You have to put in a list of bad extensions and file types and block those.

Anti virus is reactionary, so in most cases is close to useless. Therefore your choice of AV comes down to who can provide the most cost effective solution and then block the nasties. There are various lists on the internet, I start with this one to begin with: http://www.exchangefaq.org/faq/Exchange-5.5/Martin-Blackstone's-List-of-Danger/sectionID/1017
and then add others as required. By simply blocking extensions you can deal with about 95% of all threats.

Switch to direct delivery - your users will love you for it and you will wonder why you ever tolerated the awful POP3 method of collection.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:dingir
ID: 17913882
Hmm I think we keep using POP3 connector as we do today for a while. Thank's for the help..
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