MDaemon -- An easy-to-use mail server with extensive functionality for small-to-medium size business.

By ServerWatch Staff (Send Email)
Posted Jun 5, 2002


MDaemon is a versatile mail server available in two versions, Standard and Pro. The standard version offers extensive e-mail functionality, and the professional version offers the additional features of handling multiple domains and support of IMAP protocol making it more suitable for ISPs and other enterprise-level organizations.

Set-up involves downloading from the site and following installation instructions. Systems administrators knowledgeable about back-end e-mail technology like IP addresses should have little trouble installing the package in five minutes. Less-experienced users may have to use the online help or e-mail support, or in some cases take advantage of Deerfield's telephone technical support. In either case, installation should not take longer than ten minutes.

MDaemon is a versatile mail server available in two versions, Standard and Pro. The standard version offers extensive e-mail functionality, and the professional version offers the additional features of handling multiple domains and support of IMAP protocol making it more suitable for ISPs and other enterprise-level organizations.

The package performs most e-mail functions a user would probably want, and in fact product development is driven by (and responsive to) user suggestions. The server can be administered locally using an intuitive GUI or remotely using MDConfig or WebConfig. A nested menu of installation options gives the user choices of numerous configuration options to accommodate a wide range of needs, including auto-responders, forwarding, server-side mail filtering, threading options, LDAP support, spam Blocker, ATRN, extensive alias options, SMS gateway support, and other functionality. A memory resident portion of the program monitors the e-mail received according to a user-defined schedule, and it has gateways to Microsoft Exchange Server.

MDaemon also includes extensive list server capabilities. It offers free unlimited mailing lists with the standard six-user license, giving users a combined full-featured mail server and list server. An organization could theoretically purchase MDaemon just for its list server capabilities and have a list server at a price lower than other list servers on the market.

MDaemon's main limitation is the maximum size of the user base it can accommodate, which is approximately 50,000 users.

Both MDaemon versions include a Web-based e-mail client, WorldClient. MDaemon makes it possible to use a company-name-based e-mail address (as opposed to a HotMail or Yahoo account). The extensive interface enables users to check or send e-mail from anywhere. MDaemon also offers an upgrade to WorldClient Pro, which provides additional features, such as the capability to customize the interface to meet organizational needs. MDaemon can also be configured as an integrated package with other software from Deerfield, such as RelayFax Pro, which provides e-mail-to-fax and fax-to-e-mail functionality.

MDaemon is designed to run on any Windows version (except 3.1), but not Mac or Unix. The minimum hardware configuration is a 486 microprocessor with 16 MB of RAM, though significant system throughput requires a more powerful machine.

The first version of MDaemon was released four years ago, and the latest version is 3.5. (Our initial review of MDaemon, v 2.75b can be found here.) Release of 4.0 is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2001. Version 3.5 is 7.2 MB, and is priced starting at $199.95 for a six-user license ($299.95 for the Pro version). We believe it is a good buy considering the ease of use, flexibility, and extensive functionality. A 30-day trial version is available.

Pros: o Convenient installation, o Configuration flexibility, o Extensive functionality, o Convenient manageability
Cons: o Accommodates no more than 50,000 users, o Could be expensive for some enterprises, o Limited to the Windows operating systems, starting with Windows95

New in v3.5.6: Fix made to stop a memory leak in the IMAP server; crash problem in WorldClient Standard and WebConfig Web server fixed; "Send As" address now works correctly as MAIL FROM when forwarded; "local only" restriction are applied when mail is collected via DomainPOP; Release Notes
Upgrade Meter: 2

New in v3.5.7: The "Allow for SUN OS compatibility" switch has been generalized beyond specific Sun OS issues so that it fixes several problems with non-RFC-compliant e-mail messages; fix made to | char in list member names that caused crashes; fixed crashing caused by errant packets from certain DNS servers; fixed MD_SpoolMessage so .TMP files are created rather than .RAW files; fixed HEADER macro that was not working in RAW files containing attachments; fixed DoS reported against IMAP server EXAMINE and SELECT commands; fixed uninitialized value in DomainPOP settings; Release Notes
Upgrade Meter: 2

New in v4.0.0: support for public IMAP folders; custom mail queue support; improved content filtering and account restrictions; inactive account and old mail purging functionality; integration with Outlook/WAB address books; reverse look-up verification; enhanced relay control and list purging; LDAP database capabilities; automatic gateway creation based on MX records; enhanced domain gateway hosting; an enhanced MDaemon API; various GUI tweaks; multi-POP collection frequency controls now part of the misc. options dialog; creates a log entry each time any of the servers are toggled; performance improvements for large-scale Win98/ME sites; opens message attachments in WC standard in a new window; WC Standard now properly handles address book entries with single quotes in them; IP Cache settings can be edited without having to enable the caching engine; default mail directory is auto-generated when creating a gateway; added date stamp to SMTP greeting strings to aid with debugging; Release Notes
Upgrade Meter: 4

New in v4.0.2: SendMail's misc. option setting "Strip NULLs, EOF chars, and allow LF.LF to mark end of message" has been updated to also permit "\n.\r\n" to mark the end of a message; treats the "Disposition-Notification-To:" header and the "Return-Receipt-To:" header identically, allowing delivery confirmations triggered by messages from Microsoft Outlook; WorldClient Standard will update the HIWATER.MRK command after reading a message so that the POP LAST command will be correct; added switch to automatic gateway creation, thus preventing the process if the sender of the triggering e-mail message is a local user; when MDaemon is running in the system tray (no GUI), the log file will be updated but the on-screen log will not; users can reply to an automatic unsubscribe notification message to have the address re-subscribed to the list; added PTR record data on incoming hosts to Received headers; better memory management to allow more simultaneous in/out connections; MDStats displays public folders on the queue page and more information on the report page; Release Notes
Upgrade Meter: 2

New in v4.0.4: Can increase the kernel socket send buffer size by manually setting a key in the MDaemon.ini file; to save CPU cycles, when the server is minimized to the system tray, text that is tracked into the log file is not mirrored on screen; several internal changes to support localization; RAW message processing system now honors .LCK files; Release Notes
Upgrade Meter: 2

New in v5.0.1: Redesigned the primary MDaemon GUI into a multi-tabbed style interface to increase the efficiency of the software and compartmentalize on-screen information; added a composite view via the Windows menu; support for LDaemon (a LDAPv3 server for Windows NT/2000) integrated into MDaemon; integrated support for the Deerfield-Kapersky anti-virus system directly into the MDaemon software; split content filtering engine into a separate process; e-mail addresses longer than 24 characters can now be input on the account restrictions page; can test whether a header exists as a condition to rules processing; added a COM system to the programmable API; added scrollers to dialog elements in WorldClient/RelayFax screen; support for the LOGIN SMTP authentication mechanism; when an IMAP folder is renamed, all IMAP rules referencing the folder are updated with the new name; added a content filter action to 'Jump to Rule' by name; changed the size of the Content Filter/DKAV options dialog to fit on a 640x480 screen size; WorldClient now includes customizable HTML/graphic capability and access to IMAP folders for IMAP-based accounts; if an SMTP transmission during an ATRN session receives a 5XX error code, the message is routed back to the original sender rather than left in the gateway mail directory; extended characters in the Full Name field work with LDaemon and other LDAP servers; support for more selective logging; WorldClient and WebConfig no longer run as NT services even if MDaemon is set up to run as an NT service; account editor's IMAP Mail Rules' folder list lists all IMAP folders and decodes encoded folder names; account and MDConfig passwords may now contain (but not start with) spaces; added link to edit retry queue settings to the Queues menu; Release Notes
Upgrade Meter: 5

New in v5.0.2: Modified MDaemon COM object for use with ASP; fix made so server can detect WorldClient if installed; fixed broken WorldClient Help link that occurred when using the Standard theme with a language other than English; fixed message duplication bug when importing from WorldClient Pro and MDaemon's "Use safe UIDL Hash method" is turned off; fix made to content filter GUI changing the REMOTE queue to LOCAL queue processing; fixed content filter rules with the REMOTE queue only specified incorrect processing; fixed cfengine.exe crashing problems; content filter now catches attachments that had file names that are 7-bit encoded in the message header; fix to installer not installing or registering the COM object; locked server no longer grants GUI access; invalid characters are now correctly stripped from filenames when MDaemon is set to extract message attachments; fixed LDAP back-end DLL incompatibilities with IE 6; AV Update messages are now generated for updates that take longer than 10 minutes; WorldClient users can delete public folders; WorldClient now stays on the account creation page after creating a new account; Release Notes
Upgrade Meter: 2

New in v5.0.4: Modified the MDaemon COM object to work with ASP; WorldClient language defaults to the language of the version installed; MDaemon now detects WorldClient when installed; fixed broken WorldClient Help link when using the Standard theme with a language other than English; fixed message duplication bug when importing from WorldClient Pro and MDaemon's "Use safe UIDL Hash method" is turned off; fixed content filter GUI changing the REMOTE queue to LOCAL queue processing; fixed cfengine.exe crashing problems; installer now installs and registers the COM object; locked server no longer grants GUI access; invalid characters are all stripped from filenames when MDaemon is set to extract message attachments; fixed LDAP back-end DLL incompatibilities with IE 6; AV Update messages are generated for updates that take longer than 10 minutes; WorldClient no longer crashes when displaying HTML messages with embedded images; fixed the attachment compression option to exclude *.p7s digital signature files from compression; various content filter fixes; Release Notes
Upgrade Meter: 3

New in v5.0.5: Additional internal support for the German language version; support for specifying the Content-Type and CharSet used when creating RAW messages via the DLL API; fixed 'Strip X-type headers' and 'Strip invalid From' headers that were not always working properly; fix made to MIME Content-ID header being duplicated in some RAW messages; fixed empty string so that it is no longer accepted as a valid IP address; fixed a bug that allowed non-ip values when creating secondary domains; fixed MessageInfo.BodyFilePath and MessageInfo.AttachmentFilePath, which were not being honored; Release Notes
Upgrade Meter: 2

Version Reviewed: 3.5
Reviewed by: Eric Schayer
Last Updated: 2/20/02
Date of Original Review: 12/14/00

Click here for the complete review of MDaemon v2.75b




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