Try GFI Today! Free Trial!

GFI - Security and Messaging Software.GFI MailEssentials Online

Hosted email security and anti-spam filtering service

GFI MailEssentials Complete Online

Sorry, this product has been discontinued. Please contact us for a replacement solution.



Comprehensive, cloud-based email security

GFI MailEssentials Online is a cloud-based email security solution that offers comprehensive spam and virus protection, built-in continuity with always-on backup mail service and optional integrated archiving. The service is compatible with any email infrastructure and can be implemented in minutes.

GFI Software™ has been delivering award-winning, server-based email security solutions for years – helping even the most demanding organizations meet their daily security needs. GFI MailEssentials Online is built on that foundation and expertise, providing first-rate email security to help administrators build a secure and scalable messaging infrastructure.

GFI MailEssentials Online is part of GFI's family of email security solutions, offering organizations the ultimate in deployment flexibility via a hosted service, on-premise software or a hybrid of these options.

Block email-borne threats
Block email-borne threats

Improve your productivity, increase network security and enhance system performance with powerful protection against spam, malware and other email-borne threats.

Efficient spam filtering and improved deliverability
Efficient spam filtering and improved deliverability

Increase business efficiency with powerful business spam filtering, enabling you to save time and money. Monitor outbound emails for inappropriate message delivery attempts, and guard against domain or server blacklisting.

Archive email to meet compliance standardsArchive email to meet compliance standards

Quickly and securely archive your important email communications in our multiple, geographically distributed data centers. With unlimited storage and no ongoing maintenance requirements, the hosted archive service allows for fast and easy message search and retrieval. You can improve productivity, prepare for e-discovery, help ensure legal compliance and protect your company’s intellectual property.

No single point of failure Manage security in the cloud

Leverage multiple systems at multiple data centers for maximum scalability and reliability.

Compatible with any mail server Benefit from flexible reporting

Get comprehensive email security, email continuity, and email archive – regardless of your email environment.

Filter inbound and outbound email Filter inbound email

Prevent inappropriate emails and malicious attachments from being sent either to or from your network.

Ensure email continuity Ensure email continuity

Access, respond to and send emails even in the event of a network or on-premise mail server outage.

Save time and money now and later Save money now and later

No capital expenditures, no start-up costs, and no hardware or software to install or maintain.

Archive email messages Archive email messages

Choose this optional service to aid in regulatory compliance and storage management.


Top Features

Virus protection

GFI MailEssentials Online helps you reduce risk, free up network bandwidth and improve productivity by blocking new or emerging email threats before they reach your network.  This comprehensive hosted email security solution features a unique combination of a zero-hour threat detection engine, virtualization-based malware detection technology, and traditional signature-based antivirus engines.

Relying on the traditional model of security – a single antivirus engine – to fight today’s sophisticated, fast-moving threats is risky. GFI MailEssentials Online provides multi-layered security to detect and block viruses, including emerging threats.

Hosted email filtering

GFI MailEssentials Online delivers sophisticated and accurate spam detection. Inbound filtering reduces network bandwidth, minimizes risk, and boosts productivity and server performance by blocking spam and email-borne threats before they reach your network. Outbound filtering helps prevent the sending of inappropriate messages from your network, and guards against harm to the company’s reputation.

Inbound filtering can be activated in minutes with a simple DNS change. Your business benefits from access to a hosted web-based quarantine and easy-to-understand reports, ensuring that legitimate messages are not overlooked. Outbound filtering is equally easy to activate.

Administrators can manage the spam-filtering configuration for a specific user or delegate configuration control to the user.

GFI MailEssentials Online provides DHA, DOS and DDOS attack protection, and defends your network against spammers delivering messages to a large number of valid and invalid email addresses at your domain. Our hosted email service also detects attempts to send outbound spam messages, alerting you to the presence of any infected workstations or “zombie” machines on your network.

Email continuity

GFI MailEssentials Online automatically queues your company’s mail during an outage and makes those messages available in the control panel. Users can easily access and respond to messages while your mail server is offline.

With GFI MailEssentials Online, your email is always available. In the event of an issue affecting your mail server, customers can simply access the control panel to view queued messages and respond as necessary. No bounce messages are generated, and no advance preparation is necessary – email continuity is built-in and starts working automatically whenever it is needed.

GFI MailEssentials Online includes email continuity, at no extra charge, as part of its email security service.

Hosted email archiving

GFI MailEssentials Online offers optional integrated cloud-based email archiving to complete your email security, management and spam filtering solution. Email archiving reduces the load on the email infrastructure, while making it easy for you to access historical messages with simple or advanced search functionality.

Emails are archived in three geographically distributed data centers. The data centers have diversified ownership, management and network backbones for maximum reliability. Customers in the EU benefit from a fully segregated message-handling architecture.

To ensure message integrity and to help companies comply with various regulations, the GFI MailEssentials Online archiving solution provides robust security with 256-bit AES encryption of all communications. Messages are stored in a tamperproof, read-only format.

Administrator tools

GFI MailEssentials Online includes a customizable web-based control panel that enables administrators to manage the service and provide users with access to email if the mail server fails.

Inbound email detected and blocked by GFI MailEssentials Online is retained in a junk mail quarantine hosted outside your company’s network.  These messages can be accessed at any time.

Users can also receive an emailed summary of detected spam messages, with a link next to each message that allows them to identify any potential false positives and release these from the quarantine. These digest messages are sent automatically, and can be scheduled for delivery as infrequently as once a week or as frequently as three times a day.

Administrators have access to detailed message-delivery logs for all inbound and outbound emails, allowing them to easily search for and verify the delivery of any message.

Access for all

GFI MailEssentials Online is platform neutral.  It works with any operating system or mail infrastructure including Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes, GroupWise, Zimbra, Gmail™, PostFix, Sendmail and any other SMTP server.

As a hosted service, there is no up-front investment, no additional hardware to maintain, no additional software to install, and no hidden costs. GFI MailEssentials Online is available in English, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish and Swedish.


In a fraction of a second, GFI MailEssentials Online scans incoming messages using both traditional and leading-edge technologies to detect spam – message signature analysis; authenticity checks; an extensive heuristic rule set; continually evolving databases of URLs, network addresses, mail servers, and other identifying elements known to be used in phishing attacks and in unsolicited bulk email; real-time message source analysis; and customizable domain-specific and userspecific whitelists and blocklists. The result is a highly adaptive system and a dramatic reduction in junk email-relieving a significant burden for

Network defense

GFI MailEssentials Online helps you reduce risk, free up network bandwidth and ease mail server load by blocking practically all spam


GFI MailEssentials Online's built-in email continuity feature enables you to continue accessing, responding to, and sending email messages, even in the event of a network outage or an on-premise mail server outage. GFI MailEssentials Online automatically queues your organization's mail and allows users to continue accessing and responding to those messages via the solution's control panel, even

Industry-leading virus protection

GFI MailEssentials Online combines traditional signature-based antivirus engines, pattern-based zero-hour virus detection and VIPRE Antivirus's virtualization-based threat recognition to defeat today's sophisticated and fast-moving malware threats.

Inbound/Outbound email filtering

GFI MailEssentials Online scans inbound emails and attachments and allows the automated addition of configurable disclaimers or signatures to outbound messages. The service also prevents inappropriate messages from being sent from your network – preventing your mail server from blocklisting and protecting your company's reputation in the event a server or workstation is compromised.

Directory harvest and DoS attack prevention

By filtering inbound SMTP traffic in the cloud before it reaches your network, the service protects your infrastructure against directory harvesting, large-scale spam runs, denial of service attacks and other threats.

Intuitive web-based control panel

The easy-to-use web-based control panel allows administrators and users to effectively and efficiently manage their email security. Users can easily access quarantined messages as well as queued messages in the event of a mail server failure.

Hosted individual junk mail quarantines and digests

With GFI MailEssentials Online, customers can retain detected spam messages in a quarantine hosted outside the company's network. Users can view the quarantine at any time or can choose to simply receive a convenient, automatically emailed summary of detected junk mail to quickly identify any potential false positives and release these from the quarantine. The digest messages can be scheduled as infrequently as once per week or as frequently as three times per day.

Configurable user preferences

Administrators can set the spam filtering configuration, or can delegate the ability to do so to the individual users so that the service works for an organization's specific needs.

Message logging and search

Through GFI MailEssentials Online's comprehensive message logging, administrators can search for messages and access detailed delivery logs for all recent inbound and outbound messages. These logs include message envelope details, message headers, message size, the receiving server, and the exact response from that server so that administrators can easily determine the exact disposition of happened to any given message.

Available email archive

GFI MailEssentials Online includes an optional, fully integrated archive service that encrypts and stores inbound, outbound and internal messages in multiple geographically distributed data centers. This easy-to-use service allows customers to retain their historical messages for subsequent search and retrieval, in order to comply with regulations and protect the important information contained in their email communications.





What is involved in implementing the MailEssentials Online service?

All that is required is a change in your DNS records so that the “MX” (mail exchanger) entries for your domain point to MailEssentials Online’s system. After that change has been made, your email will be redirected through MailEssentials Online’s filters before being automatically delivered to your mail server. Please refer to the Quick Start Guide for details.

What is an MX record?

A mail exchanger (MX) record identifies the location of a domain’s mail server. The record directs computers on the Internet where to send email for a specific domain. Unfortunately, the record also informs spammers of the location of a domain’s mail server. By changing the MX record, a company can re-route its inbound email to MailEssentials Online, which filters messages for spam and viruses and then delivers the clean email to the company’s mail server.

Is there any downtime necessary to implement MailEssentials Online’s service?

No, there is no downtime involved in implementing MailEssentials Online. The set-up process is fast and does not affect or delay your inbound or outbound email.

How soon will we start seeing results?

Typically, MailEssentials Online begins working within a few hours of the DNS change, and often within a few minutes for a significant percentage of your inbound mail. In order for all of your inbound messages to be filtered, the changes to your domain’s MX record must fully propagate through the Internet. The TTL setting within your domain’s DNS specifies how quickly these changes should take effect. TTL values generally range from one to 24 hours. There is no interruption to your mail flow during this time.


How reliable is MailEssentials Online?

MailEssentials Online’s network and software architecture have been designed to handle both the rapidly growing volume of email and the heavy peak loads that are characteristic of SMTP traffic. MailEssentials Online leverages multiple data centers and has no single point of failure. GFI also provides uptime guarantees via a service-level agreement that is part of all customer agreements.

Will we experience delays in receiving messages?

No. MailEssentials Online typically processes a message in less than a second; users do not notice any delays in the delivery of email.

What happens if our mail server goes down?

In the event that a customer’s mail server is inaccessible, the MailEssentials Online system acts as a message queue so that emails will be delivered once the mail server is back online. MailEssentials Online uses a timing algorithm to gracefully deliver those queued messages This ensures that the customer’s email server is not overwhelmed with a sudden barrage of inbound mail.

Additionally, the service includes full email continuity, so that users can access and respond to any messages in the queue via the MailEssentials Online Web interface. With this capability, users can continue using email even in the event of an emergency affecting their own email systems.


How secure is my email?

The MailEssentials Online service does not affect your email’s security. First, email itself is inherently unsecure. Email messages are sent in clear, unencrypted plain text format across many networks and often through multiple mail servers before arriving at their destination. MailEssentials Online’s service represents only an additional “hop” on the Internet before email is delivered to a company’s email server.

MailEssentials Online does not store or make copies of email messages other than for a short period of time (e.g. for the length that a message may be stored in quarantine or queue). Additionally, there are stringent security measures in place to prevent any unauthorized physical or electronic access to the MailEssentials Online systems.

Spam detection

How does MailEssentials Online determine which messages are spam?

MailEssentials Online employs an extensive range of tests on incoming messages to detect spam. These include traditional, widely used approaches for spam detection such as message authenticity checks, header analysis, message signature analysis, databases of domain names and addresses used by spammers, and whitelists and blacklists. MailEssentials Online also incorporates advanced, industry-leading proprietary techniques such as real-time message source analysis, graphics analysis and user-based message profiling.

What happens to messages that are detected as spam?

You have several options for handling spam messages detected by MailEssentials Online. Junk messages can be:

  • Redirected to a quarantine
  • Redirected to an alternative email address such as
  • Identified as spam in the subject link and delivered to intended recipient
  • Deleted

These options can be configured company-wide or on a per-user basis and can be changed at any time.

What percentage of junk email does MailEssentials Online catch?

The detection rate varies by customer and is based on the email traffic patterns for a given domain and on MailEssentials Online’s aggressiveness for that domain (customers can configure how aggressive the filter should be). On average, MailEssentials Complete blocks over 98% of junk email and 100% of email-borne viruses.

How smart is attachment filtering in MailEssentials Online?

Very smart. The attachment filter checks inbound and outbound attachments. For scanning of internal attachments, you need to run GFI MailSecurity as well. It’s a rules-based system that administrators can customize based on their needs and still ensure 100% detection and removal of possible malicious attachments, while allowing exceptions for specific attachment types.

I have no time to spend weeding through quarantine boxes to find false positives. How do you solve this?

MailEssentials Online consistently blocks more than 98% of inbound and outbound spam attacks, with minimal false positives.Users can create their own allow and block lists to indicate who they want to receive mail from − and who they don’t. They can also be given access to check their own quarantined spam.

How easy is it to find a specific email in quarantine?

Very easy. Simply click on the quarantine tab to locate a quarantined email.

Virus detection

Is MailEssentials Online a substitute for our current antivirus software?

We do not recommend that customers eliminate their current virus protection because viruses can be spread through means other than email. That said, 90% of viruses are transmitted through email. As viruses become increasingly prevalent and damaging, organizations are increasingly complementing their existing server- and workstation-based security with an additional layer of protection at the Internet gateway (such as MailEssentials Online provides) as an additional defense.

How often are MailEssentials Online’s antivirus definitions updated?

MailEssentials Online’s antivirus definitions are updated in near real time. These frequent updates can protect an organization against fast-moving viruses that may not be caught with an internal antivirus solution. Additionally, MailEssentials Online incorporates a virtualization-based malware detection engine and a zero-hour antivirus solution, both of which can detect email threats at the time of an initial outbreak.

I already have AV covered; can I run MailEssentials Complete without antivirus?

Yes; however, at no extra charge, we strongly recommend you keep it enabled as an additional layer of protection.

Other protection

Does MailEssentials Online protect my users against phishing?

Yes. The spam filter has this as a built-in feature which is regularly updated to detect the latest spam trends including phishing attempts.

Does MailEssentials Online handle dictionary mailbox DDOS by rejecting outright any email not matching a legitimate mailbox in the Exchange environment?

MailEssentials Online has built-in DDOS protection and a multitude of other sophisticated security features, such as tarpitting (delay of incoming connections for as long as possible), to discourage spammers and hackers.


What email volume does MailEssentials Online support?

Mail Essentials Complete Online provides the scalability that organizations need, handing billions of messages per month while shielding customers from potential attacks that could overwhelm an in-house email infrastructure.

Administration and reporting

How easy is it to navigate the MailEssentials Online interface?

Through its easy-to-use, Web-based interface, all gateway email security processes are easily viewed and controlled from any Web browser. Administrators benefit from rich real-time and historical reporting and easily created end-user controls, which allow end users to view and manage quarantine settings from a web-based console.

What kind of reporting capabilities does MailEssentials Online provide?

MailEssentials Online has built-in reporting capabilities, providing a wide-range of pre-defined reports that can be viewed within the interface or exported. From  the number of inbound mail messages scanned and deleted, to recent viruses intercepted, to the number of filters triggered, to the percentage of viruses by name, administrators can drill down by system, group, and/or user-level.


Do we need make any changes to our existing mail server?

No. MailEssentials Online will work successfully without any changes to an organization’s existing mail infrastructure.

What options for integration does MailEssentials Online provide?

MailEssentials Online has been architected to integrate seamlessly with a wide array of infrastructures. This ensures that email addresses, aliases and authentication information can be automatically synchronized between MailEssentials Online and an organization’s internal system(s). In addition to integration via standard protocols such as LDAP and LDAPS, MailEssentials Online offers a Web service that allows for programmatic domain and user management from virtually any application.

Is there an extra charge for integration?

No. MailEssentials Online views integration as a means to ensure ongoing ease of management for customers and all features related to integration are included in the standard pricing.


Does MailEssentials Online work with Lotus Notes?

Yes. MailEssentials Online works seamlessly with any mail server that you are using. As a managed service, MailEssentials Online is compatible with widely used programs such as Microsoft Exchange, Novell Groupwise and Lotus Notes, as well as any other mail server software.

Does MailEssentials Online support Macintosh, Linux, or Unix environments?

Yes. MailEssentials Online is a service rather than a product, and no software needs to be installed on your mail server or workstations. Therefore, MailEssentials Online supports any mail server, any email client, and any operating system(s) in use at an organization.

If my company hosts email at an external provider, will MailEssentials Online work?

Yes. Many companies use an externally hosted email server in addition to or in lieu of an internal mail server. MailEssentials Online works correctly regardless of where a company’s mail server or servers are located.


How much does MailEssentials Online cost?

GFI’s straightforward pricing model has flexible terms and is based on the number of users within an organization.

Do you offer educational discounts?

Check with your representative or reseller to determine what discount level applies for your organization.


Are there any set-up fees or implementation costs?

No. Since MailEssentials Online is a managed service, there is no hardware or software to purchase and there are no one-time fees. There is simply a per-user price, based on the number of users who are enrolled for filtering.

How is my organization billed?

MailEssentials Online is a subscription service. Customers are generally billed annually, with pricing based on the number of email accounts using the service.

Do I have to pay for aliases?

No. Alias accounts are filtered for spam and viruses, but they are not billed.


PDF File
Download the GFI MailEssentials Online Data Sheet (PDF).