ICONZ offers free anti-virus/anti-spam service

Another of the country's largest ISPs is to offer a free anti-virus service to its customers.

Another of the country's largest ISPs is to offer a free anti-virus service to its customers.

ICONZ will offer the service, from anti-virus specialist company Sophos, alongside an anti-spam product that it has developed in-house.

Both the anti-virus and anti-spam solutions are already in operation and operations manager Sean Weekes says customers don't have the option of opting out from either service. However, the anti-spam filtering system, which is based in part on both black and white lists, will re-direct mail to a user's folder of choice, making it more of a spam management tool rather than a spam deletion one.

"They're available to all customers of ICONZ who use our mail servers. Some of the larger customers have their own mail servers and there would be some licensing issues with Sophos over their using the service."

However, Weekes says he has discussed the issue with Sophos and is happy to act as a "conduit" between those customers that have their own mail servers and Sophos should the need arise.

The Sophos anti-virus service automatically checks for virus definition updates every hour, although Weekes says if a new virus is reported to be spreading quickly his team will update the definitions immediately.

The country's largest ISP, Xtra, also offers a free anti-virus solution using anti-virus company Trend Micro's server-based solution. Ihug also has a suite of email tools for customers, however it charges an additional fee for the services.

TelstraClear has also announced it will begin offering a server-based anti-virus solution in the new year, although pricing has yet to be established.

Weekes says ICONZ's offering is only the beginning of its aggressive innovation programme.

"There is more to come. We've got a lot of things in the lab right now that we're testing ... We can sit back and let the industry do what it wants or we can be part of the driver of the industry. I prefer to be in the driver's seat rather than in the passenger seat."

Weekes says he has two products almost ready to launch and, although he wouldn't elaborate on their function, says he would rather add value for customers than charge extra for a new product.

"Anyone can onsell networks. There's nothing to it really. It's the value you add to it, the innovation that you bring to it, that differentiates you from the rest."

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