Who We Are, What We Do: MailRoute's Story


Email is the lifeline of your business, so MailRoute’s focus is singular:

Provide innovative, reliable protection from threats


Our Story 

This is the story of how a problem turned into an industry. 

Thomas Johnson was a working as an independent IT consultant in the 1990s, including some free mailboxes with hosted domains for clients. Pretty quickly, he realized that most of his time was being spent managing the free mailboxes.  

Spam. Always more and more spam. These were the days of Nigerian princes fleecing Boca Raton retirees out of their savings. 

Viruses. People clicking on links that shut down entire networks. 

Tom wasn’t spending time growing his business or selling the really useful tools he offered. Instead, he was saving people from malicious onslaughts (and sometimes from themselves). He saw the time-suck growing each month and thought, “I need to solve this spam and virus problem, or I’m going to be managing free mailboxes for a living.”

Hosted email protection – and the first iteration of MailRoute – was born. It was 1997. 

A cloud service, before anyone thought to call it “cloud”, was created. This initial company, Frontbridge, was sold to Microsoft in 2005. They rebranded it as Forefront, and it became Microsoft’s first cloud offering.

First called Big Fish (then Frontbridge, now MailRoute), Tom’s creation is a proprietary configuration of servers that runs its own IP to filter out unwanted mail and threats. Now the leader in email protection services, MailRoute remains founder-led.

MailRoute solves problems, saves money and reduces headaches for IT departments across the globe.



What We Believe

The biggest players in the filtering industry keep disappearing. Our first company,

Frontbridge, was bought by Microsoft and is now part of Office 365, virtually unimproved

since 2005. Google bought Postini and discontinued it. McAfee bought MX Logic and

shut it down. Symantec bought Message Labs and hasn’t done much with it.


Why? Because email filtering is labor- and resource-intensive. Public companies don't

want to offer it, when they have other moneymakers in their suite of services.


MailRoute does one thing and one thing only: Email Protection. We’re founder-led, self-financed,

and the most trusted team in this industry. We’re not for sale and will be here

for many years, as we have since 1997. We like our business and aren't required to sell

other pieces of a platform to justify our existence.


Further, switch costs are high for hosted services, so why choose yet another vendor

that may discontinue their service in a year or two? Choose MailRoute, the most trusted

name, in an industry that we created.


What We Do

  • Enhanced Threat Mitigation: spam and virus filtering, ransomware, malware
  • Greylisting: unique to MailRoute, our Greylisting blocks spam and viruses from the millions of PC’s out there that are infected with ‘bots and zombies
  • Quarantine, White/Blacklist, Store & Forward, DKIM, TLS encryption
  • Mail Hold, Forwarding, and Continuity with 30/60/90 days of archived mail
  • Administrative Control with Live 24/7 Support
  • End-user Quarantine Notifications with one-click actions like whitelist/release
  • API for easy account management
  • White-glove migration
  • Custom solutions on a project basis
  • MailRoute uses artificial intelligence and community feedback, making our system smarter for every user
  • Reputation management: You’ll never be blacklisted or send unwanted mail

Cool Statistics

  • <1 second: Average processing time of a message by MailRoute
  • >99% spam-capture rate
  • 1:1,000,000 false-positives
  • 99.999% uptime guaranteed
  • 12 minutes: Average response time for Level 1 Support
  • 0 reported WannaCry attacks
  • 0 reported Crypto or Heartbleed infections
  • 6 methods for easy migration/population, from CSV import to LDAP/AD sync
  • $42,000: Cost to an SME for 1 hour of downtime, per Gartner research


Why You Need MailRoute

Industry Leader

• More than 20 years as a SaaS, offering hosted email filtering

• 99.999% uptime guaranteed on MailRoute’s proprietary network of servers

• 3x redundancy: No single point of failure

• Platform agnostic – MailRoute works with Office 365 and all hosts or servers

• Ongoing development of new features: MailRoute never becomes obsolete

Cost Saving & Benefits

• 90+% reduction in traffic on your server by using MailRoute

• Reduce bandwidth, CPU and memory resource needs

• 15 days of storage if your server goes down, or 30/60/90 days with Continuity service

• API provides unique functionality for account management

• 100% cost-free U.S.-based Customer Support

• Meets compliance standards for ITAR & HIPAA

• GDPR compliant

Easy Implementation

• 60 seconds to setup and activate a MailRoute account

• Free 30-day trial

• No hardware or software to install

• Risk-free implementation

• Set it & forget it. No need for updates, costly upgrades or maintenance.


Nice Things People Say About Us

I managed our email presence for my previous employer including filtering and

reputation-management, all in-house. Our implementation was PAIN FREE. MailRoute

and their team had us up and running, and cut over in less than one workday.

On a scale of 1 to 5, for effectiveness in blocking unwanted content, this is a 5+. With the

unique filtering algorithms, there is little unwanted mail that comes in.

We have on a few occasions needed to contact support and they have been, without

exception, an invaluable asset to this organization. They truly do not give up, nor will

they go home if a problem is not fixed. They have gone above and beyond every time I

have ever asked them to assist.

Jim Barry, Senior Manager, Information Technology at ConforMIS, Inc.

(formerly of Lowell Cooperative Bank)



We use MailRoute exclusively for all of our clients’ inbound and outbound mail filtering

needs. Although we protect several different types of mail servers, the overwhelming

majority of our clients use Microsoft Exchange in every flavor from 2003 to 2010. Our

clients, and in turn ourselves as managed service providers demand simplicity and

reliability which MailRoute provides every time.

Migrating our existing clients over to MailRoute as well as setting up new clients is a

breeze. We simply point our customers’ MX records over to MailRoute and then

configure our firewalls and Exchange servers to only accept mail from MailRoute

servers. We use MailRoute outbound services for all clients and configure Exchange to

route all mail out to MR servers so that we don't have to worry about getting blacklisted.

I no longer have clients complain about the amount of spam they receive; they simply

don't get any with MailRoute. As with any anti-spam system, there is occasionally a false

positive or two. This is no big deal since the provided interface allows for easy release

and whitelist of any legitimate email. [Also accomplished from within the Quarantine


Overall we are extremely happy with technical services provided and the excellent (and

extremely personal) support that we receive. Any time we have had an issue (rarely do)

we always get a quick response and expert advice.

Alan I. Bildzukewicz, Sr., Junopi Technical, Owner


The People


Thomas A. Johnson is a leading authority on email protection, and the creator of an early

search engine and Cloud services. He is the chairman of the board and CEO of

MailRoute, Inc., headquartered in Manhattan Beach, California. Johnson is the founder

of FrontBridge, acquired by Microsoft as the foundation of their Cloud-based MS

Exchange Hosted Services.

In 1984, Johnson bought the first-generation Mac and started programming it. (He still

has his receipt for the 128K Macintosh.) This interest in computer programming led to

Johnson spending five years in the UCLA Computer Science Department working for

Leonard Kleinrock, the father of the Internet, networking supercomputers and


In 1993, Johnson left UCLA to re-invent the American Medical Association’s online

community, which became US Health Link. Johnson suggested that they use the

Internet, instead of a private network, and it was here that he created one of the first

Internet search engines as well as an early Cloud application.

“The search engine was born from a program I created that basically hopped around the

Internet grabbing information and dumping all of it into a big Oracle database so that you

could do searches,” Johnson explains. “Then I wrote a piece of multithreaded code that

could run on a few different machines that all talked to each other; it ran like one big

application, but running on several servers,” says Johnson of his early Cloud


Johnson saw a place for Cloud services before they were called Cloud. As a private

consultant, in 1997, Johnson realized that when he was hosting websites, which

included free mailboxes, “I spent more time managing the mailbox aspect of the

business than I did the webhosting.” Recognizing a place in the market, Johnson created

a high-quality third-party Cloud email filtering service. Launched as Big Fish, this

company ultimately became FrontBridge and was acquired by Microsoft in 2005.

MailRoute was founded by Johnson to set new standards in email protection services.

He and his technology team have developed MailRoute’s multi-layered solution to be

highly efficient, reliable, and cost-effective. MailRoute offers email protection services to

corporate, municipal, and education customers; it filters inbound and outbound

messages through its proprietary network of servers. The company is privately funded.




Mark S. Tennenbaum is a member of the board of directors of MailRoute, Inc. and the

company’s CFO. He is also a co-founder of FrontBridge (sold to Microsoft in 2005), the

former CFO of SoftAware Networks (sold to Digital Island in 2000), and a strategic

advisor to other young technology companies.

Prior to his Internet experience, Tennenbaum’s professional focus was primarily on

finance and corporate development. In these capacities he helped to grow such diverse

companies as Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, Kaiser Group Holdings, Landmark

Theatres and Craig Corporation.

Tennenbaum holds an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA as well as a BA in

Psychology from the Pitzer College, the Claremont Colleges.



Rachel A. Plecas is the VP of Sales & Marketing at MailRoute, Inc., and was the Director

of Communications at FrontBridge (sold to Microsoft in 2005), where she worked with

MailRoute CEO Tom Johnson and CFO Mark Tennenbaum.

Plecas has 15 years of overseas experience, based in Hong Kong, where she was

Editor-in-Chief of Tatler Asia, a group of luxury lifestyle publications in nine countries.

She also founded What’s Next, a business development company aimed at introducing

Western retail brands into the China market. Plecas consults for Asian Strategies,

executing Asia-specific market research for Barclays, BBC, Rolex, HP, IBM, Motorola

and other multi-nationals.

Plecas holds a BA in Literature from Oakland University as well as certification in plantbased

nutrition from Cornell University.


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Call 888.485.7726 or email sales@mailroute.net



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