Need spam filter recommendations
September 13, 2008 10:38 AM   Subscribe

Help -- I'm drowning in spam. I'm looking for a spam filter that is reliable and won't go nuts with my Norton 360 security system. I had a filter that I loved (Mailblocks -- a challenge based system) but aol bought the company to put it out of business. Any recommendations?
posted by Newstuffoldstuff to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You can forward your mail to Google and let them to the filtering. In my experience, they do a fantastic job swatting down spam.
posted by zippy at 11:13 AM on September 13, 2008

It would be useful to know how you access your mail, what client you use, and if possible who your provider is.
posted by iamabot at 11:27 AM on September 13, 2008

I have a vanity domain and use Gmail for domains. Their filter is very very good, and I see maybe 1 or 2 out of the 2000 spam I get every month.
posted by rjt at 11:36 AM on September 13, 2008

Postini (bought by Google and incorporated into Gmail) is, far and away, the best spam filter out there, and I've tried out several. If you've got your own domain, Gmail for domains is free as long as you don't have a ton of accounts.
posted by mkultra at 11:39 AM on September 13, 2008

Best answer: For typical use, Google as mentioned above is great. You don't evne have to use gmail proper if you don't like it. When I did this I had my server forward all email to a gmail account, then set a filter on that gmail account to send the non-spam back to me.

For a proper diagnosis: What OS/Client/system are you using for email? What is your threshold spam and false positives? How much are you getting? How much can you live with?

I use Spam Assassin set aggressively with custom rules, but it may or may not be an option for you. I also use filters in Thunderbird to separate incoming mail to "known" and "unknown" folders (ie: Are you in my address book or not).

I get very little spam, but I get some false positives too, so I wouldn't recommend it if you can't lose any 'ham'.
posted by Ookseer at 12:06 PM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

You can actually do better than just forwarding to gmail, if you have your own domain name. A domain name is $7/year on Godaddy if you do a google search for coupons... and google will host for free.

- never changes. If you change ISPs you won't have to tell everyone a new email address
- is more professional looking on a resume than ....
- google apps is awesome, has fantastic spam filtering on the gmail service (which still allows IMAP and POP mail usage if you don't want to use their webmail), and provides other services for as well.
posted by twiggy at 1:30 PM on September 13, 2008

If you don't like the idea of Google processing all your mail for their database (which they are permitted to do under the use agreement) and if you use a standard POP3 email client on Windows, then I highly recommend K9. It's free, it runs locally on your own computer, and it works extremely well as long as you spend a bit of time at the beginning telling it what you do and do not want to see.

I've used it for years and I love it.

It's a proxy. Your mail program talks to K9, and K9 talks to your mail host. It processes all email coming back and, using its Bayesian filtration and its database, it tags spam with a special header line, which you can set up. Then you tell your email program to ashcan anything with that header line, and you're all set.

After a brief period of training, it's typical for Bayesian filters to have a better than 99% accuracy rate.
posted by Class Goat at 2:21 PM on September 13, 2008

I was getting inundated with spam, and Thunderbirds built-in filters were not cutting it. I now use Popfile. Since installing it, its scanned 22,591 emails since February with a correct classification rate of 98.37%. I'd be dead without it. Works on POP3 and IMAP. Interface leaves a bit to be desired but only takes about 10 minutes to setup and its free
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 5:19 PM on September 13, 2008

Popfile and K9 are essentially the same, except that K9 has a much nicer interface, and K9 is Windows-only.
posted by Class Goat at 6:25 PM on September 13, 2008

If you have an older version of outlook or outlook express you can install spambayes for free.
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:45 PM on September 13, 2008

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