Email hosting with NO SPAM PLEASE
July 12, 2015 7:04 AM   Subscribe

In my quest to stay away from GMail's clutches, I've been using Polarismail to host my email for a few years now. They're great, except for one thing: the spam filtering, which used to be fantastic, is now completely awful. Help me find something better!

I don't know what happened in the last year or so to completely tank my spam filtering, but it now sucks up a good ten minutes of my day having to clear my inbox of spam the filter didn't catch, and then checking my spam boxes (yes, plural) to catch any legitimate emails the filter caught by mistake. Ten minutes doesn't seem like much, true, but it's annoying always having to wonder if you missed an important email because of spam filters, and having to constantly flush emails about "one weird tricks" and "Rachel Ray's new diet regime" from my inbox is tiring. I've had enough.

So please, let me know what I can do about this. Should I move to another email provider like Fastmail? (Except I've heard their spam filters aren't as good? But trying to research email hosting providers these days feels like a crapshoot.) Is there a third-party service I can use to pass my email through? Should I *shudder* try to rely on Thunderbird's built-in spam filtering instead? Should I just give up and accept my new spam-filled life?
posted by chrominance to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Can I ask what your issue with gmail is? I ask because this is relevant to your question I think.
posted by 0bvious at 7:14 AM on July 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I've been using Fastmail for close to 8 years now. I get perhaps 5 items of spam per year, and it's been this way pretty much every year. My friend, who also uses Fastmail (though he isn't hosting his own domain there ) reports the same levels. YMMV.
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 7:36 AM on July 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: FastMail's spam filtering has been working well for me for some years now, and their service has been excellent in general, both over IMAP and their fantastic Web app.
posted by nicwolff at 7:37 AM on July 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I feel like Google has more than enough information about me without also feeding them my email. Also, I have multiple email accounts under the same domain (which I'm also very reluctant to give up) and I can afford to pay for an ad-free experience.
posted by chrominance at 7:39 AM on July 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

Another satisfied Fastmail customer here.
posted by Solomon at 7:39 AM on July 12, 2015

i run my own mail server, and find that spam assassin (a free spam filter program), when properly used, seems to work quite well. my email address is completely public and has been for uff maybe 20 years. just looking at today's email, it correctly filtered 20 obvious spam, accepted 10 real emails, a couple of emails form my bank that really i would consider spam, but it's my bank, and one obvious spam. so it's pretty good, but not as good as gmail.

anyway, at one point i did wonder about webmail, also wanting to avoid gmail, and decided that runbox was the best out there. they advertise an "intelligent" spam system which appears to be spam assassin under the hood. and have a free trial.
posted by andrewcooke at 7:39 AM on July 12, 2015

I'm happy with Today it caught 16 spam but held 1 real email. I can't remember the last time it released a spam email. You still need to look at your held email. For example, I recently signed up for Yelp and it held the verification emails.
posted by H21 at 8:30 AM on July 12, 2015

I feel like Google has more than enough information about me without also feeding them my email. Also, I have multiple email accounts under the same domain (which I'm also very reluctant to give up) and I can afford to pay for an ad-free experience.

In this case, your best bet might be Google! More specifically, Google Apps for Work, which a completely separate thing from free Google services. I use it for my personal mail, and my company uses it for our work email. You pay per-mailbox, approximately USD 5/user/month, but you can also create groups/distribution lists.

It's ad-free, and is covered by completely different terms of service than their free products.
posted by me & my monkey at 11:07 AM on July 12, 2015

My office just switched away from fastmail (to Google) because it was completely unable to deal with the constant stream of foreign-language spam that we seem to get. English spam didn't get through, but the stuff in Chinese and French seemed to completely evade the filter.
posted by firechicago at 1:34 PM on July 12, 2015

gmail: the spam filtering is hands down the best. I get around 2-3 spam e-mails a year that slip through. false positives (e-mail gmail thinks is spam but is not) I get about 2 a month.

fastmail: I get about 2 spam maiils a week. don't use the account enough to get false positives.
posted by gorcha at 12:22 AM on July 13, 2015

Fastmail user here. It's great.
posted by persona au gratin at 2:24 AM on July 13, 2015

No personal experience, but Mailroute has been all over the podcast advertising circuit recently, and seems like it could be worth a trial.
posted by misterbrandt at 10:20 PM on August 5, 2015

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