Is there a remote, server based, spam filter service?
October 11, 2006 6:26 AM   Subscribe

Is there a server based, spam filter that will work with any ISP? I have a friend who cannot change ISPs or email services, he is paying a lot for dial-up time, and he gets about 100 spam: 1 valid email. Is there a spam filter that will check his current email for him and delete the spam, allowing him to keep his current email and ISP?

Thanks
posted by birchhook to Technology (15 answers total)
 
Death2Spam works by acting as an email proxy-- filtering the email before being downloaded to your computer. When I used it I found it filtered most spam with a very low false positive rate. On the downside, their servers seemed to be frequently very slow (about a year ago). They have a free trial, so it might be worth seeing if they've fixed their problems.
posted by justkevin at 6:40 AM on October 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


Why do you want an online spam filter? Local is better.

If he's using a POP3 client, I strongly recommend K9.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 6:43 AM on October 11, 2006


email proxy-- filtering the email before being downloaded to your computer.

Which is it? Is it a proxy, or does it filter the email before it is downloaded?

Any application you find is going to download the mail to the local pc, filter it, remove the spam, and present it to the client. None of these applications will speed up your dial up session, as they are still downloading the spam.

Does the ISP offer any antispam applications such as SpamAssasin, etc?
posted by SirStan at 6:45 AM on October 11, 2006


Steven C. Den Beste: "Why do you want an online spam filter? Local is better."

Original question: "he is paying a lot for dial-up time"
posted by revgeorge at 6:52 AM on October 11, 2006


Which is it? Is it a proxy, or does it filter the email before it is downloaded?

It is a POP proxy that filters the email before it is downloaded to your computer. You point your POP client at their servers, they grab it off your mail server and filter it. The advantage is that dial-up users don't have to download 1000 junk messages every day.
posted by justkevin at 6:56 AM on October 11, 2006


Yes, local filtering is a problem, he is trying to aviod downloading all the spam.

I'm afraid the ISP doesn't offer any spam services.

It would seem there must be some spam service that will periodically check your email for you, but I can't find one.
posted by birchhook at 6:58 AM on October 11, 2006


Couldn't he forward his mail to Gmail?
posted by Dipsomaniac at 7:05 AM on October 11, 2006



Couldn't he forward his mail to Gmail?


I wish. That's what I do personally. But basically, his ISP has no features, like forwarding or filtering. He is in a resticted access country (about 1/2 the time GMail is blocked). He had to pay hundreds of dollars just to get this email account.

I've considered setting up a server to download his mail, filter and forward it back to him. But I don't know how to forward it so the headers wouldn't be coming from the server. Maybe I need some spamming software that will do header spoofing.
posted by birchhook at 7:12 AM on October 11, 2006


You could telnet into the mail server directly (scroll down to the instructions concerning pop3), and delete the spam directly based upon the header listing. It's a bit geeky, and spam with sensible subject lines would get through, but it's much quicker than downloading the damn stuff.
posted by handee at 7:18 AM on October 11, 2006


I don't understand why everybody seems to be ignoring justkevin's original suggestion, which on the face of it appears to be exactly what was asked for.
posted by flabdablet at 7:23 AM on October 11, 2006


If for some reason Death2Spam doesn't suit, you could try telling your POP3 client to download headers only, then setting up a message filter such that only messages coming from senders listed in your personal address book get their message bodies downloaded. If your present POP3 client can't do that, I know for certain that Thunderbird can.
posted by flabdablet at 7:27 AM on October 11, 2006


I used -- and was happy with -- dot clean before getting my domain hosted with Google (got tired of being the e-mail administrator for the family).

Cheap ($1.00 per active email address per month), and as good as dspam is (since it's based on dspam) with the added benefit of it getting fed from the corpus of hosted domains they have.

Good support. Friendly staff. It just requires some MX record changes in DNS and you're good to go.
posted by hrbrmstr at 7:29 AM on October 11, 2006


Yahoo Mail also has pretty good spam filtering, and can be set up to check foreign POP3 mailboxes. I'm not sure whether Yahoo's spam filter gets applied to mail from those boxes, though. Something to play with, anyway.
posted by flabdablet at 7:31 AM on October 11, 2006


Wow, some how I completely missed Kevin's deathtospam post. Dotclean seems cheaper, but it looks like it's for more than just a single address.

For now I'll try the two of those.

Thanks
posted by birchhook at 7:41 AM on October 11, 2006


Another way that costs no money might be to set up a Gmail account that he'd use as his primary mail address, and make that forward mails to his ISP's mail account (to get around the Gmail blocker on his end); then use the headers-only-plus-message-filter POP3 trick on mail downloads, but instead of downloading only mail from known senders, download only mail sent to the Gmail address.
posted by flabdablet at 5:39 PM on October 11, 2006


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