Outsourcing

Which mail provider has the best spam filtering?


Having your Monday blues? How many weekend-accumulated spam did you have to delete this morning round? Guess what, I just came across an article by Guy Kewney of Newswireless.net on Why is Hotmail so bad at spam.

According to him:

Its clear that Hotmail is doing its duty to deliver emails to people, if there's any possibility at all that they might be legitimate. It's taking the view that if it filter too strictly, people will get on its case for filtering out legitimate business communications...

If you are thinking perhaps it is more a case of Hotmail not having a spam filter than a poor one, Web expert Dominic Ryan at IIS Aid set up a test:

It appears that he can send email to all of the top ten mail provider - except to Hotmail where (he was was told by Hotmail staff) "SmartScreen" technology had identified email coming from y domain as being spam and had blocked my email server IP.

This does confirm what most of us already know or face on a day-by-day basis; the fact that spam filters are not born, or should I say, written equal.

So what about you? Which e-mail provider do you think has the best spam filtering out there? Cast your vote, and join the discussion.

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

12 comments
sanaradhye
sanaradhye

I was a fan of yahoo and was their loyal customer for last 7 years! But recently, it's not filtering spam at all! I am having tough time picking out useful mails from all the mess. I have switched to gmail now :)

akk
akk

Hotmail: I would have for Hotmail a long while back when they had a setting to only allow email from people on my contact list. However, that appears to have disappeared and now I'm getting lots of spam having made no config changes on my end. Yahoo: They are totally worthless! Gmail: I have a Gmail account and hardly get any spam. However, I cannot vote for it as I hardly use it for email only for chatting at work So what do I use for email? Well, I own my domain and my ISP has no worries about me running a mail server for the family.

paulmah
paulmah

So what about you? Which e-mail provider do you think has the best spam filtering out there?

CraigM1
CraigM1

If you are a home user, or have your e-mail hosted by a 3rd party check out iHateSPAM from SunBelt software. If you host your own, or have your own domain and can modify DNS look at Barracuda's SPAMfirewall. We run that and it is extremely accurate. Even has an OCR scanner for the new SPAM messages that are contained in images. www.barracuda.com

paulmah
paulmah

I see that you own your own domain and run your own mail server. What kind of (server-side) spam software do you use in that case? Care to share with us?

dmiller
dmiller

After 10 years of email management and dealing with spam and viruses, I would not use Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, MSN, Google or any other free mail service if you paid me. Any domain name like @yahoo, or @gmail or @comcast etc is a target for spammers. I found the best defense is a good offense. Why fight when I can prevent? For personal use, my family has our own domain name and we use Godaddy.com. I pay $16.00 a year for 5 mailboxes. So far Godaddy has been >99% successful in blocking spam. I use Symantec AV, Adaware, and Firefox to minimize exposure and popups. Although IE6 has good popup blocker, I just don't trust Internet Explorer. Finally and this is most important, my family understands the risks. I use the same philosophy at home as I do at work: Trust no one on the Internet. Do not subscribe to newsletters or websites unless you are willing to pay the price with junk mail. Every email is a potential threat unless proven otherwise. Sadly, this is what the Internet and email has evolved to. What used to be a tool is now a weapon. D.

steveinsf
steveinsf

I have had Yahoo mail for many years and by and large they do a very good job (I seldom even see my spam folder as I get my mail via POP3, but when I do, it's amazing to see the thousands of spams that are there). Lately, however, Yahoo has been slipping a bit and more spams seem to be getting through. BUT...I have more recently got a new machine running Vista and the new Windows Mail client has been catching ALL of the spam that Yahoo misses with only one or two false positives. Much as I hate to praise Bill & Co., they've done a very good job on spam filtering in Vista.

MidnightStorm
MidnightStorm

I have only ever recieved 6 spam emails from in my spam box in over a year that account has been opened. Yahoo..... lets no even go there.....I consider over 100 spam emails a week an insult.

r.rangachar
r.rangachar

I've signed on to all the major email providers and out of all, I think that yahoo has the best spam filter. It's never sent me spam to my inbox. So it's been overall, very efficient every time I need to check mail or delete mail, etc. http://ra-i-ka.blogspot.com

mg_roberts
mg_roberts

I'm a big fan of Yahoo! Mail. I've used it for years and I rarely if ever get junk mail in my Inbox. Overtime I've clicked the not-spam and spam buttons enough so that all I really need to do any more is empty the junk mail folder without even looking in it.

akk
akk

I'm currently just running Sendmail and SpamAssassin on Fedora. All my local users run their PC's without administrative rights and have AVG installed to scan for viruses. However, I'm now contemplating on stopping virus ingress via ClamAV and blocking email without a valid return address from coming into my network via Milter-Sender. At the moment, my account gets ~50 spam messages a day but since they are clearly tagged by SpamAssassin, anything with a score >15 is permanently deleted. I am yet to get a false positive although I do get true negatives from time to time which I feedback into the bayesian system vi sa-learn. All in all, I'm quite happy to pay the extra $$ it costs to maintain my personal domain and the associated costs. Cheers, ak.

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