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Q: email spam - computers ( Answered,   6 Comments )
Subject: email spam - computers
Category: Computers
Asked by: andre8291-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 07 Aug 2003 05:26 PDT
Expires: 06 Sep 2003 05:26 PDT
Question ID: 241034
Which is the best software currently on the market to block spam? I
get loads of junk, some of it porn, which I would love to choke off.
Friends tell me not to bother because there are bills going through
congress that address the problem. Do you agree I should wait and see
what gets signed?

Request for Question Clarification by wi_sysadm-ga on 07 Aug 2003 11:41 PDT
what kind of email software do you use to read your email?  A very
nice spam filter for Microsoft Outlook 2000/XP is Spamnet, available
at, I can personally attest that it's easy to
use and very good at getting most all the spam, but it'll cost you
after 30 days! :( ... if you use different software, i'd be glad to
research that as well

Clarification of Question by andre8291-ga on 09 Aug 2003 05:25 PDT
I am using Outlook Express 6 to receive and send email
Subject: Re: email spam - computers
Answered By: mvguy-ga on 16 Aug 2003 13:11 PDT
You're right that spam is a big problem.  I have an e-mail address on
a fairly popular web site I manage, and as a result I get well over
100 pieces of spam per day.  I have spent some time figuring out what
works best for me, and as a result I'm going to give you two answers
to your main question.

But first I'll answer your secondary question, about whether you
should wait or do something now.  Do something now.  Congress isn't
even close to considering a legal solution, and even if there is
federal legislation it won't affect trash coming in from outside the
country.  I do think there may be some technological improvements
coming to the e-mail system that would make it easier to verify the
source of e-mail, but even that isn't happening in the near future.

Like I said, I'll give you two answers.  The first is that of Consumer
Reports, which is about as unbiased of a source as you can find.  The
second is mine, based on considerable personal research and the trying
out of numerous software approaches.

Consumer Reports says that the best antispam software it tested for
Windows is SAproxy, which is actually a Windows version of
SpamAssassin.  Consumer reports found that it did a very good job of
getting rid of spam and an excellent job of not deleting good mail.

The Consumer Reports rankings can be found on the following page. 
Follow the links in the upper right corner for other useful
information from Consumer Reports.

Ratings: Spam-blocking software

You can find SAproxy here:

SAproxy product information

I have tried SAproxy, and I thought it worked quite well.  My personal
experience as one that works even better is POPFile.  You can find it


I would recommend POPFile only if you have a fair degree of technical
expertise.  It runs as a Perl script in the background, and it takes a
fair degree of manual adjusting to get it to work at its best. But I
found that it was able to delete about 98 to 99 percent of the spam I
received and basically 100 percent of the most offensive porn.  (The
spam that still did get through was spam that looked the most like
real e-mail.)  I did have some trouble with it, not because the
program was faulty but because my computer didn't have enough
resources to handle its fairly stiff memory requirements if I was
trying to perform other tasks. But if your computer can handle it and
you can deal with its technical aspects, it is one that has been
highly acclaimed.

Both SAproxy and POPFile are free.

If neither of these programs is to your liking, you can also find some
other spam solutions on this page:

Top 10 Anti-Spam Tools for Windows

One nice thing about that listing is that if you check the reviews for
each program you can find out both its strengths and weaknesses.

I hope that one of these solutions works well for you.



Search strategy:

I went to the Consumer Reports site (
and typed "spam" (without the quotes) in its search form to find the
article. I had seen the article in the magazine at the library a few
weeks ago, so I knew the magazine had reviewed antispam programs.

I was aware of POPFile and the site due to
extensive personal research earlier.
Subject: Re: email spam - computers
From: politicalguru-ga on 07 Aug 2003 05:45 PDT
Choosing the best software depends on the type of mail delivery system
you're using.

In any case, I wouldn't wait for legislation, since - as in the case
of the "do not call" anti-telemarketing legislation - the big spammers
might find a way to bypass it. Much of the spam could also not
originate from the US after possible legislation.
Subject: Re: email spam - computers
From: holmes4-ga on 07 Aug 2003 12:29 PDT
I'll put in a plug for what I use for personal e-mail - SpamCop
(  You either forward your mail to SpamCop or let
it retrieve your mail from a POP server.  You can then POP/IMAP from
SpamCop or use its webmail client.  Very good and flexible DNS
blocklist blocking plus SpamAssassin, and virus filtering too. 
$30/year.  Downside is that some people find it a bit hard to set up.

For Outlook (as in MS Office), I've been using the free filter at and find it works quite well.

Subject: Re: email spam - computers
From: joeguru-ga on 07 Aug 2003 15:51 PDT
An approach that works adequately for me:

I too was receiving an enormous amount of SPAM e-mail daily.  I
attribute this to the fact that I do a lot of web surfing and I
register on a lot of web sites using my e-mail address.  Instead of
paying for SPAM control software that I would have to maintain and
update, I chose to get a second e-mail address that was private and
personalized for less money that I would of spent on software.

I went through a company call
(  However, there are a lot of other
companies out there that provide the same type service.  This has
helped my SPAM problems a number of different ways:

1. The e-mail provider has built-in SPAM filtering software that they
maintain and upgrade.
2. I never give out this e-mail address to anybody but family and
personal friends.  I use the e-mail address that my ISP provides with
for all my online registration and purchases.
3. The personalized e-mail address that I purchased is in the format
of: (an example, not my real address).  With a domain of (not .com, .net, .biz) I’m more likely to fly under the radar
of spammers who use the blind shotgun approach of addressing.

Another problem this has solved for me was that my ISPs kept getting
acquired by other ISPs and my e-mail address kept changing.  AT&T
bought out @Home.  Comcast then bought out AT&T.  My e-mail address
changed three times in two years…. What a hassle.  Now I don’t care if
my ISP-granted e-mail address changes.
Subject: Re: email spam - computers
From: mvguy-ga on 07 Aug 2003 16:18 PDT
If you have Windows, this should be useful:
Subject: Re: email spam - computers
From: owain-ga on 08 Aug 2003 12:13 PDT
I follow joeguru-ga's comment of having a separate email address for
usenet and website registrations, with some refinement. Both the
following assume you have your own or
email addressing space

1. For usenet and general website registrations where I don't care
very much whether I actually receive anything, I use an email address
eg owain001@ and change the number every couple of months. People can
still respond to newsgroup postings, but the address expires every few

2. For websites where I do want to receive their news, I register
using a specific name at my domain for that particular website. If I
ever get any email from another organisation using that name, I know
which website has been selling my email address without my permission.

Subject: Re: email spam - computers
From: steinmto-ga on 16 Aug 2003 11:23 PDT
I also use cloudmark and I works great for me.  I have not had to pay
for it yet.  I went on the internet and found a beta version and
updated it to the latest version and it still works without haveing to

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