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Mailwasher review

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Mailwasher review

Postby TomTom » Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:59 pm

Perhaps this is not the right forum, but...

I decided to try this out Mailwasher after searching for something to help control the ever-increasing amount of SPAM on Juno Webmail, whose built-in SPAM controls seem to be totally useless. I have not used the actual Juno Email "program" in years, so cannot answer for it.

Webmail is an email service that uses a web browser to allow viewing, sending, receiving, editing & deleting of email, just as you would with standard email clients such as Outlook, Apple Mail or Thunderbird. Webmail is ideal for mobile users because it allows you to access your email from anywhere, anytime with any computer connected to the Internet.

My initial search lead me to Best Free Spam Filter for the Average User - Gizmo's Freeware, one of my favorite sites, and based on the recommendations there, I decided to try Mailwasher. Note that Mailwasher is one of the few I found that do not work within an email "program", such as Outlook, Thunderbird, etc., and which do support Juno webmail.

As the review states:
MailWasher Free is the best free option for most users. The program is an email preview utility that allows you to check your email on your mail server before you download it to your PC. The advantage of this approach is that you can kill unwanted messages, including spam, viruses and large attachments before they get anywhere near your computer. MailWasher flags those messages which it assesses as questionable (e.g. may contain possible spam and viruses) for you to quickly check. It's a simple idea, but quite effective and one which average users find easy to understand.

At the Mailwasher site you can download a free or commercial Pro version. The former lacks quite a few of the features of its commercial cousin, the most limiting of which is the ability to access multiple accounts. However, the last free version of MailWasher (before it became a commercial product) is still floating around the web, and it will handle multiple accounts. It also lacks many of the advanced spam-detection features of the current commercial version, but is still very effective.

For what it is worth, I downloaded the last free version mentioned above, but it was not compatible with my 64-bit Windows 10 computer, so I next tried the most recent "Free" version, MailWasher Free 7.7.0 - FileHippo. It actually enables the full version for 10 days, before reverting to the free version limitations.

The limitations of the free version are:
  • Limited to checking only 1 email address (I only want to use this for Juno anyway.)
  • No recycle bin (I can live with that.)
  • Limited preview pane (I can live with that.)
  • No 7 days a week technical support (I can live with that.)
  • No free mobile version and no sync to mobile (I can live with that.)
  • Once the 10-day full trial is over it nags you to buy it, although it still works with the limitations above.
It seems to work great, and the longer you use it, the more it "learns" what you consider SPAM or not. I like it enough that I considered buying it -- until I checked the price! If you click the "Buy It Now" button in the program, it opens a site where you can order it for a year for $35.95 ($89.95 for a lifetime). Interestingly, however, if you click the Buy link from the program's homepage the price is less for a single year and higher for a lifetime: $29.96 for a year or $99.95 for a lifetime! I think that is too high, especially for a program you must renew every year, and I will continue with the free limitations, unless I find another program I like better.

My settings to work with Juno:

Initial setup, or adding account:
  • Account Name: Juno
  • Email: (put your actual full Juno email address here)
  • Password: (put your actual Juno password here)
  • Server type: POP3
  • Server address: (There is no need to set up an outgoing SMTP address, but I think it would be if you did want/need this.)
  • For your email "program" use web address:
Options after installation:
  • General > Washing Mail: Uncheck "Launch after Wash Mail" to keep it from popping open a browser tab when you don't want to.
  • General > Washing Mail (if you didn't already set this up during the initial setup): Use other application:
Yahoo AT&T/Bellsouth settings:
I did not verify this, as I only wanted to use it with Juno.

WebMail and POP3 are not the same. With WebMail you surf to your ISP-hosted WebMail service and manage your mail directly there. POP3 is only used when you access your mail via an email client such as Outlook Express. Then, the POP3 protocol is used to download your mail off of the server (usually deleting it from there in the process) to your mail client on your computer, where you manage it 'off-line'.

The opportunities for anti-spam measures differ greatly in each case. If you are using WebMail the only option you have is your ISP's own anti-spam filter - if that is letting spam through then you will have to deal with it manually as you do now. You can't install your own anti-spam filters on your ISP's servers. Also, blocking individual addresses won't stop the spam.

If you switch to using POP3 instead of WebMail then there are a whole host of anti-spam measures you can consider. Bear in mind, though, that none of them will give you 100% accurate filtering of spam.

  • Spamihilator, or on Softpedia, works with all e-mail clients supporting POP3 or IMAP. The Setup Wizard is able to configure the following programs automatically: Outlook 2000/XP/2003/Express, Eudora, Mozilla Thunderbird, IncrediMail, Pegasus Mail, Phoenix Mail and Opera. Other mail clients have to be configured manually. Please have a look at the online help.
  • How to Wipe Out Spam Email in Your Inbox - Lifehacker
  • Search for more "best spam tool for webmail" links
  • SpamBayes will attempt to classify incoming email messages as 'spam', 'ham' (good, non-spam email) or 'unsure'. This means you can have spam or unsure messages automatically filed away in a different mail folder, where it won't interrupt your email reading. First SpamBayes must be trained by each user to identify spam and ham. Essentially, you show SpamBayes a pile of email that you like (ham) and a pile you don't like (spam). SpamBayes will then analyze the piles for clues as to what makes the spam and ham different. For example; different words, differences in the mailer headers and content style. The system then uses these clues to examine new messages. SpamBayes works best with an email program, but POP3/IMAP, etc. are supported. Just be prepared to get your hands wet...
  • Boxbe is a free service that will help you take control of your inbox. One of the great features of BoxBe is the "Guest List", although it has other features as well. The way the Guest List works is simple: if you receive any email from someone who isn't on the list, they'll be asked to verify that they are human and that they know you. Once they do that, their email will be delivered to your inbox unless you decide to take them off the list. Emails from unverified senders will sit in your "Waiting List" for review, so you don't have to wait for a sender to approve themselves if you'd prefer. Email accounts at Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, Google Apps, and AOL Mail are directly supported. Juno is not specifically supported, but there may be work-arounds. One thing I noticed is that there seems to be SPAM on their forums, which does not inspire confidence in a company peddling anti-spam measures!
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