Mailwasher Pro 3.2 review, Microsoft limits chat on Messenger.

Email, Uncategorized
October 29, 2003

MailWasher Pro 3.2

Yes folks, it’s finally here. The long awaited version that supports AOL email! And that’s not all. I know last month I promised you a review of Son Media Keyboard control but there is only one of me and I had to decide. For me it was a no-brainer. I have long proclaimed the benefits of this software and the best just got better.

Let’s start at the beginning. MailWasher is an email client that runs on your computer very much like Outlook or Eudora with one major difference. MailWasher is not intended to be a reader which stores email to your computer. Think of it more like a web browser for your email. While using MailWasher the email is never actually retrieved from the mail server. You just get to peek at it and tell the mail server what to do with it before receiving it to your computer. What it does is create a list of what’s waiting for you on the mail server. From that list it can be set up to automatically check against real time spam databases to determine what is most likely spam and what is not. Then with one click, spam is washed away. What used to take many wasted hours a week now takes only minutes.

What sets MailWasher apart though is how it’s washed away. Most other antispam solutions simply delete unwanted email which does absolutely nothing to stem the tide of new spam. MailWasher goes one step further by telling the mail server to “Return to sender, address unknown.” This is important. Spammers pay top dollar for bandwidth to send you their junk email. Every message sent that’s returned undeliverable is money wasted. So, not only do spammers send email but their software watches for what’s returned as well. Returned messages are used to remove those addresses from their lists so they don’t waste their money on those addresses a second time.

Version 3.2 of MailWasher refines even further the mechanism which makes bounced messages look like completely authentic undeliverable messages to the sender. Many of you will never need to worry about configuring these advanced features because many of you only manage one email account. But for those of you who use multiple aliases for incoming email (nicknames that deliver email to one email box) this improvement is invaluable. All it takes is entering each alias into a table so that when email is bounced the software knows which alias to use on the bounced message. Previous versions always used the main account which may have tipped spammers off to new addresses to send to.

Improvements have also been made to the MailWasher display. I have often complained that when the email list is long refreshing the display when changes occurred resembled falling dominos or a slow motion waterfall. Granted, it takes 50 or more email to really bog it down but when you consider that I manage several email accounts simultaneously which collect literally hundreds of spam each day, I still think it’s too slow. But it is much better than it used to be and quite frankly, most of you will never notice because most of you will never see the sheer volume of spam that I do. No matter how you cut it, MailWasher makes cutting through spam a breeze.

My only real criticism of MailWasher is that it does not like to be interrupted. After pulling down the list of email waiting for you on the mail server it then goes to work checking it for known spam against the real time databases. This can take a few minutes and is dependent on several factors. The first dependency is your connection speed. MW must communicate with the databases in order to check what you’ve got against what they’ve got. The slower your connection speed the longer this takes. There is also a loading factor to be considered. Most of these spam databases are maintained independently and supported solely by donations. Their equipment is often not the best and with the increasing demands placed on data lookups it sometimes – scratch that – often becomes bogged down trying to serve up data to a growing number of users like myself. Sometimes MW tags email as fast as it is downloaded and there is no wait at all. Other times it’s a waiting game. If you close MW before the process is complete it sometimes results in the dreaded blue screen. There is a “Cancel” button next to the progress indicator in the lower right corner of the screen which serves as a means to exit the spam lookups gracefully. Even then it sometimes hiccups.

The other place MW does not like being interrupted is after you press the button to “Start deleting and bouncing.” As MW bounces it again must communicate with the mail server. The slower the connection the longer it takes. Bounce settings in the account configuration can also affect how long it takes. During the bouncing phase your only indicator is that the “Check new mail” button is grayed out. Closing MW in the middle of bouncing almost always returns a blue screen. Fortunately, in both cases the only effect is to terminate the MW program and does not force a full reboot of your computer. Just restart the program and be a little more patient. Certain factors that limit performance are simply out of MailWasher’s control.

Last but certainly not least, MailWasher now handles AOL email. For you, my loyal readers, I have once again taken the plunge and activated an AOL account. No sympathy cards, please. I have no intention of being sucked in any longer than necessary. Just long enough to test MailWasher with it and maybe review the new 9.0 in time for the next newsletter. Setup for an AOL account in MailWasher is much simpler than for other ISPs. All one needs to enter is the nickname, aol address ( and your AOL logon password. MailWasher checks the mail server and lists what’s there the same way it does for other ISPs, screens it against spam databases, bounces known spam and leaves the rest on the mail server for me to get when I start up the AOL software. Very straight forward. Very effective. Much better than just filtering the spam using native AOL utilities. They just filter and discard it. We return it “undeliverable”.

I confess. It gives me a certain degree of satisfaction knowing that I’m messing with spammers by spoofing their own software into thinking my account doesn’t exist. It almost makes getting spam fun. Almost. The most important part is I’m taking a proactive role in helping to eliminate spam altogether and you can too. It does not matter where you live or who you have your Internet service through. MailWasher works everywhere and for everyone.

The United States Congress recently passed a bill which basically does nothing more than to state that spam is bad. Well, duh. Aside from this the move is purely symbolic, underscoring the need that each of us must take a stand against it. The only way to do that it to prove to spammers they’re wasting their time. MailWasher is, for now, the very best offense in the combat against it. As long as it remains profitable for them to send spam, it will continue. Case closed.

Are you ready to take your stand against spam? Ready to stop wasting time sifting through mounds of it? Get your copy of MailWasher today.

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