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POPFile, the best free spam filter bar none

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While I find Gmail’s spam filter pretty adequate, for people with POP email accounts, or even worse, POP accounts that have to be visible on the web (like my techspot.com address), fighting spam can become quite the nightmare. Even with some server-side software setup, spammers can learn the software’s filtering behavior and bypass it easily. Just the same thing happens with blacklists.

Say hello to POPFile, an open-source automatic mail classification tool that just works (after some training).

I can’t remember why exactly, but I stopped using POPFile sometime in the last two years, perhaps spammers stopped liking my address and I saw no use for it anymore. Digging out through TechSpot’s archives I found that I first recommended POPFile back in 2003. Now, I have been using it again for the past few months and after 3-5 days of training, the software is smart enough to tell between actual email from spam around 96% of the time.

In fact, POPFile works in such a way that you can configure various “buckets” or categories so it can classify your email in Outlook or any other desktop application you use upon delivery. Did I mention it’s cross-platform, too?

Out of the dozens of spam filters out there, only a handful are free and look trustworthy enough to me. POPFile has not changed much in the last few years, but that’s not a bad thing necessarily. Even with its rudimentary looks and slightly documentation, it’s a huge time saver once set up. Give it a try, put it to work, and let me know if you like it.

Written by Julio Franco

February 11th, 2008 at 2:58 am

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