MailWasher Pro v3.1

Reviewed by: Howard Carson, send e-mail
Published by: Firetrust Limited, go to the web site
Requires: Windows 95 or higher, Pentium computer or faster, 4 MB of RAM, 4MB of disk space, and an Internet connection
MSRP: $29.95

If you haven't yet been digitally accosted by spam e-mail deluging your InBox then you're the luckiest computer user alive. The fact is that spam is a scourge and it's definitely out of hand. The spammer who called in to a June 2003 episode of The Screen Savers inadvertently described his true mein when he truculently attempted to debase hosts Patrick Norton and Leo LaPorte by loudly comparing their personal incomes to his own - at least the income he claimed to earn from his allegedly full-time spamming occupation. The discussion ended on that vacuous note, with Norton and LaPorte left speechless by the asinine arrogance of the spammer.

The young spammer doesn't realize that the rich people in this world (by that we mean the truly rich - in both spirit and cash) are the ones who can support their interests, vocations and families by means of something other than endeavors which are unremittingly burdensome to their peers. Spam, you see, is not competitive by nature - its sheer volume negates any professed option to make comparative choices. Spam is fundamentally boorish - fire off millions of spam e-mails every week and someone, somewhere is bound to bite; marketing by the incompetent. Spam is so fulsomly deceptive by nature that the ability for any of us to determine its potential legitimacy is often deliberately obscured - a legal con about which the progenitors laugh, ridiculing the burden we bear for sorting its hundreds of millions of instances: "If you don't like it," they cry, "hit the delete key!" as though we could somehow read past the calculatingly devious subject lines in every case to enable ourselves to decide what's what; another red-herring tossed at us by the conscienceless miscreants. In the end, we're left to barricade our digital borders with all manner of protections - even those among us who have been duped into placing orders for products which never arrive, subscribing to magazines which never appear, or illegally attempting to engage the services of some pathetically thieving Nigerian malefactors (or Congolese, Liberian - take your pick) bent on lying and stealing their way into some sort of twisted bounty.

To top it all off, the crabby mandarins charged with protecting the public from its own misfortunes - the consumer protection crowd, government agencies, and all the rest - sort of stare off into space when confronted with the subject of spam, pointing to ineffectual legislation designed along aging lines of control. How on earth do you charge and prosecute an off-shore server? Or an out-of-state/province offender? Who will pay for such efforts? The credit card companies issue accounts to the spam stooges for pete's sake and legitimize them to some extent thereby! They are here today, gone tomorrow, with just enough ill-gotten cash to entice other charlatans into engaging the same schemes.

MailWasher Pro is the first line of defense all of us should consider using against spam e-mail. It works by installing a program that looks like your typical e-mail software, but which is actually nothing more than a utility which logs on to all your e-mail accounts, reads but does not download your e-mail, allowing you to delete, blacklist, friendlist and/or bounce (return to sender) each and every mail prior to launching your regular e-mail software and downloading whatever you've kept. The software also features a very versatile filtering dialog which allows you to set up all manner of additional filtering besides the built-in blacklist file which is supplied with MailWasher. Every conceivable filtering combination is available (and is vastly superior to the absurdly rudimentary spam filtering available in Outlook), with wildcards, various To/From, domain, and customization controls and settings.

To use MailWasher, you first must turn off automatic mail checking in your usual e-mail program. That's because MailWasher is the first thing you launch when checking your e-mail. Once you've checked off each e-mail shown in MailWasher, click the mail processing button. MailWasher will process everything while its still on the various mail servers, then it launches your usual e-mail program for you so you can download only the good e-mail left over. It's a simple system that works well. The software installed and ran flawlessly.

If you're looking for an inexpensive, well-designed, useful antispam tool, take a long look at MailWasher and MailWasher Pro.

Cons: We had to occasionally close then restart Outlook in order to download the mail processed by MailWasher and send any mail in the Outbox. We could not find any FAQ about the problem on the FireTrust web site or Microsoft's Knowledge Base. We'd like to have a Select All/Deselect All function for each of the Blacklist and the Bounce mail processing columns.

Pros: Flawless operation with Eudora v5.2, Pegasus v4, Outlook Express 5 & 6 and The Bat. Decent operation with Outlook 2000 and 2002 (see Cons, above). Mailwasher Pro is a great spam solution which is easy to control, easy to configure and extemely useful above all else. Highly recommended.

Letters to the Editor are welcome and occasionally abused in public. Send e-mail to:




© Copyright 2000-2006 All rights reserved. legal notice
home | previous reviews | forums | about us | search | store | subscribe


Forums Search Home Previous Reviews About Us Store Subscribe