MailWasher Pro v4.0

Reviewed by: Mario Georgiou, April 2004
Published by: Firetrust Limited
Requires: Windows 98 thorugh XP (recent version is being updated for Vista); Pentium computer or faster; POP3, IMAP, AOL or Hotmail/MSN e-mail accounts
MSRP: $37.00

As a long time user of the Internet I have, like you, found that spam, viruses and e-mail scams have been a major curse on my Inbox. I receive on average about 100 e-mails a day of which 85% are undoubtedly unwelcome and irritating. The problem with spam is that at best it is a time waster and at the worst a potential danger due to the damage which can be wreaked by hidden viruses, scams and identity theft. I soon learned that replying to spam and asking to be removed achieved nothing other than to confirm that my e-mail address was live and in use. In my efforts at self-preservation I tried several other solutions including e-mail filtering and the built-in tools in Outlook and other e-mail programs . . . all to no avail.

About a year ago a friend suggested that I try the free version of MailWasher and try it I did. I have been using the free version of MailWasher ever since and without a doubt it has become a serious part of my daily routine. When my editor offered the opportunity to review MailWasher Pro I jumped at the chance.

First impressions of the Pro version is that it does its job very well and is a natural progression from the free version. Its ability to address multiple accounts simultaneously and the easy way in which you can define your own filters and rules make this utility a boon to any Internet user. Like many of you I have several e-mail accounts, in addition to my own domain, which is a real pain as I get all the spam for every e-mail address that my domain represents. The catch-all nature of my e-mail account also means that I get e-mail for accounts which don't exist - a royal pain in the derriere. MailWasher Pro effectively ends the painful and laborious process of manually filtering this deluge of useless e-mail through a variety of tools and filters.

If you have no familiarity with how MailWasher Pro works, it is a very simple tool which allows you to preview e-mail sitting on your server without downloading it. It does a very good job of identifying spam and even potential virii. MailWasher Pro allows you to delete, bounce and report spam, you can even blacklist/friendlist individual e-mail addresses or entire domains. Once you've processed your e-mail you can launch your preferred e-mail application and download the e-mail which has survived the filtering process. MailWasher works by checking e-mail against DNS blacklists, the local blacklists and friendlists you build with MailWasher and also with a new service called FirstAlert! which is administered by Firetrust (the publisher of MailWasher). FirstAlert! works by using a database of reported spam from other MailWasher Pro users.

Installing the program is easy and once you've added your friends to the list and defined your filter preferences it's all very powerful. The application presents you with an interface that lists and color codes previewed e-mail according to the filters and rules you've defined. Each e-mail can be previewed in text only format or in a raw data format with much more detailed information.

Best practice for using MailWasher Pro is to disable automatic checking in your preferred e-mail client and to only launch the mail application from within MailWasher once you've processed your e-mail and eliminated the offending spam. It's a simple process. I recommend not using the bounce feature, as it's not as yet convincing enough to fool the spam merchants. On the other hand, my feature wish list includes the ability to customize the bounce message for each e-mail account or domain. I also found that it doesn't integrate well with Outlook and as a result refused to download my address book to create a friendlist. Luckily I had the blacklist file from my install of the free version of MailWasher.

Cons: It doesn't fully integrate with Outlook.

Pros: Easy to set up and use. Simple user interface. Works well with most e-mail clients. MailWasher Pro is a pleasure to use and is a great time saver. It is easy to configure, uses a minimal amount of resources and is a great anti-spam solution. Highly recommended.




© Copyright 2000-2007 All rights reserved. legal notice
home | previous reviews | forums | about us | search | store | subscribe


Forums Search Home Previous Reviews About Us Store Subscribe