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  1. #1
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    Need Web hosting with good spam filtering

    i'm looking for an inexpensive hosting company that has a good spam filtering option. i don't need anything fancy as far as the web pages go, just a robust POP email solution. the company i currently use offers SpamAssassin, which is totally useless (at least as configured by the hosting company, but i get the impression that SpamAssassin is pretty much outdated period). i know it's possible to do very effective spam filtering, as Google and Yahoo have it mastered pretty well. i just need to find a hosting company that does it as well.

    FWIW, i am looking at using Google apps for email, and that solution does look pretty good -- but there are a few quirks and limitations that i don't like. ideally there's a shared hosting company that has a product that does exactly what i want. i have to believe there's a huge market for this.

    lee

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    No experience of it, but ipage.com have an optional Premium Spam Filter package for only $10 per year: https://secure.ipage.com/product/pre...pam-filter.bml

    Bruce

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  4. #3
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    thanks for the iPage link -- i've never heard of them, but that doesn't mean anything. did a quick search on their "premium spam filter" and came up empty, but i'm not sure that means anything either. did notice they are "green certified" and use 100% wind powered, and that DOES mean something to this dirty old hippie! might be worth a couple of months fees to check them out.

    lee

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by lhite View Post
    i'm looking for an inexpensive hosting company that has a good spam filtering option. i don't need anything fancy as far as the web pages go, just a robust POP email solution. the company i currently use offers SpamAssassin, which is totally useless (at least as configured by the hosting company, but i get the impression that SpamAssassin is pretty much outdated period). i know it's possible to do very effective spam filtering, as Google and Yahoo have it mastered pretty well. i just need to find a hosting company that does it as well.

    FWIW, i am looking at using Google apps for email, and that solution does look pretty good -- but there are a few quirks and limitations that i don't like. ideally there's a shared hosting company that has a product that does exactly what i want. i have to believe there's a huge market for this.

    lee
    A few things:

    1) I do web site hosting myself but please dont take this as me trying to get your business. I just wanted to point that out so you dont think I dont have a clue.
    2) SpamAssassin is the best there is but it isnt "correct out of the box" for every single person. You have to take the time to get used to it. SpamAssassin is very intuitive. I get over 3,000 spams sent to me a day on average and out of that a week I might get up to 10 come through and I will see them again a few times then they stop coming through because SpamAssassin can learn what you dont want by your settings and by what is obviously spam according to whatever lists it accesses of spam emails.

    SpamAssassin has been around a long time but it doesnt mean it is no good. I suggest you take the time to learn it and configure it to your own needs. You wont be disappointed, then. Having said that, if you use GoDaddy or one of their affiliates or resellers, it is more than possible that good email will be filtered out by them before it even gets to your anti spam software so if you use SpamAssassin through them, it may all be pointless at that point.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lhite View Post
    Need Web hosting with good spam filtering
    To compare prices and specs, checking out Priorweb's offerings may help (you may have to switch to their English page).

    I've found it to be a very reliable company (with an efficient spam filter), but I have no idea how its pricing compares with others.
    (their helpdesk is NOT outsourced to India, but run by Flemings who, as most Flemings do, understand and speak English very well)
    E Pericoloso Sporgersi
    "It is Dangerous to Lean Out! [of Windows]"

  7. #6
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    this is an oxymoron

    a study at mit proved that you can NOT filter spam properly in the net or middle
    you have to filter for spam at the end points eg the user
    else you risk throwing away good messages

    i had a friend who lost a job offer when the isp tried to "help" him by throwing away a MIGHT BE spam message.
    he did not consider filtering in the cloud to be helpful at all.
    i want to filter my own messages. i can filter spam better than what you are hoping to find.

    what you need is an email CLIENT with white/black/gray/unknown list options
    (although just white/black works good enough that gray option is a big plus)
    it quickly learns what is good mail and what is okay mail you may want to read later but not go straight to your end box. a little goes to an unknown box until you mark it white/gray/black.
    after a few days of training there is very little spam to actually make a decision about and often that is actually good mail from someone new you do want to get email from.
    Last edited by speedball; 2012-07-26 at 12:06.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedball View Post
    this is an oxymoron

    a study at mit proved that you can NOT filter spam properly in the net or middle
    you have to filter for spam at the end points eg the user
    else you risk throwing away good messages
    I think you must have misinterpreted the MIT study. It can't matter where spam is filtered as long as the user has control to adjust settings in the light of experience.


    Quote Originally Posted by speedball View Post
    what you need is an email CLIENT with white/black/gray/unknown list options
    (although just white/black works good enough that gray option is a big plus)
    it quickly learns what is good mail and what is okay mail you may want to read later but not go straight to your end box. a little goes to an unknown box until you mark it white/gray/black.
    after a few days of training there is very little spam to actually make a decision about and often that is actually good mail from someone new you do want to get email from.
    White, black and grey listing options are just as available with server-based filtering like SpamAssassin:

    SpamAssassin allows for a per-user configuration of its behaviour, even if installed as system-wide service; the configuration can be read from a file or a database. In their configuration users can specify individuals whose emails are never considered spam, or change the scores for certain rules. The user can also define a list of languages which they want to receive mail in, and SpamAssassin then assigns a higher score to all mails that appear to be written in another language.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpamAssassin#Operation


    Bruce

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    It can't matter where spam is filtered as long as the user has control to adjust settings in the light of experience.
    Not to put too fine a point on it, but if you only learn to adjust the settings AFTER you have learned by some other means that some messages you would like to have seen got discarded then it DOES matter.

    My ISP uses ProofPoint filtering, which does a fairly good job. They offer multiple settings of increasing filtering severity. But a while ago I was surprised to find (when messages that I knew had been sent kept disappearing without notice) that not ALL messages that were filtered out were placed in the ('just in case') list of filtered messages that they provide: some were just silently discarded with no option to review them.

    While there was no mention of this in my ISP's ProofPoint descriptive material nor any listed option to disable it, it turned out that my ISP was able to add a custom option to disable it - though unfortunately when I turned that option off to see whether another setting would work to my satisfaction the new option disappeared (since I had by then added the relevant site to my whitelist I didn't bother to pester them again, though I'm still a bit leery of the possibility that messages from somewhere else of interest to me might get silently discarded and I keep meaning to check out Thunderbird's filtering mechanisms as an alternative - precisely because that would allow me to have the kind of complete control over filtering that speedball correctly noted was desirable).

    I have no experience with SpamAssassin per se or other hosted solutions, but I'd say my experience above makes it clear that the ability to exercise complete control over whatever mechanism is used can be important - and when a third party (like my ISP) controls it such complete control may not be possible.

    Edit: Incidentally, the material being silently filtered was not anything dodgy - it was, in fact the Windows Secrets newsletter, coming (at that time - haven't checked since) from the actionmessage.com site.
    Last edited by - bill; 2012-07-27 at 16:54.

  10. #9
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    Another vote for Spam Assassin, but you need to let it learn and preferably use the white list and black list features. Another server side becoming popular is Spam Experts. Seems to work well, has a pretty interface but not as intuitive as SpamAss to understand.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregwh View Post
    SpamAssassin has been around a long time but it doesnt mean it is no good. I suggest you take the time to learn it and configure it to your own needs. You wont be disappointed, then. Having said that, if you use GoDaddy or one of their affiliates or resellers, it is more than possible that good email will be filtered out by them before it even gets to your anti spam software so if you use SpamAssassin through them, it may all be pointless at that point.
    can you expand on exactly how you have configured SpamAssassin to make it that accurate? with my current host, the configuration options i have are rather limited. i can alter the "required score", but in my experience that creates more problems than it solves (i use the default value of 5). now i can also modify the scoring system by assigning specific values to specific tests, and i've looked at that some -- but from the analysis i've done, that might be able to catch an additional 10-15% of the spam, which is not near enough to make SA worthwhile. and of course any solution that requires continual monitoring to adjust the rules is pretty much a non-solution as far as i'm concerned. i'm looking for a system that is a one-time setup with no ongoing monitoring (be it rules or white lists or black lists) that is 95%+ effective. i just don't see how SA meets those criteria.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedball View Post
    what you need is an email CLIENT with white/black/gray/unknown list options
    (although just white/black works good enough that gray option is a big plus)
    it quickly learns what is good mail and what is okay mail you may want to read later but not go straight to your end box. a little goes to an unknown box until you mark it white/gray/black.
    after a few days of training there is very little spam to actually make a decision about and often that is actually good mail from someone new you do want to get email from.
    i know there are a lot of good client-side solutions, but the problem there is that the spam still hits your smart phone. in fact, if it were not for the phone problems, i could probably get most of my clients to live with that type of solution. but alas, it's when the spam hits the phone where it becomes a MAJOR PROBLEM -- and only way to avoid that is with server-side filtering (well, i guess a good client-side phone app would also work, but i'm not aware of any of those).

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mandarin View Post
    Another vote for Spam Assassin, but you need to let it learn and preferably use the white list and black list features. Another server side becoming popular is Spam Experts. Seems to work well, has a pretty interface but not as intuitive as SpamAss to understand.
    in my experience, black lists are worthless. for them to work, the spammer must always use roughly the same from address. all the "bad spammers" know this, and so continually change that info. yes, there are a lot of "legitimate spammers" (aka direct marketers) who always use the same from address, but those folks will always honor an opt-out request -- so there's really no need to black list them. if they don't honor an opt-out, they will know all the tricks to getting around black lists.

  14. #13
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    I've been using Blue Host for 5 years now, I've two domains, one parked, I pay the registration fee for the first one, they pay the second. Inexpensive, you can google hosting services and find charts comparing prices and services, which is how I ended up with Blue Host, that and they were recommended by Word Press too, they have tons of tools, their spam filtering is excellent. Just fyi. I don't get kickbacks or anything.

  15. #14
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    Blue Host does look interesting -- they offer a spam filter called Postini for an extra $1/mo/mailbox, and it turns out Postini is owned by The Google, and after digging around some, it looks like Postini is in fact what GMail uses -- so it would seem you can get GMail quality spam filtering for an additional $1 per month. if that's the case, i'm thinking that's a pretty decent solution.

  16. #15
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    I've used Google Apps for maybe 5 years and get about 100 emails per day in my inbox for my domain with catchall, and I use a lot of different usernames@mydomain.com for everything I do online. One or 2 spam messages / day get thru, and maybe 1-2 good emails, usually from big direct marketers, end up in spam each week. In part, Google tracks what their users mark as spam or mark as not spam and apply it to their filter, so spam you've never gotten before is filtered out and you don't have to teach your filter. To keep my spam folder smaller, for easier review looking for good emails, I do add some custom filters for certain high-spam domains so they are deleted when received.

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