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Top 4 Freeware Spam Blockers That Actually Work intro5In 1978 Gary Thuerk sent the first ever spam email advertising a new range of microcomputers to 400 users of the ARPANET service. In 2010 we’re still looking 5 Ways to Protect & Hide Your Email to Stop Receiving Spam 5 Ways to Protect & Hide Your Email to Stop Receiving Spam Read More for a solution to this increasingly frustrating problem, and most of us don’t want to pay.

We get quite a lot of spam here at MakeUseOf, but then so does anyone with an email address How Does An Email Server Work? [Technology Explained] How Does An Email Server Work? [Technology Explained] Behind each email is a powerful engine called the email server which pushes the emails through the internet. Read More these days. Even if your email’s not public, many users get targeted by so-called “dictionary” attacks against their email providers. One solution is to use temporary email addresses Five Free Temporary Email Services To Avoid Spam Five Free Temporary Email Services To Avoid Spam Read More , but if you’re already receiving a lot of spam then the problem’s going to remain.


So if you’re can’t see your inbox for junk and need a break from hitting “delete” then maybe you should try one of these free services.

Gmail

Ok, so it’s not a spam blocker per se – but it’s one of the many features Ultimate GMail Collection: over 80 Tools and Tips Ultimate GMail Collection: over 80 Tools and Tips Read More you can take advantage of and it gets the job done. Gmail uses a spam filter known as Postini, which is usually a commercial affair. By using Gmail you’re essentially getting a very expensive spam filter completely free of charge.

The beauty of Google’s email service lies in the ability to connect your bog-standard POP3 accounts, allowing you to “collect” your mail from Google’s web interface. Gmail’s advanced spam filtration will help filter all incoming messages, and any detections will be labelled accordingly and kept out of sight.

Top 4 Freeware Spam Blockers That Actually Work gmail

Once you’ve registered (choose a good spam-proof address), you can add an address under the Accounts tab in Gmail’s Settings. You won’t need to go quoting your new email, as you’ll still effectively be using your old accounts.

Using the Send mail as tool in the same configuration panel will allow you to send email from the addresses you’ve added too, and all you need to check and send mail is a web browser.

Spamfence

What’s better than one email address? Two, it would seem.

With integrated virus protection The 10 Best Free Anti-Virus Programs The 10 Best Free Anti-Virus Programs You must know by now: you need antivirus protection. Macs, Windows and Linux PCs all need it. You really have no excuse. So grab one of these ten and start protecting your computer! Read More , this spam filter works by forwarding mail from your main (probably public and spam-riddled) inbox through the Spamfence filters and on to another private “clean” email address. Any messages that are detected as spam along the way will be marked accordingly, and you have full control over what is done with these messages.

Top 4 Freeware Spam Blockers That Actually Work spamfence

The service adds a subject header to each message, so if you want you can allow everything through and make your own rules up with your client. Think of the extra virus protection as a free gift, not that the service will cost you anything.

Spamihilator

If you’re a Windows user with a mail client The Best Free Email Clients for Windows 7 The Best Free Email Clients for Windows 7 Read More such as Outlook 10 Powerful Productivity Tips & Tricks For The Outlook 2007 10 Powerful Productivity Tips & Tricks For The Outlook 2007 Read More , Thunderbird 10 Must-Have Thunderbird Addons (+ 25 More) 10 Must-Have Thunderbird Addons (+ 25 More) Thunderbird lives on. This desktop email client thrives because of its many customization options. These must-have Thunderbird addons will help you make the most of it. Read More or Eudora then chances are you’ll be looking at a solution you can download and run alongside your existing setup. Spamihilator is just that, and it even claims to have a 98% success rate.

Top 4 Freeware Spam Blockers That Actually Work spamihilator

The filter sits between the big bad internet and your client, removing messages it deems to be spam. You can also train this filter, so after a while it’ll know what to do based on your previous decisions. There’s a training area to help get the learning process started, and you can even add specific words to a blacklist (thus removing future emails featuring these words).

That’s not all, there’s also link filtration and the ability to download plugins. Spamihilator provides a load of protection from spam, and it’s completely free.

MailWasher Free

The only program on this list with a commercial bigger brother, MailWasher Free is a simple program that can help clean up your POP3, IMAP or webmail email address. Download the program, connect to your email and preview as many incoming messages as you like before deciding whether you want to download them or not.

Top 4 Freeware Spam Blockers That Actually Work mailwasher

Using a similar Bayesian filter as Spamihilator, this program will also learn from your actions and train itself to adhere to your rules once you’ve made a few spam-busting decisions.

Being the “Free” version, you’re limited to a maximum of 1 email account (and lose out on search, a customizable interface and updates). This isn’t so bad, the free version really is free (forever) and if you do decide you really like it, then you could always treat yourself.

Conclusion

Spam’s just as annoying as it ever was, but with a couple of clever moves on your part you can help minimize it. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, check out Ryan’s guide to setting up SpamAssassin How to Set Up & Use SpamAssassin for Windows How to Set Up & Use SpamAssassin for Windows Read More on Windows. And don’t forget to mix it up, for example connecting your POP3 mailboxes to a Gmail account, through Spamfence and then onto another clean account will probably work wonders for your junk email problems.

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  1. Richard
    February 15, 2017 at 4:18 am

    Spamfence used to be good but in the last month it has begun to register a lot of false positives.

    It has rejected as spam reservation confirmation emails from: Starwood Hotels, Emirates, British Airways and Air Asia as well as personal email from people working for Huawei in China and Astro in Malaysia. All these used to be correctly identified as non-spam email.

    I've emailed and messaged them numerous times alerting to the increase in false positives but only had silence in return.

    It reflects very badly on their commercial business that (a) their spam algorithms are now clearly faulty and (b) they are not responding to genuine and helpful feedback to improve their spam detection.

  2. Hitman007
    May 22, 2015 at 1:12 am

    WOW. What a BS article. This does not even list a SINGLE freeware option! Each suggestion is giving something to some company. What a shill!

    • Tim Brookes
      May 23, 2015 at 1:24 am

      Gmail is free! Route your mail through that, enjoy corporate-level spam filtering for $0.

      We're not shills, we don't get any money from the services listed here. Also this article is like 5 years old so there may be newer, better services out there now.

  3. freeware
    November 8, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    SpamFighter is a good free program too to do this this job, block spam emails

  4. Jorgo
    August 30, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Using Gmail kind of defeats the purpose. I don't want to trade receiving less spam from companies by giving more information to yet another company that bases its business model on advertising.

  5. pceasies
    August 30, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Hmm, I have multiple email addresses and sign up for all kinds of things and don't get a lot of spam. Must just be what you sign up for.

    GMail does have a great spam filter, though.