Which webmail service offers the best spam protection?

Andrei January 7, 2011

In between GMail, Yahoo Mail and Hotmail, who do you think has the best spam protection and why?

  1. Cart Heather
    March 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Are you folks for real?
    Or do you get paid by Google?

    Gmail is now the biggest spam machine on the market. You'd not believe the number of spam flooding our server, coming from - YEP, indeed ... the Great Winner Gmail.

    on a %-scale I'd need to say, no less than 80% of all spam flooding in has a [at]gmail tail.

    we have, however, solved this problem very easy by ban and blacklist to every single IP used by Gmail. It works great as of now. Even big gurus like Google can be penalized, although they play up as being the only good out there. Most times it just those "self-proclaimed" gods who are actually worse than the devil.

    Sorry folks, but I neither like nor accept this, no matter how many billions of dollars rich you are, it doesn't intimidate me.

  2. Michael Frazier
    September 12, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    I too have accounts on all three services; Gmail being the most recent of them. Hotmail was; at one time, my preferred client but in the last year or so their spam filter has gone to the dogs. Yahoo doesn't do too badly seeing as I don't log in to find massive amounts of spam waiting on me. Gmail though is the clear winner though since I currently log into it infrequently and rarely have anything at all labeled as spam.

  3. Christopher Royall
    June 20, 2011 at 10:01 am

    I have an account with each of the services you have listed, and the one I have the least amount of spam is the one noted here already:  Gmail.

    Each of the accounts have settings that you can set that make catching the spam even better for that service, however, changing those settings, and what their defaults are what my recommendation is based upon.  Gmail's default settings catches almost all of my spam immediately, with only an occasional false positive here and there.  Both Hotmail and Yahoo Mail's default settings have not been enough, so I have had to go in and go to stricter settings, and create special filters.

    Also, the one thing that is most appealing to me in the decision, is that it sends it to the spam folder, and after 30 days, automatically deletes it without me having to go in and empty it manually.  Google also gives you so much space to utilize, that unless your doing some extreme business through the account that involves emails with the largest file attachments, the spam folder is not going to cause you to fill up the limits on your account.

    As far as the false positives I have gotten, most of them have been because someone sent like 5-6 emails with-in a small amount of time, which by most email providers is a good indicator of a spam attack.  Usually, however, I don't get these because whenever I receive emails from people I know, the very first one I get from them, I will add them to my contacts, which automatically blocks gmail from mistakenly marking them as spam (unless you go into the settings and tell it otherwise).

    Now you might ask, why I have an email account with all 3?  Originally, I had Yahoo, when they were indeed a very formidable email provider, and have just kept that address.  I actually loved Yahoo for a long time, however, as Email providers and services have evolved, and updated, Yahoo just has seemed to be going in a totally wrong direction for me to recommend it to anyone anymore.  My 'Hotmail' account, is actually my domain account, which is my business.  My business domain is maintained by Office Live, which utilizes Hotmail for it's services.  My Gmail account is my personal account and is used as such, however, with the growing services of Google, I am strongly considering moving my Office Live account over to them as well.

    Hope this helps answer not only the best as far as my opinion goes, but the why as well.

  4. Sdd
    January 15, 2011 at 2:27 am

    gmail is false-positives.

    • Cart Heather
      March 7, 2012 at 12:13 pm

      spot on. you seem one of the few realistic who don't admire the golden curtain but check out the scrap hidden behind.

  5. nerotic
    January 15, 2011 at 2:05 am

    It's not even close. GMail is by far the most effective of the 3. Every system has a false positives but you have to weight the good with the bad.

    In my case, I'd rather look in my spam folder (or label in this case) once every 3 weeks for that one email I was expecting rather than having to make 50 messages a week as spam.

  6. Oron Joffe
    January 9, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    I have no first hand experience with Hotmail, but find GMail's spam filtering to be more effective than Yahoo's. Like Mike, I also find I get rather a lot of spam, but the vast majority of it is filtered correctly.
    The only real problem is that there are some false positives. About 1 in every 100 messages in the spam folder are 'real' messages, so I need to check the spam folder carefully before emptying it.

  7. Hafiz
    January 8, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    After Using all most popular e-mail web services out there (Hotmail, Yahoo!, Gmail).
    I noted that Gmail has better spam protection than Yahoo! and Hotmail. Because even if I used my Gmail e-mail address while registering or posting on many different websites I receive hardly 1 spam in 2-3 days. In Yahoo! I receive about 15-20 spams a day. In Hotmail the number is even higher.

    January 8, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Yes, but anyone knows *why* some algorithms are better than the other? :)

    • Mike
      January 8, 2011 at 10:04 pm

      For one, there is no documentation about the algorithms and methods used for each serivces. And then there is no definite answer even if you would know.

      Since all three providers let you specify mails as "spam" and "no spam" I'm sure they all use some sort of Bayesian Filter among other methods.
      I will spare you the details how the filter works but you can look it up on Wiki

      Basically, the more emails are defined as either "spam" or "clean" they more effective the Bayesian Filter works. This means a filter with 10.000 mails marked as spam and another 10.000 clean will not work as efficient as one with 100.000 for each.

      So there are two things we can already say:
      (1) They more user actually use the functions to specify mails as either spam or clean they more efficient the Spamfilter will work.
      (2) Depending on the users input different mails will be marked as spam.

      Also most providers have user specific spamiltering. This means a user who regularly mark unwanted Emails as spam and false-positives the better the experience of the user will be.

  9. rMatey180
    January 8, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Gmail then Yahoo!

  10. Tilman
    January 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I firmly believe that Gmail is the best. Not only because it has the best spam filter (although not perfect either) - but also because it just has by far the most exciting features to offer! I would never even touch any other webmail after all the fantastic (lab) features that Gmail offers!

  11. Mike
    January 8, 2011 at 4:35 am

    From what I heard and read Gmail offers the most effective spam protection with the least false-positives.

    However, my personal experience with Gmail is mixed.
    Without passing on my Gmail adress I had 70 mails in the Spambox within a week. That was kind of disturbing considering I never passed on my address or used it in any way.

    I haven't used any of the other services within the last years so no comment on them.

    • LeeD
      January 8, 2011 at 5:38 am

      My experience with gmail is just the opposite. As far as I am concerned, gmail has the best spam filters. My original email service was mail.com. I got a gmail account -to go out and fetch my mail.com email, and I set up both of them in my Thunderbird email client. After a little training, I hardly get any spam any more. What little spam I do get goes right into the trash. I dont even see it.

    • Tina
      January 8, 2011 at 11:53 pm


      the reason for that is that your eMail address was probably already on spam lists before you ever created it. Spammers don't just collect eMail addresses they find somewhere, they also guess them and just spam on assumption.

      The simpler and shorter your eMail address is, the more spam you will receive, no matter whether or not anyone knows that eMail address exists.

      In case anyone suspects Google had something to do with this, think again. Google has no interest in spamming you. First, spam mail creates extra traffic on their servers, i.e. extra costs. Second, you said they managed to filter those eMails to the spam folder. Go figure.

      Of course one could still imagine that Google sells eMail addresses to spammers. Now imagine the scandal if anyone could ever prove that. I would suppose Google is smart enough to know that risking that kind of damage is not worth it.

      • Cart Heather
        March 7, 2012 at 12:11 pm


        Your dream is certainly a nice dream but do you watch the news, sometimes? Everyone knows the bigger the corporation the more crocks swim in there. It's in the news on a daily ratio. Not pointing or claiming anyone, not at all, but your theory is nothing but a "realistically" unsupported theory. 

        Reality had proven us and continues to proof, exact the opposite! 

        So, I only hope you can continue dreaming without awakening, you might just suffer a heart attack or attempt suicide and you seem to be a nice enough lady no one of us would like to hear about that from happening to you because you all of a sudden could see the real picture and were too disappointed.

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