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Article:
  The Fight Against Spam, Part 2
Subject:   98% isn't that good
Date:   2004-05-18 22:36:16
From:   alderete
My experience with Apple Mail's junk mail features hasn't been that good. The author suggests that it's better than Bayesian filtering, but my stats from SpamSieve indicate that it's 99.5% accurate on my real live mail, while the author says that Apple's Mail can theoretically get up to 98%.


Sounds like a small difference, but do the math. If you receive 100 messages a week (low volume), that's 5200 messages a year. Mail will make 100+ mistakes a year; SpamSieve will make 25 or so.


If, like me, you get several hundred messages a day, then the difference is even noticeable.


And this assumes that Mail reaches 98%, which it's no where near for me. More like 90%. So now we're talking 500+ mistakes a year, on a low-volume e-mail account.


Your mileage may vary, but if you get a lot of spam, you should definitely try SpamSieve, which works with Mail, Eudora, Mailsmith, and most other e-mail clients for Mac OS X.

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Showing messages 1 through 3 of 3.

  • 98% isn't that good.. not at all
    2004-05-25 19:43:26  mkarver [View]

    I used to just rely on desktop based spam filters, but it was too much work to update all the computers on the network when new versions came out. So I signed up for a server based filter with Sentinare Spam Filtering. Greater then 99.6% is awesome and all server side, so nothing to download and install and maintain. I was gonna use Postini but I heard they are even worse then iMail at 85% effectivness and they have a $250 monthly minimum, so Sentinare was a way better deal at less the $3 a mailbox. I have had zero false positives thus far and really happy with the speed, service & support.
  • 98% isn't that good
    2004-05-19 11:20:55  hondo77 [View]

    In my experience, ditto.

    Mail.app started off okay for me because some filtering was better than none and, as the article mentions, it's really easy to set up. However, good enough soon isn't.

    I got SpamSieve a few months ago and after a single day of training it was catching much more spam than Mail.app. On my work account, which gets far fewer emails than my home account, SpamSieve not only caught all the spam but it didn't generate any of the false positives that Mail.app was always doing (something about email from Slashdot really rubbed Mail.app the wrong way no matter how many times I marked them as not junk).
  • FJ de Kermadec photo 98% isn't that good
    2004-05-19 06:40:36  FJ de Kermadec | O'Reilly Blogger [View]

    Hi !

    I am sorry to hear that you have been experiencing issues with Mail's Junk Mail feature.

    Of course, every SPAM-fighting solution has its strengths and weaknesses. However, you should get far better results from Mail.app than what you are describing...

    Have you tried resetting Mail by deleting its message sorting cache and preferences files ? Sometimes, a corrupted file prevents Mail from working properly and reaching full accuracy.

    F.J.