MailWasher Pro enhances spam filter

Just as spam is getting smarter and more aggressive, so are the antispam weapons; FireTrust has updated its MailWasher Pro to use an advanced spam filter and also offer a subscription service that lets the application learn from other users' spam experiences.

MailWasher Pro 4.0 uses Bayesian filtering that can learn from experience how to better identify spam. MailWasher Pro is available now as a US$37 (AUD$48.96) download, which includes a one-year subscription to the FirstAlert service. FirstAlert costs US$10 yearly after that. A free 30-day trial version is also available.

New Filter Tools

The Bayesian filter is an important addition, according to FireTrust. A Bayesian filter, named for English mathematician Thomas Bayes, examines an entire message--including addresses, subject, text, and attachments--for signs that it is (or is not) spam. The filter considers evidence for and against before making a verdict.

As with any spam filter, that verdict is occasionally wrong. But as you identify false negatives (spam that gets through the filter) and false positives (legitimate mail that does not), the program learns from its mistakes and improves.

With a FirstAlert subscription, MailWasher also learns from mistakes it makes on other people's PCs. When a FirstAlert subscriber reports a false negative, the message goes to FireTrust, where an employee decides if it really is an example of spam. If it is, the message is added to an online database. If you're also a FirstAlert subscriber, when MailWasher checks your mail the program references the FireTrust database to help make its decision.

Server-Based Approach

As with past versions, MailWasher Pro 4.0 does its filtering when the e-mail is still on your ISP's server, before it gets to your PC. You retrieve and display a list of messages in the MailWasher program without actually downloading them. It shows you which are likely to be spam, which contain viruses, and so on. After you've deleted the undesirables, you can go to your client and download your good e-mail.

This method has both advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, it saves bandwidth because you download only the mail you want. What's more, because it displays a message's text without access to attachments, MailWasher provides a safe haven for opening questionable e-mail. On the other hand, the program does no good unless you remember to run it before downloading your e-mail.

Because MailWasher Pro doesn't integrate with your client, there's no issue of it supporting one client program and not another. The program works with standard POP3 e-mail, the same type used by Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, and just about any open e-mail client. It also supports AOL, IMAP, MSN, and Hotmail.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lincoln Spector

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?