SpamSoap update #1

As I mentioned, I’m trying out SpamSoap to cut down on the massive volume of spam I receive. Next week my free trial period ends, and I have to decide whether to start paying for the service at $25/month.

I’m planning to pay for it. After some tweaking and whitelisting of various newsletters and mailing lists, plus a bit of configuration on my hosting account to exclude spam routed around the SpamSoap filters, I’m getting excellent performance. Before anything gets downloaded to my machine, it first goes through SpamSoap as well as a separate gauntlet of filters maintained by my hosting provider.

Last week, 38 spams that made it through to my final layer of defense — a Bayesian filter called SpamSieve that runs locally when I use my email program (Eudora). SpamSieve caught all but about 5 of those.

With approximately 5000 spams coming in per day, that gives me an effectiveness of 99.9% catching spam before it gets to my computer, and close to 99.99% overall. I’d call that pretty effective. (One nice feature of SpamSoap is that it gives me better reporting on what’s hitting my mail server on the front end.)

The spammers keep coming up with new ways to evade filters. So, I expect performance to degrade over time. But at the moment, I’m happy. It’s still amazing and frustrating that I could practically buy a new computer for what I’ll spend this year just to filter spam. That’s life in the digital age, I guess.