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CleanMail Home 4.6.1.3 Review

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PROS / The app combines several robust antispam technologies.

CONS / The app may perform slowly in some situations.

 VERDICT / The app is an effective spam blocker.

Based in Germany, Byteplant is a privately held software development company. Since its creation in 2003, the company has gained an excellent reputation for its development of email security software. CleanMail Home is spam filter software and is one of the company's forefront products. The spam blocker protects a single home computer against spam email.

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Blocking/Filtering

The spam filter software, CleanMail Home, is combined with the award winning SpamAssassin. Because of this integration, CleanMail Home has an arsenal of effective and innovative anti-spam techniques that form this powerful spam filter software. CleanMail Home, in conjunction with SpamAssasin, can precisely determine if a message is a valid email or if it is an unwanted spam email. SpamAssasin also comes equipped with the capability to perform Bayesian filtering. This type of filter is somewhat intelligent, is trainable and can learn a user's preferences and more.

CleanMail Home has a built-in spam trap that automatically updates the applications spam filter. The spam blocker's attachment filter allows the user to set their preference for the types of files and extensions they desire to filter. Filtered file extensions could include *.txt, *.pdf, *.doc and others. Additional filtering and blocking capabilities of the spam filter software include email header analysis, keyword checking, white and black lists, text analysis, and many others.

Protection

During installation, CleanMail Home allows the user to select the option of installing the free antivirus package ClamWin. Developed for Microsoft Windows, ClamWin is an open source virus scanner. Online reviews of ClamWin reveal mixed user satisfaction levels. Some find the free app to be robust while others complain that ClamWin slows their operating system, takes an extended period to perform scans, and drains vital system resources.

In our testing, CleanMail Home did require an extended amount of time to download email. However, during a second installation, we did not select the ClamWin option. This omission did not speed the spam filter software's performance.

CleanMail Home, the spam filter software, has support for all third-party antivirus applications that have a command line interface. Despite supporting ClamWin and other third party applications, the spam filter software has no native or stand-alone capability to protect a user from viruses and other forms of malware. To provide protection, the spam blocker works in conjunction with other antivirus and antimalware applications.

Rules

The spam filter software CleanMail Home has a set of highly customizable rules. SpamAssasin implements a wide-ranging list of heuristic rules that the integrated app cross-references to complete the scoring of all received email messages. Users can customize the thresholds of the spam blocker for different levels of detection.

Moreover, users can configure both the spam blocker's black and white lists. The blacklist filter actively scans all incoming email for static address patterns. The manufacturer of the spam filter software asks users to have some restraint when adding the address of a spam sender to the spam blocker's blacklist.

Because most spammers only send once from any designated email address the manufacturer advises that it is best to keep the blacklist small and manageable. This recommended limit in size may help to increase the app's performance. With a smaller size, the spam blocker is not expending resources scanning a large blacklist before classifying an email as valid or designating it as a spam message.

Compatibility

CleanMail Home supports all POP3/SMPT email clients that include Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Yahoo, Gmail and Windows Mail. The spam filter software lacks support for Web-based services such as Hotmail, AOL and IMAP. Perhaps in future version releases, the manufacturer will add support for webmail.

Summary

CleanMail Home, SpamAssasin and ClamWin combine to form a robust multi-faceted spam filtering software that is easy to install and use. The spam blocker effectively prevents spam from entering the user's inbox. However, in some instances, the spam filter software may perform slowly.

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