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Anti-virus software Reviews
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ClearMyMail spam blocker and antivirus software review

£18

Manufacturer: ClearMyMail

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5 User Rating: Our users rate this 4 out of 10

ClearMyMail is an antispam system that can, with almost no effort or complex configuration, stop all unwanted email without suffering false positives.

ClearMyMail is an antispam system that can, with almost no effort or complex configuration, stop all unwanted email without suffering false positives.

Antispam systems come in three forms - software-based clients that live on a specific PC, server-based ones that work from inside a network, and external services such as ClearMyMail. The latter category is currently not served by many companies, but it is sure to grow.

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Deciding which one to adopt depends on the number of users being supported, the operating systems/email clients (including mobile ones) being used, and whether accounts are POP3-based, server-based, or webmail-based. Standalone users will benefit from the ClearMyMail approach; corporate users have very different needs. Small to medium businesses (SMBs) are in the middle somewhere. It all depends.

Believe it or not, there is such a thing as an antispam system that can, with almost no effort or complex configuration, stop all unwanted email without suffering false positives. It exists and it’s called ClearMyMail, and we’ve been using it without a hitch for two months.

Instead of loading an antispam program on a PC and then setting up filtering manually, ClearMyMail works as a hosted service, intercepting email from a subscriber’s ISP. That’s attraction number one – it protects the email subscription, not the email client running on a particular PC, so it works on any PC, any OS (including mobile ones such as BlackBerry), and any client program used to access that account as long as it’s a POP3-based.

Attraction number two is that the service works. Prior to using ClearMyMail, the account we configured it to protect was receiving up to 10 spam emails a day, or perhaps 60 per week. And that was a new and lightly-used account with a relatively small spam problem. After applying ClearMyMail, that figure dropped to zero, and has continued on zero ever since.

So how does ClearMyMail weave its magic? The company describes its “unique 18-stage filtration process” applied to each message before it is forwarded, but the real innovation of the system is much, much simpler, and is based on whitelisting.

After a subscriber has set up forwarding through the ClearMyMail server by entering POP3 account details, the server forwards a ‘configuration’ message listing all emails recently received on that account, asking that the user ‘allow all’ email from a particular sender, ‘block all’ from that sender, or ‘allow once’ or ‘block once’ from that sender on this occasion only (a precautionary setting for emails whose provenance is uncertain).

Once the legitimate senders have been selected and that information uploaded to ClearMyMail, the subscriber has in effect told the system which senders not to block, allowing the system to figure out which should be blocked.

These permissions can be manually adjusted though the ClearMyMail web interface, and specific contacts can be uploaded to speed up the learning process, something that might be worthwhile if you have more than a few dozen.

ClearMyMail Expert Verdict »

POP3 email account
internet connection
  • Ease of Use: We give this item 9 of 10 for ease of use
  • Features: We give this item 9 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 8 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

If you are fed up with spam, then ClearMyMail is the business. It stops spam in its tracks and, from our experience, does so without causing the almost as worrisome headache of rejecting valid emails without good cause. It is simple to set up for POP3 account holders, but offers lots of control if you want it. Some ISPs perform spam filtering and so only a handful of unwanted emails get through. ClearMyMail is probably overkill for this fairly rare type of user. Apart from not supporting webmail (yet), the service does introduce one small unknown. All email is being run through not one but two services, namely the ISP providing the account and ClearMyMail’s, which is two possible points of failure. This wouldn’t worry most people, but it’s worth being aware of.

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