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Review of:
MailJail v2.3
 
by Greg Miller

Do you enjoy getting Junk e-mail? Were it not for cyber sales pitches, would you never get any e-mail? If this is the case, stop reading right now and go subscribe to some more SPAM, take a couple more surveys, and live happily ever after. IF, on the other hand, you get a bit annoyed with cyber junk mail, or even if you just wish it came separate from your important e-mail, I have a product you might dare to try, if your brave enough. MailJail v2.3, by Omron Advanced Systems, Inc. is a plug in program for your e-mail reader that can be used to filter SPAM.

Features and Fact

s This is the first time I have ever written a negative review for a piece of software. I am going to tell you some good stuff about this program. Unfortunately, the bad stuff grievously out weighs it in my opinion. The only way this program will work for you if you use Eudora Pro is if you use it with unpatched version. It says so right in the readme file.

This is due to new security features added in subsequent patches for Eudora Pro. These patches are there to prevent certain types of viruses from being introduced to your PC through your e-mail (kind of important in my humble opinion). I personally do not use Outlook 98 very much, but I do know that it has had several similar security patches also in recent history. The readme for the Outlook install had no information on the compatibility of MailJail with any of the new patches. I can tell you that it is possible to loose some incoming mail if the MailJail plug–in doesn't work right (ask me sometime how I know that!).

Now I'll mention the good part. If you are using older versions of MailJail, v2.01 and earlier, or are using v2.3 on unpatched versions of Eudora or Outlook, it should work OK. I can't vouch for its ability to work with the new Eudora or Outlook security patches however. I did use version 2.01 for several weeks and enjoyed it quite a bit, though it does slow down the mail retrieval process a little.

What it does

MailJail really does only one thing. It separates your e-mail into junk and non-junk. It does this in two ways.

A data base of over 400 rules is used to analyze an incoming piece of mail and determine if it is, might be, or is not junk mail. It checks the entire message, including attachments, in order to determine if a piece is SPAM. These rules are continuously being updated.

It also learns from your input. As you tell it what YOU think is and isn't junk mail, it remembers and places those e-mails in the appropriate mailbox. If you regularly receive a news letter from ‘World Wide Spammers Inc.' for instance, and just love to read it, you can tell MailJail to release it from jail because that is certainly where it will put it first. Should MailJail let one or two e-mails slip through that you'd rather not take the time to look at, you can send them to jail. All jail is, is another ‘in' box called mailjail. That is where your SPAM gets sent. It is just as easy to pull up and read as getting e-mail from your regular ‘in' box.

Installation was easy, a plus there! MailJail installs as a plug-in so it does not appear on your start menu or desktop. Just start up the CD or execute the downloaded file and follow the instructions. If you happen to have both Eudora and MS Outlook on your system you have to pick one to install it on. I have both but mostly use Eudora so I did not go back and try to install it again to my Outlook program.

Support

Let me tell you which programs MailJail works with. MailJail was designed to work as a plug-in only for the two most popular e-mail programs, Eudora and Microsoft Outlook. It will currently work with Eudora Pro 3.05 and 4.0, Eudora Light 3.05, and MS Outlook '97 and ‘98.

I suppose that this would be a good time to mention system requirements since we're talking about support here. MailJail works with Windows '95 and NT (32 bit). Therefore, if you have either of those operating systems AND one of the afore mentioned e-mail clients, you can run MailJail. HOWEVER! Remember that the readme document for the Eudora install specifically stated that it would not work with Eudora 4.01! Eudora is now up to v4.02 and there is no evidence on the MailJail site of any support for these patches!

Another thing that was brought to my attention while doing this review is that Omron will no longer produce this product after October of '98. I do not know if they will continue to support it. I suspect that it is basically a dead horse.

Bottom Line

I wouldn't bother with this program. I don't think it is worth the $20 to $25 you'd have to pay in order to inflict it upon yourself. Also, it is going away. Who needs the headache? But if you're a glutton for punishment you can go to www.mailjail.com and download it or order the CD's. All in all, it's too bad that Omron did not continue to patch and upgrade this product. It used to be pretty good.