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Software Review of:
MailWasher
Version 1.33

 

Lee Besing is the owner of Computer Solution Experts and A-Plus IT Services.

From the July, 2002 issue of PC Alamode Magazine

I’ve talked before about the new utility program called MailWasher in my monthly column.  This program runs on most current Windows operating systems (Win95 / 98 / Me / NT4 / 2000 / XP / XP Pro).  Sorry, won't run on the Macintosh. System Requirements call for a minimum of 4 MB of RAM, 4MB of disk space, and some way to connect to the Internet.   Here is more detailed information about this great “must have” utility program.

Finding it hard to be removed from mailing lists? Getting harassed by someone on your e-mail? Tired of getting junk e-mail from unknown sources? Why not make them think you no longer exist by bouncing back their e-mail so it looks like your address has been closed down.  Are you tired of getting forwarded e-mails with large attachments that take ages to download? Are you scared of getting an e-mail virus? Why not delete the e-mail directly off the server so you don't have to download it?

MailWasher is a powerful e-mail checker with effective Spam elimination. Discover the safe way to stop unwanted viruses and e-mails before they get to your computer.   No gimmicks here, it is so easy to set up and use that you'll be managing your e-mail like a pro in seconds. It can even be used as an effective privacy tool. 

Bounce back unwanted e-mails so it looks as if your e-mail address is not valid. This will make the sender think your address is no longer active so your name can be removed from their list. This unique feature is great for privacy and it couldn’t be simpler!

Delete unwanted e-mails before you download them. You’ll be able to see whom the e-mail is from, the subject, and the attachment. This will enable you to decide if you want to delete the e-mail or keep it. A great way to stop viruses or large attachments.

Status 
MailWasher analyses each e-mail as it arrives and warns you if it is suspected junk mail or a virus by heuristic checking and filtering. The standard status categories are: Normal, Virus, Possibly virus, Possibly Spam, Probably Spam, Chain letter, Blacklisted, MAPS RBL. 

Blacklist 
Any e-mails you bounce back get their senders details put on the blacklist for easy removal if they come back. You can even set it to immediately bounce and delete blacklisted e-mails off the server. 

Preview 
You can preview the message in your e-mail to see what the sender has to say before downloading it. Just double click on the message.

Filtering 
Effective filtering to automatically spot Spam, plus it uses a customizable list of blacklisted e-mail senders and/or regular expressions to filter out potential spammer addresses and messages.

It’s free. 
That’s right, you can keep on using this program and it won’t expire. You are offered the chance to register MailWasher and pay a price you think it is worth. Think of this payment as a tip — so please contribute something. This payment will help with the continued development of MailWasher and allow the author to make a living. This payment can be as low as $3 or as high as you wish. If you find MailWasher useful and continue to use it, please register. As an incentive, the advertisement on the software will be removed, you will receive a guide to getting rid of Spam and getting the most out of MailWasher, free upgrades for life, and support (if you spend at least $20).

Unlimited e-mail accounts.
You can have as many e-mail accounts as you want to check. It does not support Web-based accounts such as Hotmail and Yahoo at this time. 

E-mail overlay. 
New messages will come in and will reside in the screen until processed.  

Fast download of message headers
The author claims clocked speeds of 25 e-mail message headers per second.

To check e-mail, don't open your e-mail client first. Instead, just start MailWasher by double clicking on the desktop icon, or going to start menu, Programs, and then MailWasher.  The MailWasher program will then start and will tell you what messages you have waiting for you on the e-mail server. In the check boxes, select whether to Delete or Bounce the messages (if nothing is checked, the e-mails will simply be downloaded to your e-mail client as normal), and then select process mail. Processing mail will delete or bounce the e-mails you have selected. Your e-mail client will open and you can download the remaining e-mails as you normally do.

MailWasher uses an algorithm to determine the best route to send the bounced message back (from, reply to, return path) and actually sends the bounce back via your ISP's postmaster, so it looks exactly like it has come from your ISP and not from you at your address. If the spammer has used a fake address, then your bounce message will itself be bounced back to the postmaster and you won't receive the bounced bounce e-mail. 

One hint on using this software; the author has a very nice help file online at their Website with many of the FAQ's answered very simply and straight forward.  I found it good to mark known "friends" by right clicking on their message and selecting "add to friends list" to prevent them from being bounced accidentally if they sent something that MailWasher thought was SPAM.  And then go to "tools" and "blacklist" and double check the list of blacklisted addresses periodically.  I found my sister and some other valid addresses including some of my own in this list by accident after they had sent out some of the twelfth generation forwarded jokes or hoaxes.  No wonder they were calling to ask me if my address was still valid or not.

I run this program before opening my e-mail program each time.  This allows me to filter out most of the SPAM before I have to read it, and it has started reducing the amount of SPAM being received over time.   I highly recommend this freeware utility program to all of my friends and customers.  

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