SpamAssassin has handily won as the best anti-spam product in Datamation’s Product of the Year Awards, receiving nearly twice as many votes as the next closest contender.
Not surprising. We use, and heartily endorse, SpamAssassin. And of course, so do many others. In fact, if you’re in IT and not using Spam Assassin, we have to wonder why.
Explains Jeremy Howard, CEO of Fastmail, it doesn’t just save them money, but it makes them money. “We know from direct feedback that customers are upgrading their accounts because of our SpamAssassin implementation,” said Howard.
According to Daniel Quinlan, vice president of Apache Spam Assassin, and, we have to say, a great guy, “It uses a wide variety of local and network tests to identify spam. It makes it hard for spammers to identify any one single thing they can change in their email to get around the filter. Plus, it’s free software, so obviously that’s attractive.”
We should note that while this article that you are reading was originally written in 2005, and it is now, as we update this, 2019, SpamAssassin has consistently garnered more awards and rave reviews in the interim.
Part of the reason for this is that SpamAssassin, and the Apache Foundation which is its home, keep SpamAssassin fresh. The latest update, from October 2018, includes numerous updates, along with:
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sa-update now uses SHA-256 & SHA-512 hashing to verify rule updates;
4 new plugins; and
Four CVE security bug fixes: CVE-2017-15705, CVE-2016-1238, CVE-2018-11780 & CVE-2018-11781.
While SpamAssassin, which is the choice of many discerning IT specialists, is fundamentally installed on a Unix, Linux, BSD, or other Unix-like plataform, there are also several commercial products available which either incorporate or interface with SpamAssassin, making it available to most administrators and end-users regardless of platform or proficiency. Many ISPs also use SpamAssassin as part of their anti-spam initiatives to protect their users’ inboxes, and in fact some ISPs also use it to filter outbound email, to make sure that their users aren’t spamming. One of our favorite, ISPs, sonic.net, has a very active anti-spam program which centers around Spam Assassin.
Now, of course if you are not an ISP or a large organization, but rather are an individual user, SpamAssassin probably won’t be for you. For you we recommend either using Gmail as a spam filter, or our article about what you need to know when choosing a spam filter.
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But we digress – above all, here, we want to say good on ya, SpamAssassin, for creating such a great anti-spam product to help keep the Internet safe!
No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free? Thank you!
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