Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Using Gmail As A Spam Filter

I have no love of web-based email. Years ago when I had MSN dial-up, Microsoft made the anti-consumer decision to block POP Mail and force its users to use Hotmail instead. I had about eight more months on my MSN contract, and Microsoft indicated that the fee for early termination was, well, almost as much as the balance of the contract. (If you want to know the point in time when I decided to give Microsoft as little of my money as humanly possible, that would be it.)

I also used Yahoo! mail for a number of years, particularly when I was on vacation. I would use it to pull email from my POP server, without deleting the originals such that they could be downloaded when I returned home. But its atrocious spam filtering led me to abandon that idea. The idea of paying them a premium to (possibly) keep a web-based email account usable, with a spam filter of unknown quality? Not appealing.

I haven't been paying much attention to Gmail, beyond noting that it does have decent spam filtering, but I read something today that may cause me to take a second look - apparently I can route my email through Gmail, taking full advantage of its spam filter, while continuing to download my email and continuing to use my own email addresses.

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