Things that make life online a little better

Over the past six months I’ve discovered, out of necessity, a few tools and services that have made life online a just a little more bearable. I didn’t realize how much I love the Google Toolbar popup blocker until I used someone else’s computer. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a popup ad, and when I visited some of the sites I regularly read using a browser without the toolbar installed I couldn’t believe how many a “normal” visitor gets hit with!

To deal with spam, I’ve been using Cloudmark’s Spamnet, and it does a fantastic job of filtering out junk – I haven’t had a single mis-classified message for months. I have to admit, I liked it even better when it was still in beta, and free, but it’s definitely worth $3.99 a month.

Since Spamnet is a PC-only and Outlook-only product (at least for now), I had to search for another product/service to help poor Michele on her old iMac – she was typically receiving 100-200 spam message each day. I finally settle on Mailshell. Again, it’s not free ($3.00 per month), but it’s done a great job of reducing the volume of spam, and it’s been extremely rare that it’s incorrectly flagged a message. The biggest drawback, is the fact that introduces a delay in receiving message since it periodically checks your SMTP server, and you can’t control its schedule – so sometimes Michele will have to wait a little while for a message to be picked up. Overall, she’s happy though – no more deleting hundreds of message each day!

Posted on October 6, 2003
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