Catch-all vs. anti-spam?

We’re noobs to DreamHost, fresh off the boat from an evil registering empire, and while I’m 99% glad, the amount of spam I’m getting is distressing, compared to our old service.

Right now we have a ‘catch-all’ set up on our main domain. I understand this precludes DH’s anti-spam filters. So:

  1. If I delete the catch-all and go with DH anti-spam, what happens to bogus names @mydomain? Treated like spam or bounced back to the sender?
  2. Could I use a 3rd party anti-spam and keep the catch-all?
  3. Other suggestions? It’s not a torrent (yet), but I want to head that off before it gets there.


  1. If you don’t have a catch-all address, email to addresses that aren’t set up will bounce. It doesn’t get stored anywhere.

  2. Maybe? It’d really depend on the service. Many mail filtering services are likely to be difficult to use with a catch-all, as they will expect you to log in separately to view messages for each address mail was received at. (Some may even want you to pay for each address!)

  3. It’s a little hard to say without knowing more about how you’re using your catch-all address. In general, though, I’d advise that you discontinue using catch-all addresses if at all possible. If there are a limited number of addresses that you actually receive mail at, for instance, I’d recommend that you set those up explicitly as forwards.