Improved Spam Filtering

I use a third-party email system for one reason: The spam protection here is bare bones, little more than a basic SpamAssassin setup with little configuring. I’d suggest you consider the approach taken by the ConfigServer MailScanner Service. It’s actually an add-on to cPanel, but greatly expands the spam protection making it near as good as the dedicated email hosting systems. But maybe you can get some ideas from them, or help them develop a version for your email system.

Sure, maybe you want to push everyone to Gmail, but some of us aren’t enamored of trusting our stuff to Google.


I wholeheartedly agree. The spam filtering needs a major overhaul. I suggested they implement greylisting as a user configurable option under the old “suggestion/voting” system. It was up for votes last I looked and now it is nowhere to be found. I came from Bluehost (may they rot in hell), and was running greylisting there. I got about 1/7th the spam per month I get now.

Although other improvements would also be welcome, Greylisting would reduce the mail analyzed by spam assassin by 75%. That would mean fewer spam messages getting through due to low scores. At Bluehost, you could turn on/off Greylisting. If implemented the same way, any fool who doesn’t want to run it is free to receive all the spam they want, while the rest of us can stop deleting a billion phishing schemes.

Please Dreamhost - listen to your customers.

There are add-ons for SpamAssassin, such as CSF MailScanner, but they are largely oriented towards cPanel, so I don’t know how it would integrated with DreamHost. But I’d think the people who bring out that enhancement could be persuaded to deliver a version that would work.

So two years after thisd thread started, do you still believe that Dreamhost’s spam filter is sub-par compared to a provider like Gmail?

I don’t see much spam on my Dreamhost hosted accounts, but I also have very minimal public exposure of those accounts.

Other accounts I have hosted with Gmail get stressed much more, and Google does an OK job, but often too aggressive, and requires regular monitoring of the spam folder.

I would have agreed with you up until about 3 weeks ago. All of my email accounts as well as clients that I’ve put on DH have reported a SIGNIFICANT increase in spam.

I completely agree about Dreamhost needing an overhaul for spam filtering; one thing I particularly hate is the inability to enable both a catch-all address and spam-filtering, as a catch-all is a great way for me to signup to things and just use “throwaway” address like, if I suddenly start receiving spam on that address then I know who is responsible, and can just add a garbage account for that address.

However, the lack of spam filtering means I have to do all the filtering at my end, which isn’t ideal, as it means I have to setup filtering for all of my devices, or maybe try to setup some kind of intermediary on my NAS (not something I’ve ever tried before though, nor really want to do).

I can understand not wanting to handle messages to certain addresses that a catch-all would suddenly receive (e.g - but these could be included in a default black-list and re-enabled by the user, which should be a good enough compromise.

I’m done with spam ‘filtering’. It just doesn’t work. Too many false positives. What I want to see if an improved whitelisting capability. Basically, make everything spam unless I white list the email.

And then make a smashingly simple interface for evaluating what’s in Junkmail so I can quickly identify new emails addresses I’ve never seen before. Then I can whitelist them and automatically toss them back to my inbox.

You can do all of this with existing services - but the tools involve multiple, desperate websites, experiences, and tools. Bring it together and you could really kick butt in this market.

I don’t know if this will help any of you but I have given up waiting for Dreamhosts to sort out the spam filtering. Yesterday I installed SpamDrain on my android phone. This connects to my dreamhost mailbox, finds the spam and removes it continuously thus stopping it ever reaching my inbox on any device.

I’ve only had it running less than a day but it has killed 58 spam so far (82% of my emails).

The only downside is that it is only a 2 week free trial after which I need to pay but at just $9.99 a year it is not too bad.

Grr… The lack of a proper spam filter solution is making me reconsider hosting email on DH. Mail is one of the few things that makes shared hosting superior to a VPS or cloud solution. Email that just works is a key feature that keeps me on DH…

The spam got so bad, I did a few experiments and wrote up the following solution. It has some flaws, but I’m living with it for now.

Just for me, spam control is more like a cat and mouse thing. I mean, it’s ever evolving. Correct me if I’m wrong but there’s just no 100% spam free. As users we have options to control this like trying out things at Spam Assassin. Other than that, I’d be patient.

Cat and mouse, yes. Is the current filter system effective? No.

For some reason, I started getting about 100 spams per day. Stock SpamAssassin is flagging less than 5% of them. A quickly tuned Bayesian filter is flagging over 95% of them.

That’s the difference between ignoring occasional spam and searching through spam for the occasional message.