Cloudmark DesktopOne for Mac full review

Spam has become a way of email life, especially for individuals. While businesses may have in-built spam tools for Exchange Server, which are efficient enough to almost eradicate spam from employees’ inboxes, email apps don’t have such powerful features and spam filters can be tricky to set up accurately.

According to a Commtouch report, over 90 percent of all emails sent are spam. Of these, the vast majority (over 80 percent) are for pharmaceutical products which, while being annoying, are relatively harmless. But even though phishing and malware-based emails account for less than five percent of all email traffic, that’s a huge number of emails on an annual basis. Many ISPs use anti-spam measures but these are limited as an ISP doesn’t want to run the risk of not delivering legitimate emails.

Cloudmark technology adopts a unique approach to blocking spam. Every time a spam message appears in an inbox and the user clicks the Block button, information is sent to Cloudmark that identifies the message as spam. Once a level threshold has been exceeded, the message is filtered for all users. With over two billion Cloudmark users worldwide, such a community-based approach yields powerful results.

Cloudmark DesktopOne for Mac installs a dedicated toolbar entry within Apple Mail or Microsoft Outlook. This integration is key to its successful working. All received emails are analysed; suspect ones are then moved into the Spam folder. If you’re a heavy email user you may find a slight delay in email appearing in your inbox – I found that each email takes a little under half a second to be analysed.

Checking existing folders in Pro mode turned up many spam emails missed by Mail’s junk filter

Best of all there are no set-up procedures, no fine tuning and no rules to contend with unlike almost all other spam blockers. DesktopOne is a completely standalone solution to spam.

Basic mode provides you with automatic filtering for a single folder (probably your inbox) in one email account. Pro mode allows for multiple accounts and folders, on-demand scanning of existing folders, management of the Spam folder and a few other features including direct scanning of web-based email. Pro mode costs $19.95 annually but Basic mode should suffice for the average user.

DesktopOne integrates with Mail and Outlook, adding a toolbar entry for its menu

Irrespective of how easy it may be to use, a spam blocker is only as good as the spam it blocks. During a week of running in Basic mode within Apple Mail, DesktopOne functioned almost perfectly with only a couple of anomalies. Not a single phishing email got through. Even more impressive, in Pro mode I ran a previous email account through it, one that had used Mail’s own junk filter, and DesktopOne picked out over 150 spam mails.

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