Free WebMail Spam and Storage Battles

Posted July 16, 2004 by AlexTheBeast in Internet

The major free Webmail providers are stressing how much better one is over the other. However, only a few factors really matter. The most important is spam blocking. I created an experiment in which I sent a known quanity of spam and good emails to free email accounts. My experiment details the filtering ability and storage provided by the dominant free Webmail services.

The chart below contains the results of my experiment which focused on filtering ability and storage capacity. I obtained data over a two-week period.

Free Webmail Provider Percentage Blocked False Identifications Space Provided
gmail (google) 84% 0 1000 MB
Yahoo 82% 0 100 MB
Lycos (filter high) 34% 0 5 MB
Excite (filter high) 82% 10% 3 MB
Hotmail (Enhanced filter) 100% 100% 2 MB

I found that Yahoo and Gmail performed the best. Excite dumped one non-spam message but otherwise did fine. The filter at Lycos is obviously very poor.

Hotmail believed every message that entered the account was spam. Oddly, many of the messages that were received by the other accounts did not appear anywhere in Hotmail. My theory is that Hotmail blocks most obvious spam and deletes it before even sorting it.

With Gmail ripping onto the scene, other Webmail providers will be playing catch up soon by expanding the amount of email storage they provide.

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