Hotmail Better Than Gmail, Yahoo at Blocking Spam

Discussion in 'In The News' started by roundabout, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. roundabout

    roundabout VIP

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    Hotmail Better Than Gmail, Yahoo Mail at Blocking Spam

    Independent research firm Cascade Insights performed webmail spam filtering tests last November and December, and came to the conclusion that, of the big three Web-based email providers, Hotmail blocked the most spam.

    The Cascade study was sponsored by Microsoft.

    The study compared Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, and Gmail. Cascade set up accounts in each of the three services, along with an unprotected Web host email account, "equally registered at a wide range of Web locations" and then provided them "equally to more than 100 suspicious sites," according to the report. They then "seeded" the accounts by replying to the same spam messages for each, and submitted the test email addresses to 16 common types of sites that send spam—debt help, online pharmacies, warez sites, sweepstakes, and so on.

    The study aimed to count the amount and percentage of spam and "ham" (wanted email) that showed up in the accounts' inboxes. The accounts were used to subscribe to legitimate newsletters, too, which weren't counted as spam in the results.

    What Cascade Insights found may surprise may Web users: Hotmail was nearly tied but a tad better than Gmail, at 48.57 and 48.88 percent spam in the inbox, while Yahoo Mail trailed at 58.33 percent spam—not much better than the completely unguarded account, which ended up with 64.22 percent of its inbox messages being spam.

    In response, the Hotmail team posted a blog entry on Microsoft's Inside Windows Live blog with the long and explanatory title: We aren’t surprised that Hotmail’s spam protection is the best in the business. "Our years of improvements in Hotmail’s SmartScreen technology have led to record low rates of spam in the inbox (SITI)," writes Hotmail Group Program Manager Dick Craddock in the post. "We’ve driven SITI down below 3% for a typical Hotmail inbox, and, more importantly, we’ve kept the number there."

    Any study sponsored by a vendor who comes out looking best should be greeted with some degree of skepticism. Yahoo commissioned a study by The Fraunhofer Institute in May 2010 that turned the results upside-down compared with the Cascade study, claiming Yahoo Mail delivered "nearly 40 percent less spam than Hotmail and 55 percent less spam than Gmail" to the inbox. Perhaps we'll see a Google study making drastically different claims.

    An inbox free of spam has been one of Gmail's top lures to webmail switchers from the other two services. It's one of Google's three major claims on the signup page, along with Lots of space and Mobile access. The Gmail spam information page claims that Gmail users report less than 1 percent spam in their inboxes, though it provides no details about how this number was arrived at.

    Added to the equation is DMARC, a new anti-spam protocol that all three webmail big timers have recently signed up for. According to PCMag.com's Neil Rubenking, though, "The DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) specification aims to restore accountability to email and thus cut through the spam and fraud." But Rubenking has serious reservations about whether the initiative will bring us a spam-free world, citing several previous similar attempts.

    Hotmail is the one email provider that's made a point of going after not just spam, also targeting what it calls "bacon." Those endless promotions from companies you actually like and do business with, but don't need to hear from quite so often. Microsoft has also included a Sweep function, to clean out existing and future bacon.

    In any case, it seems clear that all the webmail providers are working hard at eliminating unwanted, nuisance correspondence. It would be impossible to recreate all the possible spam scenarios in the world, but the Cascade Insights study methodology seems reasonable.

    One detail that's missing, however, is a margin of error or statistical confidence. It could be that the difference between Hotmail and Gmail's spam is insignificant, though Yahoo clearly has more work to do if we're to go by these results. And another key point overlooked in Microsoft's interpretation of the study results: Gmail delivered more good email to the inbox. For a look at the complete numbers the study arrived at, see the table below.

    [​IMG]

    Source:
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2400201,00.asp
     
  2. roundabout

    roundabout VIP

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    Is it me or did everyone think to themself "BULL CHIT" after this line:

    The Cascade study was sponsored by Microsoft.
     
  3. PushSend

    PushSend VIP

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    ROFL!!

    No shit???


    Hotmail came out on top????


    :flute:
     
  4. PushSend

    PushSend VIP

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    the time stamp on this has to be within seconds....

    :147:
     
  5. DoldGigga

    DoldGigga VIP

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    I'm actually looking at the unfiltered values compared to the filtered values -- they're basically saying that with filtration enabled, your inbox will receive about 16 less "spammy" messages for every 100, but out of those 100 messages around 48 of them will still be generally considered "spam".
     

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