One of the best that works as a proxy mail server for use with any POP email client.


Our rating: 

License: Free (Open source)

Pros & Cons:

Works as a proxy mail server, can be used with any POP email client. Setup is reasonably straightforward for experienced users.
Beginners may be better off with Mailwasher.

Our Review:

POPFile was one of the first Bayesian filters and is still one of the best. It works as a proxy mail server so that it can be used with any POP email client.

Setup is reasonably straightforward for experienced users but beginners may be better off with MailWasher.

POPFile supports the following protocols: POP3, SSL POP3, IMAP, HTTP (MSN, Yahoo, AOL), Exchange (with Outclass extension).

For Windows and Mac OS X, POPFile comes with an installer that helps you setup POPFile and get started. The Cross Platform version can be used on any platform where Perl and the necessary modules are installed.

POPFile was reviewed by on based on version 1.1.3.


I've been using POPFile for many years;, first with POP, and in the last few years with IMAP. My email client is Thunderbird.

I just ran into a problem with POPFile not classifying any messages and, instead, putting hundreds of messages like this into its log:

IO::Socket::INET or IO::Socket::SSL gets an error: IO::Socket::SSL: SSL connect attempt failed because of handshake problems SSL wants a read first

I talked to my email provider and they told me that they had just dropped support for older SSL and TLS releases that are considered to have security flaws. My guess is that POPFile uses one of these obsolete SSL/TLS protocols.

Removing the use of SSL/TLS makes everything work again, but in that configuration, the email password and the email message itself are transmitted over the network in the clear.

Development of POPFile seems to have stopped years ago. I couldn't figure out how to leave a message in the support forum.

Did you install the SSL update from 2015?
It is on the Popfile site second news item.

Something I like a lot about POPFile is that I am not restricted to two buckets (Spam and NotSpam). I can set up as many buckets as I want and, given sufficient training, POPFile will assign messages to them. I haven't seen this mentioned in connection with any other Bayesian programs.