When it comes to spam, there are plenty of different ways to fight this email annoyance. Tools such as MailWasher and Spam Assassin are great at clearing your email inbox of irrelevant and useless emails, but we've found another solution: Gmail.

Google's webmail service is great at filtering out junkmail and by taking advantage of some of its native features, we were able to clear a primary email account of a personal domain (let's call it techadvisor.co.uk), which gets bombarded with spam on a regular basis.

Start by creating a new Gmail account that's exclusively dedicated to the domain's mail.) Then head to Gmail's Settings link and click the Accounts tab. Using the Add another email account option, configure Gmail to fetch messages from the domain's servers (and to not leave copies there, otherwise the server would eventually get full and start rejecting messages). Gmail will automatically scan for spam when it retrieves mail from other servers, so you can stop right there.

However, if you don't want browser-based Gmail to be the primary destination for email activities, and instead prefer to use Outlook for example on your desktop and a smartphone for on-the-go messaging, Gmail can still play a useful part. Head to Gmail's Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab and enable IMAP, which allows for two-way communication between Gmail and other mail clients.

Finally, follow Gmail's configuration instructions for setting up IMAP with Outlook and other clients.Now, when you receive email via Outlook or your phone, it's totally transparent: there's no evidence of Gmail's involvement-except for the total lack of spam, which gets filtered out along the way (and stored in Gmail's Spam folder, where you can easily review it for false positives).

In other words, Gmail acts as the spam-filtering intermediary between the domain and a PC or phone. And as an added bonus, it lets you access mail on the web, which is very handy at times.

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