Best Free Spam Filter for Experienced Users

 
Introduction

Many spam filters are available employing lots of different techniques. In my experience "learning" spam filters that use the Bayesian statistical approach out-perform most other types of filters. Not only are they better at detecting spam, they are also less liable to classify your real mail as spam.

This effectiveness takes a little time to develop as the filter has to be trained to recognize your spam from your normal mail. It takes a week or so before results start becoming accurate and best results may take a month or more.

As this is designed for experienced users, I will give a tip that might be confusing for average users: Is it really a spam, or a service site you signed up for and don't want anymore?

Take a look at the e-mail and if it is from a company you ordered something from or signed up to receive e-mail from, then it may be something you don't want, but is not really spam. If so unsubscribe from the site itself. Say if the e-mail is from amazon.com and you ordered from them, go to the site and unsubscribe to the newsletter etc. If it is "legitimate" spam don't click the unsubscribe link.

 
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Go to details...  Go straight to the Quick Selection Guide

 
Discussion

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.

 

Spamato is a promising, free open source spam filter with a difference. Rather than rely on one Bayesian spam filter to classify spam, Spamato uses a "multifaceted spam filter system that combines a variety of anti-spam techniques". Like POPFile, it can work with any email client but additional plugins are available to integrate Spamato into Outlook, Thunderbird and the Mozilla Mail Client.

 

Other excellent free Bayesian spam filters available include SpamBayes and K9. Both are simple to install, though like all statistical filters, they need to go through a training phase before they reach full effectiveness.

A newer addition to this list is Spam Terrier from Agnitum. If you are new to Bayesian spam filters and use Outlook, you will find this program is a tad easier to install and use than SpamBayes or K9.

 

Other spam filters to be reviewed:

Spamihilater, Ella, Email remover, eXpurgate, SpamPal, Epam Experts Desktop, Cactus Spam Filter, SpamRIP, Bullguard Spam Filter, G-Lock Spam Combat, SpamWeasel, GMail Service.

If you have any experience with any of these, please feel free to share that info in the forum or give your comments at the end of this article.

 
Related Products and Links

You might want to check out these articles too:

 
Quick Selection Guide

POPFile
4.5
 
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
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.
http://popfile.sourceforge.net/
1.1.3
6.16 MB ZIP
Unrestricted freeware
Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, XP, Vista, Mac OS, Linux, Unix

Additional Software Required: Requires Perl and Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express. Supports the following protocols: POP3, SSL POP3, IMAP, HTTP (MSN, Yahoo, AOL), Exchange (with Outclass extension).

Spamato
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Uses a “multifaceted spam filter system that combines a variety of anti-spam techniques”. Like POPFile, it can work with any email client.
Requires additional plugins to integrate Spamato into Outlook, Thunderbird and the Mozilla Mail Client.
0.99.9
4.97 MB
Unrestricted freeware
Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, Mac OS, Linux

Additional Software Required: Java 5 (JRE) Environment or higher, .NET Framework 1.1 or higher (if using Outlook plugin in Windows). Supports the following protocols: POP3, IMAP.

SpamBayes
3.5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Simple to install.
Like all statistical filters, need to go through a training phase before reaching full effectiveness.
http://spambayes.sourceforge.net/
1.1a6.0
10.3 MB
Unrestricted freeware
Windows 98, Me, NT, 2000, XP, Vista, Mac OS, Linux, Unix

Supports the following protocols: POP3, IMAP

K9
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Simple to install.
Like all statistical filters, need to go through a training phase before reaching full effectiveness.
http://www.keir.net/k9.html
1.2.8
113 KB
Unrestricted freeware
Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, XP

Supports the following protocols: POP3

Spam Terrier
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Outlook users will find this program is a tad easier to install and use than SpamBayes or K9.
More suitable for Outlook users only.
2.1 (341)
1.65 MB
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows 98, Me, 2000, XP, Vista, 2003 Server, 2008 Server

Additional Software Required: Requires Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express. Supports the following protocols: POP3, SSL POP3, IMAP, HTTP (MSN, Yahoo, AOL), Exchange.

 
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Tags

spam, spams, free filter, free spam filter, freeware

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