Spam Blockers


Spam blockers have become an essential part of our email processing. Anti spam tools can be installed on the email server or on your desktop, acting as a proxy between your client and the mail server. There are two categories of spam blockers based on the blocking technique they use:
  • Bayesian spam filters use statistical methods for classifying spam. These filters "learn" through your actions in order to achieve optimal filtering results.
  • Challenge-Response spam blockers quarantine all messages from entities (users, domains, etc) which are not found on your whitelist. Messages are kept quarantined until you either accept or reject the sending entity.
Both methods have their good and bad sides. A rule of thumb is that if you receive messages from a fairly static list of users (friends, family) you should use a challenge-response blocker, and if you receive messages from many unknown people you should use rule based blockers. Blocking spam is very important because there could be potentially harmful viruses and malware contained in an email that can steal your information, and possibly your identity.

The tools on this page represent the best desktop spam blockers available today for Windows, Linux and Max OS X.


Cross Platform


SpamBayes is a cross-platform open source Bayesian filter, initially based on the work of Paul Graham, the author of "The Plan for Spam". This project is composed of several applications: an Outlook plugin (Windows only), a POP3 proxy, an IMAPFilter and Hammiefilter, suitable for embedding in a procmail environment.

Rating: 2.0/5 (62 votes cast)

MailWasher Pro is a very popular spam blocker, that allows you to make informed decisions about your messages. Read all your email on the server and delete the messages you don't want, then download only the messages you want to keep and reply to. It's easy to set MailWasher Pro to remove all the spam automatically.

Rating: 2.0/5 (55 votes cast)

Windows


Spam Bully is an effective spam blocker for Outlook Express and Outlook.

Rating: 1.9/5 (56 votes cast)

Spamhilator is a free, elegant and highly effective spam blocker which works with both POP and IMAP servers. It combines Bayesian and word filtering which help it achieve high recognition rates. Works with all email clients.

Rating: 2.4/5 (39 votes cast)

Death2Spam is a third-generation Internet email filtering software, built around an amazingly accurate word-frequency distribution analyzer. This powerful AI technology compares the pattern of words found in an incoming message against a vast database of "good", "spam" and "virus" emails. It then assigns each message a probability score, indicating whether that message is interesting, yet another piece of annoying junk mail, or something more sinister.

Rating: 2.7/5 (39 votes cast)

Qurb is a spam blocker for Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express which is based on the challenge/response mechanism (although they introduced a spam scoring feature in version 4). This means that messages from people you know are delivered to your inbox and all other messages are quarantined. Qurb automatically builds your whitelist of approved senders by scanning your saved/sent email and contacts during installation. As you work with your email, Qurb automatically updates the list on your behalf.

Rating: 2.3/5 (36 votes cast)

ChoiceMail is a permission based spam blocker that customizes itself to you. It automatically approves email from people you know and trust. It lets you create simple rules to approve email that is important to you. And it lets you automatically query unknown senders to find out who they are and what they want before their email gets into your inbox. The free version is limited to one POP3 account, ChoiceMail One can handle multiple POP3, IMAP and webmail accounts.

Rating: 2.4/5 (36 votes cast)

Spam Reader is a powerful anti-spam filter for Microsoft Outlook combining ease-of-use and a high degree of protection against unsolicited emails. A Bayesian algorithm based on statistical analysis detects up to 98% of spam messages. Spam Reader is easily integrated into Microsoft Outlook and needs no additional adjustments. It starts working immediately after the installation. Spam Reader automatically scans all incoming mails and sends detected spam messages to the special folder for further review. Using an automatically updated White List guarantees a negligible percentage of false positives. The program works with Microsoft Outlook 2000, XP, and 2003.

Rating: 2.1/5 (35 votes cast)

Linux


SpamProbe is a Bayesian filter which is known to compile on a wide range of *nix systems. It requires another program such as procmail and maildrop to actually label and file spams.

Rating: 1.9/5 (35 votes cast)

MailFilter connects to any POP mail box and compares part of its content to a set of user defined filter rules. Rules are regular expressions, so you can make use of familiar options from other mail delivery programs such as e.g. procmail.

Rating: 2.2/5 (33 votes cast)

Mac OS X


SpamSieve brings powerful Bayesian spam filtering to Mac email clients. It is quick and easy to control it from within your mail client, and you can customize how it interacts with the rest of your message sorting rules.

Rating: 2.5/5 (35 votes cast)

Spamfire uses four filter technologies to provide excellent accuracy with almost no false positives. Spamfire sorts your mail intelligently into Definite, Probable and Borderline categories to make it easy to find the mail you care about. And Spamfire offers fun Revenge options that let you fight back at spammers!

Rating: 2.1/5 (28 votes cast)

Hosted

Spam-Filter.com is a fully managed domain-wide email spam filter service hosted in the "cloud" which works with Microsoft Exchange Server and ALL Mail Servers. Email is filtered before it arrives at your mail server. A simple change to your DNS MX record is all that's needed to re-direct your entire domains mail thru our spam filter service. Works with all mailservers: MS Exchange, Lotus Notes, MDaemon, etc., and even works with all email Hosting Services like GoDaddy and Google Apps.

Rating: 2.4/5 (31 votes cast)

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