Anti-Spam Tools: Can They Keep Up?
Anti-spam products have to get tougher to stay ahead of the game. PC Magazine tested the latest versions of five spam blockers to see if they can hold back the flood.The deluge of spam just keeps increasing, and spammers are getting sneakier every day. That means anti-spam products have to get tougher to stay ahead of the game. So we tested the latest versions of five spam blockers to see if they can hold back the flood. We configured each product according to the vendors advice for minimizing the amount of legitimate mail misfiled in the spam folder (false positives) while still keeping the most spam out of our in-box (false negatives). Where there was a choice, we tested with Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express, based on the vendors recommendation.
Four of the five products we reviewed use filtering techniquesanalyzing message content and headersto identify spam. To test those, we diverted a stream of spam-infested, real-world messages to multiple e-mail accounts, each protected by one of the products. For comparison, we ran the same e-mail stream through Outlooks own spam filter and through Cloudmark SpamNet and Aladdins Spam Catcher, both of which did well in our last roundup. We intended to compare Norton AntiSpam 2004, our Editors Choice in that roundup, as well, but a glitch in the product (which has since been fixed) during our testing period prevented the necessary unattended mail processing.