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  1. #1
    iNET Interactive
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    New AV-Comparatives report ranks anti-spam tools


    On Security

    New AV-Comparatives report ranks anti-spam tools


    By Lincoln Spector

    Keeping those deceitful and/or malicious messages out of our inboxes seems like a losing fight; even the best mail systems can't catch all spam.

    Third-party anti-spam programs add another level of protection. But as a new report shows, they're not equally effective but many work as advertised.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/new-av-comparatives-report-ranks-anti-spam-tools/ (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
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    Mailwasher

    I am happily using a very early version of MailWasher (1.32) on a Win 10 desktop computer and on a Win 10 laptop to weed out spam. My provider cuts out most of the crap, and MailWasher lists incoming mail that I can choose to let through or delete and add to a blacklist or friends list for future handling. When I've selected my options, the program does its stuff and loads my email client (Pegasus). Hopefully, the newest version works as well, but as a KISS advocate, I like the utter simplicity of the old version.

  3. #3
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    For the life of me I don't understand why you didn't look at Zone Alarm.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by WayneJDTuttle View Post
    I am happily using a very early version of MailWasher (1.32)
    I'm using version 6.5x on Win7 and Win10 computers and, while it's not perfect, it's really good for screening mail prior to actually retrieving it. There have been releases since this version but I still prefer the older version.

    It's a really simple concept - it gets the header information from your emails and allows you to delete it yourself or through the use of filters. So, when you switch to your email program, most of the junk is already gone.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

  5. #5
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    I can't believe Malwarebytes Anti-Malware & Anti-Exploit were not mentioned. I believe they're among the best out there.

  6. #6
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    It's too bad that this report did not include the SPAM filter within GMAIL. At one time, I thought it was great, but lately it has been letting through some dangerous SPAM with .docx files attached. One actually contained the instructions to enable Word macros - a dead giveaway for ransomware or some other bad actor. However, my real gripe is with false-positives. Many times, when I am missing an expected reply to my emails, I must go search for it in the gmail Spam folder. They do not seem to have very good training for this filter or a way to make it less aggressive.

  7. #7
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    I use Thunderbird as my mail client and probably will do so as long as it's still supported (or until something markedly better comes along). I've found that its internal spam filter is the best I've ever dealt with. Why? A grand total this year of 0 -- that's zero -- false positives, which are of much more concern to me than spam messages getting missed (and those are so obvious that it's merely a nuisance to highlight them and press the J key to mark them as junk). If I don't physically clean out my junk folders daily, and I don't, then after a couple days searching for false positives becomes an exercise in frustration -- I'll take a dozen or so missed messages as long as I'm confident I don't have to look through the 300+ daily spam messages that do get caught!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbutler205 View Post
    For the life of me I don't understand why you didn't look at Zone Alarm.
    He was reporting on AV Comparables testing. Zone Alarm's web site does not indicate their product includes anti-spam. That would be why AV didn't include it.

  9. #9
    3 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltinvt View Post
    I can't believe Malwarebytes Anti-Malware & Anti-Exploit were not mentioned. I believe they're among the best out there.
    This is Anti-spam tools, not antivirus or antimalware. It's useful to know the difference.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dickcaro View Post
    It's too bad that this report did not include the SPAM filter within GMAIL. At one time, I thought it was great, but lately it has been letting through some dangerous SPAM with .docx files attached. One actually contained the instructions to enable Word macros - a dead giveaway for ransomware or some other bad actor. However, my real gripe is with false-positives. Many times, when I am missing an expected reply to my emails, I must go search for it in the gmail Spam folder. They do not seem to have very good training for this filter or a way to make it less aggressive.
    Yes, it would have been nice to have compared it to something like GMail for a comparison. I've not used a standalone tool for years.
    I've continued to find GMail effective. I occasionally check the spam folder and usually it's fine. If something does end up in there, I add them to my address book. That usually addresses it.
    Usually false positives seem to be an effect of people marking something they don't want as spam rather than unsubscribing.

  11. #11
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    I use Thunderbird also. I have a couple of GMail accounts, 1 used for online things like subscribing, the other for known contacts. I also have a couple of accounts from a web domain but those addresses are not published online and get no spam. I've found Gmails fine so don't use Thunderbirds. I also get a lot less spam than I used to.

  12. #12
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    I would thoroughly endorse the comments about Mailwasher, which I have been using for years on XP and Win7. I really don't know why the survey did not include it. According to a comment above, it will also run on Win10. It will display the messages currently waiting on your ISP's server, from where you can delete the ones you don't want before downloading the remainder to whatever email client you are using. As well as manual deleting, you can also set up automatic filters for known spam, so you don't even see it. Later versions of MW are paid products, but in my opinion they contain too many bells and whistles, trying to look like an actual email client. The version I use, 6.5.4, just provides a list of the messages currently on the server, where you can preview them (text only) and take appropriate action, including deleting, setting up filters, a black list, and a friends list. As far as I know, being now a superseded version, 6.5.4 is free. It is available at http://www.firetrust.com/products/ma...pro/6/download
    Last edited by Bundaburra; 2016-05-05 at 19:18.

  13. #13
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    Another +1 for Mailwasher, which I've been using for 13 years now. I even paid for the Pro version, but like some of the other posters here, I went back to an earlier version because I preferred the simpler interface.

    One of Mailwasher's simplest features is it displays the "From" email address along with the "From" name, which is an incredibly easy way to quickly weed out spam purporting to come from one of your friends or contacts--as often occurs when a friend's computer gets infected or email acct gets hacked. It just amazes me that so few email clients implement this one simple feature.


    mailwasher.png

  14. #14
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    I've been having good luck with Cloudmark Desktop One (http://www.cloudmarkdesktop.com/en/home).
    It runs in the background as well as integrates into the menu of my Outlook.
    The interface is simple, the quarantine easy to review and unblock where required.
    The basic version allows one account to be filtered but the Pro version has unlimited accounts.
    Not only that, but currently the Pro version is free as well!

  15. #15
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    My understanding is that the Pro version of Cloudmark is free for a year. After that, you have to pay for it.

    Dick

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