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 upshot: Most of the third-party tools tested were good at spotting and filtering spam. For example, top performer ESET Smart Security caught 99.96 percent of the spam messages thrown its way. Roughly speaking, that means about four spam messages out of 10,000 got through. Microsoft Outlook, the baseline program, scored 89.87 percent.
Two products, McAfee Internet Security 2016 and BullGuard Internet Security 16.0, scored below Outlook, and AV-Comparatives didn’t publish their numbers. At least in these tests (explained below), these two programs had no added effect on stopping spam.
The report also discusses ease of use and other issues for the 13 products tested.