Spamfighter is a free program for Windows that acts as a proxy between email servers and clients to prevent spam from landing in the email client's inbox.
If you are using a desktop email client like Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird you know that the anti-spam capabilities are limited to that one client. Sometimes, you may also benefit from anti-spam technologies implemented by the email provider on top of that.
This can be a problem if more than one email client is used on the computer. But there is another problem. What if the antispam module of the desktop email client is not catching all the spam?
Spamfighter promises to provide a solution for both of these issues. The software, which is available as a free and professional version, fights spam on a system wide level.
The software supports Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail and Mozilla Thunderbird. Computer users with one or multiple of those clients configured on their system can use it to run all mails arriving on the system through the program to block the bulk of spam before it lands in the client.
New users need to create a Spamfighter account right in the application after installation. All they need to supply is an email address and password.
The application always starts in the Overview window which displays information and statistics. Among them the number of processed emails, the emails that have been blocked by Spamfighter or by the user, the time saved and the spam ratio. Community statistics are displayed as well, they currently read 45 billion processed emails of which more than 37 billion were spam, that's a ratio of 85%.
Spamfighter taps right into all compatible email clients that are configured on the system. The program supports all supported operating systems of Windows, as well as the following email clients (at the time of writing this update):
The controls in the email client can be used to block or unblock emails among other things. Spamfighter will automatically create a new spamfighter folder in the email client where all emails that have been identified as spam are stored in. It is possible to unlock emails from there with the unblock button, or move emails to the spam folder with the block button.
Emails in the spam folder can be accessed normally which means that they are still accessible and not gone for good. All spam that is manually blocked is reported to the Spamfighter community so that all community members benefit from spam reports by members.
Additional controls are accessible under the more button.
Here it is possible to blacklist or whitelist domains or email addresses. Whitelisting means that emails will never be identified as spam, blacklisting does the opposite of that. This can be very useful to make sure that emails from specific domains, say a work domain, will always arrive no matter what.
The spam folder can be changed in the main program. Here it is furthermore possible to select if spam mails should be flagged as read or unread when moved, and whether Spamfighter should rescan the folder on startup which will rescan all unread emails that are stored in selected folders of the email client.
Filters can be edited in the main program as well. Here it is possible to add entries to blacklists and whitelists, or import lists from comma separated data files or compatible email clients.
Another interesting option is language recognition. Using it is possible to reject emails based on their language. Say you are from the United States and only receive emails in English. You could then select to only receive email messages in English which would automatically flag emails written in different languages as spam. The other option available is to block emails from select languages only. It pretty much works the same way, the difference is that you will receive emails in all languages but the ones that you have selected to reject automatically.
The free version has several limitations that you need to be aware of. First, Spamfighter adds a footer message to emails that you sent, and you may see text ads in the toolbar of the program.
It lacks access to the language filter, and is limited in regards to user accounts that can be protected by it.
Spamfighter Standard vs. Pro
As mentioned earlier, Spamfighter is available as a free (standard) and paid (pro) version. The pro version supports all features of the standard version, plus extra features.
The following features are only available in the pro version of Spamfighter:
Spamfighter Pro is an excellent program for computer users who run at least one of the supported desktop email clients. Its core features are the cloud based approach to identifying new spam messages and the filtering system, especially the language filter.
The program is easy to setup and use as it integrates automatically with supported email clients. Experienced computer users will find the whitelisting and blacklisting of email addresses and domains useful, inexperienced users that it works very well right of the box.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.