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Spam Bully 4 Review

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PROS / application allows users to take revenge on spammers.

CONS / The manufacturer has not updated the product in several years.

 VERDICT / The Bayesian filter, once trained, has a high accuracy rate.

Michigan-based Axaware formed their software development company in 2002. The company's forefront product is the spam filter software Spam Bully. Once considered the gold standard for spam filter software, several years have lapsed since Axaware last updated the product. However, the spam blocker remains viable spam filter software and is available for purchase.

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The spam filter software installs with ease. Once Spam Bully's installation is complete, the spam blocker optimizes itself for the user's computer, email client and other system settings. The spam blocker has a well-designed user interface that integrates with Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express and Windows Mail.

Blocking/Filtering

The spam filter software implements a multi-pronged approach to fighting spam. The spam blocker cross references both allowed and blocked senders. Additional approaches include DNS blacklist lookups, challenge messages for unknown senders and a Bayesian spam filter.

Spam Bully comes equipped with an intelligent but untrained Bayesian spam filter. With this spam blocker feature, users are able to instruct the Bayesian spam blocker about the types of emails they want. Additionally, the Bayesian spam blocker automatically collects data regarding the user's email behaviors. Over time, the Bayesian spam blocker learns to distinguish the difference between legitimate email senders and spam senders.

One limitation of the spam filter software is that the Bayesian filter's learning curve is sometimes steep. Users must give the Bayesian spam blocker filter sufficient time to learn their preferences. It usually takes Spam Bully approximately three weeks before it can accurately identify spam email. Until this time passes, the spam filter software may incorrectly mark valid email as spam email. Once educated, the spam filter software's accuracy rate jumps to approximately 90 percent. This precision frequently surpasses the accuracy rate of other types of spam filter software available on the market.

The spam blocker's Punish feature allows users to get even with the senders of spam email by bouncing the unwanted messages back to them. The grounds for the punishment feature are the hope that the spam sender will incur costs because of the amount of bandwidth used and storage space required to process and house the bounced email. At best, some may consider this logic flawed and the resulting behavior questionable. In addition to this punishing task of vengeance, the spam filter software reports the spammer to both the owners of the server of origin and the Federal Trade Commission.

Spam Buddy's Allow/Block List empowers the user with the ability to decide which messages make it into their email inbox. With the spam filter software's Auto-Delete feature, the spam blocker automatically deletes messages instead of moving them to the users spam folder. More filtering and blocking capabilities include statistical analysis of email, challenge emails, cell phone forwarding, a multi-language interface, and more.

Protection

The spam filter software protects against dangerous emails. The spam blocker comes equipped with a fraudulent link detection feature. Spam Bully detects and analyzes any embedded links an email message contains. Upon discovery, the spam filter software examines the link to determine if it is legitimate or if the link takes the user to a fraudulent website. Because of this feature, the spam filter software may be an effective tool against potential phishing attacks.

Rules

The spam filter software is highly customizable. Users can adjust the spam blocker to meet their needs in several ways. Options include auto-deletion, forwarding, multi-language support, challenge responses and more.

Compatibility

Spam Bully, the spam filter software, only works with Microsoft email clients. Supported applications are Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express and Windows mail. Despite this support for Microsoft email clients, the spam blocker has no support for IMAP within Microsoft Outlook Express. It is unfortunate that the spam filter software lacks support for other popular POP3 email clients such as Thunderbird.

Summary

Spam Bully is a good spam blocker solution for users of Microsoft email clients. However, the spam filter software is somewhat dated. Several years have lapsed since the manufacturer last updated Spam Bully. More current spam filter software is available on the market.

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