With the number of spam filtering solutions increasing each week it's getting tougher for consumers to make informed choices in their purchases.
There are 3 basic types of spam filters:
We'll look at each type of spam filter and at the end you should be able to decide what spam filter is right for you.
Integrated spam filters
This type of spam filtering software is the most common. Once installed it sits "on top" of your existing email software and installs a new set of buttons into your email software. In future when you collect email you'll see options for marking email as Spam, marking the email as Not Spam, Bounce the email back to sender, etc. The description and position of these buttons varies from one product to the next but their purpose remains the same.
Most integrated spam filters automatically place suspected junk email into a separate folder on your PC for you to review or delete later on.
The newer integrated spam filters are also "intelligent". They can basically learn the difference between what is spam and what is not and delete the junk email you don't want.
The most popular integrated spam filters are:
- iHate Spam
- Spam Inspector
Integrated spam filters are most popular amongst people who want a one click solution to collecting their personal email and filtering junk email at the same time.
One click solution.
Software specific. Some work with Outlook and Outlook Express only.
Standalone spam filters
These are less common than their integarted counterparts but that doesn't make them any less useful. A standalone spam filter is basically a separate piece of software installed on your PC that you use to check your email for spam.
Standalone filters have the big advantage of being able to preview your email on the mail server before it's downloaded to your PC. This one single feature has the huge benefit of allowing you to just download the email that you want as opposed to downloading all of your email, including the spam, and then sorting through it.
Using a standalone spam filter is a little more work simply because it's a separate piece of software that you have to run before you open up your email software. Most standalone filters do allow you to configure them so that your standard email application is opened once you've chosen what spam to filter. This suits some people and not others.
The most popular standalone spam filter is:
Doesn't rely on specific email applications to work properly.
Two step process. Load standalone filter and then your email application.
Online spam filters
There are really two types of online spam filters. One is for business use and one is for home use. A typical example of a business type product is iHate Spam server edition where the software deletes junk email directly from the mail server before the end user even sees it. Large companies employ this type of technology.
Home users will be using Spam Arrest or similar. Spam Arrest offers an inventive solution to spam whereby any email sent to the users account has a challenge request sent back to it which the sender must authenticate. The automatic junk email software used by spammers can't currently deal with this type of response. Any failure to authenticate the challenge email results in the junk email being left to die in cyberspace. A user is authenticated with Spam Arrest only once for security just to make sure the software doesn't become a nuisance.
The most popular online spam filter is:
Users are guaranteed to only receive the email that they want or requested.
Any techncial problems with the Spam Arrest server and you have no defense against spam.
Now you've seen what spam filtering options are available to you just ask yourself which one suits you most. If you're still not sure drop by http://www.spam-site.com and check out our product reviews - we have something for everyone.
Niall Roche is the content author and owner of http://www.spam-site.com