McAfee SpamKiller PC Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Installation 8.0
Ease of use 6.0
Usefulness 7.0
Value 6.8
Distributor: McAfee
Reviewer:
Tory Favro

6.9


McAfee SpamKiller 2005

This is a clever little program  that has a few drawbacks that do put it back a little in terms of being as impressive as it could be. Have any of you heard of Spam Assassin? Well spamkiller is the licensed version of this open source program. I think it's tough that some programs that have a high profile like spamkiller does cop a lot of flack, however the basic principle of a spam filter or killer is that it stops spam. As a result, your spammers will throw everything they have against those programs as they know that once they knock that application open, the rest of them are open slather.

Filtering programs operate on sets of rules that give back positive and negative results to incoming email. If email X contains these variables based on these rules, email X gets tagged as spam. This process relies on those rules being updated constantly against new attacks found against the software. As a direct result of this ongoing battle the end user gets their updates to try to fend off all but the most persistant hackers. This works to a good extent with most spammers not knowing what filters and variables are being used. It's when we get the freaks who take this very seriously that we find that a program like spamkiller simply is not updated enough to fend off all attacks.

One problem that I had immediately with spamkiller is that it does slow down the computer slightly whilst dealing with heavy email traffic. Fresh installs also return too many false "positive" spams that are then isolated, possibly causing you to miss vital emails. Tweaking the system a bit will help with some of this but I still recommend that you check what it deems spam carefully and make sure your configuration is doing exactly what you have planned. Another downside is that the program only works with POP email servers (which is what most of us use), and proxy servers are left untouched. It certainly is something that does need addressing as internet users look to other means of getting their emails.

Whilst most of us have spam filters and the like installed on our machines, this little ditty has some dirty tricks of it's own to help you fight the war against spammers, some of which might just work. spamkiller can send error messages to spammers telling them they have a bad email address which hopefully leads their software to remove your emails off their databases. Does it work, or does it actually act as confirmation that your address is real, I simply don't know what identifying information might be in the reply email. It does sound like a great idea though.

All things said and done, spamkiller doesn't revolutionise the field in antispam software however it does work nicely enough and should stop basic spam. Users are warned to keep a close eye on blocked emails as you are sure to find real ones there and to be proactive in reporting spammers to their respective Internet Service Providers. Is this software a must have? Not really, however at the same time it will reduce some of the garbage you have to deal with.

You Decide.





 
 



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