Reviewers say they are impressed with the filtering qualities of the free, standard edition of Spamfighter. In tests, it lets in almost no spam while registering nearly no false positives; reviewers are also quick to note that it is very easy to use. While Spamfighter is free, that comes with some limitations: The blacklist/whitelist is limited to 100 domain names, for example, and text ads are present in the program itself and in outgoing emails. Users who wish to get rid of the ads and expand functionality can upgrade to Spamfighter Pro (*Est. $30). Spamfighter Standard works with Microsoft email clients such as Outlook, Outlook Express and Windows Live Mail, as well as with Mozilla Thunderbird. Only POP3 mail is supported; if you use IMAP, consider purchasing Cloudmark DesktopOne Pro (*Est. $20), instead.
Installing Spamfighter is simple, experts say; as a network-based filter, Spamfighter requires no training, making it effective right from the start. Flagging emails or contacts as spam or legitimate is quickly done via the toolbar added to the top of your email client. We could not find any reports of Spamfighter conflicting with other security software. Receiving technical support could be a headache if things go awry, however; if you contact support via email, you are required to fill out a long, somewhat complex questionnaire about your usage. Phone support is also available -- although it's only free for paid subscribers -- but the number is buried at the bottom of the company page rather than the support page, and the company page is reachable only from the Spamfighter home page. The phone number is European, too, so expect a hefty phone bill if you call from the United States.
Spamfighter gets a decent range of reviews. Heavyweights ConsumerReports.org and PCMag.com take a favorable look at the program, and supplemental information is available at Gizmo's Freeware. We also found thousands of user reviews at Download.com.
ConsumerReports.org looks at a number of Internet security suites, and it also assembles a trio of free programs, including Spamfighter, into an ad hoc suite. You must be a subscriber to view this report, however.
Review: Recommended Security Software, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, June 2009
PCMag's prolific reviewer Neil J. Rubenking gives Spamfighter 4 stars out of 5. He says Spamfighter is very effective, and he looks at the advantages and disadvantages of both the Standard (free) and Pro versions. Rubenking notes that the free edition appends ads to outgoing mail, and it also has text ads in the program's toolbar.
Review: Spamfighter Standard, Neil J. Rubenking, June 10, 2008
3. Gizmo's Freeware
According to this article, average users need software that's easy to set up and use, but most free spam filters are relatively complex. For those who use Outlook, Spamfighter is a "commanding" choice that "works like a charm."
Review: Best Free Spam Filter for the Average User, Editors of Gizmo's Freeware, Nov. 18, 2009
Editors at Download.com don't review Spamfighter, but almost 5,000 users weigh in. The majority of these reviews are positive, with Spamfighter receiving an overall score of 4 out of 5 stars.
Review: Spamfighter, Contributors to Download.com