Adware Report: McAfee SpamKiller
Price: $34.99(1-year subscription)
Editor Rating: 3 1/2 stars
+ Near perfect protection against spam
+ Lots of useful added features, such as abuse reporting.
- High price
- Difficult installation
We test each spam filter by first sending 100 spam emails to a test account with the spam filter installed. If necessary, we then train the product, typically by pressing a button marking the email as spam. After the training process is complete, we then send a different set of spam emails to the same account to determine the overall effectiveness of the product.
If applicable, we tested each spam filter on Outlook Express, Eudora, and Yahoo.
SpamKiller was a pain in the butt to install. The McAfee website makes use of an ActiveX installer and pop-ups. It took us awhile to figure out that we had to disable our anti-spyware tool (Webroot's Spy Sweeper - click here for a review) and our pop-up stopper before the software would install properly. However, once we got around this issue, the software installed without any further difficulties. SpamKiller detected our existing email accounts and imported our address books automatically.
Spam filtering software generally comes in two flavors. The first kind is embedded entirely within your email client. The second runs in the background and periodically polls your email server and removes spam when you find it.
SpamKiller is a hybrid. One portion of the program locates each of your email accounts and then runs in the background, removing spam. The other is embedded in your webbrowser, giving you an easy way to block spam that has made it through the filter from directly within your email client.
The user interface for Spam Killer was very pleasing. As with all of their products, McAfee devotes considerable attention to design.
After installing SpamKiller for the first time, we downloaded 96 spam emails and 4 legitimate emails from our test account. It correctly quarantined all of the spam emails (100%) and allowed the legitimate emails through. This was a perfect result!
We then added our second test account to Spam Killer. This account had 291 spam emails and 15 legitimate ones as well. Spam Killer quarantined 268 of them (92%) and allowed all of the legitimate emails to pass through. These results were the second best of all the products we tested.
SpamKiller has many additional features, including a nice reporting interface. Like Spam Inspector, Spam Killer allows you to report spammers to their ISPs, although this functionality isnt as nice or as complete as Spam Inspector. Spam Killer also has a very easy to understand rules interface that can allow you to easily customize your filtering should you so desire.
SpamKiller provides near perfect protection against spam and many additional useful features. It is expensive however and the purchase price only includes a one-year subscription, but we found it to be an excellent product.
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