Like everybody else I get my (more than) fair share of spam ... and for the record those "50% added size to your penis"-spam mails doesn't produce ANY results ... or so I've heard :)
Anyways I have been trying out a couple of Bayesian filters which I was pretty impressed with seeing that I had only used black-/white list filters in the past.
I only have three things I look for in a spam filter: 1) It needs to support Outlook, 2) It needs to be unobtrusive, and finally 3) it needs to get those pesky spam messages (sort of a given :)).
Here are the filters I have been looking at SpamBayes, Spamfighter, and Spam Bully. The list is by no means complete but I simply stop looking when I find a product which fits the bill.
SpamBayes is free which is always a big plus in my book. It's pretty unobtrusive and does a good (not great) job of filtering incoming e-mail. It does not work that well with Hotmail integration in Outlook. It provides no automatic removal of spam from a Hotmail account. I found a small bug in the software which renders it unuseable if you have your mouse set up for left hand - pretty weird :) It actually fell on this bug as I do all my mousing with left hand when at work because I want to conserve my wrist which has begun acting up.
Spamfighter has a free version out there also which is crippled. I chose to try out Spamfigther for one reason only: It was made by the guys behind a well known dot com business here in Denmark named Jubii.dk. I figurered that they would be able to put together a niece piece of software - man was I wrong :) It does a poor job of filtering the spam, it does not work well with Hotmail (like Spambayes), and the interface is very much in your face. You need 7 (seven!) clicks in order to filter a folder (like Hotmail) which is just bad from a user experience point of view. SpamBayes provides the same functionality with just one click. Lastly when you uninstall Spamfighter it messes up your existing add-ins for Outlook which is just a great way of closing a test of a piece of software don't you think? :)
Finally the test winner or whatever: Spam Bully. I have found my new spam filter - I actually liked this filter so much that I bought it before my trial expired. Spambully does a great job of filtering spam. I have not seen any spam in my inbox since I installed and trained the filter and have only had a couple of false positives. The interface is very configurable and very user friendly.
There are all kinds of neat features - I especially like the Punish feature which goes out to the spammers website and pulls some traffic there which the spammer has to pay for. Always great to hit the spammer where it hurts the most :)
The Hotmail support is great. Spam Bully will automatically keep your Hotmail folder clear of spam. I've always said that the best test of a spam filter is Hotmail where I get tons of spam - lo and behold, no spam enters my inbox anymore. INCREDIBLE! This feature works for Exchange as well, Spam Bully will check a number of folders of your choice and clean them when Outlook starts.
The only downside of this filter is that it isn't free but it does come with a very fair price tag if you ask me. $ 29.95 is very fair for a piece of software which you use every single day.
Go download your trial yesterday! You will not regret it :)