I’ve been using a new spam filter at work, and I think I’m in love. I’m using Outlook 2002 and while I’m out of the office over a weekend, I usually receive between 200 and 300 spam messages. I had tried several different filters, among these were SpamNet from Cloudmark and, most recently, iHateSpam from Sunbelt Software. They worked OK, but I still had a lot of spam to wade through.

Recently I installed the Outlook version of SpamBayes and the results have been astonishing. It’s a Bayesian filter which means it has to be “trained” with “good” and “bad” email before it can determine what’s spam. I had plenty of fodder to train it with and it became highly accurate from the get go. These days it eliminates a good 95% of my spam with virtually no false positives and only the occasional false negative. As I continue training it, these rates are only improving.

You can use SpamBayes with other email clients, but the process is a bit cumbersome. However, if you’re using Outlook (not Outlook Express!), the installation and usage are trivial. The results are remarkable and the prices is right: $0.00.