The Best Mac Spam Filters to Use

Robot blocking spam from getting to a laptop

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If your email provider doesn't already filter spam at the source—most large commercial providers do—you'll benefit from having an anti-spam solution installed on your Mac. Several vendors offer a mix of paid and free software solutions that will help you tame the beast of unsolicited commercial email.

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SpamSieve lets you add superior Bayesian spam filtering to Mac OS X email clients. It's just as easy to use as Mail's junk-mail filters and can give you statistics, too.

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SpamSweep successfully combines high-precision spam filtering with a simple and easy to use interface. It's a pity processing mail is a tad slow in SpamSweep, and a POP proxy mode would be nice.

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POPFile is a powerful and flexible email classification POP and NNTP proxy that you can use to filter spam efficiently and categorize good mail automatically. However, POPFile can grow a bit heavy on memory and CPU load if you have trained on lots of mail.

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Spamfence is an effortless but highly effective spam and virus filtering service. Its only real shortcoming is that Spamfence relies on forwarding and requires two different email accounts.

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Spamfire combines efficient Bayesian filtering and ease-of-use to form a great anti-spam tool. It could integrate with email clients even better, though, and be a bit snappier overall.

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Spamato filters POP and IMAP accounts for spam with the potential for high-precision and plug-ins that make it easy to use in Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird. Unfortunately, Spamato can be a bit overwhelming with its multitude of options and little help.

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Personal Antispam X5

Personal Antispam X5 employs a number of tactics to rid Mac OS X Mail and Entourage of spam—a bit overeagerly, unfortunately.

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SpamBayes - Mac Spam Filter

SpamBayes employs sophisticated analysis using Bayesian statistics to rid your email Inbox of junk mail precisely and in an effortless manner.

It would be great if SpamBayes' classifying power could be used to further categorize and prioritize good messages, and plug-ins for programs other than Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird would be welcome.

Anti-spam tools that run on your Mac can be good, but if you have the chance, use the anti-spam features offered by your email provider. Not only will server-based filtering prove less taxing to your computer's resources, but the anti-spam settings will persist when you check your email on a different computer.