Review - SpamSieve 2.5
by , 9:00 AM EST, November 16th, 2006
Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam. Without the aid of SpamSieve, I'm sure my eyes would bleed and angels would wail in despair every time I checked my email.
For those not already in the know, SpamSieve is an add-on application that uses a Bayesian filtering algorithm to learn what types of messages you consider to be spam. It works with Apple's Mail, Microsoft's Entourage, Eudora, Mailsmith, PowerMail, GyazMail, and the ancient Outlook Express and Emailer applications.
SpamSieve launches along with your email application, so you don't need to remember to launch it yourself. It is unobtrusive, and includes simple keyboard commands along with menu options to identify good and bad emails. When you tag a message as spam or good, you are training SpamSieve so it can better filter messages for you.
Identifying spam (the email, not the lunch meat) is a reactionary process, so immediately deleting potential unwanted messages could accidentally remove messages that have been mis-identified as bad. SpamSieve gives you a fail-safe by moving messages it identifies as spam to a folder so you can double-check its work.
Bad messages are color-coded based on how likely they are to be spam - A nice feature when you are scanning a list with hundreds of messages. If you see a message that SpamSieve has incorrectly tagged as bad, you can mark it as good, which helps improve the application's accuracy.
SpamSieve also works with Growl, the free system-wide alert and notification utility. Growl can tell you how many freshly downloaded emails are not spam, which is especially handy if you check several busy email accounts. SpamSieve alerts you to the new messages via Growl only if it finds some to tag as good. If all the downloaded messages are spam, it stays quiet so yo can continue working uninterrupted.
SpamSieve performs its magic after your email application finishes downloading messages to your Mac. Some people prefer using systems that check and filter messages before they download, which can potentially save you some time and bandwidth. If that's you, keep in mind that SpamSieve isn't checking messages before they leave your email server.
The Bottom Line
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