It's hard to believe, but studies consistently show that more than 95% of emails are spam, a rising tide of junk messages that carries phishing scams, viruses, links to malicious sites, and more. This doesn't just waste time and internet bandwidth, it's potentially very dangerous, and every PC user needs a spam filter to help keep them safe.

Getting yourself protected doesn't have to be difficult, though. Install SPAMfighter and it'll immediately integrate with Outlook (2000, 2002, 2003 and 2007), Outlook Express (5.5 or later), Windows Mail or Mozilla Thunderbird 3.0. It'll then check new messages as they arrive, and any that are identified as junk will automatically be moved to the spam folder.

SPAMfighter uses sophisticated technology to separate the spam emails from your regular messages, and so for example it can even recognise spam sent as a picture. It'll also automatically import your address book into a whitelist of addresses that it knows are good, and emails from these people will never be marked as spam.

No spam filter can guarantee 100% accuracy, though, and occasionally the program will make mistakes. Fortunately these are easily fixed. If SPAMfighter lets a spam email through, then highlighting it and clicking the Block button will move it to the Spam folder, while legitimate emails that have been misidentified as spam can be restored to your Inbox by clicking Unblock.

The program first installs as a 30-day trial version of SPAMfighter Pro. This can be used in businesses, is able to block emails in the languages you specify, and allows unlimited entries in your blacklist and whitelist. It's all yours for £17.

If you don't buy a licence, then at the end of the trial the program will automatically downgrade to SPAMfighter Standard. This is free, but only for personal use; you're allowed a maximum of 100 entries in your whitelist; and all your outgoing emails will have a "Protected by SPAMfighter" footer added.


SPAMfighter blocks one or two more legitimate emails than we'd like, but overall it offers good protection, and is probably the best free spam filter around