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Worse than the disease?

SpamSubtract is a program with some notable features and noble intentions, but for the most part it’s only slightly less annoying than receiving spam in the first place.

An anti-spam program is a hard thing to review because–if it’s working properly–nothing much should happen. Unfortunately, the problem with Intermute’s SpamSubtract is that it’s clunky and slow even while nothing much is happening. SpamSubtract is a program with some notable features and noble intentions, but for the most part it’s only slightly less annoying than receiving spam in the first place.

For the most part, I don’t get much spam sent to my primary e-mail address since I only give it out to people or organizations I trust, but I had to use this program with that account since it only works with POP3. If you’re thinking about using this with AOL or another such program, you’re out of luck. Most current programs have similar filters built in, but SpamSubtract has a few nifty features that makes it stand out. The most impressive is an incredibly comprehensive set of criteria you can use to create rules governing “friendly” e-mail from “unfriendly” e-mail. And for the most part it works well, with a little box in your system tray chiming whenever you have questionable e-mails for review–though you could even turn off that feature and send everything directly to the trash if you wish.

The main problem I had with SpamSubtract is that it’s so damn slow, chugging your inbox down to a snail’s pace every time it checks for new mail. What was once a process that took Outlook Express a microsecond to perform now takes about 15 seconds. That’s right, I timed it. If you have a huge problem with spam, by all means check out this program. It’s as comprehensive and powerful as any I’ve ever seen, but I’m going to uninstall it and take my chances on my own. I’d rather delete a few e-mails every few hours than deal with this program slowing down my inbox.

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