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Mozilla Thunderbird Spam Filter Review

Version 1.5

by Coenraad de Beer (Webmaster & Founder of Cyber Top Cops)

Mozilla Thunderbird is the Open Source alternative to Microsoft Outlook Express. It is just as easy to use and in most cases more secure with a couple of handy features that you won't find in Outlook Express for instance the built-in spam filter. This spam filter relies on Bayesian spam filtering and user defined training data to determine which e-mails are spam and which ones are not. Why pay for a spam filter for Outlook Express if you can get a free e-mail client with a built-in spam filter.

Because the filter is built into the e-mail client, there is no installation needed you simply need to enable it from Junk Mail Controls option under the Tools menu, click on the Adaptive Filter and enable adaptive filtering by ticking the checkbox. No complex installation procedures required.

Automatic Updating
The spam filter and its functionality will automatically be updated once you update Mozilla Thunderbird. So no automatic update feature is required.

Resource Usage
There is no substantial resource usage by the spam filter because it is an integral part of the e-mail client. It runs as a thread of Mozilla Thunderbird and not a separate system task like most other 3rd party spam filters do. Therefore it uses very little system resources.

You mark e-mails as spam by clicking the Junk-button on the toolbar, selecting it from the right-click menu or by toggling it with the Junk Status toggle button next to the message. You can also set the filter to move the messages automatically to the Junk folder once you mark them as spam. So it is very easy and effortless to classify which e-mails are spam and which ones are not.

Filtering & Effectiveness
The adaptive filter relies mainly on the user to train it in order to distinguish between good and bad e-mails. This may be the downside of this filter, but many of your commercial spam filters also relies on what the user perceive as spam. After a while the filter can become very effective in identifying spam just as good as any other spam filter so the key issue here is patience from the user. But that is a small price to pay for a free spam filter.

The spam filter cannot be un-installed but you can disable it if you want to use a 3rd party spam filter.

CTC Rating for
Mozilla Thunderbird Spam Filter:

Installation: 10
Automatic Updating: 9
Resource Usage: 10
Interface: 9
Filtering & Effectiveness: 7
Un-installation: 10
Overall: 9.17

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