Norton AntiSpam 2004

Quick look

Antispam software

Price: $40

Phone: 408-517-8000


If you believe there's no silver bullet for Internet security, and that the best way to keep your PC safe is through individual pieces of software rather than a general solution, you might want to check out Norton AntiSpam 2004.

The software from Symantec Corp. of Cupertino, Calif., took me only seven minutes to install and set up on a 3-GHz Pentium 4 PC with 1G of RAM.

The setup included the activation and registration of the software as well as a live update that downloaded eight large patches.

Norton AntiSpam seamlessly integrates with my Microsoft Outlook 2003 edition and added four buttons in the Outlook interface. The main button opens the AntiSpam menu, and the next two help classify e-mail messages in the inbox as either spam or legitimate. Using these two features frequently helps the AntiSpam engine better distinguish future spam from legitimate e-mail.

Another great feature is that, during the install, the program migrates your contacts list into a legitimate e-mail classification system. It memorizes your contacts' e-mail addresses and puts new e-mail from your contacts in the inbox.

When using AntiSpam 2004, remember to check the spam folder, especially during the first couple of months, as it learns to better distinguish between friend and foe.

Also remember that Norton AntiSpam, like anitvirus software, requires periodical updates; I recommend once a day, especially if you're heavily dependant on e-mail.

The program requires only a 155-MHz processor and 32M of RAM, but it works best if you have at least a 300-MHz Pentium III processor, and I highly recommend at least 256M of RAM.

Often the most counterintuitive part of antivirus and antispam software is the uninstall feature. Although I'd like to see an uninstall icon under the Norton AntiSpam portion of the 'all programs' menu, uninstalling the software under the control panel was easy and effective.

The best feature about Norton AntiSpam 2004 is its $40 price tag. Just remember that it has to learn which e-mail messages are good and which are bad, so give it time in the beginning.


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