Intego Personal Antispam X5 review

Intego's Personal Antispam X5 10.5.2 is a solid anti-spam program, as long as you're using Mail or Entourage (the program supports both POP and IMAP protocols, but only in those two applications). Installation is easy and (if you're using Mail) automatic, thanks to a setup assistant.

If you're using Entourage, there's some manual setup required, but informational windows appear over the Entourage window that explain what you need to do; the procedure, though more complex than the seamless process for Mail, is fairly straightforward. Personal Antispam also installs Intego's NetUpdate, which requires a restart to activate, and which runs in the background, watching for updates to Personal Antispam's filters.

NetUpdate resides in your menu bar, and to use it, you'll need to create an account on Intego's server via NetUpdate's preferences. Once that's done, its operation is automatic.

Basic training

After installation, Personal Antispam needs to be trained with both spam and non-spam (ham) messages. You do this by selecting a number of spam messages and then using the new Mailbox menu item in Mail (or the Scripts menu in Entourage) to mark them as spam.

You do the same thing with ham messages, but mark them as good. Once a message has been trained as spam, it will be moved into a spam folder, and can then be deleted, either automatically or on a schedule by Personal Antispam. Marking a large batch of messages as either spam or ham can be time consuming; it took a couple minutes to mark a batch of 300 or so.

If you have more than one email account, you'll run into an problem with Personal Antispam when you mark a captured spam message as good. If the message was originally addressed to your main (first) account, then everything will be fine.

But if the message was sent to any of your other accounts, when you mark it as good, it will be moved to your default account, instead of into the account to which it was sent. When I asked Intego about this issue, they stated that the program is working as designed, and that most people have just one e-mail account.

Even after training, I found that Personal Antispam's filtering wasn't quite as good as that of SpamSieve or SpamSweep. There were more false positives (legitimate messages treated as spam), and more seemingly obvious spam messages that made it through the filters. Still, the program did a very good job of reducing the load of junk in my inbox, and it definitely improved with time and additional training.

NEXT: Methodology


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