Norton AntiSpam 2005 review: Norton AntiSpam 2005

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.3
  • Setup and interface: 7.0
  • Features: 9.0
  • Service and support: 6.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good OK spam-blocking accuracy; blocks foreign-language e-mail; integrates into e-mail client; scans Yahoo Mail in-boxes; built-in ad blocker.

The Bad Extremely sluggish performance; limited support; poor accuracy while filtering Yahoo mail.

The Bottom Line While Norton's AntiSpam 2005 seamlessly integrates into Microsoft's e-mail clients, it has performance issues. And it's neither as easy to use nor as accurate as MailFrontier Desktop.

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Symantec Norton AntiSpam 2005

When the first version of Symantec's Norton AntiSpam debuted last year, it earned CNET's top honors. This year, however, Norton AntiSpam 2005 relinquishes its spam-fighting crown to MailFrontier Desktop . While both products integrate into Outlook or Outlook Express, Norton was substantially less effective at stopping spam and in our tests was far more troublesome to use.

Installing Norton AntiSpam isn't nuisance-free. Once the software copies to your hard disk, Norton updates itself and asks you to reboot. You'll also have to activate the program within two weeks, or Norton AntiSpam will stop working. Activation is a painless process but a hassle nonetheless. After you reboot and launch Outlook or Outlook Express, Norton AntiSpam asks if you want it to set itself up as a toolbar inside the program. It's good that the app asks, but we expected Norton AntiSpam to integrate more efficiently with Outlook.

From there, Norton AntiSpam works like MailFrontier Desktop does, shunting suspect spam into a separate folder and letting you flag missed spam or legit messages by clicking toolbar buttons within Outlook or Outlook Express. In theory, the app learns what is spam and what is not. At its default setting, Norton AntiSpam trapped slightly less than 90 percent of the junk, with about 10 percent false positives in informal tests. That made it less effective than MailFrontier Desktop, which trapped more than 90 percent and had fewer false positives. Worse, Norton AntiSpam 2005 was extremely sluggish. On several different test beds, it took about a minute to move a single piece of spam from our Inbox to the Norton folder. Often we couldn't do anything else with our test system until Norton AntiSpam had finished. (Symantec's technical support was unable to explain this behavior.) Simply deleting the junk would have been faster.

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Where to Buy See all prices

Norton AntiSpam 2005

Part Number: 10288234 Released: Sep 21, 2004
MSRP: $39.95 Low Price: $3.25 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Sep 21, 2004
  • Category security applications
  • Compatibility PC