"Removes legitimate e-mail and WON'T WORK with AT&T DSL"
Version: SpamButcher 2.1xd
It's properly named-- it butchered my e-mail. It's slow as molasses, has a primitive user interface, is hard to configure and the default settings will hose anyone using AT&T/Yahoo, Cox or many other broadband providers.
The default settings flag legitimate commercial e-mail as spam. It automatically deletes EVERY e-mail it flags as spam, without asking. If you want the mail, you have to run a recover routine-- one e-mail at a time. And this cruddy program blew up every time I tried to recover mail.
The first commandment of any security product is "First do no harm." SpamButcher did the opposite-- it made a steaaming mess of a day's crop of e-mails. It just occurred to me to check to see if the uninstall worked correctly. Of course not. It left the folder in appdata and eight hooks in the registry. If you uninstall this, make sure you run CCLEANER next, because this program is 100% C.
The web site doesn't explain how the program worked, but I figured I could guess when it asked me for my login information for my e-mail account. I figured it would log onto my e-mail server, check the text of the mail in the inbox and list the ones it considered spam. I could look at the e-mails it had flagged, decide which ones I wanted to keep and then delete the rest.
I was wrong. SpamButcher DOES go into your in-box and test the e-mails. But if it flags one as spam IT GETS DELETED. SpamButcher doesn't ask you to confirm the deletion-- like every other product under the sun. Instead, it shoots first and asks the user later.
What'd it take out? E-bills from Chase, AT&T and FirstEnergy (one of the largest electric utilities in the midwest). My monthly newsletters from GQ and Ancentry.com. My ESPN and CNET newsletters. My daily notification from my son's school (which tells me what homework was assigned). E-mails from Groupon and Living Social. Basically everything that didn't have a salutation with my name on it.
I tried to put it back. First the program told me that I had to restore each one individually. When I selected only one, it told me there was an error logging into my SMTP server (which sends mail).
That seemed peculiar, so I went to the support site. I soon realized that the mail had been REMOVED. I'd assumed the program had just set the delete flag on the e-mail-- without purging it. That would mean it couldn't be downloaded by your e-mail program... but it could be 'restored' merely by resetting the status.
Nope. SpamButcher downloads it (in an .eml file) to the APPLICATION DATA folder for your Windows user name. To put it back, SpamButcher longs into your 'send mail' server and e-mails the file back to your inbox.
Problem #1: I'm "email@example.com", but AT&T/Yahoo is my ISP. They, like Cox, Comcast, Verizon and most other large ISPs, block me from using the sendmail function at "woodygoode.com". To make sure I'm not using their service to send spam, every e-mail I send-- even if it's coming out from another domain, HAS to be mailed from smtp.att.yahoo.com, and I have to use my Yahoo login.
SpamButcher didn't anticipate this issue (it's only been standard policy since 2004), and I had to fight with the configuration section to let me enter a different SMTP server. I got them-- and then I needed to change the port settings (not port 25, but port 465).
If I hadn't been an MCSA who does networks for small business, I probably would never have figured this out. I also had to figure out what the correct settings were by opening Thunderbird and trying to figure out what went where. There is no documentation, and the support page only includes configuration instructions for Outlook and Outlook Express.
I got that does-- and then it kept timing out. I kept setting and resetting flags-- different errors each time. I went back to the support page. The developer does say he will help you with e-mail support, but I didn't give it a chance. When one page said the e-mails were stored on a file on my disk, I guessed it would be "C:\Documents & Settings\%%USERNAME%%\APPLICATION DATA\SpamButcher" and went there.
Sure enough, I found all my e-mails there. I just copied them to my desktop, imported them in and then deleted this wretched excuse for a utility.
I can't stress strongly enough how bad this program is. It took about five minutes to process 45 e-mails, and I couldn't use the internet while it was working. It marked EVERY commercial e-mail as spam-- no exceptions.
Software should NEVER delete anything without permission and then a confirmation. If it does delete, the undelete needs to work perfectly. And the software was totally unprepared for a fairly common situation-- a user with a custom domain.
Coupled with the fact that it doesn't work with any of the large e-mail providers, there's no reason to use it. Mailwasher is a vastly superior product.
Updated on Mar 1, 2012
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