Akismet vs Defensio Anti Spam Review

Akismet vs Defensio Anti Spam Review

Akismet VS Defensio Anti Spam

Akismet, which is the anti-spam plugin that comes bundled with every installation of WordPress, recently welcomed a new competitor in the anti-spam market. And it was Defensio.

Defensio was welcomed well by the blogosphere with a lot of reviews. And a lot of bloggers including Yuga tried the new plugin. Because of the good reviews it was getting, I also tested it.

After a week of using Defensio, I have decided to switch back to Akismet. It might be because Defensio is still new, but the fact is, I’m not getting favorable results with Defensio.

Innocent Comments Getting Trapped in the Graveyard

Defensio Anti Spam Screenshot

Okay, I know Defensio is still trying to learn it’s way around on what’s spam or not. That’s cool with me. But after a week has gone by, it still can’t tell whether a comment is innocent or spam. Not cool. :evil:

Conversations are time sensitive and I just can’t risk the comments of my readers getting stuck in the graveyard.

Ease and Time Efficiency

Akismet Dashboard Screenshot

Another reason I found Akismet better was the efficient integration with the WordPress Dashboard. Whenever I log-in to my dashboard, I can instantly check for new spams and click the spam comment link to be taken directly to the Akismet panel.

In Defensio however, it takes me more time to check because it does not have a shortcut within the dashboard. I have to manually go to comments panel, and then go to Defensio panel. That’s a waste of loading time for me.

Akismet is Better (For now?)

In conclusion, Akismet is just downright better. It has better accuracy in my experience and more time efficient with it’s usability. But who knows, Defensio might get better. But for now, they’re nowhere near Akismet.

What do you think? Have you tried switching to Defensio yourself?

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20 Responsesto “Akismet vs Defensio Anti Spam Review”

  1. Carl Mercier says:

    Hello! Thanks for your comments.

    I just looked at your stats and I noticed that you get a very small number of spam for the number of innocent you get. Were you using Defensio in conjunction with another spam filter, Bad Behavior or similar for example? If so, that might explain the false-positives you were seeing.

    In order to perform best, Defensio needs to see all incoming comments so it can learn what’s good and what’s not. Moreover, performance will quickly increase with every article you post.

    I noticed in your stats that Defensio has only seen a total of 130 comments, which is not quite enough yet. That’s why you were seeing a message saying that it was still in training mode and that it needed to see more comments.

    It’s a common misconception to think that Defensio will perform better than Akismet right after installing it. Sometimes it does, but sometimes it doesn’t. Our architecture is completely different from Akismet’s and
    Defensio needs to see some traffic before really making wonders. Once it gets familiar with your traffic, performance is great!

    As far as the dashboard thing goes, we’ll see what we can do, it’s definitely a good point you brought up. Thanks!

    Hope this helps and that you’ll reconsider Defensio. Give it a little more time and I’m sure you’ll love it!

  2. marhgil says:

    The Defensio team to the rescue? Hehehe. Online reputation management at its best :)

    So, it’s Defensio that captured my comment last night, right? I wondered whether I successfully left a comment or not eh.

    I’m still satisfied with Akismet and the captcha plugin on my blog, no time for a new product. :)

  3. Teejay says:

    I never tried Defensio. But seeing it capturing my comment and tagging it as “spam”, you won’t see me using it just yet.

  4. McBilly says:

    Hi Carl. I appreciate you coming over and sharing some reasons why those false-postives happened. :)

    Although like I said in the review, I can’t risk the comments of my readers getting stuck in the graveyard.

    But hey, I haven’t deleted Defensio just yet. Let me know if you’ve integrated Defensio with the wordpress dashboard and I’ll give it another whirl.

    Thanks a lot. And great marketing btw! :mrgreen:

  5. McBilly says:

    Hahaha. Yeah. But it is a great move for Defensio to be replying to reviews like that.

    For one, they are open to criticism and shows their commitment to improve their product.

    And yeah. It was Defensio that captured your comment. It slept in the graveyard for the night, sorry It took me several hours to save it. Haha.

  6. Matt says:

    Very glad to hear Akismet is still working out well for you. The 3.5 billion spams we’ve already blocked definitely gives us an edge on being able to work straight out of the box.

  7. McBilly says:

    Thanks a lot Matt. Akismet has done really well with my blog. Great move on welcoming a new competitor too by the way, just goes to show how confident you are with your product. :)

  8. Amy says:

    I can’t see any reason to look over other products that is somewhat similar to akismet. akismet’s features are more than enough for me hehe…

  9. I was taking a look into Defensio, I’m glad I stumbled upon this article to see a clear comparison between the two.

    I’ve always used Askimet and I love how effective it is. I guess after this I’ll be sticking with what I know works.

    Robust features always just get in the way anyway. At the end of the day I just want less spam.

  10. McBilly says:

    Robust features always just get in the way anyway. At the end of the day I just want less spam.

    I couldn’t have said it better myself, Jerad. :)

  11. […] out McBilly’s review of the Defensio anti-spam plugin, Akismet’s newest […]

  12. Dexter says:

    I think Akismet is still doing fine for me.. So no need to change at the moment.

  13. I made the switch to Defensio some time ago. And I’ve enjoyed it for a couple reasons. I don’t think it’s got so many more “robust features” as one commenter points out, it’s more about how they’re trying to make the process of processing spam easier.

    Just sorting the spam is a great bonus, in my opinion. With Akismet, if you don’t check frequently, it’s almost impossible to paginate through all the spam to find a false positive.

    Defensio is a bit more aggressive than Akismet (I’ve been using Defensio for a few months at least) but I prefer that. I’d rather be approving comments than having to delete spam that’s sneaking through. I also find it does a good job of catching people who use SEO-drive names vs. their real names (which I’ll tolerate for awhile but find frustrating at some point.)

    Finally, I think Defensio has the advantage over Akismet from the perspective of innovation — i.e. they’re doing SOMETHING. We haven’t seen many (any?) significant changes in Akismet for a long time. I wouldn’t be surprised if Defensio’s entry into the marketplace spurs the Akismet folk forward … in which case we all win.

    I’ll be sticking with Defensio for now and I would encourage others to do the same. And give it a try.

  14. McBilly says:

    Hi Ben. I highly appreciate your insight on this. It’s good to see another person’s point of view. Some of the things you pointed out makes a lot of sense. For the benefit of others, how long did it take for your blog to be Defensio-optimized?

    Also, I have to totally agree that since a new competitor is in the market, Akismet will put more effort in improving their product too. In which case we all win. :)

  15. I’ve been using Defensio for awhile, and like any software it had some growing pains. So I can’t really say when I hit the sweet spot of it working very well for me, and how long that took.

    The Defensio guys would probably be able to give you a better answer, although I would suspect it depends on the volume of spam you’re getting.

    My take is that -at least- someone is innovating in this space and giving us bloggers something new to experiment with. That’s worth my fairly minimal time investment in testing it out longer…

  16. McBilly says:

    Got it. Thanks for the sharing your experience with Defensio, Ben. You have very good points. And might I say, you have a great blog back there. Keep it up. :)

  17. Happy to help with some insight on Defensio. Hopefully it benefits your readers.

    As for my blog…I do what I can…and I appreciate the kind words. *chuckle*

  18. NSpeaks says:

    Defensio Team might not have time to tell you, so I thought I should inform you that now Defensio displays stats in dashboard too!

    Check link.

    And by the time of writing maybe you will see yet another again WordPress plugin update post since post mentions latest version as 1.1.2 whereas it again got updated to 1.1.3.

    Defensio listens to all suggestions …. Excellent …very less companies do this sincerely.

  19. McBilly says:

    Wow. Thanks for bringing that up Navjot. Companies that sincerely listens to customer feedbacks are rare nowadays.

    Also, thanks for the heads up on the bug on my site. I wouldn’t have noticed that if not for you! :D

  20. Matt says:

    “With Akismet, if you don’t check frequently, it’s almost impossible to paginate through all the spam to find a false positive.”

    The newer versions of the WordPress Akismet plugin have an option to discard spam on posts older than 30 days. On most blogs posts over thirty days get over 95% of the spam and a statistically insignificant amount of the false positives, as real comments are almost always on newer posts.

    “We haven’t seen many (any?) significant changes in Akismet for a long time.”

    When Akismet is working you shouldn’t notice it at all, however that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything happening behind the scenes. Multiple datacenter failover, advanced learning algorithms and collection systems, adaption to different types of content like wikis and social networks, and much more isn’t something our day-to-day users will over notice, but it’s as technically sophisticated (or more so) than our operations for WordPress.com, which is now one of the top websites in the world.

  21. McBilly says:

    Thanks for clearing that up Matt. The public doesn’t really notice anything that’s happening behind the scenes. And frankly, I prefer updates happening behind the scenes because I don’t need to exert any efforts on making updates or keeping track of new features.

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