antivirus reviews & maintenance tips for home office and small business

Anti Spyware Software Review
(or how to get rid of spyware using reputable antispyware software effectively)

If it's true that there are several extremely reliable and popular firewall and antivirus products, anti spyware software developed later and it is not easy to find a reputable and effective malware protection. Ironically spyware comes often camouflaged as a free anti spyware software.

While there are free products like Spybot Search & Destroy and Lavasoft's Ad-Aware Personal, it is easy for us to recommend PcTools' Spyware Doctor for a reliable malware protection.

The advantages of Spyware Doctor can be found in its extensive database of known spyware, being updated very frequently, in its unparalleled ability to remove existing spyware and its shielding action, which allows it to detect and remove spyware as soon as it penetrates your computer.

In addition to the stand-alone antispyware, PcTools offer a version with an integrated antivirus. You would use the first in combination with your existing antivirus, or better, our recommended antivirus, and the second for a less-expensive, integrated solution. In this review we are using Spyware Doctor with Antivirus.

Check your computer now! Download the "Free Spyware Scan" tool for Home Users from here and check if your computer has been compromised by any malware. Make sure to update the file definitions and run a sweep immediately after installation.
It is a fully functional version, which will run once for free. It won't cost you anything and it will help you assess how "clean" your computer really is.

For those who doubt about the benefit of running an anti spyware sotware and underestimate the probability of being infected by spyware, we suggest a simple, cost-effective "malware detection" procedure.

1First install a free tool. Better Ad-Aware Personal because we find it much more user-friendly than Spybot Search & Destroy.

2Update its definitions, run a scan and take note of the results;

3Click here to get the free Spyware Doctor scanner. Click on "Start Download Now" and follow the instructions to install it. Run the installer as normal with all the defaults. After installation is complete, you will be prompted to run a Smart Update, which will download any program updates or tools, and to turn on IntelliGuard, the real-time protection. If you choose yes to enable IntelliGuard it will then begin running a scan (Intelli-Scan);

4Run a scan and check if it finds any additional threats. If no additional spyware has been found, you might decide to stick with the free tool, as you are probably a conservative Internet browser, i.e. usually accessing the same trusted web sites.

If Spyware Doctor's scan found additional spyware, you should seriously consider buying a subscription straight away and get rid of it. You can register the product after the scan completes, Smart Update will run one last time after registration to check for feature updates available only to registered users (e.g. Behavior Guard).

What we like most

  • Spyware Doctor's Central Control CenterThe main interface offers a very intuitive Central Control Center. At a glance, the basic user can see all vital stats and never has to leave this screen to perform any of the major functions. Still, for those more advanced users, there are plenty of options available via the IntelliGuard™ real-time protection module and the Settings area for advanced tweaking.
  • Easy to use, with set & forget functionality – simply install with the defaults and users have optimized protection and minimal system impact. “It just works.”
  • Dynamic CPU usage for optimal system performance: during scanning – via a feature which “reduces scan priority” – this is ON by default. That means that if the PC is idle then Spyware Doctor will use as much CPU as it can to get complete scanning as quickly as possible. However if the PC is performing other tasks, Spyware Doctor will lower its resource consumption accordingly

Whatever anti spyware software you use, if you are unsure whether it is safe to eliminate or not one of the items contained in the list of threats, just quarantine them.

Never forget that all antivirus and anti spyware software products are subscription based services rather than normal programs. No matter what product you use, it will always be as good as their latest definition update.