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Which antispyware utility would you use?

by Marc Bennett CNET staff/forum admin / May 9, 2006 8:01 AM PDT

If you could choose only one antispyware utility to protect your computer, which one would you use and why?

Computer Associates Pest Patrol
Lavasoft Ad-aware
Microsoft Windows Defender beta 2
McAfee Antispyware
PC Tools Spyware Doctor
PepiMK Software Spybot Search and Destroy
Trend Micro Anti-Spyware
Webroot SpySweeper
Zone Labs ZoneAlarm
Other (what is it?)

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Ghostsurf Pro
by JimmyO68 / May 9, 2006 11:36 AM PDT

This shareware utility coupled with MS Antispyware get's the job done for me.


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Zone Alarm Suite works for me
by 43seahorse44 / May 9, 2006 11:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Ghostsurf Pro

This suite works well-it has already caught several viruses that came out of nowhere. I also have the trend antivirus that's part of the Fix-It utility suite. These two work together well.

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2 AVs
by twl845 / May 9, 2006 12:06 PM PDT

ZASS has it,s own anti-virus, and you also have Trend AV if I read your thread right. You should only have one AV on a machine, or you'll have conflicts. Unlike anti-spy programs where you can have as many as you want.

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by helloknight / January 15, 2007 8:25 AM PST
In reply to: 2 AVs

Be sure to listen to twil845 , he is all knowing

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Zone Alarm is too intrusive
by artzy / May 9, 2006 3:31 PM PDT

I've tried almost all of the protection systems, especially the free ones. Sure Zone alarm works (as do most of them) but it literally takes over your PC, kills your firewall and takes forever to load. Yes, it worked, but so did the Gestapo. There's a limit to being protected. It stops when it takes your system prisoner.

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Zone Alarm stuff
by Supernerd / May 9, 2006 5:18 PM PDT

Zone Alarm will take your computer prisoner, if you don't configure the Programme Control settings. Once you do that, ZA becomes a dream to operate.

I use ZoneAlarm and I love it as it's actually a very powerful firewall, more powerful than the XP built-in firewall. Not compatible with my AVG antivirus, but beggars can't be choosers. They more or less ignore each other, so there's no conflicts.

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how do we programme it
by catkins / May 9, 2006 5:43 PM PDT
In reply to: Zone Alarm stuff

You say zone is just fab so long as you programme it to keep it in check kind of thing but pleaseeeeeeeeee can you tell us (in english please hehehe) how do we do this programme thing
Thanks in advance xxx

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program'g zone alarm
by laddie1st / May 11, 2006 6:21 AM PDT
In reply to: how do we programme it

like another party asked, HOW do you program zone alarm? i have dell demension DE051 with win.XP home ed., running IE6.0. i don't have a problem except,i don't know how to program zone alarm.

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It doesn't like we will be told laddie
by catkins / May 11, 2006 4:08 PM PDT
In reply to: program'g zone alarm

come on all you brainy computer buffs and help me and laddie to get zone alarm without it taking over our computer. Someone said we could have it working just great if we programmed it in properly so I guess they mean to not allow parts of it to work BUT how do we do that. I have XP if that helps pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeee

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Zone Alarm quest
by scottyat2 / May 11, 2006 10:20 PM PDT

I had used Zone Alarm a few years back.
I'm not sure what to tell you other than Uninstall
ZA. I wouldn't disallow parts of the program.
What good would that do you, it's like running a 4 cylinder car with only 2.
Maybe you can find a different utility other than ZA
that will resolve your current issues. Do some research
at other forums such as the Product you want to buy.
Good luck!

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No good.
by mcdozer / May 9, 2006 8:54 PM PDT
In reply to: Zone Alarm stuff

ZA was the best firewall around until it was bought by an Isreali company last year. Since then, it will actually leave spyware on your PC itself!
If you use ZA, use an old version & don't update!

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100% in agreement with you
by swabs36 / May 10, 2006 1:03 PM PDT

it does basically take over your system and you always have to make the choice of allowing things or denying them and even if u click the checkmark it still comes back whenever you open up the same program. if you download music this is not the program for you.

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by leonbev / May 9, 2006 12:34 PM PDT
In reply to: Ghostsurf Pro

Ever since I switched to Firefox for web browsing, I haven't had a single spyware infection on my PC's. If I had to choose one piece of software to choose from to keep spyware from infecting my system, I'd choose the one that keeps my computer from being infected to begin with!

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Reply to: FireFox!
by Keving3 / May 9, 2006 1:16 PM PDT
In reply to: FireFox!

I'm beginning to think that it has more to do with where you surf.
I've been using MS Defender since the old pre defender beta days(as if it will graduate from beta some day) it used to catch something once in a while, but hasn't come up with anything in over 2 months now.
And-Yes, I did check my computer with adaware just to be sure it (defender) was on and wworking.

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by Benf / May 9, 2006 1:57 PM PDT
In reply to: FireFox!

I wante to get away from MSIE but when I switched to Firefox it was quite slow, buggy and above all it wouldnt display every web page that I wanted to go to, spyware was not a big problem but it was there. I switched to Netscape but that was even worse so it was back to MSIE, I have no spyware at all using their defender software but I had nearly none using Ad Aware either, I have tried Firefox twice, better the second time but in my opinion it's not ready for prime time yet on my computer.

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Amen to FireFox!!!
by caakc0dwi / May 9, 2006 3:19 PM PDT
In reply to: FireFox!

As a result of using Microsoft Internet Explorer, I had massive problems with Spyware two years ago. I thereafter routinely ran 3 Anti-spyware programs, none of which eradicated the spyware totally. After 4-months of pain and constant sweeping, I had invasive spyware infection which caused me to spend over 12 hours eliminating all spyware manually from my machine, using Google searches for similar problems and solutions.

Upon doing that, I then installed FireFox in September 2004 and had no subsequent Spyware problems at all, in fact i quit using all three anti-spyware programs. When i got new notebook in December 2004, i immediately loaded FireFox and continue to use it with no spyware problems nor need for Anti-spyware programs.

There are very few websites for which FF does not work. If a website does not work properly under FF, i send the webmaster of that site an email informing that their website does not conform to standards. Use IE only on Microsoft website as needed.

Finally, i am addicted to tabs and find it difficult to navigate the www with IE any more.

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One web browser does not protect you more than any other
by yourpcmedic / May 9, 2006 3:24 PM PDT
In reply to: FireFox!

You are probably INFESTED with adware and spyware but have just found a good pop-up blocker. This is akin to cranking up your car stereo so that you don't hear the funny noise coming from the engine. Browser choice is a matter of aesthetic preference not superiority/inferiority. I have just as many customers that try and blame the high speed access company for their spyware ("I never had that problem when I used dialup"). It is like blaming the sportscar for the speeding tickets.

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You do not know what you are talking about.
by MichaelF / May 9, 2006 11:00 PM PDT

I have been using firefox for a couple of years now. Before Firefox I had to run spyware/adware checkers every week and they would pick up heaps, after firefox I run them every couple of months and they only get a few cookies. I currently teach computing for a living and before that I built and cleaned up peoples computers for a living. Firefox makes a huge difference and it is not in my head.

I also have another example, I still do maintenance for a company that has 2 servers and 30 computers. I used to every week cycle around and do checks and updates on the computers and clean up spyware. We then put Firefox on company wide and made it the default. I then left it for a year (went into teaching), christmas time went through and did a check, and it was all clear, after a year!!!!

Check your facts.


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Browser type
by scottyat2 / May 10, 2006 11:10 AM PDT

I would agree that FireFox works well.
But a browser is a browser no matter how you put it.
They are all subjectable to attacks.
You still need some type of DEFENSE in either
hardware or software.
FireFox is not a stand alone program nor can update itself.
PLease do not go criticizing other peoples opinion
just cause you had some kind of lucky streak.
The business that you may had worked for could of done numerous changes and that it is rather a Small Business. If you've been absent for a year then you couldn't be a valuable asset or knew what you where doing until possibly now when you furthered your education.
Everyone appreciates and should respects another person review/critique/opinion.
Just try to take it easy next time and respond in kind.
"May the force be with you Mikey "

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I don't think so
by MichaelF / May 10, 2006 11:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Browser type

I was responding to a post that said that the person recommending firefox was probably infested with adware and spyware but was to stupid to realise it and that the browser could have had nothing to do with it.why did you not respond to him in the same way that you responded to me, as he clearly did not respect the other users opinion.

In the business I was looking after I was not a way for a year, I still went in there for weekly maintenance on the service but could not do everything that I used to do but I was still aware of everything that was going on.

Also Firefox is a standalone program and does update itself, very automatically I might add (make sure you have the newest version). The browser can have many holes and allow the kind of activity where programs can install themselves or it can be built with security in mind thereby minimising vulnerabilities and the ability of programs to do the wrong thing. Internet Explorer as the former and firefox the latter. I have used both but it does not sound like you have used Firefox, so give it a go.


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Not to shabby
by scottyat2 / May 10, 2006 10:47 PM PDT
In reply to: I don't think so

Anything that works to prevent headaches.
Still regardless what Browser you elect to use they are vulnerable to bad stuff.
IE6, just like most Microsoft ideas will be the most targeted items to go after.
What can be made can be broken. Give it time and FF will receive more occurrances just as the iMAC (Apple) getting more attention it is bound to happen.
Nothing is SAFE but yes I do agree FF is a good Browser (except when you don't want it to be the DEFAULT browser). I had my issues with FF and won't use it until some new re-tooling is done.
My biggest problems with IE are Scripting and Plug-Ins
or so called Add-ons. Other than those 2 things I really find IE6 to be good for myself.
Other people enjoy Opera and Netscape along with various browsers out there.

I'm glad you prefer the FF Browser to your liking and style. But there is No Way as you claim the people employed where you had worked didn't encounter attacks while using their PC's Online.
I started using computers while Dumb-Terminals and Main Frames with Floppy Discs the size of the 33 Record LP's were around in 1977. The Navy had some old stuff back then. In 1980 I bought the Commodore 64, 1982-Apple IIe and the IBM PC Jr. Later on the 286's on up till the now established Pentiums.
I used BBS (Bulletin Board System) via those antique modems then along came Compuserve, later AOL.
I did like the LISA (MacIntosh) due to MIDI compatibility and the C64 for Graphics.
When I worked at GE (General Electric)in 1987 they were using the C64 still cause of its Graphics ability.

It's unbelievable how much you get out of a PC today
for the price. That Apple IIe put me behind $3,700 for the whole Professional scoop and PC Jr. was another $2,800 with some software packages such as LOTUS 1-2-3.

It's so wonderful to be ME !!!!! Happy
Take care Mike.

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You're correct to a point.
by scottyat2 / May 11, 2006 9:38 PM PDT

Some programs and Browsers do a better job than others.
Problem is that there isn't just One Browser or program that can do it all.
It's a matter of personal preference what works best for you and your PC.
MS Internet Explorer gets hammered often as everyone is competing against them. But there has to be competition in all business related environments, otherwise we'd have Monopolies and little advances in technology.
Firefox, with its growing popularity had made it a very good choice but now it is being sought after just like MS IE6 and others ...prone to attacks and vulnerable. There will be Pros and Cons. Some Browsers work better depending on OS (Operating System) and various programs you have installed on your PC.
Same with Anti-Spyware, Anti-Viruses, etc:
not one application/program can resolve and find all
since people/hackers like to create and destroy.
Select what's best suit your needs and BTY (by-the -way) you're entitled to your opinion.

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I agree
by Sportzguy933 / May 14, 2006 6:05 AM PDT
In reply to: FireFox!

I agree. I have not had a spyware infection since I switched over to Firefox, and I haven't had any unwanted pop-ups either. I would definitely choose Firefox if I could only choose one, but there are other ways spyware can get in, such as downloads, so I would always keep an anti-spyware program handy too, and run it every once and a while.

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Tried most but go with Trend
by ehalpe / May 9, 2006 11:44 AM PDT

I've tried most of these either on their own or in combination. In fact I still use Adaware, Spybot and Spyware Blaster. I've been using Computer Associates software for years now but think that I'll be changing to Trend Micro this year.

The reason is that there have been quite a few times that I've run all the above software and come up with a clean computer. I then use Housecall by Trend and it finds all the stuff the others have missed. This has occurred more than once and it really surprised me the first time. Now it's gotten to the stage that I expect it.

Yeah, go Trend.

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Microsoft window defender Beta 2
by mousewiz / May 9, 2006 11:47 AM PDT

I have used it for some time and must say it has been
just GREAT.

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Cant' use it anymore...
by Kutusov / May 9, 2006 12:40 PM PDT

It was good all right... while it lasted. Now that went from antispyware to defender you have to have a valid winxp something. My XP was bought from a store but was installed in several computers, so? no more defender and updates. I?m using Spybot and Adaware though and the 2 combined do a hell of a job? and of course, they are free.

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I just don't trust Microsoft
by spicetrader / May 9, 2006 12:50 PM PDT

I've used Microsoft products for decades, working in big American companies and having no reasonable alternative to the convicted monopolist. In my experienced opinion, Microsoft products are typically mediocre in terms of delivered capabilities, cumbersome to use, porcine, unreliable (time to reboot again) and expensive.

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Microsoft spyware
by robtpcs / May 9, 2006 8:01 PM PDT

How can anyone recommend Microsoft window defender Beta 2 when it requires you to download microsoft's own spyware onto your machine before you can download it ?

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by JimF809 / May 10, 2006 6:12 AM PDT

I've used Hitman2 and really likeit
Was wondering why I never hear anyone discus it

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Silent Assassin...
by Kutusov / May 11, 2006 7:31 AM PDT
In reply to: Hitman2

Well, on my part, the only hitman2 I?ve heard is the game. I never came across that one in any review either, as far as I recall? So maybe that?s why. A lot of people came across a particular software after reading about it in a review article or a forum like this one? So now you made me look for it and I?ve just download it. It doesn?t seam to have any update buttons or anything?. The site from where I?ve downloaded it is from Netherlands or something, so I couldn?t read about it?. Can you post some more info about it? Does this software auto-updates it self?

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