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Spyware, Viruses, & Security

General discussion

Which spyware program is better?

by rapunzel77gil / January 19, 2006 1:37 PM PST

I have considered buying a spyware / adware program, but I don't know which is better: Webroot Spy Sweeper or PC Tools Spyware Doctor 3.5?

I have intended to buy the PC Tools AntiVirus program after the free trial (but time limited) version expires. PC Tools offers a discount for the Spyware Doctor 3.5 (optional) at $19.95 with the purchase of PC Tools AntiVirus.

I've installed the free version of both Webroot Spy Sweeper and Ad-Aware ever since my PC was ridden with spywares. Of the two, Webroot works better eventhough it doesn't remove the spywares for non-subscribers. I thought that Webroot is really good. I'm not too sure about PC Tool Spyware Doctor eventhough it's highly recommended, has numerous awards and positive user reviews.

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Amended title: Which anti-spyware program is better?
by rapunzel77gil / January 19, 2006 2:12 PM PST

Apologies for the misleading title ... I put it up too fast ...

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One Man's Opinion (mostly from Here/-Say).......
by tobeach / January 19, 2006 4:46 PM PST

If I had to choose from between those 2 only, I'd probably go with the Webroot Spysweeper.More extensive but I'm rather put off by the "try it, find the problems, & PAY us to get rid of them" bit. Too many scams have used the tougher variant of " we installed the spyware during your online scan or downloaded free trial, and now you must PAY us to take it away".
You might consider Ewido SS as being very comprehensive with a free trial period ( all benefits) and removal & continued use of scanner & removal & manual update (but without Auto Update & resident guard) after free trial expires.The reason for this is some programs don't sit well with some computer configurations and you shouldn't have to pay before finding this out w/ regards to your particular machine. I would prefer this over either of the 2 you mentioned. Note: The 2 you mention are available via retail stores (often at clear out discounts) and would give you a physical disk with the program on it as opposed to downloading over web and replacement problems if program ever becomes corrupt or you need to reformat. I suppose you can also get them to mail you the cd via online.
In TRUTH: You really CAN get all you really need online for FREE from very reputable companies! You DO need more than one program for various anti-spyware/adware etc. Most are specialized for what they go after therefore likely better than an "all things to all people" type suite. (Ever tried 1 size fits all socks? Doesn't fit anyone very well!)
The following link is to a post w/ a smorgasborg of free legit programs (some trojan hunters free period/pay after trying) widely used here and trusted. At the top of the page is link to a site that lists almost all the pay programs to AVOID(Rogues)! Add it to your "Favorites/Bookmarks" for easy reference along with this link for easy downloading source. :
http://reviews.cnet.com/5208-6132-0.html?forumID=32&threadID=114259&messageID=1298628
Enjoy the buffet (the price is right!!)!! Grin

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Antispyware
by aztzu / January 21, 2006 7:55 AM PST

I have both Webrootspyware sweeper and Pc Tools Spyware doctor and the free Ewido. The first two, I have paid versions and I like both really well. Barb

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Free Scanners are nice if they're reporting properly
by cstjames / January 26, 2006 7:51 PM PST

I noticed that you were NOT including "StopZilla" in your list. I installed their Scan engine but question the accuracy of the reports. I even tried to find some files that were reported as Spyware but they were NOT on my system! I was showing all hidden and system files in those Folders. Maybe the files were renamed after they were run on startup? Their Scan was SO Fast that I believe they're only checking the Registry for issues. The Spybot Search and Destroy Scan is MUCH longer but at least I know it's actively Searching my system for Spyware Footprints. Even after removing the Spyware from Search & Destroy, StopZilla was still reporting the same files! Maybe their initial report files had to be Refreshed or something?

I discovered that only BitDefender 9 was able to Clean my computer to a reliable system again. I somehow still got infected by the "CoolWWWSearch" Adware which is also an explorer Hi-jacker. I've even used their own Un-installer but they came back again! This probably happened when I was Un-installing one Anti-virus program to install another for evaluation. So far BitDefender has been able to intercept any further Trojans, Hijack or virus threats and my system is running fine again.

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freeware
by OmegaGeek / January 29, 2006 9:04 PM PST

I agree, why would anyone pay for personal spy-ware software when really good stuff is out there as free-ware. I use Spybot S&D and Ad-Aware. I am especially fond of Ad-Aware because of their attitude. They act like a member of a community rather than a company selling me stuff. Maybe because they are in Sweden?

It reminds me of the early days. User groups. Where you met in nonvirtual venues. Anyone else remember HAUG (Houston Area User Group)? John Devorak would come down the aisle throwing out (5.25") diskettes.

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My feedback to Anti-Spyware
by patty3m / January 26, 2006 9:02 PM PST

While it can be useful to purchase ''anti-spyware'' software, there are ''free'' software programs available that will do a great job on their own or as a companion (compliment) other programs you may be running.

The free programs that I use (beyond my McAfee Suite) include Spybot, Ad-aware, and Mircrosoft Anti-Spyware. I have found that no one anti-spyware program catches everything out there and that by running at least three anti-software programs, I have done a better job in protecting my computer. Another program to review for free-download is Avast (forgot to mention that earlier).

You can research these on c/net (download many right from this site) or you will be re/directed to the company site.

Hope you find this helpful.

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Confused?
by magnogreato / January 26, 2006 9:25 PM PST

Does having three different anti-spyware programs working at same time cause any problems with your PC or routine operations???
thanks

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Using multiple anti-spyware programs (at the same time)
by Doug_Iford / January 27, 2006 1:18 AM PST
In reply to: Confused?

The only problem I've found is that if you have multiple (say two) programs monitoring registry changes, you get two reports of an attempted change popping up on top of one another. When you tell one to allow/disallow the change, you also have to tell the other. Choosing only one program for registry monitoring solves that problem.

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Using multilple programs
by magnogreato / January 28, 2006 10:31 PM PST

Doug,
how do you select/deselect the parameter on any programs to scan registry? I've looked and haven't been able to find the entrance to do it. thanks

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Using multiple programs
by Doug_Iford / March 29, 2006 9:24 AM PST

I don't find a way to turn off SpyBot S&D's registry scan, but you can add any detected items you wish to an "exclude" list. If I recall correctly, Ad-Aware/Ad-Watch does allow you to turn off registry scanning (or registry change monitoring), but as Ad-Aware seems to have become broken at the moment, I have uninstalled it. I would get the "blue screen of death" system crash screen each time I ran Ad-Aware ... Ad-Watch wasn't a problem. This just started occurring within the past couple of weeks ... I think there may have been a software update that was the culprit as it always worked fine before. One of these days (after I get my taxes done), I will reinstall it and see if I can figure out what was going on.

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Here's HOW to deactivate real-time scanning for Spybot..
by grannyQ / April 3, 2006 2:18 AM PDT

Hello,

I'm currently working with Castle Cops on an issue, and here's what they told me to do to de-activate real-time scanning for Spybot S & D:

1. Run Spybot S & D in Advanced Mode.
2. If it is not already set to do this Go to the Mode
menu, select "Advanced Mode".
3. On the Left hand side, Click on Tools.
4. Then click on the Resident Icon in the List.
5. Uncheck "Resident Tea Timer" and OK any prompts.
6. Restart your computer.

Hope this helps.

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To confused
by joelyle / January 28, 2006 9:58 PM PST
In reply to: Confused?

I have 5 anti-spyware/adware programs, but only use one (SptSweeper) for real-time scanning.

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More is not necc. better
by ronb42 / January 27, 2006 3:19 PM PST

I did not read the entire thread on this... I just have some advice for you.
Just because one spyware app finds more stuff than another one does - DOES NOT mean it is necc better. Some of these spyware apps mis-identify things as being spyware and can screw up your machine.

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My Opinion on Anti-Spyware Programs
by steve11375 / January 21, 2006 8:21 AM PST

Hey rapunzel77gil,

Everyone likes different programs for many different reasons. I have Webroots Spysweeper which I have come to trust (I've had some recent complaints) but they are definitely on top of things.

Now you want two really strong FREE Anti-Spyware/Anti-Trojan progams, go get these two:

EWIDO
A-SQUARED

They are both FREE, updated at least daily, Ewido is updated 1 to 5 times a day.

Ewido http://www.ewido.net/en/download/
A-SQUARED http://www.emsisoft.com/en/software/free/

Hope that Helps,
Steve

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Which spyware..............
by 09Bentley / January 22, 2006 1:35 AM PST

There are many FREE anti-spyware programs available. No
need to spend $$ on them.

One that I use and like very much is SpywareBlaster from
MajorGeeks.com. It stops spyware from being installed and since I started using it (about 18 months ago) I have
had my AdAware find only about ten tracking cookies, total. Several anti-spyware programs are necessary to keep your pc clean and I like the approach SpywareBlaster
uses in conjunction with the others. And it's free.

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No one is better...
by Papa Echo / January 22, 2006 7:50 AM PST

Use more than one. Example:

?One to prevent most spies coming in : Spyware Blaster.
?Aonther to clean out those which slip in: Spybot S&D.
?Yet another for a "third opinion": Ewido.
?You may add in Ad Aware SE for detecting and removing specialized "spywares"(advertisment spies)

They are all free.

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Best one I have ever used!
by chubsoda / January 23, 2006 9:42 PM PST

Try 'Stopzilla'. You can get a free test version on-line. Their support is 5-star and I have never had any problems with their on-line, live, support. In fact, I have had to reload my laptop and desktop several times since I bought their software in May of 2005, and they never once said NO. I do, however, need to buy a new license for the upcoming year. It cost $29.95, but somtimes they offer a $10.00 rebate.

NOTE: In today's world, one software may not be enough. I use the 'cocktail' method meaning that I use multiple programs (3) to track and destroy viruses, adware, spyware, etc. Stopzilla is a good start.
Why? because Anti-spyware/anti-adware software does not stop viruses. Anti-viruses software does not stop Anti-spyware/anti-adware. This is why I use multiple programs.
I also recommend System Mechanic 6 Pro. This program cleans and maintains the performance of my PC very well. It defrags the HD, defrags RAM, recovers RAM mem, fixes registries, cleans temp and internet cookies, etc. It does a ton of stuff. It is the best program I have ever used. Once in a while, it may locked up after a big cleaning, but overall it works great. It comes with a Anti-virus program so you won't have to buy it separately.
Hope this helps!
You can get good prices on these software on E-Bay.

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By the way,,,I use Win2000
by chubsoda / January 23, 2006 9:50 PM PST

in case you're wondering.

The other posts were right, you can get this stuff free. However, I had not had good luck with the freebies and they usually end up taking space on my PC after the trial ends and at times doing more harm than good to my PC. I buy because I am in control and how I work my PC, and it usually ends up working better and more efficiently too. I also buy because it gives me a better, quality product to use. Free is nice, but it doesn't mean good quality. You know the saying, 'you get what you pay for'. If your PC is important to you, invest in it to take care of it,,,just like your own body.

Also, the on-line sites that 'scan' your PC and then want your money? He's right, stay away. And most freebies are 'very limited' in what they can do anyway so why not just buy them. Remember, they're free,,,and as we all know,,,NOTHING IS FREE IN LIFE. They'll want something in return.
Like I said,,,E-Bay has some very good prices on these software and it's all legal.

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Spyware Doctor Free
by benedictkhoojr / January 25, 2006 2:15 AM PST

I am using every anti spyware that is mentioned here. Spyware Doctor, Spybot, Ewido, Spyware Blaster, A Squared, Ad Aware, and a few that arent mentioned like MS Antispyware Beta & AVG.

Afer using ALL the above to scan my PC (offline to avoid being recontaminated) i save Spyware Doctor Free for the last 'pass'. And it always picks up the ONLY Trojan Horse that all the others missed (called TrojanHorse. StartPage). And this is the Free version of it that is no longer on the site, with the last free update in December 05.

What gives?

If i were to spend any bucks on antispyware, SW Doctor seems to be the most effective. I wish i could try Webroot's spysweeper but the trial version is scan only.

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Spyware Doctor Free
by aztzu / January 25, 2006 12:06 PM PST
In reply to: Spyware Doctor Free

I have the paid version and I was getting that message everynight when I would scan. It would remove it and next night it was there. Found out it was a false positive. And I needed to do the upgrade. After I did that, it no longer told me I had that trogen. Barb

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Tools and such
by magnogreato / January 26, 2006 9:34 PM PST

Thanks for your input...it lightens the load in my making a decision on what Tools package to buy with so many of them out there. I have Norton's , but it's older version, works ok but i wanted to update. thanks again:)

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Lavasoft Ad-Aware SE Professional is the ultimate !
by Mr. Chan / January 26, 2006 7:17 PM PST

I have all the " Anti-Spyware " installed on my PC. They are Lavasoft Ad-Aware SE Professional, Webroot " Spy Sweeper ", P C Tools " Spyware Doctor ", Microsmart " Spywarebegone 7.85 ", McAfee "Anti-Spyware'. Do you know you pay a lumpsum for the Lavasoft Ad-Aware SE Professional? You do not need to renew the subscription every year. P C Tools charges US$ 19.95 to renew the " Spyware Doctor " when you renew your annual subscritption. Webroot will give you a break if you pay 24 months subscription for US$ 29.95 which I did. Note P C Tools will cost you US$ 19.95x2=US$ 39.90 for 24 months. I used to be a big fan of P C Tools when they are WinGuide of the " Registry Mechanic ". Not any more as the latest " Registry Mechanic " released on 14th December, 2005 is not " Unicode compliance " and their technical support is very slow. McAfee " Anti-Spyware " takes two hours to complete a full scan and not accurate. Therefore, I suggest you to use Microsoft "Anti-Spyware " instead. I never like any software from either McAfee or Symantec as they are over-rated and over-priced but poor in overall performance. I think Webroot is a good deal if you intend to use it for several years as US$ 29.95 for 24 months and as I recall 36 months will be less. Lavasoft SE Professional is one time deal. You get free upgrade and update for US$ 50.00 something as I never have to worry to pay. P C Tools charges the highest among the competitors but I am very disappointed with them since last year. Do you know Webroot offer a free " Spy Audit " on their web-site? In other words, after you have finished your browsing on the internet, go to www.webroot.com and look for the " Spy Audit ". In a matter of minutes, you will know if you have any "Spyware " hidden in your PC. The so called " Spyware " are coming from the "Internet Explorer ". You should download the Clean Cache 3.2 from ButtUglySoftware.com or get the " Privacy Guardian " from P C Tools or " Window Washer " from Webroot to clean your clutter on your cache.

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AdAware indefinate updating?
by captgg63 / January 26, 2006 9:31 PM PST

In regards to Adaware pro, I have version 6 which has stopped updating. Please let us know if your SE pro version truly has indefinate updating.

I will look into this on the Lavasoft web site also.

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Is your Lavasoft Ad-Aware SE Professional 1.06r1?
by Mr. Chan / January 26, 2006 10:47 PM PST

If your Lavasoft Ad-Aware SE Professional is the 1.06r1 version, you should receive the update on weekly basis as every seven days ( less than ten days ), I will get the update ( new definition ) as I got the new definition on 24th January, 2006 which was three days ago. Make sure you have the 1.06r1 version as most people simply have the Lavasoft Ad-Aware Personal Version NOT the SE Professional version. I am sure Lavasoft will look up your file and verify that you have the 1.06r1 version which one will have the new definition every week. The SE Professional version is at least US$ 20.00 more than the Personal version. Again, you pay a lumpsum and never get another billing unlike P C Tools and Webroot.
The freebies like Spybot-search and destroy and Bazooka are not in the same league of the Lavasoft, P C Tools and Webroot.

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Free Downloads are mainly Scanners but Antivirus is critical
by cstjames / January 26, 2006 7:26 PM PST

I had problems installing Spyware Doctor because it depends on a properly registered vbscript.dll, which can become infected by a virus itself, which mine has. One Great package I'm evaluating is BitDefender 9 which IS Fully functional for 30 days AND includes a Spyware component as well as Internet Explorer Hijacking protection. Unfortunately some Adware can be re-populated from a Trojan or Virus which just brings all the files back again soon after they're removed if you have NO Anti-virus protection.

I also bought a recent OEM version of Panda Titanium but even the "Free" BitDefender found more Spyware and Virus issues on my computer than Panda! I naturally Un-installed Panda when I installed BitDefender for evaluation and it is still working to protect my Computer from Spyware and Virus problems.

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Which spyware program is better? A great question.
by chetlynch / January 26, 2006 10:00 PM PST

One rule of thumb is that you can't have too many spyware or adware detecting programs. However, I currently use SpySweeper by Webroot and find it to be a very effective program. Recently, a television show on G4TV named, ''CALL FOR HELP,'' a show which helped your average pc user with technical issues did a test on 5 different anti-spyware programs and PEST PATROL by CA Associates won hands down! They also suggested Microsoft's Anti-Spyware program did a good job. Currently, I have SpySweeper, Spybot Search & Destroy, Pest Patrol, and Ad-aware SE Personal installed on my system. The Microsoft program, Spybot and Ad-aware SE are all free downloads that you can use and are very effective. Hope this helps.

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spyware plus
by magnogreato / January 28, 2006 8:53 AM PST

Everyone seems to have a lot to say about different programs and i'm glad to see what seems to work well and what is questionable...what is a good utility like Norton Sys. Works that can observe, repair,update, and test the waters for spyware? Norton works well but i believe there are other progrms somewhere out there that can do the same, similar or better job and not take up so much disc space. Any ideas? thank. great forums Cnet!!!

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Spyware Doctor. My Favorite.
by marvingee / January 26, 2006 10:16 PM PST

Found Spyware Doctor to be the most effective. Use in conjunction with Norton antivirus.Combo seems to work well together. The most cumbersome and troublesome was System Mechanic Professional V.6.0. That was a nightmare. ''Spyware Detector'' found many but not as good as or effective as Spyware Doctor.

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Any Thoughts about Trend-Micro's "Anti-Spyware" ??
by cymshot / January 27, 2006 4:54 AM PST

Just brought a friend's PC back to health from a boatload of virii and spyware with several apps:
1) Trend-Micro PC-cillin 2006
2) SpyBot 1.4
3) Microsoft Anti-Spyware v1.0 beta
4) Trend-Micro Anti-Spyware 3.0 (not the SMB -Small-to-Medium Business version).

This was my first time to throw the Trend-Micro Anti-Spyware 3.0 app into the mix, but it allowed me to easily pinpoint and segregate "good" cookies from "bad" cookies, and thus stop/prevent a lot of the spyware from spreading and doing more mischief. [The other apps helped too, but the Trend app eliminated issues where the other apps failed.]

Definitely agree with other comments in that it takes multiple apps to get the job completed.

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DON'T accept "Upgrade Offer" on line from Trend Micro..
by grannyQ / April 3, 2006 2:36 AM PDT

Hello,

I've been using Trend Micro Anti-Spyware 3. for the last nearly two years. It's been a great defender for me all this time. However, upon receiving definitions updates recently, a smaller "Upgrade" window popped up. That was my day to be a sucker, so I accepted. Here's the funny part; Trend Micro caught the About:Blank browser hijacker, but in a state of confusion (my only excuse), I "allowed" it in. Argh!! STILL trying to get rid of this bad boy! I alerted Trend Micro, but they didn't seem too interested in what I had to say. Boy, I've learned my lesson, I'm ONLY getting updates, etc when I GO to their site, NOT when they come to my computer. Beware!

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