PC Tools Spyware Doctor
Spyware Doctor from PC Tools Software is a polished and solid contender in the antispyware category. Sporting a sleek and easy-to-use interface, Spyware Doctor also packs a lot of protection under the hood and is backed up by one of the most aggressive spyware identification programs in the business. In testing done by CNET Download.com, Spyware Doctor 3.2 did very well, finishing near the top of the list for removing known spyware and tying for fourth with Webroot Spy Sweeper for overall performance. Since the December 2005 Download.com tests, PC Tools has released Spyware Doctor 3.5, which, in addition to other minor enhancements, offers advanced rootkit protection (a feature we did not test for in other apps). Spyware Doctor costs $29.95, which entitles you to 12 months of technical support, software upgrades, and live updates to its antispyware definitions. There is a free trial version available online, but it only identifies and doesn't remove any malicious programs it finds on your system unless you buy the app, a practice we think is just plain wrong. That said, , which offers a fully functioning free version, remains our overall recommendation for best antispyware application.
Installation is a breeze, and pressing the Finish button causes Spyware Doctor to launch its Live Update feature, which goes out and checks for the latest spyware database additions and program updates, then performs a full system scan. Spyware Doctor's scans were faster than most of the other antispyware programs' we've seen, but it still managed to catch all of the spyware we threw at it. There are also options for a Quick Scan, which didn't actually seem much quicker, and a Custom Scan.