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What is the the best free anti-spyware program?

by ifihadonechance / January 28, 2007 4:20 AM PST

What is the the best free anti-spyware program?

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by tomron / January 28, 2007 4:23 AM PST

This has been discussed here numerous times,you can use the search feature,also,click HERE for a list of free programs.


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Don't fall for the "one solution" trap.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 28, 2007 4:43 AM PST

Well discussed. There is no single "best" program. There are ways to use a few to catch all the pests.


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different uses
by santuccie / January 28, 2007 7:25 AM PST

No single antispyware catches everything. Different ones have different strengths. Here are a few suggestions:

For preventative, real-time protection, one of the known best is Spyware Terminator. It used to have the dark cloud of "rogue antispyware" reputation hanging over it, but that cloud has been lifted. While TechSupportAlert.com says Windows Defender's overall detection rate is slightly higher, it does plainly say that Spyware Terminator is much stronger when it comes to preventing infection in the first place.

Another product that I have found to be quite effective is CyberDefender. This is another product that was on probation at Spyware Warrior, and in fact some scanners will still detect its SpyBlocs components as adware, but Eric Howes (editor of SW) has informed me that these items are in fact legitimate.

CyberDefender is not just antispyware. It also has antivirus, anti-spam, and anti-fraud in an all-in-one "seamless" unit that is supposed to be fully compatible with an existing, conventional antivirus on your machine. But as I've posted in a few other threads, I see no need for it. I recently replaced AVG Free antivirus and Windows Defender with this product, and have no longer needed to manually scan for spyware since then.

CyberDefender's method of learning works in a way similar to that of class-leading HIPS product Novatix Cyberhawk (the clients are the threat sensors), and they've found a way to continue offering this product for free by placing unobtrusive ads in the console window, and eliminating virtually all distribution bandwidth costs by delegating updating responsibilities between peers. The client that detects a new threat gets updated first (usually within an hour, before most outbreaks are even over), which in turn uses its own local bandwidth to update a number of its peers, which in turn update more peers, and so on. This creates much less strain on a single Internet connection, allows updates to be distributed faster, and again, saves the company a lot of money.

Either of the two products I've mentioned above will protect you from most threats, but you should never assume your computer is clean just because one scanner says it is. You should also have at least one on-demand scanner on hand. The two I recommend most are AVG Anti-Spyware Free and a-squared Free. These are both competent at detecting spyware, but they were originally designed to detect malware especially (Trojans, backdoors, etc.) According to Andreas Clementi's AV-Comparatives (AT-Comparatives, in this case), these are the top two anti-Trojan scanners. They are also the only two in the competition that offer free on-demand scanners.

Another recommendation is for you to run an online scanner or two from time to time. Trend Micro HouseCall and Panda ActiveScan are two of the best, but there are many more. For a good, long list of them, look here: http://nod32sse.com/scanners.php

Hope this helps!

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I tried...
by Mailman / January 28, 2007 11:09 AM PST
In reply to: different uses

CyberDefender for awhile. Right after installing it, I noticed that 6 restricted sites in my SpywareBlaster program repeatedly came unchecked without my knowing about it. No matter how many times I went in and re-checked the items, they were unchecked the next time I looked. The Start Bar items began to get quirky, and it put a search bar on my I.E. that I didn't know about, too. I un-installed CyberDefender, and after many times running Tune-Up Utilities, and manually removing the Folder, all this has gone back to normal. I don't know if this is typical, but I just thought you should know.


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by santuccie / January 28, 2007 11:21 AM PST
In reply to: I tried...

Yes. I know about the uninstall problem. A lot of products have this issue, such as Norton.

I was, however, unaware of the restricted sites issue. I'll have to look into that. I'll let you know if I find anything.

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restricted sites
by santuccie / January 31, 2007 10:50 AM PST
In reply to: issues

According to Spyware Warrior editor Eric Howes, it's likely just another honest mistake, one that does occur amongst antispyware products. He suggested I contact the vendor and let them know, so they can fix the bug.

As far as protection is concerned, CyberDefender continues to keep spyware and malware out. And it's doing it all by itself. Until the vendor takes care of this bug, I have copied the six domains into my firewall's web filter.

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Thank you.
by Mailman / January 31, 2007 11:11 AM PST
In reply to: restricted sites

Would you please let me know when they say the bug is fixed? I'd like to try this software again at that time.


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No problem.
by santuccie / January 31, 2007 11:20 AM PST
In reply to: Thank you.

And yes, I'll let you know.

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by nevi / February 1, 2007 8:33 PM PST
In reply to: No problem.

I just want to say that I agree wholeheartedly that Spyware Terminator is one of the best.
I found it by coincidence,but found out soon,that this was the tool to use.Light on resouces,free and stable as a rock.
The little effective HIPS is just the icing on the cake.
At the moment I only use KIS 6 MP 2,but maybe I should think about getting ST installed again.
Can anyone confirm this would be a good idea,or is KIS enough?I?m a little in doubt regarding this.
Thanks for any help.

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by traveler760 / February 17, 2009 1:44 AM PST
In reply to: I tried...

I tried cyberdefender. It worked great for 1-2 days, then stopped. I called tech support and got 3-4 hours of technobabble I didn't need. Furthermore, I paid for this program and couldn't login to check my account. I had heard they did updates without warning then took automatic deductions from your credit card, so I was concerned. I didn't mention that. I just said I wanted to check my account. I was told I didn't need to login to my $200.00 program for any reason. But they would fix the program to make it run again. For another 1-2 days. Then repeat the above. They offer a 30-day satisfaction guaranty. After 5 days, I called and said I was not satisfied and wanted a refund. They refused, saying 1st that I had bought the program in November. I bought it February 5th and this was Feb. 10. Then they said I had used the tech support twice extensively. The program comes with unlimited tech support for a year. I said I had called in with 2 simple questions and had to listen to hours of technobabble that I had no use for. I had already called my bank with the whole story--this is just part of it. Finally, they agreed to refund my money if they could run a system restore back to the day I bought the program. My system would be just like it was. That's just BS, but it had now been 1 1/2 hours of fighting with them. They restored all the trojans, removed my desktop, set my clock to military time, caused my computer to run slower than ever and left part of their program on my system which I CANNOT unistall. I have more problems now than I did when I signed up and have spent the last 7 days trying to repair the damage. I'm not done. Beware of Cyberdefender. The program could be good, but that is not the company's focus: ripping people off is. The bank has assured me that they will refund my money, which is actually $300.00 (part of the story I didn't go into to try to keep this short.)

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by v8ornot2v8 / April 13, 2009 12:20 PM PDT
In reply to: cyberdefender

I use Cyberdefender for a while now and I have like it. It's easy to use. The 24/7 computer support has been very useful and I know it's blocked some viruses already.

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CyberDefender? Not recommended
by Donna Buenaventura / April 13, 2009 4:05 PM PDT
In reply to: cyberdefender
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Best Spyware
by inmyopinion / February 1, 2007 10:07 PM PST

Ad-Aware is the best by far. Download link via CNET here....

Ad-Aware is ranked on top by CNET reviewers AND the community also. Here is the list (http://www.download.com/sort/3150-8022_4-0-1-6.html?). It is very thorough and doesnt mess up my computer either. Great program.

Three things to consider:
1 - NEVER use Norton (for anything). That company installs so much junk on your computer, it should be classified as spyware itself.
2 - I heard Windows has a new program...havent we all learned about Windows problems with everything already?
3 - People seem to always recomend Spybot Search & Destroy but I have found that it has a few small glitches and doesnt work as well as they say.

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RE:Best Spyware
by crobert / February 1, 2007 11:01 PM PST
In reply to: Best Spyware

I use both Ad-Aware and SpyBot and it seems no matter which one I scan with first the second one will catch something the first didn't... I have also just recently installed the MS Defender which sits in background... the comments about Norton are correct, avoid it... thanx.

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Ad-aware Se, Spybot and Spyware blaster
by techweenie--2008 / February 2, 2007 9:33 AM PST
In reply to: RE:Best Spyware

I use Ad-aware Se, Spybot and Spyware blaster on my computer. Ad-aware and spybot are both pretty effective and when one misses something, the other one seems to find it. I use Spyware Blaster to Supplement Spybots activeX and spyware protection.

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Defender is a solid free real-time/nightly anti-spyware app
by Sith840 / February 2, 2007 12:16 AM PST
In reply to: Best Spyware

I have been using Windows Defender (free) on my machines for a few years (used to be under another name before Microsoft bought the company, and MS 1st called it MS Anti-spyware). I have found it works well for both nightly and realtime support. I originally installed it because some nasty malware had killed AdAware and had replaced enough system files that I could not get rid of it cleanly.
The thing I like about Defender is that it has few false alarms on the realtime side.
However, that said, it is not as fast at updating when a new threat is in progress. But, I have not actually found that to be a problem. Note that Defender does *not* install search bars, keyword linkers, or other junk, unlike many of the "free" products out there. Be sure you know what you are getting yourself into.

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'Be sure you know what you are getting yourself into'
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / February 5, 2007 8:36 AM PST
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SpyBot S&D/Ad-Aware SE
by MWagz / February 1, 2007 11:12 PM PST

I'll echo the comment about using both SpyBot S&D and Ad-Aware SE. I use both on all of our PCs/Laptops at home. It seems that if one of the products misses something, the other finds it. For freeware utilities, you can't beat 'em. SpyBot does occasionally get a bit 'glitchy' when downloading updates, but I can usually remedy the problem by restarting the update download.

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A solution...
by Mailman / February 1, 2007 11:21 PM PST
In reply to: SpyBot S&D/Ad-Aware SE

...to the problem of update quirkiness of SpyBot updates is to select one of the mirror sites before you begin the download. I always use "Safer networking #1 (Europe)", and have never had a problem since. I think this is actually in the help file.


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Wise to use more than one antispyware
by den65 / February 2, 2007 1:08 AM PST

Yup, it's definitely no best single antispyware app. Just to share with you, I use Ad-Aware(one of the best around), Spybot S&D(it has really improved alot recently) and Spyware Blaster, which works by blocking spyware from getting into your system. With this combination, I don't even get tracking cookies from my Internet Browsers, whenever I scan my first two spyware apps. Hope this helps.

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Go for Hitman-pro
by sissidekroon / February 2, 2007 6:34 AM PST

I am using <a href="http://www.hitmanpro.nl/hitmanpro/>Hitman pro</a> for several years now. It combines several anti-spyware software like Ad-Aware, Spybot SD, Spysweeper and several others under one controlling program.

It's easy to use and free. Nothing got threw the net so fare. So I'm very pleased with it.

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AVG Anti-Spyware Free Edition
by Robert K / February 2, 2007 8:14 AM PST

I have been using it for about a month and so far, I like it.

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free antivirus spyware
by Eddiesmamabear / February 2, 2007 10:42 AM PST

i've been using the AVG free for about 5 years and it's been very useful. a friend wanted some good virus protection and we told him about AVG too. we helped him download it and it found a load of trojans on his laptop that he had no idea were there! so it was a big help to him!

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which AVG?
by santuccie / February 2, 2007 10:55 AM PST
In reply to: free antivirus spyware

The only AVG that would be five years old is AVG Antivirus. AVG Anti-Spyware, formerly Ewido, isn't quite five years old yet. I would assume AVGAS is the one you're referring to, as it has in fact the very highest detection rate of any Trojan scanner still available. Trojan Hunter has slumped as of late, which doesn't surprise me as they try to use only rulesets in place of black-and-white signatures, and TDS-3 left the market in 2005.

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Good apps..
by nevi / February 2, 2007 11:20 AM PST
In reply to: which AVG?

Both Adaware and Spybot S%D is good antispyware apps.
But to realtime protection they cannot beat Spyware Terminator because of the simple fact that ST have a HIPS built in and they have not.Okay the on demand scan is maybe better with Adaware and Spybot(Im not sure),but as realtime protection nothing beat ST.IMO its even better than Spysweeper.
To on demand scans,I prefer the free vers.of Superantispyware.Its at least as good as Adaware and Spybot,but not so known yet.
Just my 2 cent.

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now i have to say something
by santuccie / February 2, 2007 12:25 PM PST
In reply to: Good apps..

I was going to keep my mouth shut, as Ad-Aware and Spybot are definitely good for more than nothing, but now there are too many people pointing in the wrong direction.

Ad-Aware and Spybot are old veterans with loyal followings, which at one time provided all the protection you really needed against grayware (non-destructive, profit-driven parasites). In fact, Ad-Aware is the oldest antispyware in existence, with a following of about the same size as the total U.S. population (over 200 million users worldwide). Nevertheless, threats have evolved so fast over the past year that these two classics are no longer anywhere near up to the task.

Spyware Terminator is good, and its HIPS is definitely worth your attention, but it is in fact considerably less effective than industry-leading Webroot Spy Sweeper in terms of detection rate. And while there is no match for Spy Sweeper's resident shields, Spyware Doctor is actually slightly better when it comes to post-mortem, on-demand scanning.

I'm sorry to say, but most of these posters are simply going by what they've read on the Web. Your sources are out of date, folks!

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by nevi / February 2, 2007 12:36 PM PST

It was nice to see your post,and I was glad to be corrected re SS and ST.I was not sure..;)
I use KIS 6,and MVPS hostfile,and I am in doubt whether I should use (and what)something in addition ,to spot mal/spy crap.
Its good to see at least some keep up with the new apps.

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no prob
by santuccie / February 2, 2007 1:18 PM PST
In reply to: Thanks

It happens all the time. I've been corrected plenty of times myself, which is just another way people learn. Happy

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different users, different needs
by wakedaddy335 / February 6, 2007 11:53 PM PST

santuccie, in the computer business, it's more of a popularity contest with using freeware than anything else. The more attention a specific program receives, the more the manufacturer is likely to make it a better program. I think that's a known fact. You say "Ad-Aware is the oldest antispyware in existence," and that the user base is "about the same size as the total U.S. population (over 200 million users worldwide)." Doesn't that tell you something? That means it's a good program. Computer security is an ever-changing issue and the fact that these programs have "withstood the test of time," so-to-speak, means that they'll be around for a while. At least I hope so.

Also, keep in mind that each user has different security needs. Most internet users visit the same sites everyday, barely straying from a "set routine." For these users, robust security programs are not a necessity. It would worthwhile for them to use programs that are "tried and true."

I have been using Ad-Aware and Spybot since I got my first computer about six (6) years ago. I've been using AVG Anti-Virus Free for about the past four (4) years. Granted I'm a computer geek and have reformatted my computer a number of times in attempts to discover the perfect setup <B>for me</B>, these programs do very well for me and I am more than just an "average internet user," if ya know what I mean. lol

Yes, we get our information from posts and blogs on the Web; but these days, where else do we turn? Personal experience. And that's what I'm using. I'm not saying the three (3) programs I use and the ultimate best, but they are sufficient and efficient.

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a few corrections
by santuccie / February 7, 2007 1:08 AM PST

'The more attention a specific program receives, the more the manufacturer is likely to make it a better program.' Not necessarily. I've discussed this issue regarding firewalls in another thread. Vendors know that consumers in general are not that savvy; the only yardstick average users have is features. So, vendors that target the consumer market will add a bunch of "fluff" to their product. Corporations, on the other hand, hire seasoned professionals to make decisions for them, and they will go with something a bit more effective. Take firewalls for instance: The only time you will ever see ZoneAlarm in a business setting is if there is a hardware firewall in front of it. Wink

'(over 200 million users worldwide)." Doesn't that tell you something?' It sure does. It tells me "good advertising." Ad-Aware is still good for basic grayware (non-destructive spyware), but my word still stands. Ad-Aware cannot detect or remove a polymorphic Trojan. And that's just one example for you of what it cannot do.

'I'm not saying the three (3) programs I use and the ultimate best, but they are sufficient and efficient.' I wish you would have made that clear earlier. I'll tell you this much: I have a WiFi router, and live in the back of a cul-de-sac with four or five other WiFi networks in range of my own. When SQL Slammer and Stack Bot variants, carrying IRC Flood and other nasties, flooded the Internet in October, our network's WPA2 encryption was cracked every time I changed it, and my grandma's machine (which didn't have a software SPI firewall) was basically violated by our neighbors' infected machines. I had to install Safety.Net to make the unsolicited intrusions stop.

And that still doesn't stop people from visiting hostile sites and being infected in drive-by downloads. I have a friend who used to live in Turlock, and no matter how many times I warned him, he couldn't leave the porn sites alone. Given, that's not my fault, but I'm telling you that Ad-Aware and Spybot would do next to nothing to fix his problems.

Since you don't know what setting the person who opened this thread lives in, and you don't know what activities they engage in, I would advise you to do your homework and come up with universal solutions like I do. I hate getting caught with my foot in my mouth, especially when we're talking about my clients, so I take precautions against it.

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