Spyware and Adware Removal Guide - Introduction
Spyware and Adware Removal Guide - Ad-Aware SE PersonalAd-Aware SE PersonalDeveloper Homepage: LavasoftDownload: LavasoftBuy: Freeware!Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10Our Summary: Ad-Aware SE Personal is free, easy to use through its stylish and compact GUI and provides fairly regular definition updates making it a good choice in combating Spyware.One of the most well known and popular Spyware remover programs is called Ad-Aware and the first program we are taking a look at is Ad-Aware SE Personal by Lavasoft. The Swedish company offers three versions of Ad-Aware: SE Personal (free), Plus ($27) and Professional ($40). The more you spend the more features you will get. However, for basic Spyware removal needs Ad-Aware SE Personal will do what we need it to do and it won't cost you any money.Plus and Professional versions include a program called Ad-Watch which runs in the background and looks out for Spyware that might try to install on or modify your system. It works just like any anti-virus software which monitors your system in real-time.The latest reference file from Lavasoft at the time of writing this article is dated 10 / 10 / 2004 which is a good sign as you will have recent Spyware detection capabilities. If you are using a Spyware remover program which hasn't had its reference or definition database updated in a few months, you'd probably be better off using another program.Ad-Aware SE Personal is a fairly basic Spyware remover (about a 2.6MB download) with a stylish and easily workable GUI (Graphical User Interface) with the must-have feature offering the ability to download updates through the program saving you having to hunt for them on Lavasoft's website. Let's take a closer look at the program in the screenshots I took while testing out the software - for the full size image, just click on each image below and a new window will pop-up.
Spyware and Adware Removal Guide - GIANT AntiSpywareGIANT AntiSpywareDeveloper Homepage: GIANT CompanyDownload: GIANT Company (15 day trial)Buy: Regnow ($29.95)Our Rating: 9.5 out of 10Our Summary: GIANT AntiSpyware comes with a very stylish GUI with many options such as scan scheduling and very in-depth information on each Spyware program found. You also have the ability to protect your system in real-time against Spyware along with access to the Advanced Tools section.The next Spyware remover on our list of programs is called GIANT AntiSpyware by GIANT Company Software who is based out of the United States. GIANT offer a free 15 day trial which allows you to use the program as if it were registered. The good news is in the two days we had this software installed, it has provided us with two definition updates each day. When we first installed the program, the software had already updated the definitions database which was pleasing to see.
Spyware and Adware Removal Guide - RegFreezeRegFreezeDeveloper Homepage: Actual ResearchDownload: Actual Research (register to remove Spyware)Buy: Regnow ($29.95)Our Rating: 6.5 out of 10Our Summary: While RegFreeze provides you with a nice GUI which is very easy to use and navigate along with the ability to automatically schedule definition updates and protect your system in real-time, there is unfortunately more bad weighing against it than good.The next program on the list is called RegFreeze by Actual Research. RegFreeze is a relatively simple program which is designed to protect your system in real-time and provide the ability to search your system for Spyware. In the settings area you can enable automatic updating to occur as often or as little as you like. The biggest downside to this program is you cannot remove the Spyware until you register the program for $29.95.
Spyware and Adware Removal Guide - Spybot - Search & DestroySpybot - Search & DestroyDeveloper Homepage: Patrick M. KollaDownload: Patrick M. KollaBuy: Freeware!Our Rating: 9 out of 10Our Summary: The beauty of Spybot - Search & Destroy is that it is 100% free, includes database detection updates within the program fairly often, is easy to use and works very well at removing Spyware from your system. However, The GUI isn't as pleasing to the eye as Spyware removers such as GIANT AntiSpyware and it doesn't include any real-time detection of Spyware either.Spybot - Search & Destroy is considered by many folks on the Internet as the best Spyware remover. During our extensive testing of many Spyware programs, we even discovered a program which you have to pay for called SpyRemover which apparently licenses Spybot technology; at least that's what we were told on the phone by the developer, InfoWorks Technology.Spybot is a free program where the developers rely on donations to support the development and upkeep of the program. Personally I have been using Spybot for the past couple of years or so. The GUI behind Spybot isn't as fancy as those such as Ad-Aware and GIANT AntiSpyware but it simple and easy to use. You have the ability to update the software from within the program and choose from a range of mirrors for the fastest download for you. Like GIANT AntiSpyware you have an advanced tools section with similar tools - but Spybot goes even deeper.
Spyware and Adware Removal Guide - SpyCatcherSpyCatcherDeveloper Homepage: TenebrilDownload: Regnow (15 day trial)Buy: Regnow ($29.95)Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10Our Summary: Tenebril's SpyCatcher is a nice Spyware remover. It features a nice looking GUI which is easy to use and understand. It provides the ability to protect your system in real-time, schedule scans and updates, and also has a "Detective" section where you can look through common places where Spyware is instructed to load from, and more.Next up is SpyCatcher by Tenebril who produce a range of different software to protect your privacy and increase system performance. SpyCatcher is another solid and stylish Spyware remover which includes some nice features such as the ability to protect your system in real-time, schedule scans and updates, and also has a "Detective" section where you can look through common places where Spyware is instructed to load from - such as the Startup menu, which is something a little different.
Spyware and Adware Removal Guide - SpyKiller 2005SpyKiller 2005Developer Homepage: SpyKiller Download: SpyKiller (30 day trial)Buy: SpyKiller ($29.95)Our Rating: 5.5 out of 10Our Summary: SpyKiller 2005 is the most basic Spyware remover inside this guide and you'd be silly to hand over money for this program when you can get much better for the same price.As we wind our way along the road to the end we come to a basic Spyware remover program called SpyKiller 2005. The program claims it has the ability to detect up to almost 33,000 Spyware programs (which is far more than any of the others in this guide) and the good news is that in the two days we tried the program, both days provided us with a database update. The GUI kind of reminds you of a high school VB project however.
Spyware and Adware Removal Guide - Spyware DoctorSpyware DoctorDeveloper Homepage: PC Tools Download: Regnow (30 day trial)Buy: Regnow ($39.95)Our Rating: 8 out of 10Our Summary: Spyware Doctor is a good and well-rounded Spyware remover but doesn't really include anything special that would warrant spending the extra money on the program.The last Spyware remover we are taking a look at in this guide is Spyware Doctor by PC Tools. Spyware Doctor is yet another well featured Spyware remover program but is also a little on the expensive side costing $10 more than all the others. So is the extra $10 justified?
Spyware and Adware Removal Guide - Monitoring processes with WinTasks 5Monitoring processes with WinTasks 5Developer Homepage: Uniblue Systems Ltd Download: RegnowBuy: Uniblue Systems Ltd ($49.95)Our Summary: WinTasks 5 is a very handy program which works hand in hand with a good Spyware remover to help you keep a check of what is happening on your computer.All the Spyware removers we have taken a look at in this guide are very useful for removing Spyware from your computer, but what about if you want to monitor in real-time all the processes running which could be chewing up precise computer performance?The answer is a very handy program called WinTasks 5 Professional which allows you to monitor all of the processes running on your system at any given point in time. Let's take a closer look at the program, how it works, and how it can help you speed up your computer by shutting down nasty and privacy violating processes.
Spyware and Adware Removal Guide - Third Party Resources and ConclusionThird Party ResourcesWe aren't quite finished just yet. The following is a list of third party resources which we used for the preparation of this guide as well as resources which will help you with your battle against Spyware. Listed in no particular order:- Anti-Spy Tools by SpyChecker.com: We used this list of Spyware remover programs to help determine which programs we would include in this guide.- Searchable Spyware Database at Spyware-Guide.com: Spyware-Guide was created to provide an all inclusive and updated resource on spy ware applications, what they do and how they're used. These resources include: which software applications can detect and defeat Spyware, an extensive database (611) of all known spy software and adware applications and contact information as well as other privacy related products.- Adware & Spyware Removal Programs at Download.com: We also used this extensive list of Spyware remover programs to help determine which programs we would include in this guide. Very useful!- Spyware Center @ Download.com: Also at Download.com is the Spyware Center which provides up-to-date information on everything Spyware as well as a FAQ and tips section to use certain programs which help protect your privacy.- Spyware Tools at MajorGeeks.com: Another handy list of Spyware programs.- IANAG File Help: Martin over at IANAG is maintaining a growing list of file names (not just Spyware) which lets you know the role of each - Worth a look.- Free Process Information @ ProcessLibrary.com: ProcessLibrary.com is owned and maintained by the same people who made WinTasks 5. Here you can search for processes to find out if they are worth getting rid of which is perfect for the Spyware removers we looked at in this guide which did not provide descriptions.- Spyware Information Center at Webroot Software: Webroot Software have a really useful Spyware Information Center which provides just about all the information you would ever want to know about Spyware - good reading!- Spyware Information Center at Tenebril: Tenebril also provide a section dedicated to information on Spyware with theirs including the most active threats as well as new ones to surface.- Microsoft Security Home Page: Everything you need to keep your copy of Windows up-to-date in the security area.- General Spyware Information at SpywareInfo: SpywareInfo is a dedicated website providing tools and knowledge you need to protect your privacy from the onslaught of Spyware, adware, and corporate and government surveillance.- Spyware Removal Help @ PC Hell: The folks at PC Hell maintain a section on removing Spyware and removing specific programs such as "How to Remove HotBar".- Computer Cops: Computer Cops or CastleCops provides a stack of information on computer security and is well worth a look.
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