Spyware Reviews - December 2004
|We gave top honors to Aluria Software�s Spyware Eliminator (read review). This product protects against more spyware than any other product on the market. Weekly updates and a reasonable price make it a good choice for nearly everyone. You also get a variety of "evidence eliminator" type functionality that you won't find in other spyware removal programs. Aluria offers a free scan to determine if any spyware is on your system.|
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Below you will find side-by-side comparisons of the top spyware removal products. You can click through to read detailed reviews of the products, or scroll through to the end of this page to see summarized anti spyware reviews.
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Webroot's Spy Sweeper (read review)This product follows close on the heels of Spyware Eliminator. Although Spy Sweeper does provide marginally better coverage, for the same price you only get one year of updates. Also, Webroot updates their product a little less frequently than Aluria.
Pest Patrol (read spyware review)Pest Patrol is a good product with superior protection, although it is priced higher than our other top picks. We found that it had a somewhat confusing interface. It may be a better pick for business settings as it had an over-enthusiastic tendency to flag file sharing applications as spyware.
Lavasoft Ad-Aware 6.0 Pro (read spyware review)Ad Aware came in fourth. While it offers comparable protection to Spy Sweeper and Spyware Eliminator, it lacks some basic features (such as scheduling) and the user interface is very difficult to use. It is also priced higher than the other products. Some users report that the program doesn�t install correctly and there are reports that it has even corrupted hard drives, making some PCs unbootable (we did not experience these problems on our test computers). Despite lavasoft's claim that Ad-Aware protects against over 24,000 spyware programs, we found its coverage to be lacking.
XBlock�s X-Cleaner, while another quality program, doesn�t yet compare with the previous entrants. It protects against only about a thousand spyware programs, and doesn�t yet offer some of the advanced features the other products do. XBlock has recently dropped the price from $69.99 to $39.99 and is rapidly catching up with the competition, so keep your eye on them.
Spybot S&D (read spyware review)Spybot S&D is the most well-known freeware removal tool on the market. The best part about Spybot S&D is that it�s free! The worst part is that you get what you pay for. Because Spybot S&D gives away their product, they can�t afford to give good customer support, nor is their product particularly stable on Windows XP. On our test platform, Spybot S&D brought our browser (Internet Explorer 6) to its knees. After installation, we were unable to download anything in under two minutes, and web pages took an excruciatingly long time to load. Alas, we fixed the problem by running Spy Sweeper! At last count, Spybot S&D only effectively protected against about 200 spyware products. If you can afford a modest fee, we highly recommend you choose a commercial product.
Spyware Doctor (read spyware review)Spyware Doctor has a terrific user interface and unlike some of the products we tested, does actually detect and remove a significant amount of spyware. However, it�s performance was right in the middle of the pack.
NoAdware (read spyware review)A controversial product, NoAdware is heavily advertised on the internet as an effective spyware removal tool. Our tests indicate differently however. We uncovered a product that was unable to detect real spyware on our computer, and instead tried to fool us with "false positives". Unfortunately, some of the spyware is claimed to detect were actually operating system files and legitimate software, including Apple's Quicktime player. We were extremely disappointed with NoAdware and recommend that you stay away from this product.
PALSol (read spyware review)PALSol put in a disappointing performance in our spyware effectiveness test. The combination of a clunky user interface along with poor detection and removal capabilities makes this product a �no go�. We suggest you look elsewhere.
SpyKiller (read spyware review)SpyKiller is a barebones spyware removal tool that provides little more than the most basic detection functionality. It does not provide detailed scan results and so we weren�t able to conclusively determine its effectiveness. However, follow-up tests on clean PCs indicate that SpyKiller may be finding �false positives� in an effort to goad users into purchasing the product.
Spy Hunter (read spyware review)This bare bones, low quality program has few features and failed to remove any of the common spyware we tested for. In addition, it �detected� a number of spyware programs that were not really installed on our test computers. It is currently the poorest performing product of any we tested, with an overall rating of 12.5%.
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