Adware Report: Spybot S&D Ineffectiveness
It appears that others are validating our test results with Spybot S&D. Although we too appreciate the developer's idealism, Spybot has just not performed all that well in our tests. It would really be a lot better if a small team of volunteer developers could keep up with the aggressive spyware companies, but that's just not the way things work.
From "Spyware Confidential"
Idealism vs. commercialism
I used to be a big fan of Spybot. I thought it had just the kind of rough-and-tumble feel that works best against spyware, it includes a bunch of other features, and its developer operates in an altruistic fashion. However, I perform a lot of real-world testing against some very nasty spyware, and I've seen Spybot either miss major spyware or not be able to remove the stuff it does find. Though I appreciate the developer's idealism, I'm not sure it competes well with other developers' commercial interests in keeping spyware definitions well researched and up-to-date.
A spyware-removal tool is only as good as its definition file, and there's something of an arms race among major developers of spyware removers, such as PestPatrol, Spyware Doctor, and Spy Sweeper, to have the most comprehensive and frequently updated definitions. Also, spyware prevention has become very good in the major commercial programs, which monitor new programs you install for spyware. In the end, Spybot's resident protection hasn't seemed effective enough on my test machine.
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