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Free Adware/Spyware/Scumware Remover

 

Free Adware/Spyware/Scumware Remover

A couple of years ago most folks relied on SpyBot Search and Destroy and Ad-Aware for spyware protection. Alas spyware has evolved so quickly that these once outstanding products are no longer up to the task of providing primary protection though they remain useful as secondary, on-demand scanners.

The new generation of malware requires a new generation of defensive products. Such products need to provide stronger active protection and broader spectrum detection. The best anti-spyware programs, WebRoot SpySweeper and Spyware Doctor are both commercial products but there are two capable free products that I can recommend.

The first is Microsoft's Windows Defender program which is currently available as a free beta. Defender is the latest re-incarnation of the excellent Giant Antispyware product that Microsoft purchased late in 2004. Based on my tests, Windows Defender is not as effective as its immediate predecessor but still has solid protective capability. I tested it on several drive-by download sites and its multiple real time monitors provided reasonable (though by no means watertight) defense. It appears to be a little vulnerable to polymorphic malware in particular and for this reason I suggest it should be used in combination with regular on-demand scans from the free AVG Anti-Spyware. My other reservation about Windows Defender is that it consumes quite a lot of your processing power. If you have a modern PC this should not be a problem but older machines will definitely suffer a performance hit.

Note that you need a legal version of Windows to run this program. I've been told cracked versions of Defender that will run on any PC are currently circulating on the P2P networks but I'd approach those with caution. The idea of a cracked security program strikes me as an oxymoron.

My second choice is Spyware Terminator. Unlike Windows Defender it works with all versions of Windows so it's the stand-out choice for Windows users. It's no slouch either. Like Windows Defender it has strong active protection. Indeed with its built in HIPS system that warns you of any unrecognized intruders, it has stronger protection against unknown threats than the Microsoft product. This was confirmed on some tests I ran on drive-by download sites where Spyware Terminator proved to be impregnable.

Spyware Terminator has it's own spyware detection engine but gives you the option of using a second engine based on the Open Source ClamWin anti-virus program. ClamAV is not the most effective AV scanner on the market but it's certainly competent and the additional protection can only be a plus.

On the downside Spyware Terminator is slow to scan and can slow down your PC a tad though not as much as Windows Defender. I've also heard reports that support via the free forum is poor.

Choosing between Windows Defender and Spyware Terminator is not easy. As of today I thing Spyware Terminator has the edge but it's difficult to see how free product like this can remain viable, particularly in a high support product class such as anti-spyware.

 

[1] http://www.microsoft.com/security/portal/mmpc/products/default.aspx
[2] http://www.spywareterminator.com

 

Comments   

 
0 #1 Joanna 2016-02-10 01:31
Thanks for finally talking about >Free Adware/Spyware/ Scumware Remover
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