Please be aware that this is a list of what we consider the best anti spyware tools for Windows users. It`s easy to say ``malware`` but it`s somehow wrong. Malware is a general term describing every program that is being created to destroy, steal data and modify your system. This article is concentrated on a few tools that are being created to protect, detect or remove spyware. When we call it ``spyware`` we are actually referring to anti spyware tools, especially to programs designed to detect and remove spyware such as: Trojans, Rootkits, Keyloggers, dialers, aggressive advertising, tracking cookies or any other application that may harm your computer.
We are not talking about antivirus solutions which are being designed to offer a different kind of protection. If this is what you`re looking for, you may want to check this article named ``Best Antivirus list for Windows``.
Please keep in mind that this is a complementary list to what you might use against malware such as a good antivirus protection. No it isn`t a comprehensive list since the purpose was NOT to list here all the anti-spyware products but only those that we think they deserve to be listed here. You should not rely only on spyware removal tools when you`re connecting to the Internet or interacting with files as they should be used in addition to other security programs such as a complete antivirus solution. An antivirus must be in the first line of protection. After this the anti-spyware software should scan for other potential threats. If some spyware are designed to trick some antivirus solutions, they will usually fail to fool a good, dedicated anti spyware application such as those found in this list.
Additional note: The following software were taken in consideration. However, they were not included: Ad-Aware, Trojan Guarder, SpywareBlaster, Spyware Doctor, Webroot Spy Sweeper, Ashampoo AntiSpyWare, WinPatrol and Spyware Terminator.
Our recommended list of anti-spyware programs includes the following software:
1. SpyBot Search and Destroy
Don`t be deceived by negative reviews found about this product. Most of them are given by so called ``experts``, spyware creators or competition. You have nothing to lose as it`s a completely free product. This is our anti spyware recommendation tool. Yes, it`s not that fast when compared with other products but it`s an amazing product, it has a high rate of detection and if you`re using the ``Immunize`` feature after you`re installing a fresh copy of your Windows, most likely you will be able to avoid a lot of threats. Infections will eventually occur if it`s going to happen and if it`s being detected with SpyBot Search and Destroy the one and only advice is a full reinstallation of your Windows. As I said, you will obtain the best results with SpyBot Search and Destroy if you will install it right from a fresh Windows install along with a good antivirus solution. Another good advice would be to keep it updated and right after perform a system scan just to be sure that everything is still clean on your computer. Remember that every Wednesday, the database servers are being updated with the latest signatures that includes new detected threats. Make sure to update SpyBot Search and Destroy every Wednesday or once a week and it will ``catch`` something every time, especially if you surf a lot on the Internet. The latest version is still beta at the time that this article was written but the 2.0 version should be released soon. I have made a picture with the latest version of Spybot, this is the new modern interface. Not to mention all the features that comes with it. Download SpyBot Search and Destroy
2. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
It is the newest and most successful software on the anti-spyware market. A lot of people appreciate the free version and most of them experienced good results. It detects spyware but I personally don`t like that each time when I run it and compare the results with SpyBot Search and Destroy it has a different opinion on spyware. I know, a lot of people said that some applications will have a high rate of false-positive reports but I don`t understand one thing and I can`t find the answer. If a piece of code is on my computer after I visited a website and I didn`t requested this file why should I keep it ? Should I read the terms of agreement for each website on the Internet where it says that they can track my ``behavior`` for 180 days ? Thanks but no thanks and Malwarebytes fails on the second place on this list for the following reasons: it doesn`t have a high false-positive detection rate, it seems to be more ``friendly`` with other crappy ``adware`` such as invasive tracking cookies. Although it does offer a free version it seems to me that it`s using different marketing strategies to convince it`s users to switch for the paid version which is a superior anti-spyware software. Although I criticized this software you may want to have the free version installed on your computer as it will not interact with other anti-spyware tools or antivirus. Download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
A powerful tool, extremely useful especially for advanced users. I used this utility when I wasn`t sure that my computer is still infected. Different malware forms can be hard to remove as they hide in your Windows registry in your startup and other places. The main advantage of using this application is that it allows you to detect and disable them. The bad thing is that it`s hard to work and understand this program especially if you`re a beginner. It can be used as a tool that will help you to analyze and confirm your suspicion regarding a possible infection with malware. Probably you`re wondering why it`s listed here. Well, it can be used by a beginner too especially in the following manner. When starting with a fresh Windows installation scan and analyze your computer. Save the log and after that repeat the same procedure each time you`re installing a new program. In order to make things even easier, when Windows is being installed, install first your favorite antivirus program, second install an anti-spyware tool ( your favorite ) then install other software that you`re using such as Office tools, chat programs and everything else right from the developer websites. Once you have everything installed, perform a scan and save the file. When you will suspect an infection, you can always compare the original file with the possible infection. If a new line shouldn`t exist in that scan you probably discovered the spyware so feel free to remove it. Hijack This looks complicated but is quite easy to use and harmless for your computer if you will apply such a method which is actually a way to track any modification on your system. It`s not bullet proof but it works in 99% of the cases. Download HijackThis