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Spybot Search & Destroy
Spybot - Search & Destroy (often Spybot-S&D) is a popular malware, spyware and adware removal program which works on Microsoft Windows 95 and later. Like most malware scanners, Spybot-S&D scans the computer hard disk and/or RAM for malicious software.
Spybot was written by the German software engineer Patrick Michael Kolla, and is distributed by Kolla's Irish company Safer Networking Limited. Development began in 2000 when Kolla, still a student, wrote a small program to deal with the Aureate/Radiate and Conducent TimeSink programs, two of the earliest examples of adware.
Spybot - Search & Destroy is currently released as freeware. However, the fine print of the license indicates a commercial distribution is maintained by Safer Networking Limited for any such use.
In the Spybot license, Kolla dedicates Spybot to "the most wonderful girl on earth." Many believe that she is Kolla's girlfriend, but the title actually goes to one of his closest friends, who does not return Kolla's love, as mentioned in the help file
Spybot used to be applauded for its ease of installation, free updates, and excellent features. Spybot also won numerous awards, including the World Class 2003 Awards, the PC Magazine Editors Choice and PC User Top Buy #1. Additionally, Spybot was recommended by ZDNet, the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, MSNBC, CNN and other reviewers. Recently, however, PC World rated Spybot at the bottom of its antispyware chart, giving it a "59 Poor" for detecting less than 2% of inactive spyware. CNet Reviews also rated Spybot 1.4 a 5.8 for weak performance.
Spybot Our Testing of Spybot & Review
We downloaded the software and found the download and install process to be rather easy. Of course the nicest part of the download is that it is a free download. However as most things that are free ... you get what you pay for. If you want a basicanti-spyware program then this is for you. When put head to head against other software such as Norton Symantec, McAfee and Spywarebot the difference is clear. These more advanced programs will add greater protection and remove more threats then Spybot will.
In summary, if you want free then Spybot is the clear choice. If you want security, protection and spyware removal then you may want to look elsewhere. We strongly recommend that you do some further research on your own and get yourself a product from a reputable company. Anti-spyware software is a small price to pay for to protect your computer and your personal information.
Spybot About SpybotSpybot - Search & Destroy detects and removes spyware, a relatively new kind of threat not yet covered by common anti-virus applications. Spyware silently tracks your surfing behavior to create a marketing profile for you that is transmitted without your knowledge to the compilers and sold to advertising companies. If you see new toolbars in your Internet Explorer that you haven't intentionally installed, if your browser crashes inexplicably, or if your home page has been "hijacked" (or changed without your knowledge), your computer is most probably infected with spyware. Even if you don't see the symptoms, your computer may be infected, because more and more spyware is emerging. Spybot-S&D is free, so there's no harm giving it a try to see if something has invaded your computer.
Spybot-S&D can also clean usage tracks, an interesting function if you share your computer with other users and don't want them to see what you have been working on. And for professional users, Spybot-S&D allows you to fix some registry inconsistencies and extended reports.
Spybot-S&D can start in two modes:
Easy mode for new users who want just the basic features
Advanced mode for professional users and those who want more control.
Removal of adware and spyware
Removal of dialers
Removal of keyloggers
Removal of trojans and other baddies
Removal of usage tracks
Yes Yes User-extendable database Yes Yes Save removal of threats by shredding them Yes Yes Backups of every removed problem Yes Yes Exclude option to ignore specific problems Yes (1) Yes Permanent blocking of threatening ActiveX downloads
Permanent blocking of known tracking cookies for IE
Permanent blocking of threating downloads in IE
Yes Yes Command line parameters to automate tasks Yes Yes Number of targets > 600 > 600 Number of detection files and entries > 10000 > 10000 Detailed information about problems found Yes Yes Strict criteria to define targets Yes Yes Integrated update function
Update notification by mail
Yes Yes Free email & forum support Yes Yes Settings to automate scan, removal and update No Yes System reports to locate even unknown threats No Yes Skins to adjust interface to the users liking No Yes (1) Can only be undone in advanced mode
(2) Planned for the near future