Today I've decided to review some of the best free anti-spyware software available on the net. How do you know that you have spyware on your computer? Well, you might notice symptoms like unwanted advertising pop ups, modified search results, connection going out, auto-redirection of a specific web page and more.
Here is what the author of one of the best free anti-spyware (Spybot) says:
"Spyware is a relatively new kind of threat that common anti-virus applications do not yet cover. If you see new toolbars in your Internet Explorer that you didn't intentionally install, if your browser crashes, or if you browser start page has changed without your knowing, you most probably have spyware. But even if you don't see anything, you may be infected, because more and more spyware is emerging that is silently tracking your surfing behaviour to create a marketing profile of you that will be sold to advertisement companies."
Additional information he provides is:
"In easy terms, spyware is software that transmits personally identifiable information from your computer to some place in the Internet without your special knowledge.
Spyware is typically not the product you install itself, but small add-ons, that you may or may not disable during install. In most cases, the EULA somewhere has a few lines telling you about privacy matters, but typically most users don't read the complete EULA and never know they got spyware on their system.
A less threatening sort is adware. Adware is similar to spyware, but does not transmit personally identifiable information, or at least the collector promises not to sell it. Instead, aggregated usage information is collected.
Adware is also often a side effect of spyware, as both monitor you for a sole purpose of delivering you advertisement that is especially tailored to your habits.
Another kind that is detected under the spyware category are tracking cookies. Cookies are used all over the Internet in useful and less useful places. Advertisement companies often set cookies whenever your browser loads a banner from them. In that case and if that cookie contains a GUID, the company gets notice about every site you visit that contains their ads."
So now is time to actually see those anti-spywares...
Spybot Search and Destroy - Anti-Spyware
I'm reviewing this product first because I think it is one of the best free anti-spyware out there. I use it personally and it never gave me a problem. It is one of the best and moreover its free. I really recommend this to you. It removes things like spyware, adware, trojans, hijackers, dialers, malware, keyloggers and more dangerous stuffs. However, one lacking thing in Spybot is the real-time protection feature. Perhaps it will be implemented in the future. Included in the Spybot distribution is another fine piece of software called TeaTimer. This software protects your system from being modified without authorization, but if you do not want it, you can choose not to install it. Runs on Symbian, Linux (with the Wine Compatibility Layer), Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, Mobile.
Google Spyware Doctor
Many of you may not know this but Google has a free cut-down version of Spyware Doctor packaged in its Google Pack, which itself contains a collection of great applications to use for yourself. This version of Spyware Doctor provides you with basic real-time protection (known as the IntelliGuard feature) against malware. You also get community and email support for this product. This software runs on Windows XP and Vista. It has multi-lingual capabilities.
a2 Free - Anti-Spyware
If you're looking for a description for this software: It is the most normal anti-spyware you will get. Destroys all the malwares on your computer. It removes spyware, adware and other types of malware. It also has an in-built quarantining feature, and malware definitions are updated daily. It provides real-time protection for your computer, which is required to stay clean from malware. Works under Windows.
Abtrusion Protector Personal Edition - Anti-Spyware
Ad-aware Free Edition - Anti-Spyware
Basic anti-spyware solution. It removes spyware, adware and other types of malware. Works under Windows 9x and Windows 2000, XP, 2003 and Vista. Same regular spyware solution. Has got a good supporting community.
AVG Anti-Spyware (Free Version)
Earlier known as Ewido Anti-Spyware, which was from the company Ewido Networks, AVG bought the software to release it. AVG has released the free version, for private and non-commercial use. Now this software is integrated and considered as part of the AVG family. This is a WindowsÂ® 2000 and XP product. This software does not run in background. You need to do manual scans.
and.doxdesk - Anti-Spyware
If you do not want to download any of the above software, you might as well use this online tools to find spywares, just like those online antivirus services.
Browser Hijack Retaliator
A protection for Internet Explorer against dangerous scripts and ActiveX. If you use Internet Explorer, then this is a must for you, as Internet Explorer is really vulnerable as a browser due to its tight integration with Windows.
Comodo BOClean - Anti-Spyware
This is also a Windows® 2000 and XP product. It is memory-resident and prevents spyware from launching themselves. It also removes adware and other types of malware. Seems a good software.
CoolWebShredder - Anti-Spyware
Removes Spywares. Works in tandem with the below thing (HiJackThis!).
HiJackThis! - Anti-Spyware
Damage Cleanup Engine - Anti-Spyware
Microsoft Windows Defender - Anti-Spyware
This software, prevously known as GIANT AntiSpyware, was acquired by Microsoft and rebranded Windows AntiSpyware beta. Later it was rebranded again as Windows Defender and released as a free download for Windows XP and 2003. You can use this software only if you have a legal copy of Microsoft Windows® XP (They will perform a check). Do not bother to look here if you have WindowsÂ® Vista - it's already integrated in there.
Spyware Detector - Anti-Spyware
This software allows you to perform scans for free but you need to pay to remove the problems. However, once you know about the sypware type, you could use HiJackThis! to remove them.
Spyware Terminator - Anti-Spyware
Good one. Does all the required tasks with quarantine and all + automatically updates itself. It has the Clamwin antivirus integrated with it to improve security levels. Not limiting itself to providing free software, you also get free support for this product! It works on Windows.
SpywareBlaster - Anti-Spyware
Protects your computer and web browsers, which may be Firefox or Internet Explorer. Destroys ActiveX (only the bad ones). It also prevents you from viewing bad website. The latter feature is only availble in Internet Explorer.
SuperAntispyware - Anti-Spyware
Free one for home. Windows based. Removes all spyware and malware. You can select whcih drive, folders or files you want to scan. You might want to check out its commercial version which has great featues. This product works on Windows.
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware - Free Edition
This another good anti-spyware with features like: quarantining, ignore list for you to exclude files, integration with Windows Explorer. It is also available in command-line version for you to use. It lacks realt-time protection (only the free version) and scheduled scanning. However, it supports several languages but only works on Windows 2000, XP and Vista.