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Anti-Spyware Guide

This page has links to comparative reviews, recommended products, freeware, blockers, in-depth analysis tools, and resources to help you fight spyware including keystroke-loggers, malware, browser parasites, unsolicited commercial software, scumware, homepage hijackers, and dialers.
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Watch Out -- Do not buy or download any anti-spyware software without checking How to Tell If That Pop-up Window Is Offering You a Rogue Anti-Malware Product, Tom Kelchner, Sunbelt Software, June 2009.

Patches & Updates -- Anti-spyware software is only as effective as its most recent update because it is inherently reactive treating "known" threats. So when you install anti-spyware software, immediately go to the vendor's web site and update the program and definitions and turn on auto update.


Comparative Reviews

  • Anti-Spyware Reviews, Consumer Search, Feb 2011 -- PC Tools Spyware Doctor
  • Free vs. Fee: Free and Paid Antivirus Programs Compared, Nick Mediati, PC World Nov 29, 2010; Note: Most "antivirus" includes anti-spyware these days.
    • Top five free are Avast Free Antivirus, Avira AntiVir Personal, Microsoft Security Essential, Panda Cloud Antivirus, and Comodo Internet Security Premium
    • Top five paid are Norton Antivirus, BitDefender Antivirus Pro 2011, Avast Pro Antivirus 5, G-Data AntiVirus 2011, and Kaspersky Lab Internet Security 2011
  • Best Free Adware-Spyware-Scumware Remover, techsupportalert, updated 11/27/2010 -- SuperAntiSpyware, MalwareBytes Anti-Malware, Ad-Aware 2008, Emsisoft Anti Malware, Threatfire, TrendMicro HijackThis
  • Anti-Spyware Software 2011, TopTenReviews -- Spy Sweeper, CounterSpy, STOPzilla, Spyware Doctor, Ad-Aware Pro, Malwarebytes Anti Malware, SUPER Anti Spyware Professional, SpyHunter, ZeroSpyware, SpyZooka

Prices -- See our custom Anti-Spyware Software 2010 Price List powered by

Retail Anti-Spyware Software

PC Tools Spyware Doctor


  • Prevx 3.0, Neil Rubenking, PC Magazine, May 11, 2009 -- editor's choice for antispyware

Sunbelt Software

Webroot Spy Sweeper

Free Anti-Spyware Software

avast! antivirus Home Edition, anti-spyware & anti-rootkit for Windows, free for home use

  • Free Antivirus 5 Review, Nick Mediati, PC World, November 29, 2010
  • avast! Free Antivirus 5.0, Neil J. Rubenking, PC Mag, 1-21-10
  • avast! antivirus 4.8 Home Edition, Neil Rubenking, PC Magazine, April 10, 2008 -- "Avast! has long been a popular free antivirus. The independent labs give it good marks, though not as good as the very best. Now it also removes spyware—not as well as Spyware Doctor or WAV, but better than most. And it's a seriously tough protector against attacks on a clean system. I'm really pleased to find a free antispyware product that I can recommend."

 Ad-aware, Lavasoft includes antivirus

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Microsoft Security Essentials (anti-virus and anti-spyware)

Panda Cloud Antivirus includes anti-spyware

Block Installation of Spyware

Once you scan your computer with anti-spyware and know that it is clean (if not, try another product or skip to "What is that" below), you can move on to blocking new spyware installations.

SpywareBlaster, Javacool, freeware

Using a Browser Hosts File

What is that?

Tools to identify and/or remove tough stuff or if your anti-spyware software shows you a list of the "processes" running on your computer and you would like to know what they are:

Resource Sites