Top 10 Spyware Blockers
A good spyware blocker program protects you from online marketers who want to know where you go online; identity thieves who want to steal your usernames, passwords, and sensitive personal information; and hackers who want to seize control of your computer and Internet connection to distribute spam and more spyware. Which spyware blocker is best for you?
Which Spyware Blocker is Best?
That's a hard question to answer, because it's somewhat subjective. None of them will defend against ALL known threats, because the bad guys are always creating new spyware threats, and variants of existing ones. But it's still a good idea to have spyware protection. Here are ten of the best spyware blockers available today...
- MalwareBytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) is one of the most popular and effective anti-malware applications available. It is capable of detecting and removing both viruses and spyware, and many people report it finds problems that other tools missed. The free version of MBAM is highly recommended. The full version ($24.95) adds realtime protection and scheduled scanning features.
- SpySweeper by Webroot is an award-winning comprehensive anti-spyware program. Its real-time Internet traffic monitoring detects and blocks the downloading of Trojan malware before it can install itself on your computer. Its large, frequently updated database of malware and spyware sites blocks warns you when it's not safe to click a URL. It includes rootkit detection and blocking features. Supports Windows 7 and can be run in "game mode" so alerts do not interrupt online gaming. Spysweeper is free to try and costs $19.95 to register.
- Counterspy detects and removes adware and spyware already installed on your computer. Unlike many other "scare programs", Counterspy's 15-day trial version doesn't just tell you it's found spyware and force you to pay to remove it. Its boot-time scan eradicates rootkits that may go undetected by other spyware programs. Compatible with Windows XP and Vista, may need tweaking to run on Windows 7. Annual subscription to spyware database updates $19.95.
- STOPzilla, like SpySweeper, provides real-time protection against spyware and adware downloads. It also includes four configurable types of spyware and malware scanning. Advance pop-up blocker eliminates pop-up ads that may slip by built-in browser blockers. Blocks phishing and other known malicious Web sites. Free to try, and only $9.95 per annual database subscription.
- Spyware Doctor includes antivirus detection and removal as well as spyware blocker and anti-phishing features. Analyzes behavior of programs as well as relying on a database of known malware program signatures. $39.95 to register for one year of updates.
- SUPERAntiSpyware is an under-promoted product that does a superb job for over 30 million users worldwide. Its free edition detects and removes spyware, adware, Trojans, worms, keyloggers, and many other types of malware. The Pro edition costs $19.95 and includes a year of updates.
- Ad-Aware Pro is much more than an anti-adware program. It also blocks Trojans, keyloggers, rootkits, and many other forms of malware before it can be downloaded. It can scan for and eliminate malware already on your computer too. The free version is for non-commercial users; businesses pay $29.95 for yearly updates.
- SpyHunter by Enigma Software is a real-time malware protection program that relies on data collected from its installations worldwide to update its database constantly. It includes a unique "custom helpdesk" function that analyzes and fixes problems that may be peculiar to your system. $39.99 to register for one year.
- Advanced System Care Free includes detection and blocking of spyware and adware among its many security and system performance functions. It also detects security vulnerabilities in system settings and can close them automatically. ASC also cleans your registry, deletes leftover junk files, defragments your hard drive, and more.
- Spyware Blaster is a Java-based spyware blocker that runs on any Windows platform. It blocks ActiveX based spyware as well as other forms of malware. It's free for personal and educational use.
I know, I didn't mention Windows Defender, an anti-spyware tool I've often recommended. That's because Defender is now included in Vista and Windows 7. And if you have the free Microsoft Security Esssentials, it's rolled into that product as well. But if you're still running Windows XP, and you don't have any spyware blocker installed, Windows Defender is a good choice.
My advice is to pick ONE anti-spyware tool. If you feel a need to have more than one, just make sure they are on-demand scanners, as opposed to real-time (always on) protection. Sometimes multiple security tools operating in real-time mode can fight with each other, and do more harm than good.
Do you have a favorite spyware tool not mentioned here? Post your comment or question below...
Posted by Bob Rankin on 15 Nov 2010
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Top 10 Spyware Blockers (Posted: 15 Nov 2010)
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