Top 10 Spyware Blockers

Category: Spyware

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...

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

  3. Top Spyware Blockers

  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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...

 
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Most recent comments on "Top 10 Spyware Blockers"

Posted by:

Mary
16 Nov 2010

Bob, I may seem to be a luddite, but I refuse to register for FB. I would like to recommend this article, but not through FB.
And why are so many news sites using FB for rec's?
Is there some payback there?


Posted by:

Ken
16 Nov 2010

Bob, can you post an addendum "Top 10 Spyware Blockers for Macintosh", as the ones in this article only work with Windows operating systems?

Those dumb TV ads promoting Macs vs. PCs as "virus proof" are just challenging smart programmers to invade our OS!


Posted by:

TheRube
16 Nov 2010

Hello Mr. Rankin: Please give a recommendation or two of the best anti-spyware apps for those of us who own Solid State Drive computers (64 bit Windows 7). Thank you as we highly appreciate your opinions!

EDITOR'S NOTE: I can't see why the type of hard drive would be a factor.


Posted by:

Jason
16 Nov 2010

Mary: I'm sure there's no payback involved. A lot of people use Facebook so it makes sense for sites to make it easy for people to recommend their site if they have a Facebook account. They're not compensated for this - they don't need to be. It's free promotion.


Posted by:

Nikos
16 Nov 2010

Bob, I have as spyware the "Spybot Search & Destroy". I believe it's a good program. Why you don't include it?


Posted by:

R. Woodward
16 Nov 2010

Mary,

The answer to your question is simple. Facebook has over 500 million subscribers. The payback is a massive potential audience for a business to promote their product or service. And yes, your recommendation of Bob's article constitutes an advertisement. The most valuable kind of advertisement in fact. Word of mouth from a satisfied customer.


Posted by:

John Lenihan
16 Nov 2010

Hey bob, ive tryed them all.
I like this one the best...
www.avira.com/en/avira-free-antivirus


Posted by:

Wendyl
16 Nov 2010

For you XP users I used AVG Virus scanner as well as Spybot Search & Destroy along with MBAM. Essentially, they all did their jobs very well, but slowed down my computer quite a bit. I now use only Microsoft Security Essentials and it does the job that all three of the above mentioned did . . . and my computer runs like a charm now.


Posted by:

John
16 Nov 2010

Bob, I too have used Spybot S&D for years with excellent results. Surprised it wasn't in your list. Ad-Aware also has been very good.
Please note that MS Security Essentials is now downloadable for Win XP too - I have installed it on friends' XP machines, my Win XP Pro machine and on my XP mode installation sitting within Win 7 Pro. I have stopped using commercial and other free alternatives now that this MS product has become available.


Posted by:

Zodiac
17 Nov 2010

Mary,

I don't blame you for not wanting to use FB. So what if it has millions of users, it's the flavour of the month, the same as other sites we have seen come and go in the past.
If I want RELIABLE info, the last place I'd go is FB. Quantity doesn't mean QUALITY! There's so much tripe you have to wade thru it's a waste of your time that can be put to much better use.
You can always recommend this article by emailing the direct link to your friends.

Spybot is also a very good anti-spyware program, despite it having been left off of the list; it has both real-time and on-demand scanning.
Threatfire is another very useful and good anti-spyware tool that was also left off of the list.
The list seems to be composed mostly of programs that require purchase, which is strange as there are so many GREAT anti-spyware programs that are free.


Posted by:

jwildhair
19 Nov 2010

I'm just a little confused. I'm running Win7Pro, so I have Windows Defender, automatically. So, should I (or not) be running my licensed version of MBAM? I mean, should I turn one of them off (& which one) or let them both run? I'd hate to think I spent $25 for MBAM if Defender does just as good a job.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Think of it as having two security guards independently patrolling your property. One might see something that the other misses. But there's a chance they might bump into each other in the dark and start fighting. And you'll never really be sure if you need them both. If they seem to playing nicely together, you could keep both. But personally, I'd turn off Defender if I owned the paid version of MBAM. See http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Turn-Windows-Defender-on-or-off


Posted by:

Mike
19 Nov 2010

Hi Bob,
I am looking for a reasonable Virus protection. I tried STOPzilla from your list randomly chosen. I had to immediately uninstall as it declared Host file entities as threat, sicc!!! I hope the creators of the other programs on your list are not as stupid. Additionally, STOPzilla pretends to be free, which is false. Maybe very naive people can be tricked in, and they are using the big numbers low, they can find enough suckers this tricky way of operation.

Now I will try MBAM. I would not mind pay for it a fair price if it is a one time cost. I think Mc'afee is far more expensive in $40-$45 per year.

Appriciating your efforts,
Mike


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