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What is Spyware?
Spyware is software that installs on your PC and collects personal information without your knowledge. Spyware programs can collect details about your browsing habits, the web pages that you visit and what you do while visiting those websites. But it doesn’t stop there. Spyware can also alter your computer’s settings, redirect you to unexpected websites, change your homepage, install other software on your computer without your knowledge and make your computer perform more slowly.
Because there is so much on today’s market, choosing an antispyware program can be a daunting task. To help you decide which program you should use to protect your computer from outside threats, here are some of the best antispyware programs available and how they compare.
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STOPzilla is an exceptional antispyware program that is easy to install, doesn’t interfere with other security applications and doesn’t slow down your system’s performance. STOPzilla may not be a hugely popular household name, but that shouldn’t deter you from choosing this program for your spyware solutions. Bright Hub reviewer, Steve Mallard, says “STOPzilla is loaded full of dozens of features that help to protect your computer from spyware and malware.” He then goes on to say, “When I tested it against it against various spyware, it detected everything putting it right up there with the very best spyware blockers.”
STOPzilla is attractively priced at $9.95 for a one-year subscription, or $39.95 for a lifetime subscription.
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Ad-Aware Pro Anniversary Edition
Ad-Aware Pro is easy to install, offering the user two install options: SmartSet and Custom. The former is your typical, automatic install, while the latter allows the user to customize the installation process by selecting where on the computer the program should be installed, option to add or remove a shortcut, etc. Unlike STOPzilla and other antispyware programs, a reboot is required before Ad-Aware Pro will begin its magic.
Like STOPzilla, when Ad-Aware Pro was running, it did not slow down system performance. A feature called Ad-Watch Live will scan your system in real-time to watch for malicious activity. Ad-Aware Pro is completely customizable, allowing the user to select what to scan, when to scan and how to scan. Additionally, you have the option to change the appearance (color and theme) of the program.
Compared to STOPzilla, Ad-Aware Pro Anniversary Edition is a little on the steep side: $39.95 for a one-year subscription. However, this program does offer a lot of extra features.
Canadian buyers beware! Despite the fluctuating value of our dollar, you will get a slap in the face on the price of Ad-Aware Pro Anniversary Edition. Although the company advertises the price as $39.95, proceeding to check-out, you’re presented with a whopping price of $62.93. If only my US pay cheques had such a conversion rate!
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Like the other antispyware programs mentioned in this comparison, Bright Hub reviewer, Tim Cormany had no issues installing SUPERAntispyware Professional. However, unlike the other reviewed antispyware programs, the scanning time was quite lengthy. Though SUPERAntispyware Professional didn’t seem to be a resource suckers, Cormany reported that it took over an hour to perform a “quick scan”. If a user finds they need to boot in safe mode, they do have the option to run a scan from there.
SUPERAntispyware Professional costs $29.95 plus an additional $9.95 for a lifetime subscription. This is on par with STOPzilla, but as far as features and performance goes, STOPzilla is probably a better choice.
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Webroot Antivirus with Antispyware
Quoting my own review of the best antivirus programs, Webroot Antivirus with Antispyware offers “...complete protection against viruses, worms, spyware, keyloggers and so much more, Webroot AntiVirus with AntiSpyware has got you covered when it comes to computer threats. One of Bright Hub’s top rated antivirus programs, Webroot AntiVirus with AntiSpyware costs $29.95 for a one year subscription and, as an added bonus, 1 GB of online data storage.” Not only does this program rank top of its class for virus protection, it is also one of the best antispyware programs available.
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For an all-in-one package, Blink Professional offers multi-layered endpoint protection. Blink Professional offers protection against spyware, malware, network vulnerabilities, viruses and a host of other security threats.
The price is a little on the higher side at $59.00 for a one-year subscription. Like Webroot and Ad-Aware Pro, this program is more than just a spyware solution. However, Blink Professional is still a little more expensive than the competitors.
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So, Which is the Best Antispyware Program?
Deciding which antispyware program to go with is ultimately up to you and what your security needs are. If you’re looking for a reliable, cost-effective solution that doesn’t include a bunch of other security features you may not need, STOPzilla is a great option and is the cheapest of the bunch. If you want an all-in-one solution that includes a lot more than just spyware protection, Webroot Antivirus with Antispyware is great value for your money. It’s reliable, affordable and comes with the added bonus of online storage.
If you're looking for free spyware protection, check out this list of the best free antispyware software.