Ok, I have pro versions of all the software that i paid for and i enjoyed each in there own way...but here is a review of the spyware software that I have used..

Adaware SE Professional - For me running Win XP home it was buggy from jump street.. first i set the advance configuration options, and when i clicked to save it gave me a error and closed the program..so i left the defaults in place..

I then went to update the program which worked for the first 2 weeks, then somehow it started giving me a msg saying update failed, and i have yet to resolve this issue

As for spyware detection's..this program with its update system working has provided many detections and removed a shitload of spyware but overall i'd give this program a 4 out of 10 in my opinion of functionality and userablity..

Spybot Search And Destroy - This is a COMPLETLY free spyware utility that has no shareware or anythign of that nature attached to it..it will run forever...that's definetly a plus to me..

This program i have never had a problem with, i can update it flawlessly, and it detects quite a few spyware objects for me..

The complaint i have with this program is that it doesn't catch nearly as many spyware items out there as other software in the anti-spyware category, such as MS anti spyware and counter spy which i will go into next..

Overall not a bad program, but needs its definition's to be updated to included quite a few more.. I give this programa 6 of 10

Webroot Spy Sweeper - This program hasa nice interface, splash screen, and tons of user options..

Its definitions are one of the best, and will detect almost every spyware that you could possible infect yourself with..

Spy sweeper is a definete winner in my book, but i have some complaints as far as it goes..

First, it has built in advertisement's for it's other product's.. If i wanted to pay for a program to receive advertisement's i would have went with AOL and been bombarded with the spyware they love to send user's...get rid of it it just degrades the greatness of the program..

Also they include a news bit in the program that which they admit that there program may remove spyware that is essential from some programs to work, Why not instead of posting in the news that this is happening update your definitions/program to ignore those files?

Overall i give this program a 7 of 10

Counterspy - This program....is absoluetly AWESOME..What more can i say, it's eye candy is also definetly a plus for anyone who loves eye candy..

This program has the most advance spyware definitions of any of the previously discussed programs, and allows users the option to contribute there scan results to the company to allow them to identify the spyware that shows as unidentified in your spyware scan..

To me thats a plus because I feel as if i'm contributing to the fight against spam.

Also the update feature is flawless and not only updates the definitions but the program itself, how cool is that?

The update feature can also be manage to automatically get your updates for you..which is a plus for us lazy people..

I can't really find anything wrong with this program at all, except navigatablity..its very easy for us who have been around comps for awhile, but at the same time for new comers to the computer age, it may be somewhat confusing..mabe a navigation bar at the top, with a update button on top as well instead of under the file menu..

Overall this program gets a 8 of 10 for me..

Microsoft Antispyware Beta 1 - this program is pretty much a clone of Counterspy as far as apperance, and detection of spyware/removal options ETC..

The plus you get from this as long as you are running a LEGAL windows OS and have your pid key for your os or can run the verification tool easily, is that you can get this program FOR FREE..

Where as with counterspy you have to pay for there product..

With the definitions there also allowing you to submit to a tracker service that is seperate fromt ehc ounterspy tracking service that helps identify new/unidentifed spyware, and what spyware you have gotten on your pc as well...again completly coluntary as the counterspy program was..

The navigation issue is the same as counterspy, and new comers may have problems, but it can be figured out giving the time..

Overall this gets a 9 of 10 for me because of the navigation issue, and has a higher rank than counterspy because of the program being Free Of Charge.

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That's a pretty good review there; I'd just like to make a couple comments of my own.

Very few people have problems with Ad-Aware or Spybot, but from what I've seen, there are more issues with Spybot then Ad-Aware so hopefully you're assesment will not keep anyone from getting either of these as they are both very useful. I would give Ad-Aware a higher rating then Spybot primarily because they update their data base much more frequently.

I think I would give CounterSpy a 9 and Microsoft a 7. Microsoft and CounterSpy are both base on Giant's antispyware, that's why they look so similar.

You can see my comments on Microsoft's product here (post #8):

Okay, some comments if I may. In a professional capacity. I write IT for a living, and get commissioned to write software reviews from time to time.

* That's a pretty good attempt to write software review snippets in the way print and web editors like them. Brief comments, a score, the sort of thing busy people like to quickly scan. That form of presentation brings advertising revenue for publications.

* That form of review presentation is not particularly informative, as I'll explain further on. It asumes that products in a 'category' can be directly compared one to the other and must necessarily be mutually independant, whereas they can actually have 'niche' purposes and be complemantary.

* You've produced a lengthy piece, but with no formatting so it loses readability. There are also some spellling and grammatical errors. At the least, compose such pieces in a word processor, and make use of a spelling and grammar check. Also make use of formatting tools available.

Now onto the more specific comments.

Spyware detection tools report in different ways. Some report a particular infection as a single 'thing'. Some report the components of that particular infection as separate 'things'. You can't necessarily make direct value comparisons between them in accordance with the number of 'objects' they detect.

No single spyware detection tool detects every infection. All spyware detection tools detect particular infections that others don't. that's the nature of the field, and the most important thing in the use of Spyware detection and removal tools is to use a combination of tools rather than a single tool. Two or more such products is the 'go', not selecting the 'best' one! In addition, a choice of two products based on your 'ratings' would be unwise. As mentioned, Microsoft's tool and Counterspy are based on the same 'engine'. It would be silly to run both. It would be better to use one of those in combination with one or more of the other tools mentioned.

You've mentioned in one of your comments that a particular program gave you problems from the outset. Did you try using it on a freshly installed system, to verify that it was the program at fault and not system corruption on your machine? As mentioned, Adaware SE is an extremely widely used program, and I have to say that your report is the first such one I've seen in relation to it.

The most fundamental problem, however, lies in the comments you've made in relation to Spy Sweeper, when you refer to the warning provided about programs not working after spyware infections have been removed. All such tools carry that warning, you've simply come across one which makes it in a different way. Some infections are carried by software. Spyware is installed with the program, and checking routines are included to ensure that the spyware is loaded. This is typical of 'freebie' programs in particular. If the detection definition files were modified to ignore such things, it would make the tool useless! The answer is not for the detection to be modified, it's for the user to discontinue using the software that carried the infection!

The 'expert advisors' in the team I work with generally advise the use of the following:

AdAware SE and Spybot Search & Destroy.

Both of these are our basic recommendation. They are free, and in combination will remove most infections, and work even on the systems of those who don't actually have 'legit' systems.

Microsoft's spyware removal tool

Again free, and when used in combination with one or both of the above gives the best protection currently available at no cost.


An extremely efficient tool, and a good choice for those who are happy to pay the purchase price.

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