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Best 8 Antispyware software - November 2019

Spyware is gravely perilous, as it might steal your passwords, record you, collect browsing habits, etc. Anti-spyware software is usually an antivirus program, general or threat-specific. We’ve collected top spyware protection tools from simple Google search and studied their features, performance, issues. These programs include typical antivirus (SpyHunter), Internet security suites (SpyBot), specific anti-spyware tools (Spyware Terminator, SUPERAntispyware, Spyware Fighter).

List of top 8 Antispyware software - November 2019

SUPERAntiSpyware
Free
$ 29.95Pro

Available on

Key Features

  • 60-days trial
  • Registry repair
  • System repairs

In its free version there’s no real-time protection (one has to run scans manually) and no automatic definition updates. However, if you need a tool to remove the spyware that has already infiltrated your PC, SUPERAntiSpyware is great. It scans fast and with full user control of what to scan. But what is really outstanding, is the option to detect files that have been amended within last 1/5/10 days etc. Then the option to utilize more CPU to scan faster, to ignore files exceeding 4 MB, to skip files that aren’t .exe. For more details on this, go to Supera web page. In relation to spyware/malware detection, if a suspicious or harmful app/process is identified, it will also be shut down before moved to quarantine, which is definitely a “thumbs up” setting. More handy little tools are scan scheduler, automatic updates, system investigator, cookie scanning, uninstall unwanted programs, game mode. Trial is eligible for 14 days.

Pros:

  • Affordable license
  • Low resources use
  • “Recently modified” feature

Cons:

  • Poor test results
  • No cloud scan component
  • No self-protection
SPYWAREfighter
$ 19.991 Year
$ 33.992 Years
$ 44.993 Years

Available on

Key Features

  • Real-time protection
  • Quarantine
  • Game mode

If you deal with specific threats such as trojans, hijacking dialers, keylogger spyware etc., another anti-spyware software in the list is this SpywareFighter. It is good for Windows systems, has the ‘automatic clean’ feature that removes traces of bad files, startup entries. It also monitors a device in real-time, basically to protect from malware infection. Three scanning modes are available: quick, full, custom, complemented by the quarantine, which is typical. Settings allow a lot to tweak and select, e.g. game mode, pre-quarantine remediation, white list for exclusions, scanning by file type, 20 languages, proxy settings, logs, scheduler, etc.

Pros:

  • Small size
  • Additional components
  • Easy in use for beginners

Cons:

  • Frequent popup ads
  • Only trial, no free version
  • No self-protection mechanism

Spy Emergency scans the system, monitors online activities and browser surfing, detects rootkits, provides anti-spam for inbox, creates a restore point before removing spying software, disinfect files, and more. Active protection (real-time) can be adjusted to work with memory, cookies, web traffic, browser add-ons, websites, home pages, etc. Scanning settings are rich as well: heuristic search, default action towards threats, universal extractor, immunization, rootkit search, host scanning, pause/stop, browser protection, restore home page, ADS (alternate data streams) analysis, exclusions, anti-spam, automatic updates of virus signatures, quarantine, file removal.

Pros:

  • Scan scheduler
  • Clean interface
  • Lots of settings

Cons:

  • No access to trial despite official info
  • Skipped scan notifications every 10 min
SpywareBlaster
Free

Available on

Key Features

  • Browser protection
  • System snapshot
  • Custom blocking

Basic antispyware functionality, unhampered light-colored interface and zero cost definitely prompt to consider SpywareBlaster. With it, users may tweak Mozilla, Chrome and Internet Explorer browsers with options like host file control (and it’s backup copy), snapshot, homepage protection, downloads monitoring, blocking Macromedia Flash. One big disadvantage compared to other similar software is no scanning ability. However, active protection against spying attempts and other digital threats is decent.

Pros:

  • Free software
  • Easy to work with
  • Main browsers covered

Cons:

  • Limited features
  • No auto-updates in free version
  • Too simplistic
Spybot - Search & Destroy
Free
$ 15.99Home
$ 27.99Professional
$ 39.00Corporate

Available on

Key Features

  • Browser immunization
  • Flash drive scan
  • Quarantine

Spybot is mainly for advanced users, as it offers a full control over settings and protection parameters. Besides typical remove spyware and scan particular files options, there are plenty of outstanding features. ‘Apply immunization’, for instance, blocks threats in browsers, or disable tracking cookies, scan files of any user on a computer. Browser scanning is another one, performing analysis of tabs, bookmarks, cookies, cache and history, to help identify vulnerabilities. In terms of system integration, Spybot is added to program list, accessible by mouse right-click for example. Tests conducted with EICAR, AMTSO and keygen files show above-average results, though not ideal. The main drawback is no automatic updates in free version.

Pros:

  • Big database of spyware signatures
  • Registry threat scanner
  • System threat search

Cons:

  • Feeble file scanner
  • Antivirus module is blocked
  • Defenseless beyond its database
trog
""Slow but effective"”
Max Secure Spyware Detector
$ 29.991 Year

Available on

Key Features

  • Different scan modes
  • Browser protection
  • Backups

Whether you have to scan computer, create a restore point, manage autorun, keep track and control running apps/processes, delete files and protect folders from intrusions and infections, Max Secure Spyware Detector can be your choice. Sign up to receive access to trial period if not sure about the purchase right away. Interface is convenient, with 3 main tabs - scan, backup, updates. This utility is aimed at spyware of all sorts, forms and shapes and provides lots of extra features to protect personal data. In terms of performance, close to 90% rate of detections in real-time indicates good results. Quick, standard and custom scanning, plus scheduler. Instruments such as whitelist / blacklist, anti-ransomware module, password manager, registry backup and restoration, etc.

Pros:

  • Extensive functionality
  • High rate of spyware detection
  • Useful extra features

Cons:

  • Short trial period
  • Account registration required
  • Some languages aren’t properly translated
SpyHunter
$ 7.001 Month

Available on

Key Features

  • PUA blocking
  • Autorun scan
  • Scheduler

A program by EnigmaSoft from Ireland, who also delivers Total PC Utility, RegHunter, System Medic, etc., and conducts the ongoing research into new types of malware. SpyHunter 5 is essentially an anti-malware tool, with emphasis on constant updates to be able to cope with new threats. It can detect ransomware, worms, viruses, rootkits, adware, potentially unwanted programs, and other spying software. On the other hand, we can neither praise nor criticize its performance, as we got 39% success rate with it in our test. HOSTS is one curious feature, enabling active file protection and guards specific file(s) against changes from outside. For older and less powerful computers, SpyHunter has a “single-process” option to turn on and decrease the load on system. One disadvantage of this anti-spyware app is inability to scan separate folders, only the whole hard drive.

Pros:

  • Fast real-time antivirus
  • Privacy scanner
  • Detailed explanation of threats

Cons:

  • No threat neutralization in trial
  • Does not integrate into Windows
  • Expensive license price
luca009 // l9
"It suggests the worst detection.”
SpyShelter Anti-Keylogger
Free

Available on

Key Features

  • Screen protection
  • Keystrokes encrypting
  • Clipboard defender

In addition to SpyShelter Firewall product, which combines SpyShelter Premium and a firewall module capabilities into single powerful system control (2-way firewall, access control) tool, we have SpyShelter Anti-Keylogger. it is solely aimed at keeping data a user types in on a keyboard safe against stealing attempts. Protection is implemented in several ways: shielding data in clipboard as copy/paste operations, blocking exteranl screen capture efforts / screen loggers, encrypting keystrokes in real time - so that even if spyware is in the system, it will get coded random text.

Pros:

  • Keystroke encryption driver
  • 14-day trial
  • 2-way firewall

Cons:

  • For Windows OS only
  • Language pack updates go separately

More about Anti-Spyware software

What is anti-spyware

It’s a special type of software that detects, prevents and removes spyware programs. Spyware is a new-era malicious files and scripts that penetrate computers and networks without user’s knowledge or permission. The goal of such malware is to “spy” - to collect personal or business information, thus the name “spyware”. According to Wikipedia, there are 4 main groups of spyware: adware, system monitors, tracking cookies, trojans, and the most spread examples include keyloggers, rootkits, web beacons.

With the rise of such spyware, new methods and tools have appeared to prevent it, e.g. anti-spyware. This type of software by commercial tech companies as well as big antivirus vendors utilizes rule/definition methods to detect spyware. It can be used to remove spyware or, like an antivirus, to stop spyware on its way into the system. Modern security suites are adding anti-spyware features, as a rule.

Antispyware apps inspect data from email messages, websites, downloaded files, Windows registry, system files, etc. and then deletes files if they match known spyware. Real-time protection is identical to antivirus - file scanning, blocking spyware, stopping attempts to install external unwanted items. Developers of anti-spyware tools are devising new updates regularly to be able to counteract new and evolving digital threats.


Best anti-spyware tools

There are literally hundreds of security suites, anti-malware and anti-spyware programs. Which one is best depends on a number of factors, starting with user’s goals, features he is seeking, infrastructure, and budget, of course. One can also narrow down the search (to get results close to expectations) by googling phrases like “anti-spyware for Android”, “anti spyware for iPhone”, “antispyware for Mac”, “best free anti-spyware”, and so on. 

Big antivirus companies, like Avast or McAfee, are also in the mix, as they are also adding antispyware tools to their packages. But if we take the big-three of Avast, AVG and Avira as search terms over the past 3 years, we see that they are losing their share, probably because of newly emerging niche security software.

antivirus vs anti-spyware

Generally speaking, such spyware removal tools like Spybot ‘Search & Destroy’, Emsisoft Emergency Kit, Malwarebytes, Adaware, SUPERAntiSpyware, Comodo, SpywareBlaster, proved to be reliable over time and gained positive user and expert reviews. In the current Antispyware software category you can see over a hundred of products, so there’s plenty of choice for any needs. Overall, a good anti spyware app should be able to seamlessly clean a computer from spying worms and trojans, apply various methods of sophisticated malware detection, be able to monitor networks/processes/services/browsers, protect web cameras and microphones, have a quarantine and removal options.

Performance comparison

Product Scanning Time
(32GB)
EICAR
Files (2)
EICAR
Archives (2)
AMTSO
Files (3)
AMTSO
Archives (11)
SUPERAntiSpyware 00:09:47 1 0 2 1
Spyware Fighter 00:39:55 2 2 1 11
Spy Emergency 00:20:32 2 1 2 9
SpywareBlaster 00:31:03 1 2 3 11
Spybot Search & Destroy 00:17:44 2 0 1 0
Max Secure Spyware Detector 00:22:10 1 0 0 0
SpuHunter 00:25:58 2 1 1 3
SpyShelter Anti-Keylogger 00:19:44 2 2 3 5

Types / Features 

An anti-spyware program should be able to detect and stop all kinds of spying applications: from domestic spyware used by employers or parents, legal commercial third-party spyware that tracks user’s online activities as a customer, to illegal malware collecting private data, recording user’s actions, installing viruses, scripts and so on.

Having analyzed dozens of these security tools, we’ve summarized the following common features: 

  • Active + passive protection
  • Cloud security
  • Quarantine
  • Camera protection
  • Microphone protection
  • Network monitoring
  • Memory monitoring
  • Processes monitoring
  • Services monitoring
  • Browser privacy check / browser files cleaner
  • Privacy registry keys cleaner
  • Ad blocker, app blocker
  • Anti fingerprint tool

Trends

Anti-spyware tools are gaining more and more traction because of market demand. New kinds of malware, adware and spyware are emerging constantly, and the number of cyber attacks is rising, even posing a risk to state and international institutions, communications, infrastructure, military operations etc. There are many sorts of such malicious things, e.g. URL loggers, screen recorders, web camera recorders, chat loggers, email interceptors, keyloggers, password recorders, browser hijacking, modem hijacking, trojans. 


FAQ 

What is anti spyware?

A type of security software aimed at detecting, preventing and removing malicious files/programs/viruses that are “spying” on a user by collecting/stealing data or recording user’s actions. It is similar to antiviruses and anti-malware, acting like a shield against cyber attackers. Few most popular antispyware tools are SpyBot, Spyware Blaster, Adaware, Spyware Fighter.  

What does anti spyware do?

Anti-spyware detects spyware on devices, alerts a user about it and asks whether to quarantine it or remove it. Such programs work in 2 ways: preventing in real-time (like antivirus) and scanning/removing spyware that’s already in the system. Antispyware tools usually are used to perform hard drive scans, registry scans, memory scans, and monitoring URLs. 

What is the best anti spyware software?

Malwarebytes is quite popular among casual and expert users. There are SpyHunter, SpywareBlaster, SpyBot, Emsisoft, Comodo, SpywareFighter, Spyware Terminator. Internet security suites by Avast, AVG, Kaspersky, Eset, Norton, eScan, McAfee, Dr.Web, ESET cannot be ruled out too. 

What is the best anti spyware for Android?

A typical modern security tool, antivirus, anti-malware or anti-spyware programs provide mobile versions as well. Check the above-mentioned tools. Popular antiviruses can also be installed as Android apps, e.g. Dr.Web Security Space, AVG 2019, ESET Mobile Security, Lookout, Sophos, Norton, TrustGo, Webroot, AntiSpy Mobile, Privacy Scanner, etc. 

Why is anti-spyware important?

If you don’t like to be spied on, or even worse, extorted, anti-spyware is important. It will alert about the harmful files that try to get secretly installed and collect information - personal data, browsing habits, etc. Obviously, anti-spyware is highly recommended in our age.

How to install/uninstall anti spyware?

The usual routine as with any other software: download a file, double-click it, follow the steps in the installation wizard. It should not take more than 5 minutes. To uninstall, go to control panel - programs tab - find your software - click Uninstall - wait and then reboot the PC. 


About review process 

We review top software products of given category, usually 10 to 15, and post it on our ThinkMobiles blog. We take reviews seriously, so it takes a while, however we’ll try to cover as many categories as possible. We want to bring value to readers of our reviews, so instead of few sentences and pictures, we install and run each program for few days, study every feature, test the performance, explore all possibilities and limitations, make screenshots, record all the data. 

Afterwards, we summarize the data, parameters, pricing, etc. in a comparison table, compile our experiences with each product into descriptions, pros and cons, add download/trial links. As a rule, we devote a separate chapter to performance tests measuring times it takes for software to execute various tasks. Finally, our reviews are independent and unbiased, we apply the same due process and testing for the advertised products. 

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