[Home] [Cyberwalker.com] [About Andy]
[Podcast: Cyberwalker Mondays] [Lab Rats - video podcast]
[AntiSpyware Test Results]

Anti-spyware derbies

One of the older spyware tests I did at Call for Help (with the help of Mike Laz) is now airing in the US, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to post all the Excel spreadsheet results that we generated over the last year in our anti-spyware tests. They are linked individually below and are all available as a ZIP file at the bottom of this post.

The test machine was Windows XP with no service packs installed. It was initially infected with 17 detectable spyware infections seeded from files downloaded from Kazaa, but over the course of five months it further infected itself (some spyware downloaded other spyware) resulting in 40 infections.

1. Norton Anti-Spyware — Here’s the test where we compared Norton Anti-Spyware (which is part of the Norton Internet Secuirty suite) to the the three free anti-spyware programs Leo and I recommend. [Download results]…as you can see Norton fared horribly against the freebies.

2. Anti-virus – In this test we used four anti-virus programs including McAfee, Norton, AVG and AntiVir to see if they would find spyware. As you can see, the results were rather disappointing proving that an anti-virus program will not protect you from spyware. [Download results]

3. Paid vs. free antispyware programs — In this test we ran nine anti-spyware programs (using the deep scan feature if available) on our test machine to determine which detected the most spyware infections. This included three freebie products (Microsoft AntiSpyware, Spybot and Ad-Aware), the two big names McAfee and Norton and several other paid anti-spyware products. PestPatrol came up the big winner as the best paid anti-spyware product.
[Download results]

4. Spyware removal — Just before I left the show in August, we took a look at which products removed the most spyware. This episode will air in Canada and Australia soon and in the US in the fall. Once again PestPatrol rated really high. As did [Download results]

BOTTOM LINE: In the end, after five months of tests I’d recommend any of the top three paid products including PestPatrol, Spyware Doctor and Spyware Eliminator. And I’d pair it with these two freebies: Microsoft AntiSpyware and Spybot.

Download all derbies in a ZIP file. [Download all results]

8 Responses to “Anti-spyware derbies”

  1. Shannon Says:

    I use Webroot Spy Sweeper. It is supposed to be pretty good. I’ll have to check out this PestPatrol also.

  2. Shiju Says:

    I was hoping you would post this. You just keep making me look good here at work.

    Thanks Andy!

  3. Blake Handler Says:

    But I’d like to add my 2 cents worth on the topic of AntiSpyware

    While many people now know to keep their AntiSpyware programs updated — most are oblivious that the software’s default settings do NOT scan for all possible problems!

    Software manufactures state that users don’t want to wait a long time for scanning, so they choose a (quicker) default scanning time. So to “properly” configure the software:

    SpyBot Search & Destroy

    1) Launch program and check for (& install) updates
    2) Select “Advanced Mode” from the “Mode” pull-down menu
    3) Click on the “Tools” button on the side toolbar
    4) Select ALL Tools except for the “Bug Report” (only needed when troubleshooting the SpyBot program)
    5) Click on the “Settings” button on the side toolbar
    6) Click on “Ignore Products”
    7) Select “All Products” – then right-mouse click on the list and “Deselect All” items, but (re)select “DSO Exploit”
    8) (Re)immunize to include the newly included “All Products”
    9) Click on “Check for problems”

    Lavasoft’s AdAware

    1) Launch program and check for (& install) updates [click on “Check for updates now” — click “Connect” to continue, then “Finish”]
    2) Click “Start” to begin scanning.
    3) The first time requires that we configure the settings — click on “Customize” (Change all items that are RED “X” (not grey) to GREEN “Check”) — Select ALL of your local hard drives
    4) Click “Customize” to select this type of scanning
    5) Click “Next” to begin scanning.


    Microsoft’s AntiSpyware

    1) Launch program and check for (& install) updates (under the File pull-down menu)
    2) Click on “Scan Options”
    3) Select “Run a full system scan’
    4) Ensure that all check boxes are selected (as well as ALL of your local hard drives)
    5) Click on “Save these options” then “Run Scan Now”

  4. G. Says:

    In this blog entry, it said Andy Walker left the Call For Help show in August 2005. Does this mean Andy Walker is no longer a co-host on the Call For Help show with Leo Laporte anymore????

    I haven’t watched in a long while.

  5. Jennifer S Says:

    Hi! I watch CFHelp on cable. Good Stuff. I saw the episode with the spyware tests. You might like to add “Ewido” anti-malware to your lab rats next time. Just for fun: Google “amber-andybunny” as a super test of search.

  6. Kathie Says:

    Hey, thanks Blake. I’ve been inundated with malware, adware etc, and I’m sure this will make a difference.

    Merry Christmas!

  7. Jeremy Says:

    Woah.. I’d heard Pest Patrol is good but I didn’t think it’d knock out Norton Simon in tests…

    Thanks for the info.

  8. lovebaby Says:

    you are so hardworking to do so many tests, really great!

    they are helpful! thanks!

    there is a link about a antispyware, you can check:


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.