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.
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]