As the the threat of “spyware” and “adware” has escalated over the past few years, the number of “anti-spyware” scanners available on the Net has grown equally fast. At present there are over 100 anti-spyware scanners available for download — some for free, some for pay. Spyware and adware are themselves complex enough to prove bewildering to most average users, however. So confusing in fact is the threat of spyware and adware that users often have trouble distinguishing effective anti-spyware scanners from less effective ones. Although a number of “tests” of anti-spyware scanners have been reported on the Net, many if not most of those tests are of limited value because the design, methodology, and execution of the tests is not fully and publicly documented, leaving even experienced users and experts to wonder just how meaningful those tests really are. Still worse, some of those “tests” are touted by webmasters who are affiliates for the companies whose products were “tested.”
The tests documented on these pages are intended to partially remedy these several problems with our knowledge of anti-spyware scanners and how well they perform. At present, there are three groups of tests documented here.
Users looking for a short list of recommendations for anti-spyware products can find such a list HERE. For a more comprehensive list of anti-spyware products, see HERE. And if your PC is already overrun with spyware or adware, see my tips for what to do HERE.