Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Free Anti Spyware versus Paid Anti Spyware - Are Free Anti Spyware Programs Good Enough?

By Peter Lim

Is your computer chugging along with a much reduced speed, and is it getting very difficult for you to log on to your favorite web page? Is your computer hard disk producing a lot of unnecessary noise that appears strange to you while running? If the answers are Yes to these questions, then you are probably the unfortunate victim of spyware infection!

Being infected by spyware can be a disaster because the performance of your computer is greatly reduced. Worst, spyware can include keyloggers, adware, trojans, browser hijackers, malware, adware and viruses.

In this article I will explain some of the most important factors you must consider when choosing an anti spyware software or a spyware removal software and the effectiveness of using free anti spyware removal programs available on the internet.

Free Anti Spyware versus Paid Anti Spyware Programs


First, can I rely on a free anti spyware or a free adware remover software?

There are two main free spyware remover software available widely on the internet. One is a spybot that can identify spyware, and the other is an adware remover. They are pretty good in capturing most spyware that are commonly found on the internet. Note that I mention "most spyware", not ALL the spyware. In fact, to prove this to myself, I performed an experiment.

When my computer showed signs of distress, and started to produce a lot of weird noises from the hard disk, I knew I have had some form of spyware lodged in my computer. I ran the first spybot anti spyware and that removed several spyware, some tracking cookies, a trojan and an attempt at a possible browser hijacking.

In order to determine whether all the spyware were removed, I ran the second free software program which was an adware removal software. I was not surprised to see that there were more undiscovered spyware and even a registry key modification performed without my knowledge.

Next I ran the third anti spyware which was a paid anti spyware software.This paid software captured another three more spyware which consisted of tracking cookies and a trojan left unidentified after running the two most popular free anti spyware program on the internet.

This simple experiment showed that the free spybot spyware remover and the free adware remover failed to completely remove all the common spyware. In my estimation, the two free anti spyware programs could identify and remove around 70% of the common spyware and adware when used one after the other, whereas a paid anti spyware program had to be run to ensure complete removal of all the spyware and adware.

Superior Features of Paid Anti Spyware Programs


What separates a paid anti spyware program from a free spyware detector and removal program? The most important difference is that of the identification and removal algorithms and the constant updates to the anti spyware definitions that you can get from the paid anti spyware programs. Most Paid solutions post updates, almost daily, of the newly discovered spyware released into the internet to ensure their software is always up to date and effective against newly discovered spyware, keyloggers, malware, tojans and browser hijacking attempts.

You also get better support services from these paid spyware suppliers. An anti spyware software is of no use to you if you encounter a technical issue and you cannot get technical support readily to provide you with help on your problem.

Thirdly, when looking for a paid solution, you will also look at their customer service. This can be easily checked by looking at the comments and reviews of other users of the anti spyware program. A paid software company that provides superior customer service suggests that the company is serious about its reputation and its business, and will not be folding up their business anytime leaving you without any updates or customer service. In contrast, I have known of many freeware that are released without technical and customer support.

Unless your computer security, confidentiality and privacy is of no serious concern to you, you will need an anti spyware software that possesses a superior algorithm to identify and remove all the malware that lodges on your computer online. Having a paid anti spyware that updates frequently with superior technical and customer support will provide you with peace of mind that your computer is secured against malware, spyware, keyloggers, browser hijacking and also identify theft.

No comments: