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Ad-aware vs Spybot

By olefarte ยท 31 replies
Feb 29, 2004
  1. I've seen debates here in the forums about which is better, Ad-aware or Spybot, for removing adware/spyware. Here is a pretty good review of them both at Flexbeta. There's a list of some of the applications that they installed and tested. I was amazed that there are some that I have used, that are supposed to stop some of what they are installing, ie, Panicware.

    Thanks to Warp2Search for this info.
  2. Rick

    Rick TS Evangelist Posts: 4,512   +65

    I used to like Ad-Aware, but newer versions for the freeware don't automatically check the boxes next to spyware you wish to remove.

    This makes removing 50+ spywares a real hassle!

    I've been using Spybot, which is more robust program, and I'd have to say Spybot is better. Just my opinion of course, but with options immunize and the extra features, seems like a winner to me.

    ** EDIT
    I found out later on that this is not true. Simply right click in the ad-aware results window and choose "select all".
  3. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,310

    SpyBot hands down is better because it detects everything that AdAware does and more, which makes using AdAware pretty pointless. Use SpyBot along with Hijackthis and you should be good to go. Those are the two best tools that I have found.
  4. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,452

    Very good article that Olefarte found. Use both and you get the best of both worlds.
    I think you are criminally negligent if you decide to use ONLY one of the two.

    Of course, having a load of common sense (and some AV and Firewall software) helps more than anything else.
  5. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 962

    Hey Rick, you know you can right-click in the field and "select all", right? :)

    And I agree with realblackstuff.....use both and you'll be covered.

    Now if I could find that Mail Washer link alluded to in another post. :confused:

    Edit: Google's my friend. Got it! :D
  6. jshields13

    jshields13 TS Rookie Posts: 107

    Hey Masque. It's www.mailwasher.net but I just tried it and the site is down for some reason. Hopefully its temporary, cause the program works quite well.

    Good luck.
  7. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 962

    Thank you sir. I will download it from home.
  8. jshields13

    jshields13 TS Rookie Posts: 107

    Any time. It's nice to know that I can actually contribute something to this site. I know just enough about computers to be dangerous!!
  9. ak_in_charge

    ak_in_charge TS Rookie Posts: 112

    I'm kinda undecided on the issue. Whenever I use one I alway run the other right after because they both pick up stuff that the other does not.

    Best bet just use them both and your covered either way!
  10. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,310

    I've tested both AdAware and SpyBot along side each other multiple times and SpyBot always found what AdAware found (and more).
  11. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,488

    I usually alternate between the two, but then again I don't check for spyware often...

    I checked with the new beta SpyBot, and all it could find was a couple of cookies... Then considering it's been months since I last ran either, I'd have to say that common sense is the best way to avoid spy/adware.
  12. lowman

    lowman TS Rookie Posts: 332

    As a policy, I use both...redundancy can't hurt in this case...
  13. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,310


    I would say to completely get rid of would require you to disconnect your phone line and never install any software ever again it seems.

    Ok, maybe it's not that bad :p.

    I managed to get a virus the other day. From where I have no idea. The funny thing is the virus (w32.jeefo) was pretty harmless and supposedly easy to remove, but it infected svchost.exe and spread out to 200 files. Upon installing Norton AV it quarantined almost everyone of those files which disabled 80% of programs that were installed. The instructions on Symantec's website for removing the virus did not work because after all those files were quarantined it killed NAV too (either that or NAV just didn't want to load because it is incompetent P.O.S.) and there was nothing I could do. (I couldn't run NAV in safe mode as required).

    I was pretty pissed because that installation of XP lasted me for a very long time and was the most stable Windows installation I have ever had. I could go without rebooting for weeks, without a single problem.

    The thing is I could have just left the virus alone and been fine. NAV quarantined all those files and disabled almost everything in Windows. So, I just decided it was time to re-install.

    That would be the first time a virus has ever beaten me. Sad that the virus isn't even what really caused the problem.
  14. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,452

    You are another victim of the biggest VIRUS, which is called "Norton AntiVirus".
  15. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,547   +432

    ah come on acid, you know better than that.
    just to prove you wrong I did spydork first then did adaware, and no I didn't take screenshots for ultimate proof but you will just have to trust me. spydork did catch several, but then adaware did catch some others.
    Point being, you should use both.
  16. Rick

    Rick TS Evangelist Posts: 4,512   +65

    LoL. I never realized that. I guess I didn't give myself enough of a chance to find out and switched to spybot too soon. ;) Thanks for the tip though.
  17. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,929   +15

    rofl I [orgionally posted whats right above] ^^..:blush:

    I use both now, some times spybot will get 1 or 2 things adaware missed.
  18. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,218

    I use both, running either one first will almost always miss something caught by the other, I also use HijackThis which will occasionally catch something missed by both.
  19. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,547   +432

    Alright, I'm tired of hearing this crap spewed about one being better than the other. Acid I literally just ran spydork and deleted whatever it found, then instantly without opening any webpages I ran adaware, and GUESS WHAT it found 2 things spydork didn't. So anyone that strongly believes one is the cure all is an *****.
  20. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 896

    As usual I run two of them to get the best of each programs. I have to agree on SB and Sngx about the part of running two programs to compensate for what each lacks of.
  21. Yochanan

    Yochanan TS Rookie

    I use Spybot along with SpywareBlaster and SpywareGuard (http://www.wilderssecurity.net/index.html) and NOTHING gets through. I also use StartupMonitor, which asks me when things try to register themselves at startup. Alot of spyware does that, like Save.exe, Weather.exe, etc. If they can't load at startup, and you block their internet access with your firewall, they aren't going to do anything but take up a wee bit of space on your hard drive, anyway.
  22. BrownPaper

    BrownPaper TS Rookie Posts: 406

    use both ad-aware and spybot. each program has found things that the other did not find on my computer. most importantly do not install some free screensavers or other questionable programs. they have loads of spyware and adware almost for sure.
  23. GuruConsulting

    GuruConsulting TS Rookie

    Has any one even tried the PestScan software? I have been using it with the Ad-Ware and between the two I have been free of unwanted software. www.pestscan.com or www.pestpatrol.com

    Oh yes, Norton is the first problem most of the newer "bugs" crash. Go McAfee slower than some but better than most.
  24. videobruce

    videobruce TS Enthusiast Posts: 93

    Surely couldn't of said that better myself! Other than M$, Norton is one of the 'bloatest' pieces of S/W out here other than being overrated and a resource hog!!!

    I have tried both. I used V6 with the updates, ran that and found a couple of items.
    Then I Ran Spybot V1.3b with the updates (took a while to d/l thought) and was amazed at all the entries that showed up! I think there were over 12 after I cleaned what AdAware found.

    Mind you you CAN get in trouble easier with SpyBot since there are more registry entries that it will remove.
    You DO have to watch what you check, but it is a hands down winner in my book!
  25. bakertime361

    bakertime361 TS Rookie Posts: 32

    Hah, yeah I know the feeling. After deleting over 400 once at a time once, I discovred that by right clicking, it allows you to press "Select All". Its a big help.
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