Safer Networking Spybot Search & Destroy 1.4 Review

Safer Networking’s Spybot Search & Destroy Can’t Keep Up To The Latest threats Despite Its Real-Time Protection Feature

The job of the Safer Networking’s Spybot Search & Destroy is same as its name suggests, that is to search and destroy spyware and that too in real-time We had tested this product almost one year back and now again on testing it, it has been found out that it has the same version without any change and this is why the product has been rendered inefficient in providing a reliable protection against spyware.

We run a number of false positive tests for this Spybot and found it to be good at detection of the toolbars and the 6285 sample files that are legitimate.  We also tested it for many other applications too, like the behavior-based tests, where it faired well. It can also detect the changes in the system that is critical in nature. Some special keys like HKLM ‘RUN’ and HKCU are among the primary targets of the spyware and the Spybot and the Spybot successfully detected them.

It is also found very useful in the detection of the changes made into the HOME and SEARCH pages of the default Internet Explorer and in the Host file (which are notorious for their attitude of redirecting the URLs to some harmful sites). But, there is a section where the Spybot could not make it up to its promises and that is the additions to the startup folder. This loophole in the performance of Spybot provides ample opportunity to spyware to execute its malicious activities at the time of booting.

Spybot fell miserably while being tested for the detection of our inactive spyware & adware threats and this lacuna of Spybot clearly shows that its present database is not enough to provide protection against spyware. Not only that, it also proved futile to use it for the detection of all the nine inactive rootkits. Now, it was the time to test it for active threats, where again it repeated its poor performance. For example, it only detected seven out of ten adware threats and four out of ten spyware threats. Besides, it couldn’t eliminate any of the active spyware or adware, threatening the proper functioning of files and Registry entries.

It is very easy to install and use the Spybot, but the thing gets complicated when it comes to the interface, as there are a number of check boxes that need to be checked to operate different functions of the Spybot. It is also unable to auto update its database. So, you will need to use the signature updates by yourself.

But still its behavior-based protection looks very promising, so much for a free program. Its ResidentTeaTimer actively and continuously scans the Windows Registry and some other important parts of the computer for finding any changes. Then there are its SDHelper and Immunize layer features that stop any kind of system-harming downloads or the exploit of the Internet Explorer ActiveX. There are tech-savvy people who will certainly commend the practice of Spybot to list the installed ActiveX controls & Browser Helper Objects (BHOs) and to delete the files whenever necessary.

Although, there is no customer service in the form of tele-callers, but it gets overshadowed because of the online support in the form of dedicated fans that always try to clarify everything like, false positives, complexity of the features, etc. on web. There was a time when this freeware program dominated the antispyware market, but no more.

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