Anti-spyware software are not designed to tackle viruses effectively but they excel at blocking malware, weeding out already present adware and malicious codes that tend to hog system resources, provide backdoor entry and basically cripple the user experience. These software are usually small, unobtrusive and automated. Below we highlight five of the best in the market solely based on the fact that they are available for free. While the paid version does offer more protection, better updates and overall the complete package, the free editions don’t do a bad job even if you intentionally infect your system by visiting untrusted sites.
1. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
With a flash scan, quick scan and full scan, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware operates at multiple levels letting you go through autorun objects and analyze memory to find infections. It even supports context menu option, network drive scanning and on-demand scan function as well as File Assassin to remove locked files. The free version lacks zero-day infection blocker. It is a speedy remover and usually takes under 10 minutes to completely disinfect any computer of malware.
The Free edition of SUPERAntiSpyware is actually a comprehensive program that can delete after scanning your system for spyware and variety of other malicious codes. While not designed to tackle true viruses, it can definitely provide protection against plenty of pests. The interface is quite straightforward with a simple Scan your Computer button that lets you make Critical Point Scan, Custom Scan, Complete Scan and a Quick Scan. The Quick Scan works in under 5 minutes and quickly removes critical threats but the Full Scan can last for hours thankfully addressing more deeply embedded spyware programs. It even lets you make repairs on specific sections of your hard drive that has been damaged by the presence of malware.
Spybot is a free anti-spyware program that attacks malicious software, adware and plenty other threats. It even works on the Registry, shreds files and cleans security tracks. While not a full-fledged antivirus suite, it does help keep your computer clean of spyware. The intuitive setup screen lets you configure how to use the Spybot with what components to install and before scanning it even lets you backup the registry. Being present since the beginning of the Windows generation, it is quite adept at dealing with problems inherent with Windows firewall and eliminating spyware. The program uses just three buttons to do its removal – Recovery, Updates, Check for Problems.
4. Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+
Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ as the name suggests is an amalgamation of tools that help keep your computer disinfected from adware, malware, viruses and other malicious programs. Powered by Bitdefender’s core engine, it is now much more effective than the yesteryears when it relied on Vipre scanner. Installation is a breeze and updating virus definitions is quick with easy to use toolbar access. If you hate browser related adware and add-ons that mysteriously appear from nowhere then you will love how silently Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ deals with them.
5. IObit Malware Fighter
The IObit Malware Fighter brings an eye-catching design with Windows 8 compatibility that lets you Protect, Scan, Update through a single Action Center. The design makes this the easiest and most intuitive full-suite freeware to use with many leading features such as quarantine list, cloud scanning, labelling, switching on or off the auto-scanning function and more. It is also compatible with touch screen operations. The full test seems to detect temp files used by malware to cache themselves in your browser hence it eliminates everything that you can possibly think of.