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Ad-aware vs SpyBot vs McAfee

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Perspectives on PC security, including antivirus, anti-spyware and firewall solutions.

Ad-aware vs SpyBot vs McAfee

  • Laptop: Inspiron 600m
    I have Ad-aware SE Personal
    I have SpyBot Search & Destroy
    ...are the above strictly "spyware" protection?  Do they feed off of each other when I run them separately (one catches what the other doesn't)?
    I am going to purchase McAfee Anti-Virus software (do you agree that this is a wiser investment) as opposed to downloading free software from Or if not, what is the common anti-virus on
    Anti-virus and spyware are separate functions right?
    Thanks for your time..... MaryJane
  • Yes, anti-virus and anti-spyware/adware are separate applications, and you need protection from both.  
    Ad-Aware SE and Spybot Search & Destroy are two excellent anti-spyware/adware products, which work well together.  I believe there is a consensus here that, at the very least, both of these should be used.  (In fact, most people will recommend using several more anti-spyware products as well, such as Microsoft Anti-Spyware Beta, CWShredder, and HiJackThis --- this last product, HiJackThis, should be used with extreme caution, as 'carefree' deletions can have major repercussions).  
    Unfortunately, no single anti-spyware product is completely effective.  That's why people recommend using a combination of several.  In so doing, you hopefully get more comprehensive protection.  Yes, there may be an overlap, in that the products may catch some items in common.  But there's nothing wrong with that.
    As for anti-virus, everyone has their own opinion.  Many people use Norton or McAfee.  But there are also many fans of free programs, such as AVG Anti-virus (or Avast! Anti-virus).

    Message Edited by ky331 on 02-15-2005 01:57 PM

    Free Internet Security - WOT Web of Trust       Use OpenDNS       MalwareBytes Anti-Malware

    Windows 7 Pro SP1 (64-bit), avast! v17 Free, MBAM Pro, Windows Firewall, OpenDNS Family Shield, SpywareBlaster, MVPS HOSTS file, MBAE Premium, MCShield, WinPatrol PLUS, SAS (on-demand scanner), Zemana AntiLogger Free, IE11 & Firefox (both using WOT [IE set to WARN, FF set to BLOCK]), uBlock Origin, CryptoPrevent, Secunia PSI.

    [I believe computer-users who sandbox (Sandboxie) are acting prudently.]

  • I am going to purchase McAfee Anti-Virus software (do you agree that this is a wiser investment) as opposed to downloading free software from Or if not, what is the common anti-virus on
    Anti-virus that you need to pay for, like Norton or McAfee, are not necessarily better than some of the free antivirus. For example, a few weeks ago, I got 2 viruses on my PC. I scanned my PC with Norton 2004, but it didn't detect anything, despite the fact that I just updated it. Then I used Avast, which is free for home and non-commercial use, and all the infected files were removed. I'm not sure about Norton 2005 or the latest McAfee, but I've noticed that there's a lot of viruses/trojan than Norton 2004 doesn't detect.
    I'm not saying that Avast is better than Norton, but just because you paying for McAfee or Norton, doesn't mean that they are better than some of the free anti-viruses available.
  • According to this article, Microsoft will continue to offer their Anti-spyware free after it is out of beta, and offer an anti-virus product by the end if the year. It also says Symantec and McAfee will soon begin offering anti-spyware integrated into their anti-virus products. (I thought they had already begun efforts in that regard.)

    A recent test by Eric L. Howes indicates a single anti-spyware application (Giant - now owned by Microsoft) may be around 63% effective, but a combination of two anti-spyware applications may boost that to around 70% for a given set of conditions.

    And don't forget, there's big money behind the delivery of adware/spyware.
    The major players are late to the party, but at least they''re on board now.
  • SunFlower,
    Over the last several months we have had a lot of feedback on antivirus and spyware. We recently posted an article that points out two major players and their free online programs. I don't want to sound paranoid but we have resolved to run both of these free programs each week in addition to our regular antivirus and spyware programs.
    Perhaps the article can help you fine-tune your protection strategy.