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Free Spyware Removal Software

Updated on March 11, 2008

Anti-Spyware Software is Essential for a PC

Over the past number of years, there has been a number of websites that install spyware on your computer without your knowledge.

Spyware software monitors the user's behavior, collects data while they are using their computer and reports this information back to the creating company. It may also have other purposes such as changing settings on the host computer, launching unwanted sites or popups, and affecting the computer's speed and behavior.

In response to this malicious software, there have been many companies that have sprung up that have created anti-spyware software to remove the malicious spyware.

Free or Paid Spyware Removal Software?

There are many different companies that offer both free and paid spyware removal software. But what is the difference?

There are three common differences between the free and paid versions of anti-spyware software. They are:

  • Paid spyware removal software actively monitors your computer to protect it from having spyware installed on your machine. Much like anti-virus software, the software prevents spyware from being installed on your PC.
  • Paid anti-spyware software automatically updates the threat database to include all the current types of spyware. This way, your machine is always scanned for all the known spyware that is out there providing you with the greatest protection.
  • Paid spyware removal software can be setup to periodically scan for spyware on your computer. You can set it up to be once per day, or once per week depending on your needs.

Even though paid versions of spyware removal software offer a more hands-off approach, free anti-spyware software is just as effective, provided that you remember to use it on a periodic basis.

Ad-Aware 2007 Free Edition
Ad-Aware 2007 Free Edition

Ad-Aware 2007 Free Edition

Ad-Aware 2007 is a free spyware removal tool. I have been using Ad-Aware for a long time now, and it is one of my favorites.

With over 250 million downloads, it is one of the most used anti-spyware tools in the world. The free version has the following features:

  • Detects and removes spyware and other malware.
  • Repairs the damage done by malware installed on your computer.

The software provides these services on demand - which means you need to run the software for it to work. There is no preventative features in the free package - rather it is designed to fight a spyware infection - not prevent it.

You can download Ad-Aware 2007 Free Edition here

Spybot Search and Destroy
Spybot Search and Destroy

Spybot Search and Destroy

Spybot Search & Destroy is another free spyware removal tool that I would suggest that you use. In fact, it is a good idea to run both Ad-Aware and Spybot on the same machine to have better protection as they both can catch different types of malware.

Spybot Search & Destroy is good at removing spyware if your computer is infected. Just like AdAware, it is good for removing installed malware and repairing the damage caused by it.

But there is one thing that sets Spybot apart from other free spyware removal software - it can protect your computer from malware as well. You see, there is an Immunization function that works much like a flu shot, protecting your computer from common types of malware.

In terms of spyware removal, the tool is very inclusive, scanning for over 115,000 types of spyware at the time of this writing. It is a bit slower than Ad-Aware for scanning speed, but it does a great job finding malware that Ad-Aware misses.

Spybot should be an essential free spyware removal software installed on your computer. You can download Spybot Search & Destroy here.


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    • profile image

      Ben Lee 8 years ago

      I wish to know if Spybot Search and Destroy software has real-time protection to fend off the spyware to infect the computer when I surf in web site.

    • charlemont profile image

      charlemont 9 years ago from Lithuania

      You may also consider adding a-squared free to your list. Since it doesn't act as active protection software, it is a great on-demand scanner that can be launched whenever needed.

    • profile image

      spyware-expert 9 years ago

      interesting Lens. Very informative and certainly educational. However, to learn or not to learn regarding spyware is more a necessity than a luxury.

    • My 2 Cents profile image

      My 2 Cents 10 years ago from California

      Great HUB, thanks, I bookmarked!! Computer Security is so important these days!! I have been using PC Tools Spyware Doctor, FREE and Excellent!!

    • MarcNorris profile image

      MarcNorris 10 years ago from Canada

      Unfortunately, I haven't tried TrendMicro's Housecall - to be honest, I have never heard of it.

      But since you have mentioned it Jenn, I think I will have to try it out - I might add it to this hub at a later date.


    • profile image

      Jenn Brockman 10 years ago

      I agree with the Spybot review as I've used them for over a year. I"m also curious to know your thoughts on TrendMicro's Housecall. There is a free download of it also.