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Free Spyware Removal?

Discussion in 'Tech Support' started by CandyMan, 8 Aug 2008.

  1. CandyMan

    CandyMan What's a Dremel?

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    Hey guys im working on a computer for my girlfriends friend and i need to know of some really good free spyware removal programs. If you could help me i would appreciate it very much. Links would be very helpful to.

    Thank you
     
  2. NaNeil

    NaNeil What's a Dremel?

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    I personally always use:

    Lavasoft adaware: http://lavasoft.com/
    and
    Spybot search and destroy: http://www.safer-networking.org/index2.html (Don't bother installing teatimer, it just annoyed me by warning me about stupid changes).

    Together these usually clean up most systems in my experience :) Also check allowed activex components in the ie security settings, as she may have clicked 'yes' to some nasties.
     
  3. yodasarmpit

    yodasarmpit No longer the other Brett.

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  4. Daveofthedead

    Daveofthedead What's a Dremel?

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    i use it too :) its good and its free :D
     
  5. NickElliott

    NickElliott What's a Dremel?

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  6. Ransoman

    Ransoman What's a Dremel?

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    i do a lot of repairs for other people, virus/spyware infestations being the most common. I always use AVG Free and it has never ever let me down.
     
  7. ChromeX

    ChromeX Minimodder

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    ad-aware here
     
  8. Golygus

    Golygus Minimodder

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    Spyware removal:
    Spybot search and destroy - Free - www.safer-networking.org
    Ad-aware 2008 Free Edition - Free (select free during install) - From Download.com
    Spyware Dr Starter Edition - Free - From Download.com
    Super Anti-Spyware - Free - http://www.superantispyware.com/

    Not one anti-spyware app picks up everything. There are lots more than I've listed, but by the time you've run that lot, you'll be pretty clear.

    Spyware prevention:
    Spyware Blaster - Free - http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html
    Spybot search and destroy - Free - www.safer-networking.org
    Spyware Dr Starter Edition - Free - From Download.com

    The tea-timer app in spybot S&D, tho irritating, is pretty usefull. Failing that, the immunise feature is reasonable. However, don't immunise if you have spyware blaster installed - you'll end up with a huge hosts files with many repeats (choose one or the other for protection). Also note with spyware blaster, you have to run it under every user account.
    Spyware doctor starter has limited real time protection - similar to tea timer, a lot less pop ups. Program can be a resource hog on some machines (to do with registered dlls and a few other things) - normally fine on a clean load.

    Virus removal:
    ESET - on-line scanner - http://www.eset.com/onlinescan/
    Kaspersky - On-line scanner - http://www.kaspersky.com/virusscanner
    Comodo - On-line scanner - http://www.comodo.com/products/free_products.html (headed "Comodo AV Scanner")

    Virus Prevention (and removal):
    ESET NOD32 - Free 30day trial, £27 first year, renewals less - http://www.eset.com/
    ESET Smart Security (above with firewall) - Free 30day trial, £40 first year, renewals less - http://www.eset.com/
    Kaspersky Anti-virus - Free 30 day trial, £29.99 first year - http://www.kaspersky.com/
    Kaspersky Internet security - Free 30 day trial, £39.99 first year - http://www.kaspersky.com/
    AVG Free - Free - http://free.grisoft.com - you have to hunt a little for the free version but its there.
    Avast Free - Free - http://www.avast.com/
    Anti-Vir - Free - http://www.free-av.com/
    Comodo AntiVirus - Free - http://www.comodo.com/products/free_products.html
    Comodo Firewall - Free - http://www.comodo.com/products/free_products.html
    Outpost firewall - Free - http://www.agnitum.com/products/outpostfree/download.php

    Again there are lots more programs out there. Out of the paid for apps, ESS (ESET Smart Security) is my preference (before and after I started reselling it). Out of the free ones, (discounting comodo here as I've not used the av since beta), Avast is probably the best, tho the slowest. AVG Is a reasnoble all-rounder (but buy the full version. The firewall causes all sorts of problems) but does have a habbit of finding false positives and missing real in the wild viruses. Anti-vir sits between them, but I'm not a huge fan, as the updater is annoying and it trys to sell you a more comprehensive version. AVOID the consumer versions of Norton (eg Norton Internet security or 360 etc) and McAfee as they are massive programs and only ok in their performance. The corporate versions are fairly all right.

    If you go for an AV app without a firewall - getting a firewall is a good idea. the comodo one is pretty powerful, but it has a lot of prompts (unless its changed in the last couple of months). I haven't used the free version of outpost for a while, last time i did, it was an older version, which looked dated, didn't have the best interface, but was ok otherwise. Zone alarm do a free version of their firewall, but its bloated and can (not will) cripple system performance - otherwise a fair firewall (even with their recent problems with a MS update).


    There are some Anti-spyware/virus applications that are spyware themselves. A fairly good list can be found here which also contains most anti-spyware application links and a couple of other bits and bobs.

    Sorry for the long post, but I hope its of use.
     
    Last edited: 8 Aug 2008
  9. NickElliott

    NickElliott What's a Dremel?

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    Excellent post!

    On the firewall front I started with ZoneAlarm before switching to Comodo but eventually I found its repeated security prompts irritating, a bit like Spybot's tea-timer on steroids. Recently I switched to Online-Armor (http://www.tallemu.com/) which I am really happy with plus it is free.

    I wasn't aware of this, I've been running both for years and hadn't thought about the impact on the hosts file - is this a bad thing? I've just checked mine and it's 250k which is large but nothing excessive.

    Also I found that tea-timer can really slow down my system on occasion.
     
  10. Golygus

    Golygus Minimodder

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    thanks.

    I've not heard of / used Online-Armor before, may check it out when I find a suitable guinea pig, heh.

    Windows will check the host file before querying a DNS server, the bigger the file the longer the delay. anything above 135KB is normally noticed and some applications even limit the file size (spy sweeper for example used to limit the host file to 8KB, if it went over, it replaced it with a 1KB empty file - I believe they have changed this now). It won't be doing any harm, just adding a small delay. I don't like delays.

    I've not know Tea timer to slow down computers much, but I haven't played with it enough on enough machines to check. Interesting though!
     
  11. Hazardous

    Hazardous What's a Dremel?

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    I'd advise installing a real-time spyware monitor, which will help prevent spyware getting onto your system in the first place :idea:

    Spyware Terminator +/or PC Tools' 'Threatfire' are about as good as free ones get :cooldude:

    It's still a good idea to run a couple of other programs as well though - because you should never rely on just the one anti-spyware program ;)
     
  12. mm vr

    mm vr The cheesecake is a lie

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    Remember that you should never run two real-time scanners at the same time! If you do, they will most likely mess up everything and/or show up wrong things or nothing!

    I remember I made a Windows 98 computer unbootable by installing two anti-virus programs at the same time back in '99.
     
  13. bigc90210

    bigc90210 Teh C

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    Avast Antivirus, i wouldnt reccomend zonealarm as it generally gives you lots of problems when trying to game online
     
  14. twentynine

    twentynine Can never win...

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    I would advise to just wipe the computer. Once you get spyware and viruses its hard and near impossible to get rid of ALL of them.

    That is why I suggest to save your data, wipe the computer, and protect your self better so this doesn't happen again. Also I use Avast, it has never let me down and you basically only have to install it. It does everything else on its own so its very user friendly for those who don't like to bother with updating the program and scanning everyday manually.
     
  15. Loom

    Loom What's a Dremel?

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    Check this site out: http://www.techsupportalert.com/. I usually do my scans in safe mode first and then repeat everything in normal mode for every user account. Tedious at best.

    I'm surprised nobody mentioned HijackThis. Also run CWShredder to get rid of CoolWebSearch.
     
  16. NickElliott

    NickElliott What's a Dremel?

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    Golygus, I did a bit more research into this as I remember reading on the SpywareBlaster website about it not providing protection for Opera (Opera is my browser of choice):

    https://www.javacoolsoftware.com/support/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=44

    It looks like SpywareBlaster protection is more orientated towards Active-X malware, I ran some tests on my computer and found that it does not modify the HOSTS file whereas Immunize on Spybot definitely does.

    I dug a bit deeper and found a thread on Bleeping Computer which explains that SpywareBlaster works in the registry:

    http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic92857.html

    The last post in the thread states that there will be some overlap in protection so I do not think there is any harm in using both SpywareBlaster and the Immunize feature in Spybot.
     
  17. Landso

    Landso What's a Dremel?

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  18. Golygus

    Golygus Minimodder

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    My Mistake. Good research :D
     

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