Spyware Doctor review

Spyware Doctor has been around to amaze us for quite a while now, and I am always eager to see just how much better it can get with each new version. This year’s Spyware Doctor 8.0 is no exception to that rule, but rather than bump malware detection/removal up a notch, PC Tools has taken a new approach – it diversified the ways in which Spyware Doctor can protect your computer. This essentially means new protection modules, but there are also some subtle improvements in efficiency that might not be obvious to most users (although they certainly improve any user’s experience with the program).
Spyware Doctor is still virtually unrivaled in its ability to destroy any kind of malware on any system. Also, considering how efficient it is, and how many different security areas it can cover on its own, Spyware Doctor is quite cheap – a bit over $30 depending on what type of deal you are making. Contrary to many security programs that might be considered on “the same tier” as Spyware Doctor when it comes to efficiency, the PC Tools program works without issue on virtually any kind of machine, no matter how underpowered.
In short, Spyware Doctor is great despite a few setbacks, which I will discuss later.
The Stats
Nothing is as important in a security program, as its malware detection and removal rate, which is great for Spyware Doctor, because this is where it really shows its swagger. In order to provide an objective view of Spyware Doctor’s performance, I tested it on several systems. A few of these systems were purposely clean, while the others were teeming with all kinds of infections, so as to provide some perspective.
Simply put, Spyware Doctor found almost all the malware samples – 95% to be more precise. In my experience this is pretty much the best you can ever expect from any security program. There are only a select few programs that can achieve this level of detection.
Another important statistic is rogue anti-spyware detection rate – these nasty parasites have been extremely popular these past few years, and they aren’t planning on letting go anytime soon. Spyware Doctor found around 90% of all rogue anti-spyware samples, which is, yet again, one of the highest scores I have ever seen.
Even more amazing than that, rootkits ain’t got nuthin on Spyware Doctor – hands down best detection rate ever.
The downside of these magnificent statistics (if it can be called a downside) is the fact that scans take forever. On a seriously infected system I had to wait more than an hour for the scan to end only to then suffer through another half an hour on a repeated scan during which Spyware Doctor finishes up the job – best keep your coffee handy. But then again, this is a small price to pay for real security.
The Tools
Spyware Doctor offers nine modules for different types of protection. First of all you have the file guard, which does exactly what it sounds like it does, but then there are also some that you will not find on every security program. These include download guard, which checks downloads for malware as they come to your system, e-mail guard, which basically does the same but specifically with emails, and site guard – a particularly useful module – which blocks access to malicious sites, including attempts by malware to contact sites.
After all these goodies, you also get the Browser Defender toolbar, which checks sites as you browse them, marking malicious ones as red, suspicious ones as yellow, and safe ones as green. Its efficiency could be better, but it is still pretty useful in that it will sort out more than half the dangers in sites you might not normally be aware of.
As I have mentioned before – Spyware Doctor is awesome, and costs a reasonable amount of money, which is why I can recommend it without fear of being wrong. Having said that, however, I must acknowledge that it is not perfect, mainly due to one issue, which has plagued Spyware Doctor for as long as I can remember – it isn’t great when you need to install it on an already-infected system. Granted, nine times out of ten it will work just fine, but once in a while you might not be able to install the program normally. Of course, there are remedies for this situation, namely, the Threat Removal Tool, which specifically targets infections that block installation.
In a nutshell – Spyware Doctor is worth the money, period.

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