is no longer recommending
Spybot S&D or Ad-Aware due to poor testing results. See here
- (scroll down and read under Freeware Antispyware Products)
Further, most people don't understand Spybot's TeaTimer
or how to use it and that feature can cause more problems than it's worth. TeaTimer monitors changes to certain critical keys in Windows registry
but does not indicate if the change is normal or a modification made by a malware infection. The user must have an understanding of the registry and how TeaTimer works in order to make informed decisions to allow or deny the detected changes. Additionally, TeaTimer may conflict with other security tools which do a much better job of protecting your computer and even prevent disinfection of malware by those tools.
More effective alternatives are Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
and SUPERAntiSpyware Free
Choosing a security toolkit with anti-virus, firewall and anti-malware programs is a matter of personal preference, your technical ability and experience, features offered, the amount of resources utilized, how it may affect system performance and what will work best for your system. A particular combination that works well for one person may not work as well for another. There is no universal "one size fits all" solution
that works for everyone. You may need to experiment and find what is most suitable for your needs. Another factor to consider is whether you want to use paid for
products or free alternatives
.No single product is 100% foolproof
and can prevent, detect and remove all threats at any given time. The security community is in a constant state of change as new infections appear. Each vendor has its own definition of what constitutes malware and scanning your computer using different criteria will yield different results. The fact that each program has its own definition files means that some malware may be picked up by one that could be missed by another. Thus, a multi-layered defense using several anti-spyware products (including an effective firewall) to supplement your anti-virus combined
with common sense
and safe surfing habits
provides the most complete protection.