offers four levels of protection
: immunization, Resident SDHelper, TeaTimer, Hosts file.Immunization
is passive protection, meaning it does not
run in the background. When you "Immunize", entries are added to the system Registry which blocks the storing of cookies from some sites, places a large number of sites in the restricted zone, by domain (site name) and by range (IP address), and blocks the download of selected ActiveX
There are some known issues
with using immunization on Vista/Windows 7, with certain anti-virus programs and other software.SpywareBlaster
does the same on a larger scale but places sites in the restricted zone, all by domain (site name). In previous versions Spybot would tell you if SpywareBlaster was installed on your computer that it offered more control over your settings by letting you add and remove sites very easily. If you use Spybot, SpywareBlaster, IE-SPYAD for ZonedOut or other security tools with similar features together, there is some overlap of protection
. Thus, if you undo or disable the protection in one product, it may remove some of the protection installed by the other which means you have to re-immunize or re-enable the protection in each tool as appropriate. IMO, you really don't need to be using both so I would recommend not using Spybot's Immunization.
Further, if you have upgraded your browser to Internet Explorer 8 as Microsoft recommends, the SmartScreen Filter
provides similar but more comprehensive protection by identifying and blocking sites on the web that are distributing malicious software. Read this comment
by a member of the Spybot Advisor Team to see what he has to say about all this.
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)
Ad-Aware has even been placed into the Installers Hall of Shame
for bundling and pre-checking Google Chrome during the installation. Also read Lavasoft Turning to the Dark Side?
writtne by a former volunteer (now a MVP) who provided support for Ad-Aware but no longer uses the program.
As for Spybot S&D, most people don't understand how to use TeaTimer
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. If you don't have understanding how a particular security tool works, then you probably should not be using it. Additionally, TeaTimer may conflict with other security tools which do a much better job of protecting your computer and in some cases it will even prevent disinfection
of malware by those tools.
More effective alternatives are Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
and SUPERAntiSpyware Free