After reading HarryWaldron's post
in the forums I decided to test out Yahoo new Beta Toolbar to see how well their spyware protection works.This feature is easily used through a new button that appears on the toolbar, that when pressed, opens up a spyware scanner. You can then use this scanner to scan your machine for malware and optionally adware. When testing the software I purposely infected my machine with malware from three different sites. The scanner quickly found 18 types of malware installed on my machine. The scanner removed the spyware and notified me that it would need to reboot in order to finish the cleanup. After the reboot I examined my computer and found that the scanner had removed the offending files, but did not do a thorough job in its cleaning.The directories for all the malware were still there, though their contents were now deleted. The scanner also did not remove any of the registry entries that were used to run these programs. Though the software is off your machine, there was still a mess of entries in the registry. More importantly, though, I found that there was still at least 5 different malware still installed on my computer, 2 of them being downloaders that would just reinfect me in the future.Another feature that is becoming more common in antispyware software is real time spyware protection similar to those found in the new version of Spybot - S&D and SpywareGuard. This allows for real-time blocking of spyware from installing on your computer the same way your common antivirus software works. Not having this feature is a serious mistake for their software and should be considered for the future.Overall though, the fact that Yahoo is including this with their future toolbar will be a big help to the casual computer user. For most people Spybot and Ad-Aware are complicated programs, and having this feature in a highly public application will definitely help ease the pain that users feel when trying to keep their computers clean and running efficiently.For now, though, I will just stick to the Google toolbar and Spybot/Ad-Aware for my spyware protection.