TechTalk & Personal Computing Guide


TechTalk & Personal Computing Guide
TechTalk & Personal Computing Guide

Giant AntiSpyware catches 63%, tests sa

cdesai12 Goldie

Joined: 18 September 2004
Posts: 1900

Posted: 27 January 2005 at 9:13pm | IP Logged

Giant AntiSpyware catches 63%, tests say

Howes's tests were conducted before the Microsoft Corp. in December that it was purchasing Giant Company Software outright. For that reason, the tests use the version of Giant AntiSpyware that was available in October and not the newer Microsoft beta version that's currently available.

Even so, with Giant's application removing 63% of a PC's adware components, and its nearest competitor, Webroot Spy Sweeper, removing less than 50%, it's clear that Microsoft has a potential winner on its hands.

In the following table, which was reviewed by Howes himself before its publication here, the Adware Fixed column represents the percentage of critical components successfully removed, not just detected, by each product (higher percentages are better). The False Positives column shows the number of benign Windows files that were incorrectly reported by a product as adware (lower numbers are better):

  Product Adware Fixed   False Pos.  
  Giant AntiSpyware 63%   0  
  Webroot Spy Sweeper 48%   0  
  Ad-Aware SE Personal 47%   0  
  Pest Patrol 41%   10  
  SpywareStormer 35%   0  
  Intermute SpySubtract Pro 34%   0  
  PC Tools Spyware Doctor 33%   0  
  Spybot Search & Destroy 33%   0  
  McAfee AntiSpyware 33%   9  
  Xblock X-Cleaner Deluxe 31%   1  
  XoftSpy 27%   3  
  NoAdware 24%   0  
  Aluria Spyware Eliminator 23%   3  
  OmniQuad AntiSpy 16%   1  
  Spyware COP 15%   0  
  SpyHunter 15%   1  
  SpyKiller 2005 15%   2  

Howes didn't test the anti-adware programs in the above list against a program called CoolWebSearch (CWS). This little bugger mutates every few days, it seems. CWS actually requires a completely separate anti-adware program, CWShredder, which is constantly evolving along with the nuisance. This is explained in more detail later in this article.

The fact that anti-adware products fail to remove all or even most adware components has been an open secret among security professionals for some time. For this reason, tech writers often say, "You should install two different programs and run both of them for maximum protection."

To test this assertion, I compiled Howes's raw data into a new table showing the removal rate of the best app, Giant AntiSpyware, with every other tested product. According to this analysis, combining Webroot Spy Sweeper with Giant AntiSpyware did the most to remove unwanted components. But the combination of the two apps increased Giant's 63% success rate only 7 percentage points, to 70%:

  Giant AntiSpyware plus... Total Adware Fixed  
  Webroot Spy Sweeper 70%  
  Ad-Aware SE Personal 69%  
  PC Tools Spyware Doctor 68%  
  Pest Patrol 67%  
  Spybot Search & Destroy 67%  
  Spyware Stormer 67%  
  Spyware COP 66%  
  Aluria Spyware Eliminator 65%  
  Intermute SpySubtract Pro 65%  
  NoAdware 65%  
  XsoftSpy 65%  
  McAfee AntiSpyware 64%  
  OmniQuad AntiSpy 64%  
  SpyHunter 64%  
  SpyKiller 2005 64%  
  Xblock X-Cleaner Deluxe 64%  

Finally, the computer press often recommends that the two anti-adware products that should be used together are Ad-Aware SE Personal and Spybot Search & Destroy. That preference may have become the conventional wisdom because both of these products have low-end, freeware versions. , , and other publications have recommended this combination as recently as June and August, respectively.

Ad-aware and Spybot may have been a great combo back then. But adware apparently moves much faster than these two companies do. According to Howes's data, the two programs together barely removed half the adware components on an infected PC:

  Ad-Aware SE Personal plus... Total Adware Fixed  
  Spybot Search & Destroy 54%  

I found no combination of any two anti-adware programs that removed more adware components than Giant AntiSpyware and Webroot Spy Sweeper, based on Howes's data. Removing only 70% of adware, unfortunately, isn't good enough. A much better strategy is to prevent adware from getting into your systems in the first place. I'll cover that next.

HUMM IF-Dazzler

Joined: 06 November 2004
Posts: 2927

Posted: 29 January 2005 at 1:46am | IP Logged
very good infoClapClapClap
*Anjali* IF-Dazzler

Joined: 13 August 2004
Posts: 4673

Posted: 29 January 2005 at 1:51am | IP Logged
great info, thanks cdesai!! ClapClapClap
meghavi IF-Rockerz

Joined: 21 November 2004
Posts: 8263

Posted: 29 January 2005 at 11:54am | IP Logged
Thanks cdesai
SONYA_K Goldie

IF’s Strict Mod
Joined: 19 January 2005
Posts: 2249

Posted: 29 January 2005 at 4:39pm | IP Logged
Nice info..Thanks!SmileSmile
mango Goldie

Joined: 08 December 2004
Posts: 9229

Posted: 29 January 2005 at 5:01pm | IP Logged
thanx cdesai
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