Friday, April 04, 2003

My first ever software review got published today, here it is now for your reading pleasure:-

Tech Discussion:

Thanks to Kashif Khan (kashif) for this contribution.

Lavasoft's Ad-Aware has been the popular choice for removing spyware and other malware. However, Lavasoft seemed to neglect Ad Aware, and there was a period when no updates were available. This created an opportunity for Spybot, and many people switched from Ad Aware to this product. Lavasoft are back in business now with the release of Ad Aware 6, so I decided to pit these two against each other to see which was the best.

1. Ease of Use: Ad-aware won in this category hands down, with an attractive gui and very helpful step by step wizards, that can even make a newbie use this with a fair amount of ease. Spybot S&D on the other hand is geared more towards the advanced user and some of the buttons can be confusing at times, such as the Spybot s&d button instead of a simple scan button. Spybot has made changes to gui in the newer versions by having an "easy mode" and an "advanced mode".

2. Getting the job done: I updated both the software's with the latest patches from their respective sites. Spybot S&D won this category detecting more spyware and malware in my system that Ad-Aware, one of which was extremely shocking was that Ad-Aware could not even find alexa installed on my system and even valueclick and other notorious spyware for that matter.

3. Advanced features:- The winner again was Spybot S&D. One of the features that impressed me the most was it gave you a detailed explanation of what the spyware does and also from it usually originates. More advanced features include immunization and check for bho's and active x controls. Ad-aware on the other hand had nothing to match these features. The Bho feature helped me detect a .dll file that would show an "enhanced search result" page while searching on google.

4. Scan time:- Both had practically the same timings when it came to scanning. I felt Ad-Aware 6 was slower than previous versions. So it was a tie here

Keeping all these things in mind I removed Lavasoft Ad-Aware from both my computers and have installed Spybot S&D. Even though you have to be a little careful about what you delete it does an excellent job of cleaning the system (it has a recovery mode as well), and its bundled advanced features are just the thing that advanced users want. Ad-aware just could not keep up with Spybot S&D and is now my favorite pick.

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