There are a few important differences between anti-spyware and anti-virus programs. The biggest difference is that while they detect some of the same things, anti-spyware programs have a much more stringent way of scanning for malware. Only catch is that they only run manually, and most do not have scheduled scans available, which means that it is the user’s responsibility to keep up with maintenance, updates, and periodic scans. Another big difference is that they don’t conflict with each other or with your Antivirus program because they dont have active scanners, allowing installation of multiple anti-spyware programs.

Beware also!

There are a lot of fake and rogue malwares that like to imitate these programs, so be sure you go to the right websites and check them against the thumbnails posted here.

All the programs on this page are free. While some have paid versions, to be sure, the free versions are sufficient. If you feel to support these software developers however I would encourage you to buy the paid versions or in the case of free only programs, donate so that their development will stay strong.

  • Spybot Search & Destroy: LinkSpybot 150x150 Anti Spyware Programs
    • Developer: Safer Networking Ltd.
    • Compatibility: WinXP, Vista, Win7
    • Usage Difficulty: Easy-Medium
    • Notes: During installation there is a check box on the 7th page of the installation that has the label “System settings protection (TeaTimer)”. This check box should be turned off. The TeaTimer is a little program that will ask you constantly to allow or deny changes, most of which are irrelevant. The scanning and immunization portions of this program are indispensable however.
  • Superantispyware 150x150 Anti Spyware ProgramsSuperAntiSpyware: Link
    • Developer: SuperAntiSpyware.com
    • Compatibility: WinXP, Vista
    • Usage Difficulty: Easy
    • Notes: This is one of the easiest and best programs around, albeit whimsical as far as names go. hard to go wrong with this one.

    .

  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware: LinkMalwarebytes 150x150 Anti Spyware Programs
    • Developer: Malwarebytes
    • Compatibility: WinXP, Vista, Win7
    • Usage Difficulty: Easy
    • Notes: While a little rough around the edges to look at, this is a decent anti-spyware detection tool. Just be sure to update and scan regularly.