PC Tools Spyware Doctor 3.2 review

Price when reviewed

One of the many great things about Spyware Doctor is that any component – be it a scanner, tool or monitor – can be updated through the same update service that delivers spyware signature definitions. And these are delivered on an industry-leading daily basis. Spyware Doctor uses a system of ‘Intelli-signatures’, which both detect a specific threat and calculate its variants. This means the database is highly optimised, as evidenced by the fastest scanning time in our tests: under five minutes for a full system is a great result.

PC Tools Spyware Doctor 3.2 review

Accuracy isn’t compromised by speed, as Spyware Doctor also had the highest detection (94 per cent), removal (88 per cent) and blocking (66 per cent) rates. Some of this is due to the excellent keylogger protection, using patented behavioural technology to monitor for new variants in real-time, instead of relying upon signature-based protection.

There are many more features too: scan scheduling, a real-time process guard monitoring any attempt to execute a file, ‘immunisation’ against 1,800 malicious ActiveX objects, Firefox and Opera support, plus an effective system rollback function. There’s also a blacklist-driven warning system if you attempt to browse malicious or phishing websites, and sensibly Spyware Doctor doesn’t regard every tracking cookie as spyware, only reporting malicious ones. There’s even a Malware Detective that generates a report, which is sent to the PC Tools Malware Research Centre (MRC) for analysis and help if an unknown threat is causing problems.

Equally suitable for the novice and the expert, Spyware Doctor is a clear winner this month and takes its place on our A List as a result.

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