anti-spyware posts on CNET

anti-spyware

Get into Avira Free Antivirus 12 faster than before

The bottom line: An aggressive redesign aimed at making its best-known suite more accessible than before, Avira Free Antivirus 12 combines fast scans with above-average protection for a solid security combo.

Review: Free antivirus maker Avira debuts a laundry list of changes in its latest major update, basically repositioning the suite to remain competitive in the face of tougher competition from other free security suites and a renewed emphasis on performance from paid competitors. From the new breezy installation to the modernized interface and reputable security, the suite has a lot going for it.

However, it notably lacks some features … Read more

Ad-Aware levels up its detection engines

In its third update of the year, Ad-Aware receives a hefty change to how it protects you. Lavasoft's Ad-Aware 9 Free, available today exclusively on CNET Download.com, debuts two new detection engines as the company fights to keep its well-known freeware competitive.

Lavasoft first started changing Ad-Aware's protection engine more than a year ago in version 8.1, when it introduced Genotype. This heuristics-based technology identified identical snippets of code across multiple threat mutations. In version 9, Genotype receives support from what Lavasoft calls "Dedicated Detection". This tech looks inside files, analyzes the code, and … Read more

Get slightly less, for less

The bottom line: You get less, for less. Norton AntiVirus 2011 offers the same core high-quality computer and networking protection features as its more full-featured sibling, Norton Internet Security, but it lacks some key Web protection features that users shouldn't really go without.

Review:

Editors' note: Portions of this review are based on CNET's review for Norton AntiVirus 2010.

Over the past few years, Symantec has completed a course reversal for its Norton consumer Internet security suites. The massive package of security tools works better than it ever has before, with an impressive set of features, some useful … Read more

New look, faster scans for McAfee 2010

McAfee has gone and done something drastic for the 2010 version of its basic security program, and we're not talking about the new name. McAfee AntiVirus Plus, which last year was known as McAfee VirusScan Plus, has a new interface that redefines how to streamline the complex and varied tools currently available in A-list security programs.

The the new and unusual top-down design is surprisingly easy to use, with clear delineations between features. Potentially confusing names have been jettisoned. For example, firewall settings control how you access the Web, so they're listed under Web and E-mail Protection. Also, … Read more

Avast Internet Security debuts

An A-list antivirus, Avast Internet Security 5 provides steadfast protection and a robust selection of features. This version is the paid upgrade from the better-known Avast Free, and so includes several features not available elsewhere.

Avast Internet Security protects you with multiple guards. The antivirus, antispyware, and heuristics engines form a security core that also includes multiple real-time shields. The adjustable mail and file system shields join the pre-existing behavior, network, instant messaging, peer-to-peer (P2P), script, and Web shields. The behavioral shield is a common-sense feature, as security software publishers leverage their large user bases to detect threats early and … Read more

Make viruses walk the plank

Avast Free 5, an A-list freeware antivirus app, provides the same steadfast protection of well-known, pricier antivirus programs. Avast is remarkable for both its effectiveness and arguably providing the most complete free antivirus on the market.

Avast Free 5, formerly known as the Home Edition, protects you with multiple guards. The antivirus, antispyware, and heuristics engines form a security core that also includes multiple real-time shields. The adjustable mail and file system shields join the pre-existing behavior, network, instant messaging, peer-to-peer, and Web shields. The behavioral shield is a common-sense feature, as security software publishers leverage their large user bases … Read more

IOBit 360 refreshed for Windows 7

IOBit 360 is a relative newcomer on the antimalware scene, although the Chinese publisher is known for making solid utility software such as Smart Defrag. It's a fast and welterweight freeware utility for detecting and removing malware, and plugging your system's security holes before they can been exploited. The new improvements in version 1.10 include integration with the Windows 7 security center, a new feature that creates a USB key-portable version, a toolbar, and scan engine tweaks.

If you're unfamiliar with the program, it's fairly simple to figure out and use. The interface has large … Read more

Effective security for power users

AVG Free provides the bare necessities when it comes to security, but that should be enough for savvy Windows users. You'll get a combined antivirus and antimalware engine, LinkScanner, and e-mail scanning. AVG Free 9 introduces a few new features, with improvements focused on performance, including claims of faster scan and boot times. One new feature is the Identity Theft Recovery Unit. Only for users in the United States, ITRU is a business partnership with Identity Guard which provides "consumer identity theft solutions," accessible only from the AVG toolbar in Firefox and Internet Explorer.

The interface is … Read more

Security Essentials graduates to v1.0

Microsoft has released version 1.0 of Security Essentials, the successor to Live OneCare. Originally known as Morro, Security Essentials retains the core features of OneCare, but abandons the additional heft of a firewall, performance tuning, and backup and restore options in exchange for making the program free. Rather than taking aim at full-featured security suites made by Symantec or Eset, the features available in Security Essentials indicate that Microsoft is aiming to compete with basic-but-free security apps.

For the select 75,000 public beta testers who got their hands on the program when the limited public beta was offered … Read more

Norton Antivirus 2010

In the 2010 version of its well-known antivirus program, Symantec continues to build on the unexpected progress it made last year. In addition to maintaining the quick load and scan times, and significantly smaller system footprint, Norton 2010 includes a behavioral detection engine based on both behavior and reputation.

Called Quorum, this new engine doesn't adversely affect Norton's performance--a major concern after years of system-crippling sluggishness. It works in concert with Norton Insight, introduced last year as a whitelist-style guard for ''trusted'' files. By examining your files and how they behave--both locally and when trying to access the … Read more