Spybot - Search & Destroy 1.6.2 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Spybot - Search & Destroy

CNET Editors' review

Spybot Search & Destroy is a free antispyware utility that targets adware, malicious code, and other threats. It also cleans security tracks, shreds files, and tweaks the Registry. The optional TeaTimer feature protects the Registry from real-time attacks. Spybot isn't a replacement for a full antivirus program, though it does detect and remove some threats. It's a constantly updated, on-demand adware and malware scanner you can run regularly to sweep your system. Spybot S&D is free for personal use.

Spybot's Setup screen let us choose which components to install, including skins, languages, and integration with Security Center. A pop-up message warned against removing ad robots lest their associated apps stop working, but we were more interested in what the average user experiences when running Spybot, so we just left things as they were downloaded.

Before it scans your system, Spybot asks to back up your registry -- let it. It only takes a minute or two. Even though the risk is low, Spybot has the power to delete what you let it delete, and a backup can save your bacon if something goes wrong. When we finished the setup process, Spybot asked if we wanted to read the tutorial or the help manual or start using the program. We opted for the extensive manual, which covers everything from basic options to settings for visually impaired users. Spybot's been around since the days of Windows 95, with many updates, so users have abundant resources: tutorials, FAQs, how-tos, forums, and so on.

It sounds like a long path to running Spybot, but in fact it's a quick and easy process. The main tool, Search & Destroy, has three buttons: Check for Problems, Recovery, and Updates (Spybot's menu also offers Recovery and Immunize features). The program offered a Hint of the Day while it scanned, though our initial scan took a lot longer than the tool tip took to read. Spybot found adware burrowed into our test PC. We had to run Spybot again as an Administrator and reboot to clean it all. But that's thorough cleaning and fine with us. Security-minded users should definitely try Spybot Search & Destroy.

Spybot-Search & Destroy-Search your hard disk and registry for threats to your security and privacy. -Download Video Previews:

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    4.2 stars

    out of 5,692 votes

    • 5 star: 3325
    • 4 star: 1371
    • 3 star: 316
    • 2 star: 166
    • 1 star: 514
  • Current version:

    4.0 stars

    out of 780 votes

    • 5 star: 332
    • 4 star: 289
    • 3 star: 57
    • 2 star: 42
    • 1 star: 60
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 780

  • 5.0 stars

    "Really great"

    July 29, 2013  |   By jaguarjane

    Version: Spybot - Search & Destroy 1.6.2

    Pros

    Helps keep my computer free from some rubbish.

    Cons

    Can't think of any.

    Summary

    Well worth using

    Reply to this review

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  • 4.0 stars

    "A good package"

    July 13, 2013  |   By roymer

    Version: Spybot - Search & Destroy 1.6.2

    Pros

    Seems to work well to free us of some of the dreadful afflictions that come along.

    Cons

    Came up against a bit of an obstacle when it said I couldn't rid myself of something because I "wasn't an administrator" took me a while to understand this as I was signed in as administrator.
    Finally found the key, but resented the difficulty I had to do what it was you wanted. No point in hiding this important action.

    Summary

    Very useful in keeping a clean system, along with other essential software, anti-virus, cleaner, defragmenter to keep it all humming.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "brilliant recomend"

    July 1, 2013  |   By matjos26

    Version: Spybot - Search & Destroy 1.6.2

    Pros

    spybot has detected loads of viruses and adware and nasty stuff i dont want on my computer

    quick scan

    Cons

    need to run as administrator

    Summary

    gets rid of stuff antivirus dont find brilliant bit of kit sorted out my computer found and got rid of stuff no other software can

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Fixed my plagues!"

    June 29, 2013  |   By fud2

    Version: Spybot - Search & Destroy 1.6.2

    Pros

    Easy to run and fixed problems that had set in while running Malwarebytes...

    Cons

    none that I could find

    Summary

    Good Program...glad to find it.

    Reply to this review

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  • 5.0 stars

    "A good supplement to other anti-virus softwares"

    June 28, 2013  |   By slimeymommey

    Version: Spybot - Search & Destroy 1.6.2

    Pros

    This is a very good addition in finding other viruses that typical malware bytes, avast, mse cannot find.

    Cons

    Please make it look better and develop it

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Horrible experience"

    June 16, 2013  |   By Daniel33713

    Version: Spybot - Search & Destroy 1.6.2

    Pros

    I'm not sure if it ever did anything constructive

    Cons

    I uninstalled because it would tell me my connection had timed out as soon as I clicked on a link. Once I uninstalled it, my web connection stopped working and Outlook wouldn't download pictures, the info bar disappeared.

    Reply to this review

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Not like before. Won't create repair files + others"

    June 10, 2013  |   By bladepolisher

    Version: Spybot - Search & Destroy 1.6.2

    Pros

    I'm quickly losing faith in Spybot.

    Cons

    Customer Service is quick on donation requests but short on solving issues. Software constantly ask for it to be run in Administrator setting.... why? I own this laptop and am the administrator. It is already set with me as the administrator. Now I get a error message saying can not create a certain file and quits any attempts to remove problem files. Because of this I still have malware on my pc with one malware site supposedly having 256 issues!! i AM UNINSTALLING SPYBOT IMMEDIATELY OR AT LEAST THEY CAN OFFER SOME KIND OF REAL TIME RESOLUTION TO THEIR OWN ISSUES. I WOULD BE HAPPY TO DONATE IF THEY WOULD JUST GET BACK TO WHAT THEY ONCE WERE.

    Summary

    Read the cons..... Spybot used to be much more powerful..... now they're just slow and weak!!

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

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  • 1.0 stars

    "This one is worthless"

    June 7, 2013  |   By cloudsandskye

    Version: Spybot - Search & Destroy 1.6.2

    Pros

    Nothing at all.

    Cons

    Below average detection and removal of malware. Particularly poor removal of rootkits. User interface has many awkward elements. Almost completely ineffective. Manual definition file updates, so no real-time protection.

    Summary

    Another mediocre product that doesn't even come close to living up to its marketing hype. For suckers only.

    Updated on Aug 16, 2013

    To jihadjiinee:

    1. There are plenty of robust, free antimalware products that work just fine without having to waste time going into safe mode.

    2. Modern antimalware products do not download or affect the registry during a scan.

    3. Definition updates are part of real-time protection because the updates occur automatically throughout the day to keep the protection current.

    If an experienced person like yourself wants to fuss around with software like this, that's up to you, but the typical computer user doesn't need to waste their time with this product.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Another step in a long line of winners for this company"

    June 7, 2013  |   By clownskunk

    Version: Spybot - Search & Destroy 1.6.2

    Pros

    Finds problems consistently (even when I created them deliberately to see what happened). Easy to use if you pay attention to the instructions and notifications.

    Cons

    Does not seem as flexible as earlier versions, but that may be because I'm just getting used to it again. It does take a bit of time to run a scan and fix, even on a 2gHz+ machine, but that has more to do with the thousands of "scrap files" (I know there is a nicer term, but let's call it what it is) that go along with the evolution of the Microsoft family of operating systems.
    For what you get the tradeoffs are worthwhile.
    I do wish they had more data on what the different malware is. Their database has always been a bit less than informative.

    Summary

    One of the best of the best, and both simple and at an excellent price (no nag ware or other garbage ad files included with this baby). I recommend it highly.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Great in finding hidden viruses"

    June 3, 2013  |   By Krunchymeal

    Version: Spybot - Search & Destroy 1.6.2

    Pros

    I recently caught a lot of trojans in my computer and this is one of the anti virus i used, it found a lot of viruses which other antiviruses didnt find. it is unique in its own way and does its own work

    Cons

    None because it did as promised.

    Reply to this review

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Results 1-10 of 780

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