Spybot - Search & Destroy 2.1 SR2 - 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:

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    4.2 stars

    out of 5,694 votes

    • 5 star: 3326
    • 4 star: 1372
    • 3 star: 316
    • 2 star: 166
    • 1 star: 514
  • Current version:

    3.0 stars

    out of 9 votes

    • 5 star: 2
    • 4 star: 3
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 1
    • 1 star: 3
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-9 of 9

  • 5.0 stars

    "I've been happy with Spybot for more than a decade"

    September 27, 2013  |   By anytownusa

    Version: Spybot - Search & Destroy 2.1 SR2

    Pros

    It not only protects against legitimate threats, it speeds up my system at bit after removing marketing type spyware, cookies and similar files.

    Cons

    1) Using the free version, updates and scans are done manually, remember to update and scan frequently.
    2) Though not a con, remember Spybot is not an anti-virus software per-se. Spybot is used in conjunction with your anti-virus software of choice.

    Summary

    Spybot S&D was highly recommended at a convention I attended years ago. One session included a class: "technology for non-technology people". I immediately downloaded Spybot and have been happily using it for more than a decade. I won't own a computer without it.

    Reply to this review

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  • 1.0 stars

    "very disappointing"

    September 22, 2013  |   By reneeinmay

    Version: Spybot - Search & Destroy 2.1 SR2

    Pros

    I used to swear by Spybot, but no more

    Cons

    Installing it this time messed up everything on my pc especially my game formats. and I got threats and Trojans all of a sudden attached to my computer. I tried to get help with no luck and uninstalled it.
    Spent hours scanning and quarantining my entire computer.
    Spybot wanted me to remove mostly everything to do with Mozilla!
    I couldn't open any links and found in my Firefox settings found Spybot had changed my Proxy setting prohibiting any links to be opened. What in the world caused them to drastically change and not for the better. I now use Malwarebytes.

    Summary

    As stated, I was so disappointed. and I had used and believed in
    this program since 2005

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (1) (2)

  • 5.0 stars

    "Best Anti-Spyware Program Out There"

    September 12, 2013  |   By Surffman

    Version: Spybot - Search & Destroy 2.1 SR2

    Pros

    Finds malware that Malwarebytes and others don't find.

    Cons

    Takes a long time.

    Summary

    This program found all of the malware on my computer that others did not find. I even ran Malwarebytes before and after I used Spybot and it still did not find junk that Spybot found. I don't know why Malwarebytes is listed in the top 20.

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

    Was this review helpful? (3) (0)

  • 4.0 stars

    "It Is Ok I Guess"

    September 2, 2013  |   By King_Kangaroo

    Version: Spybot - Search & Destroy 2.1 SR2

    Pros

    It Is Easy To Use Except For Updating It.

    Cons

    Hard And Confusing To Update

    Summary

    50 50

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Won't work with my security"

    August 18, 2013  |   By Ted Martin

    Version: Spybot - Search & Destroy 2.1 SR2

    Pros

    Don't know of any

    Cons

    not a universal product

    Reply to this review

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Does a good job even though it finds very few problems"

    August 14, 2013  |   By NevPH

    Version: Spybot - Search & Destroy 2.1 SR2

    Pros

    Quite fast, yes

    Cons

    Dont know of any

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (1)

  • 2.0 stars

    "Basic protection against malware"

    August 10, 2013  |   By davidbrent

    Version: Spybot - Search & Destroy 2.1 SR2

    Pros

    Free and easy to use, even for beginners.

    Cons

    Outdated. No real-time protection.

    Summary

    Offers some basic protection against malware, but I wouldn't use it as only means of protection.

    Reply to this review

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Nothing but malware"

    August 3, 2013  |   By shadow83blk

    Version: Spybot - Search & Destroy 2.1 SR2

    Pros

    Never had the chance to find out, it did nothing but load unwanted SW on my computer.

    Cons

    I did not even get to using Spybot because it started loading so much junk on my computer I stopped it. Even though I canceled the install it still installed a lot of bloatware, toolbars and many programs that I did not want. It took ne almost 20 minutes to remove them all. Spybot has become what it is supposed to protect you from.

    Summary

    Scam.

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

    Was this review helpful? (4) (2)

  • 4.0 stars

    "Change Browser Proxy"

    August 1, 2013  |   By silkphoenix

    Version: Spybot - Search & Destroy 2.1 SR2

    Pros

    I like last version better. See "Cons" for reason.

    Cons

    I updated mine to the latest version, 2.1 SR2. Right after that, I couldn't open any links from Twitter or Google. I thought they were down so Google it, and most links won't open. I then went to my Firefox settings and found that Spybot changed my Proxy setting prohibiting any links to be opened. I changed it back to my original and everything went back to normal.

    I have reverted back to the older version, which is 2 for the time being.

    Summary

    I might try the new version later. Does anyone know what does SR in the version number stand for?

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

    Was this review helpful? (3) (0)

Results 1-9 of 9

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