Spybot – Search and Destroy is a kind of malware detection tool that is capable of defending your system from hackers by killing the adware, keylogger, rootkit, and other spying files. But is it enough to give full security to your smartphone, MacOS, and computers? Will discuss everything in detail here.
Antivirus is such an essential software that is a requirement of every device nowadays to protect important data from getting into the wrong hands. If you keep sharing files from one device to another via USB or other peripheral devices, you need to be more attentive, especially when you are spending a huge time over the internet. But the problem is, a huge range of spyware and antivirus tools are available in the market and you get confused about which one you should install on your device.
Fortunately, it won’t be a problem for you from now onwards because so far, we have tested and reviewed all the popular antivirus and spyware applications such as McAfee, Kaspersky, Norton 360, Dr. Web, and more. And here we are going to share the honest reviews about “Spybot – Search and Destroy”. This detailed explanation will answer all your queries that include compatibility, device performance, price, advantages, and a lot more.
Spybot Antivirus Overview
Spybot – Search and Destroy is a mediocre antivirus application that is developed to keep your devices away from the reach of Rootkit, Adware, and another spying tool that can steal your personal data and share it with hackers and data analysts.
There are three ways to use and take out the best result using Spybot;
- Install its basic version alone that is available free with system scan, cookies tracking, and a few other features.
- Install the basic version with +AV to defend your PC from online threats, viruses, worms, and other malware.
- You can install the basic Spybot version and as a backup, install another powerful antivirus to get the combo benefits.
You can only protect your Windows devices using Spybot antivirus. It doesn’t support Mac, Android, and iPhone. So, if you are looking to secure your privacy on Windows OS with a basic antivirus tool, Spybot would be the best option for you.
Below, I am sharing my review and personal opinion about the Spybot – Search and Destroy antivirus. It will clear all your doubts before installing and giving a try to this popular spyware tool.
What security features does it offer?
The free version of Spybot scans for the normal threats and shows you the list of malicious files if found. Based on that, you can take manual action to delete or quarantine it. Whereas, the premium Spybot edition goes a bit deeper to detect and destroy the suspicious files from your PC.
Just below the system scan section, you can see the scanning progress that also shows you the estimated time to finish the step. During the system scanning, you can stop the process if needed and see the result from there.
Spybot free edition also allows you to scan the manually selected files, which helps you to save time and look for only those folders probably that may contain any malware.
The Spybot Immunization feature blocks access to websites that may contain viruses. The application matches the detected old and new types of malware with their regularly updated database. If it finds that a URL has already defected to some system in the past, it will block you from visiting that URL.
The Spybot Search and Destroy antivirus also finds tracking cookies and plugins that may contain some malicious code to steal your data. This spying protection tool supports all the major internet browsers like Opera, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox.
A rootkit can be a collection of software that plays under the shadow of any legitimate applications. A Rootkit can hide inside another software and keep sending your personal information to the hackers. It is specially designed to grant the access of an unauthorized user through your admin privilege so that cybercriminals can steal your bank details and other credentials for their purpose.
Spybot Rootkit scan protects your Windows PC from such suspicious activities and blocks the malicious Rootkit from sending your personal information over the internet.
Microsoft keeps tracking your activities while you are using the Windows operating system. Also, automatically it used to download and install the updates and keep running unwanted programs in the background.
In this way, Microsoft uses your internet bandwidth, and sometimes you might not notice. Additionally, it steals your information to show you relevant and customized product advertisements to increase their business revenue.
Here Spybot Anti-Beacon comes into play and keeps you updated about such hidden activities going on inside your PC. To explore such amazing features, you need to Spybot Pro because it isn’t available in the Trial version.
Several reputed internet browsers store cookies when you access any website. They ask your permission to keep a copy of your internet usability behavior, browser settings, activities, third-party cookies, and more. Such activities allow them to analyze the scope to provide you better service.
Many times, such stored cookies can be caught as a spying tool that steals your data under your nose. To protect your PC from such suspicious activities, you can use the Spybot cookie tracking features. Using the same, you can enable or disable the settings to prevent the websites from creating cookies and tracking important information.
Does Spybot Provide Decent Phishing Protection?
In my test, I surfed for many known phishing websites and found that Spybot is capable of catching only around 80% of such URLs. That means, if you keep visiting software and game downloading websites, entertaining sites, or other similar places where there are higher chances to get the phishing attack, you can’t rely on the Spybot antivirus for complete protection.
As a smart user, either you can install a strong antivirus protection tool along with the Spybot internet malware protection software. Or you can look for any alternatives that can do both of the tasks with one application.
Does it protect against ransomware?
As we said earlier, Spybot isn’t the perfect antivirus tool to protect your computer from all the malicious files like Trojan Horse, Ransomware, Viruses, and more. The application is created with limited features where the developer focused more on internet threats rather than offline problems.
Up to some extent, Spybot can detect the ransomware but can’t give you a reliable result if you are looking for a solution to prevent or wipe out ransomware files from your PC.
Does Spybot Removes and Protects me from new Malware?
Spybot gives you real-time protection with malware detection and protection. The application keeps updating its database and your installed setup. It helps the tool to detect the new malware and prevent them from executing and damaging your system.
Can it Detect a Threat while I’m Browsing?
Yes, it can, but the free edition can’t cover the higher and real-time threats. To get full access to Spybot features for real-time system protection, you need to buy their premium plans for your personal or business needs.
What other features does Spybot Antivirus offer?
The free edition of Spybot provides you with only a couple of features that gives you the basic protection to your computer. Once you upgrade to their premium subscription plan, you can get enough utility to defend your PC from several malware attacks.
At a glance, you can see the report of all the activities you have performed with the tool.
The statistics show you the status of the last system scan and defective items. You can see the detected heuristic items and malware files. In the same window, you can see the quick status of the Rootkit scan, quarantined file items, immunization status, and more.
The section gives you a chance to restore the accidentally removed important file that was flagged as malware. You can purge or restore the items from the Spybot quarantine list.
Spybot antivirus tool is available to access in more than 10 languages. By default, it supports the English language that is used on the international level. You can go inside the settings and customize the interface for your preferred language out of German, Italian, Russian, Polish, French, Dutch, Spanish, and more.
Inside the Spybot setting section, you can create a list of manually selected items to omit while the scanning process is going on. To do that, you need to add the folders or the list of URLs and software items that must be ignored while the Spybot is doing a regular scan.
The default settings of Spybot browsers settings can consume some resources that aren’t required. So, using the browser settings option, you can uncheck the rarely or never used browsers and let the Spybot only work for those internet browsers that you often use to perform the task.
As Spybot gives real-time protection to your computer, it keeps updating its application for giving you the best result. But sometimes, you might have a limited internet bandwidth and it may be troublesome to go with the automatic updating feature of Spybot.
In that case, you can customize the settings to enable, disable, or even uninstall the utility from the System Services window.
This section is featured with some additional utility that you can use to tune up your PC. For instance, you can manage all the startup applications and repair some damaged files existing on your computer. If you use a Spybot Pro version, it allows you to use the file shredder and deep Rootkit scan features.
You can only access these lucrative features in a pro version of Spybot. If you have a better understanding and hands-on experience of programming language or coding, you can explore the Spybot advanced features. It helps you to manage the tasks and put them in automated mode. The embedded OpenSBI Editor and Script Editor are the unique utility that you hardly find with any competitive antivirus software.
Although, writing a custom script for the detection and deleting of malware isn’t used by regular PC users. So, investing in the pro version for getting such an advantage is only beneficial for the users whose intention is to experiment and analyze the spyware and other malware behaviors.
Spybot’s Phone Scan is designed to scan and detect malware inside your iTunes folder. In my view, it is just a marketing strategy of Spybot to convince the users to purchase the tool. In reality, it doesn’t scan your entire phone, instead, looks for the basic suspicious file and shows you the report.
Boot CD Creator is another feature that is hardly being used in this era. Because nowadays, people used to create a bootable device on USB rather than CD or DVDs. Also, the latest computers and laptops are coming without having a CD reader. So investing in Spybot for this additional feature doesn’t make any sense.
How do we test?
We installed Spybot Search and Destroy antivirus in a couple of systems that were loaded with some known malware files. Then started with the system scan tool where we observed that it took around an hour to finish the process. That is a bit faster than other popular antivirus tools.
However, we learned that the Spybot is a very good application to protect my PC from adware, spyware, keylogger, and other online threats. But it lacks in detecting all the other malware existing in my computer. At the time of my test on a PC, out of 300+ malware files, it only detects around 70-80% of the infected files and when we compared it by scanning the same system with McAfee, it detects 100% malware files.
Besides, I got the pop-up in Spybot to choose the option for taking action on each detected malware file. A well-engineered antivirus software never asks for manual action for each of the detected malware regardless of how dangerous it could be for your device. Instead, they only ask for choosing the option for quarantine for those threats that have a low-risk factor.
I also created a list of suspicious URLs and tried to visit the websites one by one. There also, I didn’t get any satisfactory result to defend my system from phishing websites.
As per my experiment, Spybot doesn’t seem a reliable software if your concern is to defeat a variety of malware.
How Spybot Ensures Endpoint Security?
Spybot can protect you from adware and similar types of malware but it isn’t a perfect antivirus protection tool for your PC. Because it lacks several basic features that are being provided by the top antivirus software.
In the free version of Spybot Search and Destroy, you get limited access to scan your PC, find the Rootkit affected files, immunization, and all. The paid version gives a few additional features but still doesn’t compile all the required utilities that can give you full protection from data theft, viruses, Trojan, ransomware, and more.
So, as the Spybot has very limited options, we can’t be assured to get enough endpoint security using this application.
What are the advantages and prices of the premium subscription?
Spybot antivirus gives you several basic and advanced features such as immunization, deep Rootkit scan, file analyzer, system repair, and more. Also, this software keeps updating its databases too frequently to catch the real-time malware and defend it before it can harm your computer.
To date, Spybot is providing 4 premium subscription plans whereas 2 plans come under personal edition and another 2 comes under business editions.
Here are the prices and features included with each premium Spybot plan.
The Spybot Home edition will cost you around $15 to protect a single Windows computer.
This package gives you a very limited feature that contains anti-spyware, repair environment, startup tools management, Rootkit scan, live protection, task scheduling and a few more.
Spybot Professional Toolkit will cost you around $26 to secure your one Windows PC.
The package includes all the home features and additional things are; Anti-Beacon, system registry repair, secure file shredder, command-line tools, and script editor. Also, with this premium package, you can get technical support on priority.
The Spybot Corporate package will cost you around $34.50 where you get all the home and professional edition features. There aren’t any additional things you can get with the corporate Spybot plan.
Spybot Technician’s premium plan will cost you around $60 where you get all the corporate features along with a File analyzer that is an additional thing in this package.
Does it Require a subscription?
You enjoy the basic features of Spybot, you can download and install the free edition without any expiry. As a courtesy, if you want to support them, you can donate your desired amount to the team for consistently providing free services to the users who want to use their basic and free features.
The free edition gives you only 4 features that are; anti-spyware, Rootkit Scan, Startup tools, and system immunization. If you want to access some advanced features and their antivirus application, then you must buy their subscription plan.
Will Spybot antivirus slow down your computer?
In my testing, I never feel the slow down of computers due to Spybot. Even when I tried to run multiple tasks at a time like system scan and Rootkit Scan, it never affected the performance of my PC.
Spybot is a lightweight application where you don’t need to worry about eating up a lot of resources and acquiring enough space on your disk. You can download the Spybot Search and Destroy plus AV edition to perform the security protection task without any glitches.
Can Spybot Save your Mac and iPhone from Viruses?
Unfortunately, Spybot isn’t offering its services to Mac and iPhone users. So, even not wanting, you must look for the other existing antivirus that is engineered to give an additional layer of protection shield to the Apple devices you are using.
So far, Spybot antivirus isn’t available to install on your mobile devices. So, you can’t protect your Android mobile by adding the layer of security with Spybot.
How is Spybot Customer Support?
It isn’t user-friendly that can solve your query instantly over the call or live chat. If you are a free edition user, you need to create a ticket by filling their long contact form available on the official website. And then you might need to wait for a day or two to get their revert messages.
If you have bought their premium subscription plan, then the team can consider your query as the priority.
Filling their contact form by choosing all the filter options carefully can be a bit annoying for the users who are seeking instant assistance.
If you can’t wait for a longer time, you can go to their forum section given on the website, or read the FAQs available on the contact us section. It may prevent you from being in a queue and getting the solution for any basic queries.
Spybot’s Strengths and Weaknesses
- The navigation panel is easy to explore.
- Best for protecting your system from spying kind of malware.
- Deep scan for Rootkit malware.
- Cheaper than other competitive antivirus applications.
- Immunization works fine to detect suspicious URLs.
- Setup file is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems.
- Advanced tools for professionals and technical giants.
- Limited features in a free edition.
- Malware detection and protection rate are below average.
- Antivirus features aren’t available in the Spybot Free Edition.
- Only supports Windows computers, you can’t use it to protect other devices.
- Not a perfect tool to detect all phishing websites.
- Running lacks features like parental control, VPN, Game Mode, Firewall, etc.
- No money-back guarantee.
Indeed the Spyware – Search and Destroy an antivirus is an inexpensive option but it doesn’t give you complete protection against all the malware.
We did several experiments with Spybot to detect Trojans, Ransomware, Keylogger, and more suspicious files, as a result, we didn’t get satisfactory results like the competitive antivirus programs did. Most of the features are given in the Spybot premium plans that claim to protect your Windows-based system from all kinds of malware. But as per my view, it isn’t worth spending on this tool because it hardly finds around 80% of the malicious files.
Spybot is a mediocre antivirus that can be installed on a PC if you are looking for basic protection against online threats with limited features and a non-confusing interface.
Spybot’s Competitors or Alternatives
McAfee, Kaspersky, Malwarebytes, and Bitdefender are the best alternatives to Spybot. Because they give you enough features in the trial version and are capable of detecting and removing almost every kind of malware such as adware, ransomware, phishing activities, and other malicious files.
The best part is, the competitive antivirus applications are committed to giving you a money-back guarantee with their premium packages. Also, they give you additional features like Parental Control, VPN, Game Mode, Firewall management, and more.