While Spyware Doctor has been a high ranking antispyware in the past years, there is software that now beats its performance and features.
The user interface of the software has been rated average. Installation of Spyware Doctor Antispyware is very simple, and there are various features that ensure a solid antispyware product that is quite attractive.
There are, however, issues with the core antispyware functioning of the product, as Spyware Doctor doesn’t seem to be faring well through tests.
The real-time protection performance of the software didn’t quite reach average, while the manual scanning results were a letdown as well.
As Spyware Doctor has been praised before, this year wasn’t the best year for the software against the many other antispyware products that seem to be doing much better.
Spyware Doctor Antispyware Features
- Real-time Antispyware Protection
- ThreatFire Behavioral Intelligence
- Rootkit Detection
- Browsing Protection
- Site Guard
- Cookie Guard
- IntelliGuard Protection
Installation – 90%
Installing Spyware Doctor onto the PC is very easy, with self-explanatory steps to guide you through the process. The only downside is that the main screen may not be opened until updates are initially installed for the software.
This is a function that is much different than other tested antispyware software.
While the installation isn’t as clean as desired, it is still fairly simple and quick.
User Interface – 60%
The user interface of Spyware Doctor has great organization; however the navigation is still a bit difficult to maneuver.
It took some time to get acquainted with the software enough to understand the various options and how they function. The navigation, however, seemed to be much different than other antispyware software that has been tested.
Real-time guard, Spyware Doctor’s IntelliGuard, can be enabled and disabled whenever the user wants from the home screen.
There is a system status displayed on the home screen which offers an overall overview of the software. The computer user can determine whether the software is out of date or current through the status screen. Manual scans can also be initiated directly from the home screen as well.
Pre-Infected Machine – 50%
The test PC used was infected with spyware and other malware, including Trojans, before installation of Spyware Doctor from the box.
After installing Spyware Doctor Antispyware 2011, there was an automatic scan launched immediately, but there were no present Trojans detected. All spyware and adware, however, was detected and blocked by the software as expected.
Trojan infections are not typical threats detected or blocked by antispyware, however, many of the new top antispyware releases for this year have added the benefit of Trojan blocking without error. This has raised the bar in testing of antispyware, causing Spyware Doctor to lag behind in performance.
Real-time Protection – 50%
The real-time protection offered by Spyware Doctor performed at a level below average, reaching a very low score in testing. Spyware sets copied into the test PC were detected differently per set, with the first slipping past the software but the second detected.
This causes a dilemma with the software as the known Trojans within the first set were able to pass through the real-time protection, while the spyware and adware on the test PC were blocked without error.
The pop-ups that were introduced to the test PC weren’t all detected or blocked either.
Manual Scanning – 30%
The manual scanning feature of Spyware Doctor performed just as the IntelliGuard testing.
The test PC was introduced to various forms of malware, after which a full system manual scan was initiated.
Not one of the Trojans was detected by the manual scan, yet all spyware and adware present was detected and captured by the software.
There are protection statistics offered through the Help menu of the software, but shown misleading information after the completion of the manual scan. There was the following count shown:
- Infections Detected: 25
- Infections quarantined: 4
- Infections removed: 17
We had no idea of the state of the four remaining infections, giving no indication of what is happening to the infections or if they are being handled properly.
Resource Usage – 94%
Real-time protection: Memory usage: 12 MB, CPU usage: 0% to 2%, Page file usage: 261 MB
Manual Scanning: Memory usage: Max 62 MB, CPU usage: 4% to 55%, Page file usage: 337 MB
Definition Updates – 80%
During installation of the antispyware software, the definition update was initiated and users can configure the updates through the home screen of the software.
Antispyware definition updates can be scheduled at intervals the user desires, frequently or less frequently, although it is suggested that it is run more frequently in order to ensure the PC receives the maximum protection possible.
Customer Support – 90%
There is a clean and very neat customer support page offered with Spyware Doctor. There are various sources of support offered including live chat, phone, email, a full knowledgebase, FAQs, and forums for users to communicate within.
There isn’t assistance offered for context sensitive issues.
Un-Installation – 95%
It only takes a single click to uninstall Spyware Doctor Antispyware, ensuring the easiest and quickest removal of the software.
The Add/Remove feature of your PC can be used to remove the software completely.
After completing the uninstallation process, a restart will be requested.
Special Features – 87%
Malware Detective: This is a feature offered solely by Spyware Doctor which scans the computer sending vulnerable files back to the home server. Testing the feature, however, it was found that there was a ticket number needed, which we were not aware of, and no help section or support to assist in finding the ticket number or finding out what it is. This decreased the user-friendly nature of the software.
Secure Community: There is a large community built amongst Spyware Doctor users, who will report any potential malware to the PC Tools company, who makes Spyware Doctor. This information is then used to update signatures after thorough analysis of the files.
Super VGA 800 x 600 video adapter
Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher
Internet access is required to register and receive product updates
Spyware Doctor Retail requires a 8X CD-ROM drive or faster
1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
1 GB of system memory 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
40 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space
1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
1 GB of system memory
20 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space
Windows XP Home and Professional Editions with SP1
Pentium 300 MHz processor
128 MB of system memory
1.5 GB of available space on the hard drive
Windows 2000 (Version 126.96.36.1998 only) with SP4 and update roll-up
Pentium 133 MHz processor
64 MB of system memory
2 GB Hard Drive with atleast 650 MB of available space
Ending testing of Spyware Doctor, it was found that although the software picks up well on new threats, the pre-existing threats are more difficult, as well as Trojans which are not picked up by the software at all. Other software tested, including STOPzilla, CounterSpy, and SUPREantispyware performed much better, detecting and blocking all Trojans introduced to the software. The taskbar and Regedit were also disabled without permission from the user by Spyware Doctor, causing a very obnoxious issue.
For novice users, Spyware Doctor can inhibit appropriate scanning by requiring the user choose between one or more types of scanners when performing the custom scan, which can make it difficult to get the full or quick scan.
As Spyware Doctor has previously scored as one of the top software choices of the previous years, its performance has disappointed us with low effectiveness in blocking and detecting some of the more serious threats online.