Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 09, 2016, 09:34:23 AM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Last post Author Topic: What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?  (Read 13129 times)

Curt

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 7,092
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?
« on: June 12, 2007, 11:53:46 AM »
PCTools are mailing me quite often to have me renew my Spyware Doctor license. The price has gone down to $20, instead of the normal $30. Only; I have been a little annoyed by the program. I think it far too often has been taking up too much CPU at the wrong time, delaying the wrong programs for too long. And once, but only once, it gave me a false positive, luring me to remove a perfectly harmless program. But then again; when it comes to this kind of safeness I very often would like to wear both belt and suspenders
- so what are your thoughts about this Doctor: is he worth a renewal?
 :tellme:

title_doctor_en.gif

[Edit: I should of course tell that I have Outpost Pro, NOD32, Add-Aware 2007 Plus, and some anti-rootkits!
I am not asking for you to decide for me; I am merely asking: What do you think of Spyware Doctor?]
« Last Edit: June 12, 2007, 12:01:55 PM by Curt »

Wordzilla

  • Forum Search Daemon
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 470
  • Two there should be; no more, no less.
    • View Profile
    • FreeThesaurus.net - The Free Online Synonym Finder
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2007, 11:58:12 AM »
IMO it's an effective anti-spyware, however I'm afraid it's way too bloated for my taste.

Just look at how long it takes for it to cold start... And better not enable those resident real-time protection stuff if you don't have a high-end system.

As a strict on-demand scanner it works pretty well for me.

Curt

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 7,092
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2007, 12:11:15 PM »
Yes; it starts incredible slow! But isn't the real-time protection one of the main reasons for having this program? I am not sure how effecient the on-demand scanner in Outpost Pro is, but it is there. If on-demand scanning was the only use I think I would stick to Outpost. I was always using Spyware Doctor as real-time protector.

Do you really need the Doctor if you are only using him on demand? Does it perform this much better than i.e. the free plugin for Outpost?

Wordzilla

  • Forum Search Daemon
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 470
  • Two there should be; no more, no less.
    • View Profile
    • FreeThesaurus.net - The Free Online Synonym Finder
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2007, 12:26:35 PM »
Well I have tried quite a few free/commercial anti-spyware before (including all of the popular alternatives) - none of them trumped Spyware Doctor in terms of detection AND removal of spyware.

A few months ago I was annoyed to death by those "You have been infected by ..." false alarms popping up every few minutes, and that was when I clearly realized some crap infected my system (not just a routine check revealing problems).

I remember Ad-aware reported all clear, Mcafee + antispyware plugin failed to remove the thingy - and spyware doctor killed the bastard without trouble, on its first try.

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2007, 10:15:01 AM »
I have licenses for both Spyware Doctore and Webroot Spy Sweeper.

They both seem pretty effective at what they do but both are resource hogs. I have finally settled on Spy Sweeper for day to day use because it is marginally less heavy on resources.

I just really wish we could have some giant scum filter in the internet that sucks up the crappy idiots who force everyone to buy these applications and degrade systems this much just to feel safe online.

Sometimes it makes you wonder who gains by internet scumware - strikes me all the companies producing firewalls, spyware, trojans, rootkits and viruses have a vested interest in making sure the level of attack is maintained on the web. But I am probably just a bit paranoid.

cranioscopical

  • Friend of the Site
  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,368
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2007, 04:07:44 PM »
I use Spyware Doctor.  Has anyone noticed it introducing 'random' keystrokes into other applications?

Darwin

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,984
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2007, 06:12:29 PM »
I use SpySweeper and am generally happy with it - it took Webroot a LONG time to sort out the anti-Keylogger shield introduced in v. 5, but it's fixed now (for the longest time - months and months - it kept flagging about 30 WINDOWS processes as keyloggers and interupting me, rendering my computer almost uselessl, so I ran with it disabled until they fixed it. They've still not made the keylogger shield user-configurable in any way, which irritates me, but there it is).

I also run Ad-aware Pro on my wife's machine and am trying to decide if I should update to 2007 for $24 or not... Might review anti-spyware at the end of the year as both Ad-awarea and Spysweeper will need renewing then...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Earthcoder

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2007
  • *
  • Posts: 48
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2007, 07:17:32 AM »
I use Spyware Terminator http://www.spywareterminator.com/

I find it helpful and easy to use.

Perry Mowbray

  • N.A.N.Y. Organizer
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,817
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2007, 08:38:54 AM »
I'm another Spyware Terminator user  :) Pretty simple usage, and it's real-time protection is enough to give confidence without annoying me too much.

howiem

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2007, 10:14:31 PM »
My license expires in a month, and I have bought a license for Counterspy V2, which is much improved over earlier versions.  I have Zone Alarm Pro's antispyware, do all my surfing in a sandbox (except for manual Windows Updates, so I don't bother with the real time protection, and usually only activate another antispyware program once a week or so to update and scan.  I also have Spysweeper which I quit using as I am always getting 'damaged - reinstall' messages.  I agree that Spyware Doctor seems to have good detection, but as one poster said, it is too bloated and doesn't integrate that well, but Counterspy does. 

nosh

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,426
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2007, 10:37:56 PM »
I've used trial versions of Spyware Doctor & Counterspy a few months back. They're both good apps but I recall Spyware Doctor having the best detection rate & Counterspy bogging my system down a bit.

Curt

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 7,092
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2007, 03:11:19 AM »
...  I ... do all my surfing in a sandbox ..

HOW does one do this; surf in a (virtual) sandbox? :tellme:

[Edit: that question was not too smart formulated. I have been told about Virtual Partitions (vp), but I have not yet any understanding of HOW you get the downloaded/installed stuff FROM the vp    TO the not-virtual disk. Am I to install twice? Or is there some kind of button saying KeepThis / DumpThat, or what?
« Last Edit: June 17, 2007, 03:36:23 AM by Curt »

Darwin

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,984
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2007, 10:37:19 AM »
Curt - you need to download and install somethig like tzuk's Sandboxie, which creates a space on your harddrive that it controls. Instead of changes being made to your "real" OS installation and registry, changes are made in a virtual model of it contained within the sandbox. None of the changes can affect anything outiside of the sandbox. What's great is that you can also use sandboxie to install and test software if you're at all worried about the software messing your settings up. When you're done surfing, or testing software, you just delete the contents of the sandbox and everything is gone.

There's an alternative that works in a very similar way and which a lot of people here prefer but for the life of me I can't remember what it's called (AVS something or other!) - someone will no doubt be along shortly to tell you about it.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2007, 11:06:35 AM »
I think you mean Altiris SVS. There is a community site called Altiris Juice with discussion forums and helpful information.

This has now been bought by Symantec (death IMHO) but still seems to be available and is (or was) free for personal use.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2007, 11:08:30 AM by Carol Haynes »

nosh

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,426
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2007, 12:02:55 PM »
Any obvious reason why it's preferred over Sandboxie?

Edit: From a PC Mag review of Altris SVS 2:

Quote
Going out on a limb, I installed some sample spyware using the SVS global capture mode to test whether I could clean up by rolling back changes. It didn't entirely work. Altiris representatives confirm that SVS isn't designed as a security product; for secure and complete rollback to an earlier state, they recommend Altiris Protect. And speaking of security—do not virtualize antivirus and other security products. Also, SVS doesn't run in Safe Mode, so don't virtualize any tools you might need in that mode. 
« Last Edit: June 17, 2007, 12:30:08 PM by nosh »

Darwin

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,984
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2007, 01:28:59 PM »
Thanks Carol - that's the one!

Nosh - I've no clear idea why, although it's been discussed in a number of threads on donationcoder over the last 18 months. I've never used it, so can't compare/comment.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2007, 01:49:24 PM »
I am just having an experiment with it since the free license is still available.

Just download and install the product and you are asked for a license key during installation. There is a link for a free key for personal use which takes you to a web page with a license agreement. You don't have to enter an email address if you don't want to. After accepting the license agreement a ZIP file is offered automatically as a download. The file contains a single text file with your personal key.

Nice system for offering keys - Mouser might consider adopting it for installing new DC apps for users without a universal key.

Darwin

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,984
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2007, 02:25:14 PM »
OK - I'm downloading it now, Carol - thanks for the update and the link.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Curt

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 7,092
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2007, 03:21:29 PM »
So far this virtual partition thing has been annoying to me! Some of those smart plugins that I am using most frequently cannot do their job; OneClickToSaveImagesToImageFolder and such.
 :mad:

I guess I should use some more days to figure out how to live with this. I started out with installing two of the free BufferZone versions. They are all right, but I soon realized that the $$ PRO version would be a better choice. Right now I have installed this free Altiris you speak of, and then tomorrow will show (its late in the evening here).

Wordzilla

  • Forum Search Daemon
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 470
  • Two there should be; no more, no less.
    • View Profile
    • FreeThesaurus.net - The Free Online Synonym Finder
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2007, 07:10:29 PM »
Spyware Doctor (free version) is now a part of Google Pack.

Feature comparison between free and paid editions


Darwin

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,984
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2007, 07:20:50 PM »
Just by way of an update - I renewed my SpySweeper licence for two years and upgraded to the Antivirus version. I'm really happy with it. I renewed Ad-Aware Pro 2007 for my wife... it's a dog. Ad-Watch 2007 pegs her processor to 100% and is very uncivilized. Ad-Aware itself seems good - I love the increased performance. I'm unhappy, though, that the big raison d'etre for renewing/paying for the Plus or Pro versions is to get the realtime scanning capabilities of Ad-Watch and it's so bad that I've had to disable it on her computer.  :down:
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Curt

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 7,092
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?
« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2007, 01:30:09 AM »
I have a Add-Aware 2007 Plus license, but doesn't even have the program installed, because it was too annoying.

Darwin

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,984
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?
« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2007, 07:51:29 AM »
I have a Add-Aware 2007 Plus license, but doesn't even have the program installed, because it was too annoying.

I keep dithering about asking for a refund (yes, it's that bad). I should spend some time raising Cain on their support forums at the very least. My voice would be like a drop of water in an ocean though - everyone is complaining!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Curt

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 7,092
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2007, 08:18:11 AM »
Spyware Doctor (free version) is now a part of Google Pack. Feature comparison between free and paid editions

Until a month ago I also had Spyware Doctor Pro, but it wasn't placed in Start, and I didn't renew the license - I will rather recommend the FREE Spyware Terminator!

Darwin

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,984
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: What do you think of PCTools' Spyware Doctor?
« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2007, 08:26:51 AM »
Nice find Curt - it's free and comes with real-time protection. I like to add Spyware Blaster to my defenses. The free version is fine (Pro version simply downloads and installs updates automatically) and is an extra layer on top of whatever else you happen to be using.

Anyone have any comments on Microsoft's antispyware app - Windows Defender? It's been getting generally good reviews lately...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin