Ad-Aware vs Spy Sweeper ?

Not open for further replies.
Nov 16, 2002
I've used Ad-aware for years. Worked great. I also use Webroot's Window Washer, which also works great. Webroot's Spy Sweeper received a lot of great reviews. Which do you like between the two? So far, Spy Sweeper has yet to find anything on my PC. I've had this computer for a few weeks now. I run it every other day. Ad-aware always found something. I dowloaded ad-aware the other day but it won't finish running. I think it's because of Spy Sweeper. I figured I would try both but apparently you can't run ad-aware while spy sweeper is on your PC.
Spy Sweeper is good for real-time protection and a good general purpose program.

Ad-Aware finds a lot of stuff. Unfortunately, you have to pay for the version that protects in real-time. The freebie version works great. I've heard that if you're using IE7, you'll have to exit SpySweeper to run Ad-Aware.

You know, after using only ThunderBird, FireFox (with Ad-Block), OpenOffice, iTunes, free PDF Creator, I haven't found ANY spyware on my main laptop. Ever. I don't even think it's worth using Comodo firewall most of the time. It's a nice feeling to not be held bound by the Microsoft-made spyware nightmare.
I've been paying for Spysweeper for 2 years now and won't renew. The real time protection actually sucks compared to something like Ewido, which has a on access scanner like antivirus products have. All Spysweeper has is a bunch of "shields", like active X and Explorer hijack shields. They don't actually look for spyware or malware running on your machine like Ewido will.

If you use Firefox, I would not pay for Spysweeper

Adware, Ewido (free version dumps on access guard after 30 days) and Firefox will basically render you as safe as can be IMO, along with a good antivirus and firewall.

Also, Spysweeper takes 35 to 40 minutes sometimes on my machine to do a full scan. Adware takes about 10 minutes and always finds a ton of tracking cookies. Plus, it's free!
YMMV One of a multitude of acronyms floating through this plane of existence....

For those not knowing what it means....

Your mileage may vary...YMMV

A handy catch-all term highly apropriate to those electronic brain machines we use so much nowadays.

What works mighty fine on one computer may not do as well on another. Not surprising, buckaroos and buckarettes, considering the multitude of variables... differing operating systems, different softwares installed, a multitude of variables!!!

In my case, SpySweeper works fine. It does take about 15 seconds longer to open than my typical software but once it's up and running it does what it should do.

I also use AdAware. They do not interfere with each other but I run them separately, closing the one before opening the other one.

I seldom have SpySweeper running in the background to inform me of browser hijack attempts, etc.

I simply do not have a problem with malware, spyware, etc. I probably do not need the two programs but, for safety's sake, they are present and are run every week or so.

One reason the bad/hostile coding doesn't enter my computer is that active scripting is on ONLY when absolutely needed for a Web site to function properly and I engage it only when I trust that Web site.

Active X is used perhaps once or twice per year and that is only with reputable sites. Basically, I shun/boycott 99.9 percent (or more) of sites requiring Active X.

The above two tactics greatly decrease the likelihood of hostile code creeping in.

Other well-known tactics are having e-mail set to text only, no HTML view. Never open attachments unless 100 percent sure they are safe. All programs entering my machine are carefully scrutinized. Even legitimate programs can hold embedded spyware or malware.

There are many various tactics that can be ascertained via bountiful browsing of the MANY sites offering extremely ueful info about "safe surfing." is one of many good sites and their message board is nifty.

Educate thineself and become one of the apparent few who can go through life well-lubricated and free from hostile coding.
Thanks for the info. I'm not sure which one I'll go with. I have Spy Sweeper now. I'm wondering if bc Spy Sweeper works in real time, that is why it's not finding anything???
Adaware SE and Spyware Blaster together has worked fine with our home PC and my wife's laptop. It's a real good combination, imo. after I started using them together, Spybot doesn't detect anything anymore.
In the 2 years I've had Spysweeper, the only thing it's found is Limewire

Buster, do you have the free trial of Spysweeper? I'd just go with Adware (free version). Spyware just is not an issue with Firefox. I keep mentioning it, but Ewido is another awesome anti spyware/malware/antitrojan. Has better capability of removing the truely nasty stuff out there like trojans, keyloggers and dialers.
Thanks Drew.
I just removed spy sweeper and down loaded the fee ad-aware. It found 5 critical objects. Spy sweeper found none.
Free tools are good. The Tea Timer optional part of Spybot keeps certain parts of the Windows registry clean. But it can be a nag, and scary to those who aren't familiar with Windows' inner workings.
Buster, mozy on over to the Ewido website and get that as well. It'll likely find a ton more tracking cookies. That's likely what Adware found.
The peos recommend at least two malware/adware/spyware/etc detectors since NO one program will find ALL hostile code.

There are reviews by computer professionals for the various available programs. I have never read of even one professional proclaiming that one program will provide 100 percent detection. What I constantly read, year after year, review after review, is to run two detection programs.
I agree with having at least 2, but better with three buttware programs.

Personal favorite right now is Ewido. Ewido finds stuff that no one else even sniffs at, and I've been using Firefox for many moons. I say "right now" - because it follows with program updates that somebody else will have the better mousetrap.
I use SpyBot and Microsoft Anti Spyware.

I think MS Anti Spyware contains a very usefull tool for cleaning third party software from your config's startup menu. I find this is often overlooked. This is a common problem that slows your computer down if you don't know how to fix it. Some people think that there computer is too slow and they need a new one. The computer is not the problem it's these **** software companies that want you to run thier software automatically. Pain in the ***.
skate, I believe you're reffering to software that's located in the "Run" part of the Windows Registry. It's the most hacked part! SpyBot offers that same functionality with Tea Timer. Good to know that MS makes it easy to clean this area of the registry.
buster after working in IT for severaL decades and knowing absolutely zip about PC/software I've become an IT nerd after putting home PC on the Internet. If you use Windows you have to. I've trialled every sw program made since ***** played fulback for Jerusalem. Spysweeper was one. on my PC it slowed everything to a crawl, removed it. Previously used MS Anti-spyware (useless), Spybot Search and Destroy (nearly as useless), Advanced System Optimizer 2.o (pretty good may purchase it) and others I've forgotten. Currently trialling Spyware Doctor 4.0 with it's about to be patented Spider Scanning Technology. PC Authority current issue just gave it top marks for anti-spyware. Easy to use, realtime pop up blocker, immunize function and more. In conjunction with Panda Platinum Internet Security 2006, SpywareBlaster 3.5.1 (free) spyware is not a problem.
I think Spysweeper is a good product, but I like Spyware Doctor better. And the free version of the anti-Trojan program Ewido is good.

I am very disappointed in Norton and McAfee A/V. I have come to prefer Panda or Trend Micro.
I'm considering getting the free version of SpyWare doctor...real time protection is free, and the only thing is you can't remove **** that you already have...but my system is pretty clean right now, so I guess I can keep it that way for free...hmm.

i have 607MB RAM on AMD Athlon XP 1800+ at 1.53 GHz. ...will SPD slow down my PC?
Another good free one is A-Squared A-Squared for Trojans and the real nasties out there. Also, Superantispyware Superantispyware. Look them up, good stuff.
Superantispyware is supposed to be top notch because it uses behavior based/proactive protection (NOT heuristics) to stop maleware. Doesn't rely so much on a database of known threats. The guys at Wilders who know how to test this stuff say it's the best they've tried. And, it's free
Not open for further replies.