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PC Tools Spyware Doctor 9

*Est. $30
Reviewed
February 2012
by ConsumerSearch

Best anti-spyware software

Pros
  • Effective anti-spyware capabilities
  • Protection from malicious websites and downloads
  • Offers on-demand scans, scheduled scans and real-time protection
  • Simple interface
  • Low price
Cons
  • Has trouble removing rootkits
  • Trial version detects spyware, but doesn't remove it

When it comes to spyware removal, experts say PC Tools Spyware Doctor 9 is effective and efficient. The majority of reviewers say that scan times are fast, the program plays well with other installed security programs, and the user interface is sleek and simple to navigate. Spyware Doctor includes components that protect your computer in real-time against web threats, malicious downloads and rogue changes to your system and network settings. Full customer support is included in the price (which includes protection for up to 3 PCs), and users can talk to technicians over the phone if they run into problems. Spyware Doctor 9 does have a few flaws; it has trouble eliminating rootkits in one test, and the trial version detects spyware but doesn't remove it. That bothers several users. If you want one-stop security for all manner of computing threats, experts say you should consider Norton Internet Security 2012 (*Est. $70), instead.

The best sources for information about Spyware Doctor include PCMag.com, which covers the more full-featured PC Tools Spyware Doctor with Antivirus 9 (*Est. $40 for 3 PCs) in a comprehensive testing-based examination, and Download.com, which focuses more on system performance and usability in its review of a slightly older version. TopTenReviews.com tests several elements of the program, while Softonic.com's brief review is useful mostly for its list of pluses and minuses for the program.

Our Sources

1. PCMag.com

Neil Rubenking examines a version of Spyware Doctor 9 that includes antivirus capabilities and ends up assigning it a "Very Good" rating. He praises the program's low price, malware-fighting and anti-phishing chops, but finds that some rootkits it supposedly deletes repeatedly come back from the dead.

Review: PC Tools Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 9.0, Neil J. Rubenking, Nov. 9, 2011

2. Download.com

Download.com, a CNET site, evaluates the last-generation model of Spyware Doctor and comes away impressed, giving it an "Excellent" 4-star rating. "With quick scanning and multiple tools for stopping malware before it infects your computer, the paid version is a solid spyware remover," reviewer Seth Rosenblatt says of Spyware Doctor 8. User feedback, as is typical, is not quite as positive.

Review: Spyware Doctor, Seth Rosenblatt, Nov. 11, 2009

3. TopTenReviews.com

Although the site purports to feature a list of the top 10 anti-spyware programs of 2012, this review is actually of an older version of Spyware Doctor. TopTenReviews.com rates it highly, placing it third on the list and scoring individual components of the software highly in this brief review. Although the report is written as though it is based on hands-on testing, the generic information leads one to believe that no personal evaluations were actually conducted.

Review: Spyware Doctor 2011, Editors of TopTenReviews.com

4. Softonic

Like most of the other sources we could find, Softonic.com covers an older version of Spyware Doctor. This examination of the trial version is mostly positive; reviewer Niamh Lynch finds the scans to be quick and effective at detecting spyware. She also appreciates the real-time detection capabilities and its interruption-preventing Game Mode. However, Lynch is irritated that the trial version doesn't actually remove detected spyware from PCs.

Review: Spyware Doctor 2011 8.0, Niamh Lynch, May 10, 2011

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