If you are one of the many people testing the beta release of Windows 7, you should still make sure to keep your computer safe and secure. The other day we created a list of Anti-Virus software compatible with Windows 7, and today we’ll be covering a list of compatible Spyware protection utilities.
Note: make sure to check out our screenshot walkthrough of the Windows 7 Beta if you haven’t already, as Microsoft is giving away beta keys that don’t expire until August 1st.
If you have a commercial security suite such as Norton or McAfee, then it probably includes anti-malware protection, and if you decide to run a separate anti-spyware package you should probably disable the other one. This is even mentioned in the Windows 7 Action Center screen if you install more than one:
Without further ado, on to the list…
By now I am sure you are familiar with Microsoft’s Windows Defender anti-malware utility which is included with Vista and Windows 7. It’s a fairly solid utility and obviously is going to work just fine in Windows 7.
You should disable Windows Defender if you decide to use any other antispyware package. This can also increase performance in some cases as The Geek pointed out in this Lifehacker article.
Spybot Search & Destroy
I figured we will kick this off with Spybot Search & Destroy, a personal favorite. I was able to install, update, immunize, and scan without any issues and the cool Easter Egg is still there!
Arguably the most popular anti-spyware application, previously mentioned Lavasoft Ad-Aware 2008 also worked flawlessly.
Malwarebytes is another protection utility I get asked about quite often and this too works successfully in Windows 7. This is a great scanning program which is free unless you want real-time protection, that will set you back $24.95.
Spyware Blaster is different to the other spyware detection utilities in the way it works. Think of it as a shield against known spyware threats that you do not have to keep continuously running. Essentially you just need to run it when you want to update the database (which I would recommend doing fairly often). For automatic updates you will need to purchase a license for $9.99.
It disables a list of spyware related to Active X controls and flags them in the registry so an associated spy process will not be able to run, and hooks into your browser to check downloads.
Everything I tested seems to work without any problems. It is good to know we can rely on these trusted utilities for the 7 beta until Microsoft releases their free security solution in the second half of this year.
There are a number of “suites” that include protection for everything including spyware, and some of them we’ve previously tested in Windows 7 during our Windows 7 Compatible Anti-Virus Software list.
- AVG Free
- Avira AntiVir
- Norton AntiVirus 2009
- Avast! AntiVirus
- Kapersky Anti-Virus 2009
What other anti-spyware software packages do you know about that also work? Let us know!