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Do you trust SpySweeper, by webroot?

By jdclyde ·
I am not sure I trust this program.

I have the full package installed. Was at a security expo a few months ago, and they were handing out the full package free.

I have auto update turned off, yet it is still trying to contact home? Zone alarm said something and I said no. There wasn't anything I told it to go out for. X-(

When you select "shutdown" from the spysweeper menu, there are still a few processes running that I "do not have permission to stop".

When I load a program, I want to know what it is doing, and when it is doing it. I talked to the sales guy because I am testing this to see if I want to get it for work and he said he would have a tech call to answer my questions. Two weeks later, still no call.

Sorry, I just don't trust it. Do you?

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The Opposite Experience

by FlappingCrane In reply to Do Not Use At All

A co-worker asked me to help them with their home computer (the bane of every IT pro's existence; but I like this person, so I said yes). It turns out the family had been running this computer on a direct internet connection for 3 years with NO ANTIVIRUS RUNNING AT ALL. The computer was completely infested with with all manners of viruses, spyware, trojans, the works. I pulled out every trick I had: AdAware, Spybot S&D, HiJack This, Killbox, and Trendmicro's online scanners. There were a pesky few that thwarted every attempt to be removed.
Then I remembered an article I read recently on CNet Reviews about Webroot Spyware Sweeper. It received TOP MARKS from them and several other publications this year. Webroot Spyware Sweeper immediately located all remaining spyware I had found, a few I didn't find, and then completely removed them from the computer. It was incredible. The family says the computer has never worked faster and thank me often.

I don't know why Webroot Spy Sweeper wasn't working on that one computer you saw it on. Maybe the nursing home didn't allow it to update. Maybe someone had disabled the scanning and no one ever turned it back on. Maybe a .dll became corrupted and the software wouldn't run properly. But for the one computer that you saw it do nothing on, I saw one computer on which it worked miracles. I definitely recommend this program to anyone.

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Absolutely right.

by pifflemaster In reply to The Opposite Experience

You said "AdAware, Spybot S&D, HiJack This, Killbox, and Trendmicro's online scanners"... and I've tried a few others as well... however, this program (trial version) pulled the cover off the thing, and ripped out the remaining nasties without a single squawk from the OS. I'm impressed.

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Is this your first experience with SpySweeper?

by MmeMoxie In reply to Do Not Use At All

It seems to me, that this computer only had the SpySweeper program installed and it was never utilized. They, in infamous 'they', only installed it and didn't explain the importance of doing daily routine scans, to protect the computer. Therefore, what you got ... was a BIG mess of Spyware, Malware, Hi-Jackings, so on and so forth.

This is no different than those who install an Anti-Virus program and never update the database. They sit there wondering WHY their computer is not working and full of Viruses, Worms and Trojan Horses.

I will also, bet you dollars to donuts that the Cookie file was as large, as you have ever seen. }:O)

I had a friend, who was infected with the Melissa 97 virus, through an email that she got from one of mutual friends. I got to his computer, since, he did NOT believe me that he was the cause of the infection, to show him. He was using Norton's Anti-Virus. Norton's was NOT the problem, he was. He didn't update the virus database.

I found, with Grisoft's AVG, 103 different infected files with the Melissa 97 virus and 3 more files with a Worm infection. It took me over 10 hours ... to 'clean' up his computer, since, he wouldn't let me re-format the hard drive, due to some business financial files.

I don't blame Norton's Anti-Virus for that ... I blame, my ignorant friend for mess. He knew better, but, was TOO busy to do it.

As Forrest Gump said, "Stupid is ... as stupid does."

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Webroot is a VERY reliable company ...

by MmeMoxie In reply to Do you trust SpySweeper, ...

I have been reading some confusion on this message thread. Comments are combining two completely different types, of programs. Let us first, clear up what these programs are and what their purpose is.

Webroot's SpySweeper, Lavasoft's AdAware and Kolla's Spybot Search & Destroy are programs that only look for Spyware and Malware ... not Viruses, Worms or Trojan Horses.

Grisoft's AVG is an anti-virus program, which only look for Viruses, Worms or Trojan Horses ... not Spyware and Malware.

Now, as to the validity of the Webroot company, they survived the '.dot com' 2000 crash and have grown in reputation and solid programs. They have been in existence, since 1997 and are well respected in the computer community.

About 2 years ago, I purchased Webroot's SpySweeper. My daughter had been using it, for a couple of years and loved it. I was impressed with it's over all performance. But, as one other person stated here, I didn't really want to pay an $19.95 annual subscription, for getting updates definitions.

However, both types of programs have a common thread ... the need to update the database definitions, as soon as they are available. Updating for these types of programs are paramount, in protecting your computer and/or computer systems.

I use Lavasoft's AdAware SE Plus. Why?Simple, it works and works well. Another thing, that I personally like about AdAware, I purchased their "Plus" program, about 5 years ago and they stated at that time, I would never have to pay for any upgrade. Guess what? They have honored that agreement and I like that. A company that stands behind their word, is rare these days.

Lavasoft's AdAware SE Plus, I allow it to automatically update. I have a DSL 6.0 Extreme, so, that is a no-brainer, for me.

I also, use Kolla's Spybot Search & Destroy, because it is FREE. Plus, it "catches" and removes the couple of odd ball spyware/malware, that may be missed by AdAware. Now, with Kolla's Spybot Search & Destroy, I manually update, before I scan. Where as AdAware uses only one location to update from, Spybot uses several and some just run 'slow as molasses'. Even with DSL 6.0.

Then, to finish off my PC 'clean up', I use Webroot's Window Washer 5.5.

I have been using Webroot's Window Washer, since early 1998 and will NOT be without it, ever. I dearly LOVE that program and trust it completely, since, I have control over the whole thing. I don't update the program. It isn't necessary, since it's only purpose is to remove "cookies". I was using their version 6, but, prefer version 5.5.

I really do love this program, you can set it up do all things automatically or you have the options to do it manually, which is my personal preference.

As to my usage of a Firewall, I have a fantastic one that came with my 2Wire DSL Modem. I am completely 'stealth' on Steve Gibson's Shield's Up scanner, at his website. I have used Zone Alarm and will only use the older version 2.6 of Zone Alarm Pro. The newer version plays havoc with Grisoft's AVG. However, I now only use the hardware firewall that comes with my 2Wire Modem.

Just for those who do not know, the term "Spyware" was coined by Steve Gibson. He became concerned in late 1999 or early 2000 about "spy-bots" that were in Real Player, that were installed on his computer without his knowledge or permission. His 'fight' is legendary and started a whole spyware/malware software industry.

A small note, these are my experiences with these programs, on my personal computers and what I use to install on family and friends computers, that I build, tweak and repair. As for corporate systems, it would seem to me, that the most important aspect would be to have programs that are easy to use, reliable and work.

Bottom line, Webroot is a company that I trust and use.

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resource hogs

by wizardb In reply to Do you trust SpySweeper, ...

I have had nothing but problems with both spy sweeper and symantic products in general lately they seem to be huge resource hogs dragging whole systems down,and uninstalling them can take a few head fakes and jabs to finish the job.All in all I say stay the **** away from anything that causes that much grief.

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Observed resource hogs

by Vandy-SJ In reply to resource hogs

First, I haven't used or installed Spy Sweeper on any of my client's machines, but I recently rescued one that was using Spy Sweeper.

The environment is a business using an intensive database application to run their business, plus three other imaging client applications (4 applications total, no including a web browser). PCs are all P4-2.0GHz running XP Pro with 512MB of RAM. All systems are behind a dedicated perimeter firewall appliance with 6.0M DSL broadband service.

One senior exec (technically challenged) installed Spy Sweeper on his own PC, and by probably not configuring it (or not knowing how to configure it), the default installation and settings were using a large amount of his system resources. This caused his primary 'business application' to slow to a crawl. After detecting Spy Sweeper on his machine and determining it as the system drain, I disabled it from starting up and system performance was restored after rebooting.

I don't know that much about Spy Sweeper, but in this environment on this PC it was a detriment. After verifying Spy Sweeper as the resource problem I uninstalled Spy Sweeper, and the PC is now performing normally again.

You may laugh, but all of these business machines are currently running Windows Defender antispyware - with no performance drain and no infections (so far). Windows Defender auto updates and runs scheduled scans everyday.

Years earlier I also removed Norton AntiVirus from their business and installed McAfee VirusScan Enterprise Edition (currently v8.0). Where previously Norton AV had created so many server and desktop related problems, McAfee Enterprise has been nearly flawless (an occassional auto update problem on one or two machines) and removed several infections that Norton didn't find. McAfee Enterprise has also not affected system performance like Norton AV did. Not a single virus infection since the McAfee installation.

I've heard lots of complaints about McAfee's consumer retail products, but since I don't use them I can't comment.

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Does SpySweeper block Windows processes?

by pimike In reply to Do you trust SpySweeper, ...

I have a utility called Binman, and without fail when it is scanning it will stop and the file displayed is always the same one. It will only do this if SpySweeper is clicked on to start with Windows. Niether AdAware, Spybot nor Spyware Doctor have this effect on the scan of the Binman temp file cleaner although these all start up with Windows.

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SpySweeper Bad Experience

by kretsch In reply to Does SpySweeper block Win ...

I have run Adaware, Spybot and Zondex(Virusbuster) for years without problems. I use and like Window Washer and took their cheap upgrade for SpySweeper. It seemed OK but did get a lot of false positives (I 'Googled" some of them and could not find them anywhere else). Then I made the mistake of letting it have its head and it completely "gutted" the registry and lost all my settings and preferences. Took ages to get everything sorted. I dont use it anymore.
Try 'Googling" what it says it finds.

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I have used SpySweeper

by Agent 77 In reply to SpySweeper Bad Experience

for a long time now, and find it to be very reliable. It has never once affected my registry adversely, nor has it missed any malware. I liked it when I could use the free version and just uninstall / reinstall when the trial period ran out because I am just a poor boy trying to raise 3 kids.

RE: the whole Norton thing...yes it takes resources to run ANY program in the background, and Norton sure gets it's fair share of them; but I will NEVER AGAIN use a McAfee product after the ordeal I went through trying to configure, and subsequently uninstall one of their products after I finally gave up trying to configure. I think it was a firewall problem, and I wasn't quite as proficient as I am now with some of those things.

Makes me a little teary eyed thinking of the good old days before the internet and all it's bad sides, when all you had to do was write the program, and run it, and the world was good. :-(

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My 2 cents...

by buzzwang In reply to Do you trust SpySweeper, ...

We used to run the Entrprise edition of SpySweeper. We ran it for 9 months on about 400 machines.

After figuring out (repeatedly!) that SpySweeper was missing even the most basic and generic forms of spyware, and reporting it to Support time and again and being told that it was not deemed as a threat, we pulled it from all of our machines and cancelled the support agreement in a hopeless attempt to save some money.

We were also looking for an antivirus replacement at the time (since McAfee is just not well liked, and had more than a few problems with our machines and network layout).

We decided to swithc to Sophos AV after a lot of testing of different products, mostly becuase of the integrated antispyware component. It was just upgraded to a new version recently and works well. We still have some issues with it, and that is more because of the uniqueness of our environment, but it works well, catches spyware and viruses regularly and otherwise requires little maintenance on my part.

I'm the guy that installed it for the company and is responsible for it by the way.

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