Strengths: Excellent detection and removal; quick to scan.
Weaknesses: Lack of any centralized management.
Verdict: One of the most successful scanners on test, Spyware Doctor is only really let down by its lack of network management.
Spyware Doctor was one of the most successful tools in our test, offering real-time protection and a system scanner. We were hugely impressed with its real-time protections, which actively monitor attempts made to change system settings, install applications and hijack browsers.
The default action is to block first and ask questions later. This means that your users remain protected and do not have to make a security judgment. In our tests it did extremely well at blocking unwanted files.
It also has a list of potentially unsafe sites and can pop up a warning message to the user informing them. The user is given the choice to continue, but it is excellent that this option exists. Combine this setting with some training and you could help reduce the number of spyware outbreaks.
The scanner was just as successful at detecting spyware. It detected more than other products on test, including some high-rated threats, and presented the information very clearly. Each threat is categorized in a tree view, so you can expand it to see which files are related to which infection. With a neat graphical display showing the threat level, it is really well thought out.
However, there could be a case made for overkill, including a list of detected threats that turned out to be no more than cached websites and pictures in Internet Explorer’s temporary internet folders. Spyware Doctor did an excellent job of cleaning any infections it found.
Updates are performed on a daily basis via the Live Update, so you know that the scanner will always be up-to-date. Each installation can be scheduled to scan a computer in the background and automatically clean any threats it finds; the default schedule should suit most companies.
The only thing that seems to be missing is a central management console, so you cannot remotely control and manage reporting of your installations. While you can rely on Spyware Doctor to protect your PCs without intervention, larger companies will need this feature.