If you’ve recently upgraded to Windows 8 and are looking for anti-spyware software to scan your computer, I strongly recommend you to try Spybot Search & Destroy. The latest version of Spybot is 126.96.36.199, which was recently released and now comes with built-in support for Windows 8 plus a brand new interface.
Among the ad-aware / spyware detection tools this software is definitely in the top three. This performance is achieved thanks to its clever heuristics engine and to its capability of disinfecting a computer which has been compromised without any kind of problem.
In terms of features, Spybot is able to protect you in real time once it is installed and at the same time, it allows you to scan a computer on demand at any given moment. These are the main features and the most important but along with these, in Spybot Search & Destroy 2.0 the developers added a few extras called advanced and professional tools.
What you should know about the scanning feature is that if you intend to perform a full system scan, this could take up to half an hour depending on your system’s performance and on the number of files to be scanned.
With the help of the built-in advanced & professional tools you will be able to perform a scan of the entries in the start-up list, of the browser plug-ins which are installed, to shred files in a secure manner and so on. Obviously, some of these features are not available in the FREE license of Spybot so you will have to purchase a paid copy of the anti-spyware software.
Below you can find some details regarding the basic tools that you can take advantage of, if you choose to download the free version.
As its name says, with this option you can create a whitelist of files that you are sure of not being infected. These files will not be scanned when you decide to perform a manual scan, nor when an automatic one is scheduled.
This is the place where the main action takes place. Using the menu found on the left side of the window you can perform a scan of the current drive, along with cleaning up the temporary files and third party cookies found there. If you’d like to pause or stop a scan you can use the buttons found here or the ones from the scan window.
Using this option you can scan a specific file or folder and at the same time remove the malware found, if any. Here you have the option to save a log file of the scan that was just performed.
If you use this feature, Spybot Search & Destroy 2.0 will protect your system in real-time scanning everything that goes through your web browsers or any executable file that tries to run in Windows.
In this section, you will be able to find any file which was infected once and which you confirmed to be cleaned by the software and if unsuccessful, to be quarantined. You have the option to completely remove the files or to restore them to their original location.
This is probably the most basic option available and it’s pretty much evident what it does. Once you click on it, it will automatically connect to the servers and check if there are any software or heuristics definition updates. If it finds any, you will be prompted if you’d like to install them or not.
Moving on, here are some details about the advanced tools available in the free edition.
Once you run the Rootkit scan option, with this feature you will be able to create a report based on the results from the scan.
This feature allows you to configure and setup the options for Spybot S&D like scheduling a scan, select the language of the tool, select the system integration of its features and so on.
It will scan and display all the entries currently loading at Windows startup for your system. From here on it allows you to modify or delete any of the items here, though I’d not recommend you to do so unless really necessary as it could cause your OS to become unstable.
Using this feature, you can scan for inconsistency among the files on your hard drive. If any are found, you have the option to repair these so that your operating system performs better.
If you have a bunch of sensitive files which you’d like to get rid of from your drive, this feature can be used to securely delete them.
As the name says, using this feature you will be able to scan your computer against rootkit infection. I advise you to remove the files indicated by the results only if you are a proficient users. The changes made here cannot be undone and could lead to your Windows 8 not booting.
If you’d like to use any of the Advanced tools like the iPhone scan or Boot CD creator, you will have to purchase a paid version of Spybot S&D 2.0.
To download the free edition, you can use this link to select a mirror that you are near of.