Encore Spyware Doctor

Spyware Doctor is easy to use and fast, and it detects and removes an impressive variety of malware.


7.1
CNET Rating
3.8
User Rating


Spyware Doctor from PC Tools Software is a polished and solid contender in the antispyware category. Sporting a sleek and easy-to-use interface, Spyware Doctor also packs a lot of protection under the hood and is backed up by one of the most aggressive spyware identification programs in the business. In testing done by CNET Download.com, Spyware Doctor 3.2 did very well, finishing near the top of the list for removing known spyware and tying for fourth with Webroot Spy Sweeper for overall performance. Since the December 2005 Download.com tests, PC Tools has released Spyware Doctor 3.5, which, in addition to other minor enhancements, offers advanced rootkit protection (a feature we did not test for in other apps). Spyware Doctor costs US$29.95, which entitles you to 12 months of technical support, software upgrades, and live updates to its antispyware definitions. There is a free trial version available online, but it only identifies and doesn't remove any malicious programs it finds on your system unless you buy the app, a practice we think is just plain wrong. That said, Lavasoft Ad-aware, which offers a fully functioning free version, remains our overall recommendation for best antispyware application.

Installation is a breeze, and pressing the Finish button causes Spyware Doctor to launch its Live Update feature, which goes out and checks for the latest spyware database additions and program updates, then performs a full system scan. Spyware Doctor's scans were faster than most of the other antispyware programs' we've seen, but it still managed to catch all of the spyware we threw at it. There are also options for a Quick Scan, which didn't actually seem much quicker, and a Custom Scan.

Spyware Doctor is intuitive and easy to use, and all of its features are clearly labelled and accessible. In addition to the expected spyware scanning, there's a host of system immunisation and real-time monitoring features available in the OnGuard section. Spyware Doctor also now has a powerful scheduler that allows you to automate full system scans, quick scans, and even its live program updates.

Spyware Doctor is one of the most aggressive antispyware programs we've tested, going beyond the call of duty by dealing with more than just traditional adware and spyware. Spyware Doctor also manages your tracking cookies; guards against changes to your browsers, start-up, and network configurations; and defends against illicit dialler and key-logger programs, and version 3.5 discovers and immunises your PC against rootkits.

In testing performed by CNET Download.com, PC Tools Spyware Doctor took 21 minutes, 5 seconds to finish a full scan. This app found all of the big-name apps that we knew were present, but it also offered some vague entries that we could not confirm. While we liked the itemized list of threats, Spyware Doctor offered little information within the program about those threats, though it did offer links to Web pages that included detailed information. After removal and restart, Spyware Doctor left only one trace of spyware on our test machine.

Technical support via e-mail is included in the annual subscription price, and support requests are normally processed within 24 hours. There is also an extensive FAQ and tip section on the PC Tools Web site and a very thorough integrated help system.

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CathyG posted a comment   

Product works fine but PC Tools cancelled my licence in error (I've paid up to April 2011) and will not reinstate. Repeated phone calls and emails bring no response whatsoever. Both PCs in the house are now unprotected and I feel as if PC Tools has stolen my money. There does not seem to be anything I can do.

<a href=http://www.cert-world.com/640-801.html>640-801</a>
7
Rating
 

640-801 posted a review   

Yes, This block the messages but we can do some changes and make this workable. Working fine with me. I am satisfied.

triedbutfailed
2
Rating
 

triedbutfailed posted a review   

The Good:Easy to use.
Comprehensive search.

The Bad:Not much good having a clean PC if you can't use it. Too much time wasted waiting for responce from everything! Too frustrating to leave installed.

Like all the other comments above, slowed my PC to a crawl. Wanted it to work as it found a lot of uglies but just can't work with a pc that doesn't respond..sorry PC Tools, I tried (for 12 months I tried) and found that every upgrade slowed my PC more. Currently on version 5 but I won't be renewing it.

Ernestcole
3
Rating
 

Ernestcole posted a review   

It blocks messages on my junk mail I get the info on who sent but the message is totally blank. I use Tiger Direct and Numbers USA most of the time.

Animas
10
Rating
 

Animas posted a review   

The Good:Finds all Spyware and secures your computer.

The Bad:Slower than even Windows Defender, which is bad.

Best Anti Spyware App on the market.

Romulus
2
Rating
 

Romulus posted a review   

The Good:not too many pro's when it screws up your system

The Bad:You just read them all.

Seemed to work well but then my computer went to a snails pace. I found a file missing associated with Windows Defender and blamed it for the slowdown. Had to reload windows and start over. Next time around I notice the slowdown right after the Spyware Doctor upgrade. I booted up in safe mode and uninstalled it, problem went away on next reboot. I wouldn't touch it again.

Bullnutzz
2
Rating
 

Bullnutzz posted a review   

The Good:Blocks almost everything bad.

The Bad:Blocks almost everything good, and slows down any PC to a snail's pace.

It works decently... at the exspense of system resources. It slowed my laptop down from a 30 second startup to a 5 min startup and everything takes at least twice the time to preform.

monica
2
Rating
 

monica posted a review   

Totally messed up my PC. Had to remove and then things worked after some repair work.

anon
2
Rating
 

anon posted a review   

Quit Spyware Doctor 4.0 because of computer slowness and also can cause problems with my PC's motherboard. Blocked my ISP account.




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User Reviews / Comments  Encore Spyware Doctor

  • CathyG

    CathyG

    "Product works fine but PC Tools cancelled my licence in error (I've paid up to April 2011) and will not reinstate. Repeated phone calls and emails bring no response whatsoever. Both PCs in the hous..."

  • <a href=http://www.cert-world.com/640-801.html>640-801</a>

    640-801

    Rating7

    "Yes, This block the messages but we can do some changes and make this workable. Working fine with me. I am satisfied."

  • triedbutfailed

    triedbutfailed

    Rating2

    "Like all the other comments above, slowed my PC to a crawl. Wanted it to work as it found a lot of uglies but just can't work with a pc that doesn't respond..sorry PC Tools, I tried (for 12 months ..."

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