SUPERAntiSpyware is a software application for Windows that can detect and remove malicious software and other unwanted software and bits of data from the system. This includes spyware, trojans, worms, rootkits and other forms of malware that may land on the system.
It is made available as a limited free version and a professional version. Both versions offer the ability to quickly scan all hard drives and memory for issues to remove those found.
The free version can be used to run scans manually, while the Professional version adds real-time detection and other features which improve security significantly.
The program is best used in addition to resident antivirus software, and you should not run into any compatibility issues while running it and other security software on your system
The installation of SUPERAntiSpyware Professional is straightforward. The installer does not include any unwanted software and you can choose to install the program for the current user or all users of the system.
Note: We have used version 5.7.1008
The main interface of the application provides you with the means to run various system scans. Supported are the usual quick, custom and full scans, as well as a critical point scan which analyzes high profile targets of malware on the system.
Here you also find information about the program and database version of the application, and when the database was last updated.
If you are running SUPERAntiSpyware Professional, you will also see when your subscription expires, and which Pro modules are enabled.
Last but not least, you find a link to the program's tools and settings here as well.
A quick scan or critical point scan should not take longer than one or two minutes on most systems. A complete or custom scan on the other hand may take some time. If you select complete scan, you can still select the scan locations and make other modifications to the parameters before it is started.
In addition to that, you can open the scanning preferences which display a large list of scanning related options.The program will for instance only scan files that are smaller than 4 Megabytes, and will also ignore non-executable files.
Here you can also add items to the trusted items list, and exclude folders from the scan.
The Custom Scan on the other hand offers a different set of scanning options. You can select to scan the memory, Registry, Startup locations and cookies, and add folders (drives too) to the scan.
Benchmarks: A complete scan with low boost priority took 36 minutes to complete on a system with a single 128 Gigabyte packed Solid State Drive. A quick scan on the other hand completed on the same PC in less than 2 minutes.
Threats are displayed immediately while the scan progresses. You find them listed in categories such as Adware.Tracking.Cookie for example, and can click on the plus icon in front to look up all file names and paths of threats that have been found.
The report after the scan divides items into threat categories, with critical threats displayed at the very top of the scan results.
Here you can remove all, some or none of the items found during the scan. False positives can be marked as trusted, so that they won't be detected again in future scans.
Another option to deal with false positives is to report them to the developer of SUPERAntiSpyware.
System Tools and Preferences
The application ships with a set of tools that you can make use of. The majority of tools are related to malware in one form or the other. The tools are divided into control panel tools which provide access to scan related preferences and program features, and system tools, which are additional helpful programs.
The addition of these repair tools makes sense, as they can help you restore functionality that was either removed completely by malware, or at least damaged in one way or the other.
Especially the Repairs are worth a closer look. You can use them to re-enable features such as the Task Manager, System Tray or Run on the start menu, to fix broken Internet connections, or remove screen savers.
While it does ship with options to reset the home page of Internet Explorer, it is limited to that browser which is unfortunate.
You find the program preferences in the menu as well. You may want to go through them at least once as they include several interesting options.
It is possible to configure the program to start a specified scan right on start, enable HiJack Protection to prevent the changing of Internet Explorer's home page, and whether you want to install program updates automatically.
SUPERAntiSpyware Free vs. Professional
SUPERAntiSpyware Free supports the scanning, detection and removal of threats on Windows systems. It also supports the option to add trusted items and folders to the program that won't be scanned by it.
The professional version of the software adds several important features to it.
First, it supports real-time blocking which means that it can detect threats while they happen, and not only during scans like the free version offers.
In addition to that, it supports automatic updates, gets updates more frequently, protects your Registry against browser hijackers and other threats, and will scan your system on start in over 50 critical points to make sure nothing has slipped by its defenses previously.
SUPERAntiSpyware is an easy to use program that is best used in addition to other security software that you run on your system.
While its malware detection may not be good enough if run alone, it does add an additional layer of protection on systems that run other antivirus software. And since it has been designed for that very case, you won't experience any issues doing so.
The tools that ship with the program, especially the Repair tools, are helpful, as they can restore functionality on the system that was altered by malware.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.