Besides Spybot 1.6 and Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware, I have A-squared free (latest version is 184.108.40.206) running on my PC. Of course, make sure that only one antispyware program is on at any moment, since having more than one active might cause conflicts and impact system performance. I’ve talked about Spybot and Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware in previous posts, so I’ll concentrate on A-squared free here.
Some things I like about A-squared free:
- Clean and user-friendly interface.
- Although updating has to be done manually, it’s not a big chore. There are updater options like installing program help, additional languages, etc. I turn these off and just update the spyware definitions.
- Four scanning options—Quick, Smart, Deep and Custom. For normal purposes, the Quick or Smart option is fine. I use the Deep Scan for times when I’m away from the PC. It takes more time but is more thorough.
- The ability to quarantine and selectively delete suspect malware is very easy to accomplish.
Here are some tips:
- Before running a scan, clean out the gunk in your hard drive first. CCleaner or ATF Cleaner are the programs I use to do this. Then run the scans and be patient. Take a break and go do something else.
- Since I have three different antispyware programs, I run their scans in rotation. For instance I might run Spybot’s scan today, then a few days later I’ll do Malwarebytes, followed by A-squared.
- In conjunction with the AS scans, I run my Avira Antivirus scan at least once a week. Yes, it’s plenty of housekeeping, but this is the only way to make sure those nasties from the Internet don’t make their home in my hard drive.
- Last but not least, I have Comodo Firewall Pro (it’s now known as Comodo Internet Security, and comes complete with an antivirus option) running at all times. It does bother you a bit during initial installation, but after it has learned your system, it sits quietly in the background, monitoring your Internet traffic. And need I mention that it’s free? Heartily recommended.