SUPERAntiSpyware Professional – Review

very good
key review info
application features
  • Quick, full, and custom scan of hard drives, removable drives, memory, and registry
  • (5 more, see all...)

Despite its name, SUPERAntiSpyware is not limited to fending off malware created for spying purposes. The application has been designed to detect all sorts of threats.

It is available both as a free product and as a paid one (Professional – $29.95 / €22.31), with the former obviously including a much limited set of features.

In the case of the freebie, the definitions have to be updated manually and it can only run quick, full, and custom scans (these can be scheduled in the paid version) and detect and remove malware.

By contrast, the Professional edition offers real-time protection and checks more than 50 critical system entry points at each startup and shutdown. Furthermore, it protects against hijacking of the browser home page, search engine, and other items.

Installing the application is just a routine operation, with nothing out of the ordinary. The looks are polished but the layout is still reminding of the old applications, prior to Windows 7.

However, this does not impede its usage in any way. Sections are delimited in a clear manner and within easy reach.

The main application window shows the time elapsed from the last scan and allows you to re-initiate the operation and customize it by enabling the various scan types available: quick, full, custom, or just a check of the critical points.

Choosing a custom verification enables you to select the areas you want to be checked, and not just the folders and volumes but also memory, registry, startup locations, and cookies.

Additionally, you can opt to exclude specific directories and manage trusted items. This area is for seasoned users as it also features rather complex scanner options for a novice. On the other hand, the default options work just fine and should not create any trouble for a beginner or an average user.

The main screen of the program offers minimum configuration (turning on or off the real-time protection, scheduled scans, and automatic updates – can run every hour), but SUPERAntiSpyware can be set up in detail from the Preferences menu.

This area enables you to customize the program’s behavior when it launches and the scan settings. It can run one of the available verification routines when the computer starts, as well as check for updates so that the latest malware signatures from the developer are used.

In order to speed up the scanning process you can choose to ignore larger files or items that are not executables. Additional options include verifying only known file types, such as EXE, DLL, COM, which are more susceptible to malicious activity.

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Configuring real-time protection is pretty straightforward as SUPERAntiSpyware sports mostly options for issuing notifications (audio and visual) when harmful items have been detected.

However, there is also a feature called First Chance Prevention. This is designed to run a scan at computer startup or shutdown (checks critical areas) and thus eliminate threats before they start their activity on the system. System services can also be verified, a place where rootkits find shelter.

During our tests, SUPERAntiSpyware showed it can deal with all types of malware, but it showed an amazing knack at picking tracking objects (cookies). Trojans, PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), or backdoors were also detected and eliminated.

Depending on the type of threats it has to deal with, you may be required to restart the system in order to complete the cleaning procedure.

Compared to the detection of other anti-malware programs we tested with the same sample database, SUPERAntiSpyware’s abilities to recognize and eliminate malicious items were not impressive.

On the other hand, despite the smaller number of samples detected, it managed to recognize some threats that were not picked up by similar software.

Scanning does not put too much stress on the system. In our case, even a low-specced system was usable during the operation as an average of 50% CPU was invested into the process and RAM consumption was well within acceptable parameters.

A special configuration tab is dedicated to protecting the browser homepage and search engine from being hijacked. We’ve seen the feature work only for Internet Explorer as it issued an alert informing that the home page had been changed; it does offer the possibility to prevent the action.

The inherent protection in IE also kicked in when our test program tried to modify the search service. If the change is initiated by an extension, both Firefox and Google Chrome alert the user of the new element. With Chrome, special permission is required for installing an extension from a different repository than Chrome Web Store.

Another protection feature available in the program refers to other programs terminating its own process. You can enable this and grant the privilege only to Windows’ Task Manager (setting not enabled by default).

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The Good

Working with the application is pretty easy and it offers flexible scan options. Updates can be streamlined as frequently as every hour.

The configuration panel provides the necessary settings for tweaking the scanning process so that it finishes faster and focuses on relevant items.

The Bad

Malware detection is not stellar but it did raise the flag in the case of some serious threats. Hijack protection does not extend to other browsers except Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

Although looks have been refreshed, they still need some updating to better fit the modern interface in the latest Windows operating systems.

The Truth

SUPERAntiSpyware is not to be used as a single means of defense against malware, but it does act as a great side-kick for a solution with more layers of protection.

We have 20 licenses to give away for SUPERAntiSpyware. In order to win one of them, you are expected to come up with a smart post, positive or negative, about the application in the comments section below.

The campaign ends next Friday, August 30. Winners will be notified by the end of the month; needless to say that we need valid email addresses in order to contact you.

user interface 4
features 3
ease of use 4
pricing / value 3


final rating 4
Editor's review
very good
 

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