Note:Symantec purchased the PC Tools Security portfolio and retired PC Tools Spyware Doctor, PC Tools Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus, and PC Tools Internet Security on May 18, 2013. Of the six stand-alone products we reviewed for our October 2007 issue's antispyware feature, 'Die, Spyware, Die!' PC Tools' Spyware Doctor 5.0 was the clear winner, outperforming the competition at detecting and removing our test set of adware and spyware samples. That performance, combined with solid features and support, earned the program our Best Buy distinction. In tests performed by AV-Test.org, Spyware Doctor did a better job of identifying and uprooting adware than spyware.
It detected 81 percent of our inactive adware samples and all ten actively running adware samples, and it successfully removed the files and Registry entries of almost all of the active adware samples. With spyware, however, Spyware Doctor spotted only 27 percent of our inactive banking-related spyware specimens and 43 percent of password-stealing spyware. It detected all of our active spyware samples except the password-stealing Trojan PSW.Maran. However, it cleaned up only 70 percent of spyware files and Registry entries. Spyware Doctor held up well in behavior-based detection tests, too, detecting additions to HKCU and HKLM 'Run' Registry keys (many malware threats target these) and preventing adware and spyware programs from changing Internet Explorer Search and Start pages. On the other hand, it didn't detect AV-Test.org's changes to the Hosts file, which spyware can manipulate to redirect you to a malicious Web site.