Uniblue SpyEraser 2 Review . . . continued

Heuristics is deceptively difficult to apply in many situations and that's why applying a heuristic scan to a file which is absent from a spyware profile (see the previous paragraph) sometimes results in false positives. Inevitably, even if a heuristic scan technique asks some or all of the foregoing questions, the software will still occasionally encounter legitimate programs which have to access protected areas of Windows in unusual ways. If that program does not appear in a SpyEraser 2 safelist or safe database (or if the program does exist in the database but with a different name) then SpyEraser 2 and other similarly designed scanners could report the program as dangerous.

So (you scream in frustration), how is any normal person supposed to figure out what's a false positive and what is not? The answer is simple again. Because it's a dangerous online world out there and protection is everything, periodically run multiple spyware detection products one after another. Run SpyEraser 2, then store the report. Run AdAware, then store the report. Run Spybot Search & Destroy, then store the report. Compare reports. Kill every detected item that all three products agree on. For the rest, go to one of the many spyware forums online to help determine what is legitimate and what is not. I know — it could turn into half an hour or more of effort for something which you'd think should be automatic by now. Maybe all the extra effort is over-the-top for people who don't visit fishy sites and who don't open unknown email attachments, but we advise caution with respect to all things related to adware and spyware. Keep in mind too, that most properly secured and regularly maintained Windows PCs usually produce completely clean spyware and virus scans.


Uniblue Systems has done an excellent job of unifying the user interfaces across its utility products line. The SpyEraser 2 user interface is laid out well. We had a problem with the online Help system mainly because it lacks sufficient explanatory detail and isn't much help when configuring the the software. Conversely, several sections of the SpyEraser 2 user interface (especially the Live Guard tab sheet) contain a wealth of informative information which helps you understand what's going on and what the software is doing.

Deep scans with SpyEraser 2 operate at average speed. Baseline speed however seems to depend on the amount of data you've got. We found that big boot drives (250GB and larger) loaded with 120GB of data or more seemed to require more time per file and folder than Spybot Search & Destroy and LavaSoft's AdAware. When we compared SpyEraser to Avanquest's SystemSuite 8 Professional though, SpyEraser 2 proved to be far more thorough and far more effective. SpyEraser 2 produced results identical to Panda Antispyware, which is another highly rated product.

Cons: SpyEraser 2 is very Internet Explorer oriented, which is not a bad thing of course, but there's no mention of Firefox or Opera in the Live Guard settings. C'mon folks — it's not an Internet Explorer-only world anymore. While Internet Explorer has been accused of being vulnerable to all manner of malicious adware, spyware and remote user exploits, Firefox is no less a target these days and has also succeeded in capturing a significant percentage of the active web browser market. So Firefox vulnerability scanning would go a long way to making SpyEraser 2 a much more versatile tool.

Pros: Uniblue SpyEraser 2 works as advertised. As part of a larger suite of defensive, security and antivirus products it works well enough to protect most Windows PCs from all of the spyware threats out there. Spyware signature/profile updates are frequent and accurate as far as we can tell. SpyEraser 2 worked well on all of the Windows XP (Home and Professional) and Windows Vista (Home Premium, Business, Ultimate) computers we tried — no installation or operational issues at all. Recommended.


KSN Product Rating:



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