SpywareBlaster 4.4

Codrut Nistor January 28, 2011 0

Viruses are like spyware – you never know when you got one until all hell breaks loose. Well, when it’s about viruses, sometimes you know that you have to protect yourself when someone around you has problems, especially when talking about the flu or anything like that. I got to this part simply because I almost got sick this week, but I was smart enough to change my eating habits and use some natural products to strengthen my body and it seems I was successful…

… and so we get to SpywareBlaster, today’s subject and a free tool that can help you keep your computer safe, at least to some categories of threats, mainly browser-related ones. After all, that’s not so hard to guess if we look at this program’s name, right? ;)

Setup

Released back in early September, last year, SpywareBlaster 4.4 isn’t old at all, since its database gets frequent updates and that’s what matters more than just knowing that the last version of the program itself was released a few days ago. Freely available to download and use, SpywareBlaster also offers a premium feature – to be able to use Automatic Updates, you have to pay $9.95/a year or $17.95 for two years.

Compatibility with Microsoft’s operating systems is very good, since this program seems to work with virtually any Windows version you can think of and not associate it with a computer museum…

… and, to complete this part of the review, I should also add that installing SpywareBlaster is really easy, since the setup package has about 3.1 MB in size, without any evil additions like toolbars or spyware. Installing the program is as easy as 1-2-3, so if you have about 7 MB of free disk space to install it properly, then we can move to the more interesting parts, as usual – its looks and features.

Interface

SpywareBlaster looks very good, comes with a Help file that explains most of the things you may want to know, using it is really easy and you even get a short tutorial to get you started as soon as you run it for the first time. What else could anyone wish? I know, I know – multilanguage support would be great, but there’s no such a thing available – at least for now…

Features

You’re probably wondering why should you use SpywareBlaster if you already have a fully-featured Internet Security Suite or an antivirus, a firewall and an antispyware solution, right? No problem, there’s a really simple answer to that “Why?” question: this program doesn’t need to run all the time, you only have to update the database and enable new protections from time to time, that’s all!

If you take a look at the first paragraph of this review once again, then it will be easier for you to understand that the key to avoiding spyware with SpywareBlaster is not removal, but prevention. The whole idea behind it is to prevent spyware and other unwanted pieces of code from installing, so it doesn’t replace anything – it just comes with a new security layer for your computer, nothing more.

As I said, using this program is really easy – if you don’t get the idea after going through the tutorial, let’s go for a quick session, shall we? All you have to really care about when using SpywareBlaster are three areas: Protection Status, System Snapshot and Tools. Obviously, there’s nothing special about the Updates area – just go there and update the database – you don’t need a technical degree to do that! ;)

If you don’t care about backing up your system’s settings, all you have to do is enter the Protection Status area, click the Download Latest Protection Updates link, get the update done, then simply click the Enable All Protection link and forget about SpywareBlaster for a while – now you’re protected! On the other hand, you may want to take it step by step, so take your time to explore the areas at your disposal – Internet Explorer, Restricted Sites and Mozilla Firefox. Everything is really easy to understand, since most of SpywareBlaster’s options come with a little piece of help right on the window that contains them. Excellent!

All I will say about the System Snapshot feature is that I really love it, because it doesn’t need System Restore to be enabled to get a job done. Using it is really easy, so let’s move to the Tools area now, where you can view and edit Internet Explorer start/search pages for individual Windows users on your system, save snapshots of your Hosts file, change the text displayed in the IE title bar after the current site’s name or block custom ActiveX controls. Pretty cool, if you ask me!

These being said, I think now’s the right time to move on – after all, I am sure you already want to take SpywareBlaster 4.4 for a spin, right? ;)

Tips & Tricks

1. As I said a few times already, SpywareBlaster’s purpose is to prevent, not to clean, so always use at least one antivirus and a specialized anti-spyware tool!

2. After each database update, you have to enable the new protections. Otherwise, the update would be useless.

3. Sometimes, disabling Macromedia Flash in Internet Explorer may be almost as useful as filtering traffic, especially in a corporate environment. This way, computer users surely won’t be able to play MiniClip games at work anymore… or at least not while using Internet Explorer! ;)

Strengths

SpywareBlaster 4.4 looks very good, using it should be really easy for all computer users and it’s free for home/personal use. Unfortunately, the Auto Update feature is not for free… but it comes for a decent price, if you ask me.

Weaknesses

Some may say that this program has a problem because it can’t clean spyware, but I think it’s better to do one thing right than try to achieve more goals and miss them all. Sure, support for a few more browsers can’t hurt, especially now as Chrome is becoming more and more popular with each week.

Final Thoughts

SpywareBlaster 4.4 is a great program to close the week with. It may not be a fully-featured security suite, but that’s also its major strength: it does a simple job the right way, so that’s why I am so generous today and I give it our badge. You may not agree with that – no problem, but there’s no reason in avoiding to add an extra layer of protection to your computer by using SpywareBlaster!

That’s all, folks – stay safe and have a nice weekend!

Install
Ease of use
Features
Resources used
Value
Summary 4.2/5
Download SpywareBlaster 4.4
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