PCWorld tested and compared several spyware stopper tools, including Allume Systems’ (formerly Aladdin Systems’) Internet Cleanup, Aluria Software’s Spyware Eliminator, Computer Associates’ ETrust PestPatrol Anti-Spyware, InterMute’s SpySubtract Pro, McAfee’s AntiSpyware, Sunbelt Software’s CounterSpy, Webroot Software’s Spy Sweeper and freware Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware SE Personal, Safer Networking’s Spybot Search & Destroy and Merijn.org’s HijackThis.

PCWorld found that “You can get an anti-spyware utility for free, but this is one area where going cheap isn’t worth the savings. The no-cost Spybot Search & Destroy offers an overall detection rate of 54 percent and provides effective real-time scanning. Keeping on the free path, you could combine Spybot with Ad-Aware SE Personal, whose detection rate for active infections was slightly higher than Spybot’s in most categories. However, even when combining Ad-Aware, Spybot, and the free HijackThis, we were unable to remove 100 percent of the infections on our test system.

Sunbelt Software’s CounterSpy, our new Best Buy, proved the most capable of the products we tested, with the highest detection rates, cleanest interface, and fastest scan speeds. And its $20 price for a year of updates and tech support is a bargain. You also won’t be disappointed by Webroot’s Spy Sweeper, which was almost as effective as CounterSpy, scans quickly, and is easy to use. Combining either product with HijackThis–and reasonable caution when installing dubious goodies–you should be able to keep your system pretty well spyware-free.”

Beside, Windows AntiSpyware was also been tested and PCWorld thought AntiSpyware looks like it will be a top-notch product when it’s ready for shipping where it able to detect 91 percent of the adware/spyware in our test suite, including 96 percent of processes running in memory, 67 percent of home- or search-page modifications, 100 percent of BHOs and toolbars, 95 percent of Registry additions, and 100 percent of other items such as menus and buttons added to programs.

Full Review (link dead)