PROS / This spyware removal program is the only one we reviewed that scored 100 percent in all the AV-Test categories we consider.
CONS / It does not offer weekend phone support.
VERDICT / Bitdefender is the best antispyware software you can buy. It stands head and shoulders above almost all the other programs in our review.
Editor’s Note: Top Ten Reviews uses test results from the independent laboratory AV-Test as part of our review process for the best antispyware software. AV-Test looks specifically at protection, performance and usability on multiple versions of Windows operating systems, and it performs these evaluations several times throughout the year. We use the most current AV-Test scores available at the time of our review. It is possible that new AV-Test scores will be released after our review goes live on the site. We will consider these scores during our next review of the best antispyware software.
When we rated and ranked the best spyware removal programs, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus took the top spot on our side-by-side comparison chart. It did so because it scored 100 percent on every AV-Test we consider and has all the detection and removal tools we look for in this category.
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus is more than just antispyware software. It protects you from all types of malware, including data-destructing viruses, worms that can jump from one device to another, keyloggers that can steal your passwords and other sensitive information, and ransomware, which allows hackers to seize your computer until you pay them. And it does all this without slowing down the other things you're doing with your system.
It also contains peace-of-mind tools. For example, this antispyware software features a virtual web browser that provides additional protection for your personal information like credit card, bank account and Social Security numbers. It also allows you to create a rescue CD that can revive your computer if you ever experience a catastrophic infection or hack attack. It earned the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award.
For our review of the best antispyware, we relied on the results of three tests conducted by AV-Test, an impartial and independent institute that tests all the spyware removers on our lineup several times a year. The tests we look at are for protection, performance and usability. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus is the only program we reviewed to score 100 percent on all these tests.
AV-Test's protection test puts software up against more than 14,000 threats – many of which are spyware. The average score for the spyware removers on our lineup is 92 percent. While this is acceptable for most situations and 8 percent may seem small, it's actually a huge security gap that Bitdefender closes. Even a small chance that your computer could become infected could have disastrous consequences.
The performance test measures how well software uses your computer's resources. The average score on this test was 83 percent, which would mean the program can slow down your other activities like downloading, uploading, streaming and other programs. Bitdefender scored perfectly on this test, so you can leave it running without worrying about it slowing down your computer.
The final test we look at in our review of the best spyware removers is for usability. This test determines how often a program flags a safe program or file as a threat. All the antispyware software we reviewed did very well in this test, with an average of 97 percent. Bitdefender still managed to beat this score with a perfect 100 percent. It didn't prevent a single safe element from entering the computer.
Detection & Removal
In today's highly connected world, many people own more than one computer. But most of the antispyware programs we reviewed only allow you to install them on a single computer. This can get expensive for people who have multiple machines they want to protect. Bitdefender allows you to install it on up to three computers, which is a huge money saver over buying individual licenses for all the computers you own.
Bitdefender is more than just antispyware software. It's a full anti-malware solution. It protects your computer from common viruses, keyloggers, worms, rootkits and much more. Its test results show that it is very effective at keeping these threats off your computer.
One of the biggest things Bitdefender protects against is ransomware. This is a particularly dangerous kind of threat that allows hackers to take control of your computer, locking you out until you pay them. And even if you do, there's no guarantee they'll release your computer. It also opens you up to more threats like identity theft and data destruction. Protection against ransomware is critical in today's world, and Bitdefender doesn't disappoint in this regard.
Your computer can become infected in many ways. One of the most common ways is an infected device connected to your computer via USB. This includes thumb and hard drives. Bitdefender automatically scans everything you connect to your computer for spyware and other malware before it allows them to access your computer. It also monitors your incoming email for threats that may be attached to a piece of spam and even messages that look safe. Suffice it to say that Bitdefender monitors all incoming data to your computer for every threat out there.
This spyware removal program features a gamer mode, which puts all its notifications, pop-ups and scans into the background while you play a video game or watch a movie in full screen. This means that you remain protected while you watch or play without being interrupted by Bitdefender. If a threat does emerge, Bitdefender keeps it at bay until you're done, and then you can decide how you want to handle it.
Two peace-of-mind features we look for in this category are a virtual browser and the ability to create a rescue CD. The former is a special web browser that allows you to shop, bank and more with special attention paid to keeping your personal information safe from spyware. The latter allows you to create a disc specifically designed to bring your computer back to life in the event your computer becomes inoperable after a hack attack or devastating infection.
Help & Support
There may be times where you need either technical or customer support. Bitdefender offers 24-hour support during the weekdays but not on weekends. You can also log on to Bitdefender's website and enter a private chat room where you'll be connected to a customer service representative immediately. You can use this chat every day of the year. You can also consult the help articles on Bitdefender's website.
Bitdefender is simply the best antispyware software you can buy. Not only does it protect people from spying on your computer activity, but it also shields you from every other kind of malware threat out there. It's the only spyware removal program to score 100 percent in all the AV-Test categories we consider. The only thing we'd like to see added is weekend phone support.