Some online security companies have voiced concern about their future in the face of Microsoft's new AntiSpyware app, reviewed on page 72. FBM, however, has simply started pushing its newly updated spyware killer that little bit harder.

ZeroSpyware's install process involves setting preferences, making it slower than some, but it does mean you know exactly what's protected from the outset and at what level. It also gives you a quick grounding in common sources of insecurity such as embedded browser helpers.

System scans aren't as speedy with ZeroSpyware as they are with the likes of Ad-aware but - unlike Microsoft's AntiSpyware - FBM does at least give you some indication of how long it will take.

FBM claims to provide highly accurate spyware scanning by using comparative data to rate the threat level posed by each dubious file. This information can then be used to help you decide whether to ignore, remove or quarantine the file. As with MS AntiSpyware, this application will re-establish browser and home page settings that malware may have hijacked. It also allows you to set the levels of defence and types of alerts you receive.

The default time for scheduled scans is at 1pm - fine if you take lunch at a set time every day but impractical for the majority of us who eat at our desks and use our lunchbreaks to surf the web, email or catch up on work tasks.

ZeroSpyware 2005: Specs

  • 200MHz Pentium II PC or higher
  • Windows 98/NT/2000/2003 Server/XP
  • 64MB RAM
  • 10MB hard disk space
  • internet connection
  • 200MHz Pentium II PC or higher
  • Windows 98/NT/2000/2003 Server/XP
  • 64MB RAM
  • 10MB hard disk space
  • internet connection

OUR VERDICT

Effective as we found this app to be, we were concerned that ZeroSpyware seems to take up system resources even it isn't scanning - a glitch we're sure FBM will quickly iron out. The other issue, of course, is that if Microsoft is going to continue to offer its spyware zapper for free, there may be no real market for commercial versions, however effective they are.

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