PC Tools Spyware Doctor is available with anti-virus capability in this updated security package.

Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 2010 (SDAV) blends PC Tools' previous well-known anti-spyware tool PC Tools Spyware Doctor with the anti-virus capabilities of a PC Tools AntiVirus engine.

Most of the improvements to the new release of Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 2010 are fairly subtle. For example, it is now designed to monitor PC usage and adjusts its processor overhead accordingly. It's also said to offer better protection against web-borne attacks, such as silent drive-by downloads.

The main new addition to Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 2010 in this release is the inclusion of a new anti-virus engine, along with an updated version of the well-regarded ThreatFire Behavioural Intelligence, which offers better protection against zero-day threats compared to traditional signature methods.

ThreatFire is available separately as a free download.

Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 2010 retails for £39.95 per year and this buys you a three PC license. For another tenner, you could buy PC Tools Internet Security 2010, a security suite that adds a firewall, spam filter, phishing protection and a site-rating browser toolbar.

See all: Antivirus reviews

Installation of Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 2010 is quick, despite a substantial update download, and then the program immediately runs IntelliScan to look for malware. This took less than five minutes on our humbly-spec'd PC, though full scans may take a lot longer.

Incidentally, our PC already had Microsoft's built-in Windows Defender installed and running but this didn't cause any major issues. Unusually, you can install Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 2010 in Safe Mode, which could be handy if a malware infection prevents normal booting.

Click here to buy Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 2010

After scanning completes, Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 2010 lists detected malware including the risk level for each item. Full details are available online, just a click away; ditto if you just want it cleaned up.

PC Tools software has always been easy to use and the Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 2010 interface offers the newbie a very shallow learning curve, with only four buttons to click.

The heart of PC Tools Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 2010 is IntelliGuard, which comprises a group of self-explanatory 'guards' protecting aspects of PC usage, such as Behavior, Browser, Cookie, Email, File, Immuniser, Network, Process, Site, and Startup.

‘Behavior Guard', aka ThreatFire, looks out for suspicious executable behaviour and stops it dead. The Email and File guards, as you might expect, check files and emails for the presence of malware. The Site Guard blocks access to websites known to host malware, while the new Browser Guard analyses web pages and scripts in real time to block dodgy websites.

While PC Tools' anti-virus capabilities haven't fared too well in some tests, this new version passed this year's VB100 test in December 2009. Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 2010 remains on balance a comprehensive range of anti-malware tools.

NEXT PAGE: Our expert verdict >>

PC Tools Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 2010: Specs

  • Microsoft Windows 7 (32/64-bit), Windows Vista SP1+ (32/64-bit), Windows XP SP2+ (32-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows 7 (32/64-bit), Windows Vista SP1+ (32/64-bit), Windows XP SP2+ (32-bit)

OUR VERDICT

A worthwhile upgrade to the previous version of Spyware Doctor, with more options and even better capabilities. The new features of Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 2010, while not earth-shaking, are welcome. This is one of the better anti-spyware and anti-malware products on the market right now.

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