But first, a little about spyware. Spyware is any software configuration that collects and or gathers information about a person without his or her permission or knowledge. Sometimes spyware simply spectates and does no interfere with the computer, but other times it may after change the configuration of the host computer.
One free anti spyware program is AVG. AVG is popular with users on the web. The first time you run the free version of AVG, it checks for updates and prompts you to create recovery disks if it finds a virus that makes your computer unable to boot. You have access to three different scans while the main screen gives you information about the scan and the records of previous scans. According to PC Mag, AVG removed 3 of 8 detected threats.
Lavasoft's Ad-aware has been out for a while and is also popular across the net. CNET maintains that Lavasoft Ad-aware SE is fastr, easier to use and better at finding and deleting most spyware than before. Although it does have some good features, Ad-aware SE offers no email support for the free version and online support is nothing to write home about.
Windows Defender is third spot down when you search for free anti spyware. CNET hold that Windows Defender offers a lot of advanced features, has a fast scan, is light on system resources and includes some free tech support calls. The downside to Windows Defender is that it requires you to verify your Windows license before you can download the application. According to CNET, Windows Defender missed half of the spyware during the test and did not fully remove half of the spyware samples in the test.
There are some of the free anti spyware programs that are out there on the internet. It's tough because in my experience the better anti spyware programs are the paid ones. They offer better technical support, better interfaces when scanning for spyware and can detect and remove more spyware threats.