Counterspy Review

Product: Counter Spy
Price: $19.95
Company Info: Sunbelt Software -
Editor Rating:


Counter Spy review

Counter Spy is a re-branded version of our good old friend Microsoft AntiSpyware and it shows. While the overall effectiveness of Counter Spy is at an all-time high the program suffers from several annoying interface problems.


The interface is the Achilles' heel of Counter Spy. The monochromatic look of the windows used in Counter Spy may appeal to some users, but often times, they simply get in the way. The annoying pop-up alerts that show up all the time and can't be suppressed by any means may quickly drive you mad. Other details such as threat descriptions that don't really tell you anything or a constant tendency to ignore your attempts to change the program settings only adds to the average user's frustrations.

Main features

When you consider how off-putting the interface problems are, it is surprising how effective Counter Spy can be both in preventing spyware from installing on your machine in the first place, or removing it once it gets there. Counter Spy is able to:

*Protect your computer in real-time and block all illegitimate program installations (Active Protection),

*Perform auto-updates,

*Scan the Windows registry and processes,

*Scan all files and folders on all local drives,

*Schedule regular scans,

*Display general information about adware/spyware programs detected on your PC,

*Rollback any changes it makes in case the removed adware is necessary for some other programs to run properly,

*Effectively stop most browser hijack attempts.


Counter Spy is a very capable anti-spyware tool when it comes to dealing with multiple infections. Counter spy performs reasonably well, certainly much better than most other anti-spyware tools can hope (with notable exceptions such as Spyware Doctor or ParetoLogic Anti-Spyware). The scanning speed is average - Counter Spy is certainly not the fastest spyware scanner, but generally behaves relatively well, which makes the tragic interface even more frustrating since it is the only thing holding this program back from being one of the best anywhere.

Pros & cons:

+ Relatively high detection/removal rate,

+ Excellent customer support (much better than Microsoft's),

+ Low price.

- Interface problems.


Counter Spy is a good anti-spyware tool once you get used to its numerous interface deficiencies. The engine has been slightly improved since the program was known as Microsoft AntiSpyware and the customer support is top-notch. If you don't mind constant pop-up alerts, Counter Spy is a good, cost-effective solution to your spyware problems. Let's hope the engineers responsible for the next generation of this program take the interface issues to heart and spend significant time on fixing them up. If they do, there is nothing stopping Counter Spy from being one of the top protection programs in the world. It has all of the tools that many of the pricier and more well known programs have and they work just as well in this package, it just happens that this package is as ugly as a year-old Christmas fruitcake.

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