I am sure that by now, you are already aware of computer viruses. You may not know their definition or code structure, but anyone can tell when a PC is infected, or something weird is happening with the entire operating system in question. The important thing is detecting a malware early on, stopping it dead in its tracks, and eventually making sure that it doesn’t happen again.
Although the internet is lined up with all kinds of malware removal tools, there are only a chock full of em’ that actually work as advertised. The rest of them are either a hoax but also a deceptive way of convincing you to pay more for “premium” malware removal services etc. Before delving into the best malware removal tools discussion, let’s take a big pause and see what a malware actually is. Read on…
What is malware? What is the example of a malware attack?
A long time ago, computer users used to think that malware is a specific kind of virus. However, as time went by, and new ways of spreading computer software infections emerged, the experts practically summed it all up under one platform. In today’s geek speak; “malware” is a contraction of any harmful computer program that can spread unwanted activity across the target PC, system or whatever there is to be infected.
So basically, a malware is a virus, an adware, a Trojan, a ransomware or anything which has to do with creating ripples of malicious code across a network of computers. The ultimate intent of the malware creator or spreader could just be for the sake of fun, or perhaps these people eventually need ransom to get things back to normal.
Normally, the victim in this situation gives into those ransom demands and chokes up the cash to get his/her online assets back to their normal state. This trend has become more of a livelihood for hackers – and they do make a lot of money off other people’s back by holding their computer systems or website hostage.
Unfortunately, with the advent of technology, the image of the rebel hacker in somewhere in a remote basement, has changed drastically. Today, these individuals can go to any length to infect a computer or spread an online virus all across the World Wide Web. Our only bet is to stay alert and install malware removal software to keep these issues at bay.
There are 3 common threats that you can get rid of with the best anti-malware software.
Computer Virus: Categorically speaking, a computer virus is just like its biological counterpart. The only difference is that when we are talking about computer viral infection, we’re looking at snippets of malicious code. Usually, these viruses are not made to replicate or hop from one system to another. Sometimes, the virus creator embeds a special code to enable the victim’s PC to spread the viral software to other computers on the same network etc.
Trojans: Moving on, Trojans are the deceptive cousins of a computer virus – except that in latter case, the malicious software is made to look like a legit computer program. You have seen those shady antivirus programs that promise to get clean your computer like a whistle. However, as soon as you install them, things go south and your PC eventually becomes slow as a snail.
In a rather serious turn of events, Trojans can be programmed to mirror all your sensitive information, such as but not limited to identity, credit card information, address details etc. This information is then secretly relayed to the owner of the Trojan, who can practically hold your entire system hostage.
Spyware : Spyware is another vicious form of software that normally works behind the scene. The term “spy” implies that the said program keeps an eye out on all the background processes in your computer and then sniffs out only the relevant/sensitive details to be used for wrong intent later.
Wait! My Computer Has a Malware – Malception!!!
Oh yeah, this could happen easily. If you are not careful, or you were unlucky enough to visit a website that suddenly prompts you to download/ install a malware removal tool, don’t give into it. Usually, these websites load a realistic animation to show that your system files are infected and that you immediately need to click somewhere on the page to download a malware removal program to get rid of so-and-so virus signatures.
These kinds of malwares are actually spywares in reality. The purpose of these malwares is to demand money from you, but in an “ethical” way so that you don’t feel cheated. What’s going to happen next after the download is that the fake malware will start a fake system scan of your computer. After a couple of minutes, you will be prompted to pay up for a premium version of the same program to unlock hidden virus detection features.
These payments never stop. A lot of users are made to believe that they are paying the fee for a legit program, and expect to get high-level customer support. However, they eventually realize that these programs are fake, and that the person’s hard earned money is never going to be refunded.
Now, let’s analyze the top malware removal tools that are best in industries.
Top Effective Malware Tools for Windows and Other OS
If your PC/Mac/Linux system is acting weird, as in slowdowns, unannounced restarts, crashes, constant hard disk loading activity, low memory errors and vice versa, it is time to download and install a reliable malware removal tool. Do bear in mind that you have to download the malware from a trusted source. Otherwise, you’re going to end up with yet another malware or suspicious program.
|Product||Spybot Search and Destroy||Super
|Symantec Norton Security 2017||Kaspersky
|Protection Type||Security Suite||Security Suite||Custom
|Malware Scanning On Demand||Yes||Yes||Custom||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|On-Access Malware Scan||Yes||Yes||Custom||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Let’s analyze each of these vendors in terms of features, price, compatibility and common pros and cons.
#1. Spybot – Search and Destroy
Recommended by LifeHacker, Spybot has garnered a massive number of positive reviews from users all over the internet. The program is simple and quite easy to install. Since its inception from several years ago Spybot team has managed to keep its scanning algorithm up to date. The best thing about the program is that it doesn’t take a toll on system memory, while actively or passively conducting a scan.
Spybot – Search and Destroy is more than capable of detecting botnet viruses, host file malware scripts various other functions. What really sets it apart from the rest of the malware removal software is that Spybot grants an “Edit” functionality to users who plan on using the infected software, without actually harming their system files.Surprisingly, it is among the best free malware removal tools.
The Spybot scanner also has a quarantine section to keep any file safe/ hidden in a virtual vault. Let’s say one of your core system files got corrupted, but you do not want to delete it, Spybot will assign the file to the virtual vault to make sure that it is readily retrievable in near or far future.
Compatible OS: Windows
Pros: Available in free/ trial version
Cons: Resource hungry software. May take a long time to scan all your drives.
SuperAntiSpyware is available for download at Amazon and the company’s official website. The program does have a free version, but it comes with limited functionality. If you are interested in giving SuperAntiSpyware a shot, just download a trial version. Granted that your system is already infected, at least the program will be able to sniff out any malware through the manual scan.
Yep, you read that right. Free version of the SuperAntiSpyware program does not have real-time scanning feature available. You need to buy a license key for the software to work at full potential. So, what makes SuperAntiSpyware worth it? The strongest selling point of SuperAntiSpyware is its compatibility with other popular spyware and anti malware programs out there.
The software supports Avira, ESET NOD 32, BitDefender and McAfee virus scanners. Likewise, if you already have some other malware installed, SuperAntiSpyware will not conflict with the pre-existing antivirus programs. Think of it as increasing the overall defense percentage of your computer.
Compatible OS: Windows
Pros: Paid version comes with 12,00,000 virus signatures and super compatible with other security software.
Cons: Free version is limited to set a number of features.
If you are looking for a brutal combination of a Spartan and a malware removal tool, ComboFix is definitely worth it. The screenshot does carry a rather mundane impression, but the program’s actual capability is super accurate.
More so, the entire ComboFix community is actively working to keep this anti-malware program up to date. Since it is free, you don’t have to pay a dime to keep your system running at full scale. What’s the best thing about ComboFix? It has up to 40 layer tier scanner, which essentially guarantees that your system is in safe hands.
At the end of each thorough scan, ComboFix churns out a detailed and easy-to-read log file. If, by any chance, there’s a fault in your hard drive clusters, or some software is interfering with another program, the log file details it down to the last alphabet.
Compatible OS: Windows
Pros: Lightweight and super quick install.
Cons: Poor UI and absolutely no room for mistakes during custom scans.
#4. MalwareBytes Anti-Malware
Perhaps one of the oldest and most reliable programs out there is MalwareBytes. To date, MalwareBytes has claimed several online security awards. The team has also won quite a number of bug bounty programs for a number of web-based companies. The best thing about MalwareBytes is the fact that it is available for free.
However, if you were to download the free edition of MalwareBytes, your system protection will be limited to manual scan mode only. Real-time scanning requires a flat $25 fee. It may seem a lot, but the MalwareBytes support team, and the program’s automated virus protection features will make it worth every god damn penny.
Compatible OS: Windows
Pros: Highly efficient Malware removal capabilities.Anti-rootkit removes the sophisticatedly embedded rootkits.
Cons: It is quite computer resource incentive so the user needs to run this on sufficient processing power.
#5. Symantec Norton Security 2017
Symantec does not need a formal introduction. They have been developing security solutions for business and small-scale users for over a decade now. It is safe to say that Norton provides guaranteed solutions at the cost of more memory consumption.
Don’t install this malware, if you have an old computer, low RAM or slow hard drive read-write speed.
OS: Windows, Macintosh
Pros: Full-fledged security solution. Guarantees 24/7 real-time scan with behaviour based scanning.
Cons: Consumes more RAM. May slow system down.
#6. Kaspersky Internet Security
If you are looking for a robust Internet Security solution, Kaspersky might just be the answer. At $39.99, the antimalware system works prove real time scanning 24/7. What makes it better than other software is that Kaspersky also detects in-browser activity for a full-fledged firewall solution. Therefore, you can shop, surf and browse with ease of mind.
Compatible OS: Windows, Macintosh
Pros: Lightweight, low memory consumption and active 24/7 online malware firewall.
Cons: Tends to be a bit pricey.
#7. Webroot Secure Anywhere Antimalware
Starting at $18.99, Webroot comes as one of the best antimalware on the internet. Not a lot of security software provide anti-ransomware support; Webroot grants that facility to the entire user base. Pricing varies, as it depends on the number of license you are looking to purchase.
The complete security suite is available for $30+. You get full one-year license subscription with active support for up to 5 devices. Don’t forget to visit the official company website if you are looking to install this program for a banking setup.
OS: Windows, Mac
Pros: Fast, reliable antimalware with embedded anti-ransomware support!
Cons: Known for basic protection and doesn’t include any advance scanning.
How to Remove a Malware From Your System?
Okay, so you have finally installed the software, how are you supposed to remove the actual malware? The process is simple. All of the programs listed above come with a scan feature. You can either choose between “Quick Scan”, a relatively quick and hassle-free scan mode, or go for the “Deep System Scan” option. The latter is more time consuming, but it is thorough.
Users usually schedule deep system scan activities during after hours. Just leave your system in On state, and let the program do its thing. If your anti malware software is set to default security settings, it will detect and keep all the infected files in the ‘Quarantine’ folder. In order to permanently delete those files, you will have to select them through the malware removal software, and then press the delete button.
Best Practices – How do you avoid malware?
- The best way of keeping the system malware free is through common sense. While you are actively surfing around the internet, always hover your mouse over suspicious links. You will be able to see in the address bar at the bottom of the browser window where the link is finally going to redirect you.
- Make sure that you keep your email filters active against spam mails.
- Never click an embedded link in an email.
- NEVER download a file sent from an unknown sender in an email, through a mobile program or anything in particular.
- Keep your malware removal tool scan settings to High/Aggressive mode.
- Last but not the least, always create the system restore points so that you have something to fall back on. Just in case if everything else fails, and most of your files are corrupted, it is better to format the hard drive partition where the OS is installed and start over.
The best practices are always beneficial on long-terms.However, buying a best anti malware software turns into a good investment. Don’t forget to share your experiences through the comments section below.