Spy Sweeper

Spy Sweeper

Spy Sweeper is proprietary software sold by Webroot Software, which detects and removes spyware, and viruses (with optional AntiVirus component) on personal computers that run Microsoft Windows. If the end user also purchases the AntiVirus component, the software will install itself under its official name "Webroot AntiVirus with AntiSpyware".


Spy Sweeper examines files on a computer's hard disk drive, as well as objects in memory, the Windows registry and [cookies|cookies], and quarantines any suspicious objects it finds. Spy Sweeper runs continuously while the computer is in operation, monitoring to warn the user of programs being set to start automatically, suspicious programs running, malicious website cookies, unwanted Internet Explorer changes, known adware websites, suspicious executable files, ActiveX installations and changes, and changes in system services. It is normally purchased as a yearly subscription; some broadband services, such as MSN Premium, also offer rebranded versions of Spy Sweeper as part of their subscription.


Webroot offers two versions of Spy Sweeper: a zero-cost 'spy scan' offering real-time protection from spyware, and a full version that allows for the removal of spyware. Licenses for the full version cost around US$30 each, which can be used for one year on one computer, or $40 for two years. Webroot also sells multiple-license subscriptions, allowing users to install their product on multiple computers using a single subscription, by purchasing either single-user, three-machine, or enterprise licenses.

In October 2006, Webroot released Spy Sweeper with AntiVirus, which includes removal and protection of computer viruses . The anti-virus component is based on an anti-virus product made by the software vendor Sophos. In June 2007 version 5.5 was released, which included the ability to scan email attachments, and an improved user interface. It currently has over 276,000 signatures in its spyware database and over 447,000 signatures in its antivirus database.

The product has won many awards in the press , and was the first anti-spyware product to receive "Checkmark" certification from the testing company West Coast Labs . It has also received an Editor's Choice award from PC Magazine and a Best Buy award from PC World.

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