I have Microsoft Antispyware in my windows XP computer but recently I read
reviews in PC magazine and it recommended Spyware Doctor 3.5. I don’t want to
uninstall Microsoft Antispyware. Can I keep both of them running at the same
If one is good, two must be better, right? And three better still!
Well, yes and no. Depending on what you mean by “run”, two can be better, or
two can be a total mess.
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Scan: in this mode, the utility examines memory and files
on disk for traces of malware. Different anti-spyware programs look at
different things, but typically it includes looking for known “.exe” or other
files, entries in the system registry as well as other permanent traces of
Monitor:: some anti-spyware utilities include components
that are installed and keep running. These components monitor for changes that
are indications of malicious behavior. Unexpected changes to the registry, for
example, can be one such sign. Programs writing to certain files or certain
locations, unless known to be good, can also often be signs of a spyware or
other malicious activity. This monitoring process can stop, or at least alert
on, suspicious behavior.
Both modes are important components to managing spyware and keeping your
The problem with running more than one anti-spyware application is that
second mode: monitoring. More than one set of spyware monitoring components can
cause conflicts. They might coexist peacefully, but they might also
prevent each other from working properly, or perhaps even declare each other as
However, running scans from more than one anti-spyware program can often be
quite useful. The unfortunate reality is that while some anti-spyware programs
are better than others, none of them catch absolutely everything. As a result,
particularly when diagnosing a suspected problem, running the scan portion of
an additional anti-spyware program or two can often help track down or
eliminate the offending malware.
So the bottom line is quite simple: install or enable the real-time
monitoring components of only one anti-spyware program at a time, but go ahead
and use different anti-spyware scanners manually when tracking down a