Honestly, the benefits are minimal. One benefit is that private users can download the program and use it for free. The thing is that there are some exceptional free protection programs on the market that simply blow the doors off of this program. There is a version that costs $13.99, but it is basic and only removes tag screens. The professional version is $24.99. The professional version does get you access to the protective repair environment which also allows you to generate rescue disks. The core protection format is basically the same as the base program.
The installation process is hassle free, in fact in comparison to many similar programs, Spybot fared well in this category.
The Down Side:
For a company that played a role in revolutionizing the way computers are protecting from dangerous programs such as malware and spyware, Spybot fails miserably in its claim to deliver a simple product that will search out, detect and destroy destructive programs.
First of all, simple is not necessarly a word that could be used to describe the user interface used for this program. One of the problems is that the same interface is used for all versions of the program, so when the basic program is in use the buttons and functions associated with the advanced program are shown, but they are not functional. This can be frustrating for a basic or inexperienced user.
Another problem with this program is that once a scan has been completed the program will delete system files that are not contaminated.
As far as actual malware removal, the program performed miserably. The system lacks precision in the criteria that is used to detect malware and spyware. In tests ran on the program it only detected an average of 32 percent of malware samples that were present on the test computer. To exacerbate the matter, the program had an extremely difficult time removing them.
The Bottom Line:
The program does very little to follow through on its promise or live up to its name. For the purpose that it was designed for the program is basically useless. Even as a freeware in the personal version, it bears no value because there are numerous free programs that are much more effective.
Louis Rossmann is a straight shooting tech guy who specializes in repair and LCD replacement. Contact him through his Rossmann Group website.