Internet is probably one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century, and billions around the world are using the global system of interconnected computer networks. The origins of the Internet date back into the 1960’s, when teams of researchers were commissioned by the United States government in collaboration with private commercial interests to build robust, fault-tolerant, and distributed computer networks. In addition, the Internet is (or should be – most of us probably heard about the anti-piracy measures taken by the US government and not only, measures that are momentarily threatening the very core on which the Internet was built) a free global network where people share, exchange, look for, and offer information in various digital formats (text files, pictures, movies, clips, work-related digital data, and so on and so forth). But sharing data between two or more computers can have its drawbacks, as viruses (usually developed by hackers) are circulating inside this network. As such, specialized companies started to also develop anti-viruses. There are many types of threats in the form of viruses – malware, spyware, trojans, worms, etc. Malware, short for malicious software can disrupt computer operations, gather sensitive information, or gain unauthorized access to computer systems, and our list is going to recommend ten free malware removal tools.
10. Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool
Developed by Microsoft’s team of software programmers, Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool is designed to scan and remove malware software from computers that have the latest Windows operating systems running on them. After the scan is completed (whether is thorough or quick scan) the program will generate a report showing the malicious software that it detected and offer options to remove it, quarantine it, or ignore the threat.
9. Spybot Search & Destroy
Spybot Search & Destroy scans for malware, along with other embedded functions, such as a dummy code feature that changes ambiguous adware modules with inert codes. This helps infected program function properly, without removing them from your system (although I personally do not recommended using the infected program for a very long time – it’s always better to make a fresh install of it). Spybot is compatible with most versions of Windows, including Windows 95.
Trend Micro developed HihackThis – a highly rated free malware scanner that can detect and remove most types of malware, spyware, trojans and rootkits. HijackThis allows instant download (database update usually) even on a slow Internet connection, and some of its key features include the ability to create a log file that details any files and registry settings affected by malware.
There are two versions of this malware removal tools, the freeware and the premium edition. The latter features real-time scanning, registry protection, a scheduling service, auto-scan on startup, and startup diagnostics to prevent malware from spreading on your computer, and protection against several types of threats, including spyware, adware, trojans, dialers, worms, keyloggers, hiJackers, parasites, rootkits, rogue security products and so on, while the free version offers basic malware protection.
Our ten free malware removal tools top includes ComboFix, a freeware program (a legitimate spyware remover created by sUBs) designed to scan a computer for known malware, spyware and remove them. Combofix is also allowing manual removal of spyware infections, while creating a report to search and remove infections that are not automatically removed.
SpywareBlaster prevents spyware, adware, malware, browser hi-jacking and other malicious software from infecting and attacking your computer, while also removing threats from your computer. The program prevents the installation of ActiveX-based spyware and other potentially unwanted programs, blocks spying and tracking via cookies, while also blocking unwanted or threatening websites.
Number four out of ten free malware removal tools is Zone Alarm, a free antivirus designed to provide protection against viruses, malware and spyware threats, phishing, and other types of threats. ZoneAlarm supports the latest versions of Windows operating systems and offers browser security.
3. Flashback Malware Removal Tool
Not everyone is using Windows, and Flashback Malware Removal Tool is an especially designed for MAC OSX program that allows you to remove the most common variants of Flashback malware. If Flashback malware is found, a dialog notify the user that the threat was removed. In some cases, a restart of the computer is needed to fully remove any Flashback malware.
2. Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool
Kaspersky Lab is a Russian multi-national computer security company, that provides security for over 300 million users around the world, including 200.000 corporate clients worldwide. Their Virus Removal Tool is completely free and helps you remove viruses, trojans, and spyware, as well as any other types of malware. Their program uses the same highly efficient algorithms for detecting malware as Kaspersky Antivirus. It is our number two choice in the ten free malware removal tools list.
1. Malware Bytes
Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware is available as freeware and shareware. It is an excellent program that offers protection against many types of malware, including worms, trojans, rootkits, rogues, dialers, spyware, etc. Some of its features include advanced malware detection and removal, rapid response malware database and heuristics updates, multi-language support, Malicious Website Protection that helps you block access to known and zero day malicious web content, and so on.
We conclude our listing with the following question: What kind of anti-malware program are you currently using?