How we tested
To test our top 10 antispyware programs, Download.com used a PC computer with a 2.4GHz Pentium 4 processor and 512MB of RAM running Windows XP SP2. We installed VMware Workstation 5 and created a virtual hard drive of 1.04GB as our testing environment. The testers next downloaded software that also installed copies of 180 Search Assistant, Bookedspace, eXact Searchbar, Search Exe, BargainBuddy, and Downloadware. Then Download.com ran each of the antispyware applications to see what got caught and what survived the scan and removal process. After each test, the team reset the virtual system back to its previously clean state and repeated the steps above. To normalize the removal results, we ran two products not reviewed in this roundup, Bazooka Adware and Spyware Scanner and Hijack This, as control applications used to identify leftover spyware traces.
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