"WinPatrol will alert you to Spyware, Adware."
WinPatrol has been around roughly the same time as the Internet itself and has never disappointed its users, as Scotty, the emblem dog of the program, is always able to stop invasive programs from hacking into your system. While WinPatrol originally comes as freeware, you can also choose to upgrade it to the paid version, in order to benefit for increased security features. Its main function is to weed out spyware, adware, worms and Trojans and it is heuristic methods are effective even when that certain malicious application is not listed in its database. The WinPatrol dog is very proficient in monitoring all changes made to the critical files of your operating system, but its algorithm will not cause it to detect a great deal of false positives.
Installing the WinPatrol is a fairly easy task. Downloading and running the installation kit is basically a two-click job. The latest version of WinPatrol is compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 only. The application occupies around 0.8 megabytes, so installing it only takes a couple of seconds. Once it is done, the main window of the program will popup and WinPatrol will start monitoring your file system automatically.
WinPatrol has a rather basic type of interface. The main window is split into two sections. In the upper part users can see a list of application and process types, while in the lower section they will notice the actual processes for each type of application. While the interface could have used a bit more work, the truth is that most users will access the options of WinPatrol via the tray icon. Right clicking on the tray button will bring up a list of the most common monitoring features.
Cloaked malicious software programs running in the background are the most common cause for reduced system performance. Consequentially, the greatest feature of WinPatrol is the ability to help your computer reach its full potential by sniffing them out and eradicating them, one by one. WinPatrol has effective anti-spyware and anti-adware algorithms implemented and it is especially good at eliminating self-replicating processes in a single strike.
Moreover, this application will stop programs that constantly try to place themselves in your startup without your permission and kill even the most persistent infections from your computer. With WinPatrol, page hijacking and HOST changes without permission are no longer an issue. If you thought that the only application running on your startup are the ones listed by conventional software, think again. In fact, you are very likely to notice that you have a lot more programs on your startup list than you thought, the first time you run WinPatrol. The program’s ability to locate these undocumented apps is due to its extensive registry scanning feature.
Lastly, WinPatrol has extensive browser monitoring capabilities, thus you will be alerted the moment one of the cookies you have downloaded is infected or a cloaked add-on is trying to install itself. Internet surfing has never been safer.
Compared to the features of the paid version, the free WinPatrol can feel quite limited, in terms of access to the Plus Database. In addition, if you care about your privacy, then you should consider removing the options “Share real-time cloud choices” and “Allow Plus Info Data Collection”. This is not to say that your sensitive personal data is at risk if you keep those options turned on, but rather that some people prefer to keep their surfing details private.
Users looking for an anti-spyware application can also try out Ad-Aware Free Internet Security or Spyware & Adware Removal. However, users and expert editors have rated WinPatrol a bit higher than any of the other applications. In addition, the number of features included even the free version of WinPatrol can rival paid software any day.
Over the years, WinPatrol has earned a solid reputation of providing quality protection against internet threats. The basic free version of the program is a potent means of keeping malicious software away and ensuring that your system is running at optimum efficiency. However, if you are comfortable with the way WinPatrol works, it is recommended that you upgrade it to the paid version, as there are quite a lot of benefits in terms of protection.
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