Transparency and Trust – We pride ourselves on being the only site where users can freely contribute and share their reviews on any antivirus with other community members. When you visit an antivirus site we link to, we sometimes get affiliate commissions that support our work. Read more about how we operate.

10 Best Anti-Spyware Software (100% Detection) for 2020

10 Best Anti-Spyware Software (100% Detection) for 2020
Robert Bateman
Posted: January 25, 2020

Every day, there are dozens of new anti-spyware products that come out onto the market, claiming to guarantee protection. And every day, there are new harmful spyware exploits created to bypass these weak defenses. With so much antivirus and anti-spyware software out there, it seems overwhelming to find protection that actually works.

When downloading any anti-spyware product, you need to be careful. Some anti-spyware products are actually spyware, designed to hack and steal your data. And even the ones that aren’t malicious are probably really bad — like most of the software I tested — leaving you seriously vulnerable. That’s why I’ve thoroughly tested and reviewed all 47 of the best antivirus applications on the market and analyzed whether or not they offer high-quality spyware protection to keep you protected.

Here’s the result: If you’re looking for an antivirus with great anti-spyware capabilities, go with Norton 360. If you already have a great antivirus installed on your computer and are only looking for a dedicated anti-spyware solution, go with SUPERAntiSpyware.

Short on time? Here are the best antiviruses with anti-spyware capabilities:

Dedicated anti-spyware picks:

The 10 Best Anti-Spyware Software for 2020 — Reviewed & Compared

I’ve divided this list into two sections:

  1. Antivirus software that includes anti-spyware capabilities. Get one of these if you don’t have any antivirus/anti-malware software currently installed.
  2. Dedicated anti-spyware software. Get one of these if you already have great antivirus software, but you need additional software to protect against spyware.

Best Antivirus Software That Protects Against Spyware

1. Norton 360 Standard — Best for All-Around Protection

Norton is a world leader in fighting all types of malware, including viruses, ransomware, and spyware, and its 100% detection and removal rates prove it’s the best of the best.

Norton’s antivirus engine runs on artificial intelligence. This technology is continually learning about new and emerging spyware threats, using data from Norton’s millions of users around the world.

Norton 360 Standard comes with:

  • Malware scanning and removal.
  • Online threat detection.
  • Smart Firewall.
  • Dark Web Monitoring.
  • Password manager.
  • Secure VPN.

While still amazing on Mac, smartphones, and tablets, Norton 360 Standard provides some extra anti-spyware features specifically for Windows users. Windows users should take extra security precautions because spyware often targets Windows due to its well-known security vulnerabilities.

For example, Norton’s “SafeCam” feature protects your PC’s webcam, preventing hackers from hijacking your webcam in order to spy on you. Norton also features “PC Cloud Backup” — 10 GB of secure storage where you can keep safe copies of your private files in case you fall victim to a ransomware attack, which as I noted in my Norton 360 review, is an incredibly generous offering.

As a bonus, if you’re looking to protect more than one device, Norton 360 Deluxe is the same price as 360 Standard for the first year and comes with parental controls on up to 5 devices (on all operating systems).

What I Like:

  • Advanced AI-based antivirus technology with 100% malware protection.
  • SafeCam feature that guards your webcam.
  • Excellent additional features, including Cloud Backup and Secure VPN.

What I Don’t Like:

  • Takes up a lot of hard drive space.
  • Mac users can’t access SafeCam or Cloud Backup features.
  • Only covers one device — if you want more licenses, consider Norton 360 Deluxe or Premium.

Bottom Line:

Norton’s trusted antivirus technology will definitely keep your devices free from spyware, and its additional security features will prevent your Windows PC from being hijacked by hackers. Norton is a great choice for everyone, regardless of which operating system or device you want to protect. But it’s particularly great for Windows users who want a complete internet security package.

2. McAfee Total Protection — Best for Extra Anti-Spyware Features

McAfee Total Protection — Best for Extra Anti-Spyware Features

McAfee’s security package offers cross-platform detection and removal of spyware, viruses, and all other types of malware. It also has a strong set of additional features to keep you safe from spyware, including:

  • Safe Web Browsing.
  • Performance Optimization.
  • Unlimited VPN.

In addition to basic anti-spyware functionality, McAfee’s has a special anti-spyware feature with its Identity Theft Protection. It uses a range of tools to help prevent cases of identity theft, including:

  • Dark Web Monitoring.
  • Social Security Number monitoring.
  • 24/7 identity theft support.

Note: McAfee’s Identity Theft Protection is only available for users in the United States.

What I Like:

  • An excellent range of internet security features.
  • Comprehensive identity theft support.
  • Strong protection against all types of malware.

What I Don’t Like:

  • Some features, such as Performance Optimization, load as separate applications, which slows down startup time.
  • Identity theft protection only available in the US (but there are still plenty of features for non-US users).

Bottom Line:

McAfee Total Protection Multi-Device is a great antivirus package with particularly strong protection against identity theft — one of the worst effects of spyware. And while they offer a lot of protections against spyware threats, their extensive Identity Theft Protection is only available for US users. Even still, McAfee is an excellent choice for anyone who wants a comprehensive internet security package.

3. TotalAV — Best New Antivirus Software

TotalAV — Best New Antivirus Software

In addition to lots of extra features, TotalAV provides really good anti-spyware protection. As I noted in my new TotalAV review, this company has really stepped up their game and have turned a mediocre product into a highly capable, dedicated antivirus program.

Unfortunately, the free version is not that useful, but the paid versions offer a lot of great features.

The cheapest TotalAV plan gives you:

  • Spyware detection and removal.
  • Adware cleaner.
  • Phishing protection.
  • Remote access firewall.
  • Device optimization tools.

But you need to be aware of the price. It’s normal for companies to offer a cheap introductory price, but TotalAV has been accused of being sneaky about this, so make sure you understand their renewal policy.

What I Like:

  • Great spyware protection.
  • Cheaper introductory price than competitors.
  • Many additional antivirus features.

What I Don’t Like:

  • Renewal rates are expensive.
  • Free version is not that good.

Bottom Line:

TotalAV is still a new antivirus company, and they haven’t had the best history with users. A lot of people complain that their renewal policy is sneaky. But their introductory price is definitely unbeatable. Overall, they’re clearly getting better and working out some of these problems, and they’re now offering some of the best all-around antivirus protection in the industry.

4. Bitdefender Total Security — Best for Secure Banking

Bitdefender Total Security — Best for Secure Banking

Bitdefender is a world leader in detecting and removing spyware and all other types of malware. And in the rare event that spyware does sneak through Bitdefender’s defenses, the software includes a powerful set of additional features to make sure it can’t spy on you.

Bitdefender is particularly great at protecting users’ financial information. If you bank online, you’re vulnerable to a devastating type of spyware known as a “Banking Trojan”. Bitdefender provides an ultra-secure browsing environment called “Safepay” to keep your bank details safe from cybercriminals.

Some of Bitdefender Total Security’s other security features include:

  • Microphone Monitor. Prevents spyware applications from eavesdropping on your conversations.
  • Password Manager. Keeps your passwords and payment information locked up in a secure vault.
  • Multi-Layer Ransomware Protection. Advanced defense against ransomware, an increasingly common and dangerous type of malware.

What I Like:

  • Detects spyware using advanced machine learning.
  • Safepay protects your financial information.
  • Password Manager helps protect against keyloggers.

What I Don’t Like:

  • Some premium features, such as Safepay and Microphone Monitor, are unavailable on macOS and iOS.
  • Interface can be confusing.

Bottom Line:

Bitdefender Total Security provides an incredible level of malware protection alongside a comprehensive set of security features. If you do a lot of online banking and online shopping, this is the best antivirus for protecting you against keyloggers and hackers looking to steal your information because of its Safepay browser. But this feature is only available on Windows.

5. Malwarebytes — Best for Ease-of-Use

Malwarebytes — Best for Ease-of-Use

Malwarebytes started as a dedicated spyware tool, and it’s still a world-class anti-spyware product. And as we found out in our last Malwarebytes review, it also protects against a much wider range of other threats.

Malwarebytes doesn’t rely on a list of spyware definitions like other antiviruses. It monitors the behavior of your files and applications. If it observes an application acting suspiciously — accessing restricted parts of your system or logging your activity — Malwarebytes takes immediate action to eliminate the threat and protect your personal information.

Unfortunately, Malwarebytes doesn’t come with a lot of complicated extra features, like a firewall or a VPN. It focuses on providing powerful malware protection, making the program simple, effective, lightweight, and extremely easy to use. Malwarebytes is a particularly good option if you’re inexperienced with antivirus or anti-spyware software.

But if you’re looking for a more full-featured antivirus with anti-spyware capabilities, it’s usually better to go with something more comprehensive like Norton or McAfee.

What I Like:

  • Powerful protection against spyware and other types of malware.
  • Easy to set up and use.
  • Lightweight software.

What I Don’t Like:

  • Lacks additional features such as a VPN or firewall.
  • Protecting multiple devices can get expensive.

Bottom Line:

Malwarebytes is the original spyware-fighting software — and it now provides unparalleled protection against viruses and other types of malware, too. Malwarebytes might not throw in a lot of complicated extra security features, but if you want a simple and highly effective antivirus and anti-spyware solution, it’s the perfect choice.

6. Avira Antivirus Pro — Best for Keylogger Detection

Avira Antivirus Pro — Best for Keylogger Detection

Avira Antivirus Pro provides real-time protection against spyware and other malware,

Avira is on my anti-spyware list because of how well it detects keyloggers — spyware that records what you type, which could include your private messages, passwords, or credit card numbers. From my testing, I found that Avira detects keyloggers better than almost all of its competitors, including McAfee and Trend Micro.

Avira Antivirus Pro also includes the following additional features:

  • Ad Blocker.
  • Safe Browser to prevent you from visiting phishing websites.
  • PUA Shield which detects harmful software that might appear legitimate.

Avira’s software is also extremely efficient, making it a great choice even for slower, older computers.

What I Like:

  • Lightweight software — runs very smoothly in the background.
  • Excellent keylogger detection rate.
  • Decent internet security features including Safe Browser.

What I Don’t Like

  • This plan doesn’t offer a cross-platform solution, unlike the upgraded Avira Prime.
  • Free version is very limited and displays pop-up ads.

Bottom Line:

Avira Antivirus Pro offers excellent protection against keyloggers and internet security threats. It’s so lightweight that you’ll barely notice it protecting your system in the background — but you can be sure that it’s working hard to keep your device safe from keyloggers and other types of spyware.

7. Adaware Antivirus Total — Best for Securing Personal Information

Adaware Antivirus Total — Best for Securing Personal Information

Adaware was developed exclusively as a program to block ads and web trackers. Now it protects against much more — including viruses, ransomware, and spyware.

Adaware Antivirus Total’s Digital Lock feature prevents spyware from stealing personal information from your computer by:

  • Encrypting your private files with “military-grade” 256-bit AES encryption.
  • Securely “shredding” the unencrypted original files by erasing and overwriting them.
  • Applying multiple levels of encryption and password protection to sensitive documents.

In addition to the incredible Digital Lock feature, Adaware Antivirus Total offers:

  • Email Protection.
  • Web Protection.
  • Parental Controls.

This is a great level of protection for your private information — some other brands, such as Avira Antivirus Pro, defend your device against spyware infection but don’t provide any tools to help protect the contents of your files and documents. But other big brands like do McAfee and Norton offer this functionality as well.

What I Like:

  • Strong protection against spyware, adware, viruses, and more.
  • Lets you encrypt your sensitive files so that spyware can’t read them.
  • Offers parental controls to keep your kids away from inappropriate sites.

What I Don’t Like:

  • Windows only.
  • User-interface can be confusing.

Bottom Line:

Adaware keeps your computer free from spyware infections, and its Digital Lock feature lets you encrypt your most important files so you can store and send them safely. It’s a good choice if you keep sensitive or work-related documents on your PC.

Best Dedicated Anti-Spyware Software

8. SUPERAntiSpyware — Best for Additional Spyware Protection

SUPERAntiSpyware — Best for Additional Spyware Protection

SUPERAntiSpyware is a powerful tool for fighting spyware and related types of malware, including:

  • Adware that displays nuisance ads.
  • Trojans that look harmless but attack your system once installed.
  • Rootkits that gain control over core parts of your PC.

SUPERAntiSpyware is designed to complement your existing antivirus setup. It’s a great choice if you’re happy with your current antivirus software but want to add extra spyware protection.

SUPERAntiSpyware provides both a free and a paid version. The paid version, SUPERAntiSpyware Pro, continuously monitors your device for spyware infections, and it updates automatically. In terms of spyware protection alone, SUPERAntiSpyware can even compete with top antivirus brands like Norton.

What I Like:

  • Designed to complement your existing antivirus software.
  • Excellent detection rates for spyware and related types of malware.
  • Easy to set up and use.

What I Don’t Like:

  • Free version doesn’t offer real-time protection and requires manual updating.
  • Fails to detect some malware — don’t use it as a standalone antivirus application.

Bottom Line:

SUPERAntiSpyware will complement your existing antivirus software. You can’t expect it to do everything your antivirus software can do — but it will add a strong additional layer of protection against spyware.

Visit SUPERAntiSpyware

9. SpywareBlaster — Best for Browsing Protection

SpywareBlaster — Best for Browsing Protection

SpywareBlaster specializes in blocking ActiveX malware. ActiveX is a tool that provides interactive website content. ActiveX controls can be useful — enabling you to play media or fill in forms on websites. But they can also be malicious.

Hackers can use ActiveX controls to gain access to your system. Once inside, they could install keylogging software, steal your private files, or access your webcam.

SpywareBlaster offers both free and paid versions. The paid version, SpywareBlaster Autoupdate, is excellent value. It provides the following benefits:

  • Automatic updating.
  • Protection for every user on your computer.
  • Technical support.

SpywareBlaster doesn’t scan your computer like an antivirus software — it only blocks incoming threats. Therefore, you’ll need to invest in separate scanning software, such as Malwarebytes.

What I Like:

  • Specialized protection against ActiveX-based spyware.
  • Works in harmony with other antivirus and anti-spyware software.
  • Affordable premium software.

What I Don’t Like:

  • No additional features — only blocks threats from ActiveX controls.
  • Doesn’t scan your system for existing spyware.

Bottom Line:

SpywareBlaster is a powerful solution to a specific problem — spyware that hijacks your computer via ActiveX website content. You’ll need additional software to protect you from other types of malware. SpywareBlaster is not a replacement for antivirus software — or even for other dedicated anti-spyware applications. SpywareBlaster works in harmony with any other security software installed on your computer.

Visit SpywareBlaster

10. Spybot – Search and Destroy — Best for Advanced Users

Spybot – Search and Destroy — Best for Advanced Users

Spybot – Search and Destroy is a powerful spyware prevention tool. Spybot helps you manage “usage tracks”. These are your PC’s records of:

  • Which documents you’ve opened.
  • Which applications you’ve launched.
  • Which websites you’ve visited.

Spyware can harvest this data. It’s useful information for committing identity fraud or gaining control of your PC. Spybot helps you clean up your usage tracks, so you’re less vulnerable to cybercrime.

Spybot offers some advanced customization options for more experienced users. It can appear complicated, and it might not be the best choice if you’re new to cybersecurity software.

If you want more complete protection, consider Spybot’s premium application, Spybot Home. This is a great value product that also offers real-time protection against viruses and other malware.

What I Like:

  • Helps clean your PC so you’re less vulnerable to spyware.
  • Cleans infected applications without destroying or removing them.
  • Advanced customization options for experienced users.

What I  Don’t Like:

  • Might be too complicated for inexperienced users.
  • Scanning is slow.

Bottom Line:

Spybot – Search and Destroy offers spyware prevention, detection, and removal for advanced users. If you want to keep your device activity totally private, Spybot offers a level of control that no other software can match.

Visit Spybot – Search and Destroy

🕵️ What is spyware and what is anti-spyware software?

Spyware is a type of malware (malicious software) that spies on your device, monitoring your activity and collecting your personal information — often using it to access your online accounts or to perform identity theft.

Using spyware, hackers can steal your credit card details, passport number, web browsing history, or any other sensitive info you don’t want falling into the wrong hands.

Anti-spyware software is a type of software that detects, removes, and protects against spyware. It can come as part of an antivirus software package or as a standalone application.

🧐 Are anti-spyware and antivirus software the same thing?

No, anti-spyware and antivirus software are not the same thing. After all, spyware and viruses are different types of malware.

Anti-spyware software fights spyware, and sometimes other related types of malware, such as adware (unwanted advertising software).

Defining antivirus software is more complicated. Technically, antivirus software only fights viruses. However, “antivirus software” can also be a broader term for software that fights lots of different types of malware.

Some antivirus products, such as Norton and TotalAV, fight spyware — but many antivirus products don’t include spyware protection.

🔎 How does anti-spyware software work?

Anti-spyware software can protect your personal information by:

  • Detecting and removing spyware already present on your device.
  • Preventing you from downloading spyware.
  • Encrypting your files to secure your private data.
  • Encrypting your keystrokes to confuse “keylogger” spyware.
  • Blocking access to your device’s camera or microphone.
  • Scanning the dark web for signs that your personal information has been stolen.

💾 How can I install anti-spyware software?

You can install anti-spyware software by purchasing it from a reputable cybersecurity company and downloading it from their website.

Be careful when downloading free anti-spyware software. Some anti-spyware software, known as “rogue anti-spyware software”, is actually spyware in disguise. You can trust all the antivirus and anti-spyware products on this list.

For most users, I recommend Norton for a powerful, easy-to-use antivirus application that provides advanced spyware protection and SUPERAntiSpyware for a dedicated anti-spyware solution.

Transparency and Trust – We pride ourselves on being the only site where users can freely contribute and share their reviews on any antivirus with other community members. When you visit an antivirus site we link to, we sometimes get affiliate commissions that support our work. Read more about how we operate.