Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Big Changes For Ewido

A new version of Ewido has been release, Ewido Anti-Spyware 4. There have been major changes to the entire program, and from my first look, all for the better. The name has changed from Ewido Antimalware to Ewido Anti-Spyware. This is more than a simple update; you'll need to download and install this new version. If you have paid for the previous version of Ewido, then you have the option to move your license to this new one. Whether you have the free or paid version, I recommend that you uninstall the older program before installing Ewido Anti-Spyware 4. This will prevent problems when installing the new program.

This new version of Ewido replaces the older one. So you need to update to Ewido Anti-Spyware 4 to get the latest updates. Let's take a look at what the new Ewido looks like and can do.

To the left, you can see a screen shot of the main page for Ewido Anti-Spyware. You can click this picture or any of the ones in this post to see them at regular size.

Like most of the pages in the program, the most important info is on the left side. Across the top are different functions that Ewido can do. The ones you'll use the most are the scanner and update ones.

This is an example of the free trial, which is now available for 30 days. Older versions of Ewido had only a 15 day trial. If you do have an older trial version, be sure to uninstall it before upgrading to Ewido Anti-Spyware 4. My trial version was expired, but I got a new 30 day trial by uninstalling the old one first.

To clean spyware from your computer, you'll select the scanner button on the top menu. Then you'll see what is in the picture to the left. You have several options to choose from. A complete scan, a quick scan, and a few specialized ones.

If you have spyware on your computer, I suggest doing the complete system scan. This will allow Ewido to look for spyware and trojans where ever they may be hiding on your computer. If you don't have spyware, then the fast system scan is a good choice. It won't look in as many places, so it could miss something if you are infected. In my test, I did a fast scan and it did not find anything that the complete scan did find. The registry and custom scans look at those two specific places. It's not something that most people should use, since you will have to run a regular scan if something is found. The custom scan allows you to scan only certain parts of your computer. One example I can think of is to have a folder you download new files to and then have Ewido only scan that folder.

I did a complete scan on one of my computers. I use the computer to test spyware, adware, and trojans, so there were a few bad files that Ewido could find. They are only installers or parts of spyware programs, so this isn't a complete test to see how well Ewido does. Ewido used to put a warning for each spyware file it found as it was doing the scan. Now it will wait until the scan is done and list everything for you to look over at once. This is much better in my opinion, because you can leave the scan while it is running.

In this scan, everything that Ewido found was a bad file. The recommended action to quarantine is the correct thing to do with them. The one found that was set to ignore once is also bad, but it won't be able to do anything by itself. With new updates, it will most likely be removed by Ewido. If something is found that you don't want to remove, then you can click on the orange word quarantine and change it to one of the other options, like ignore once.

At the end of a scan, you can save the report to look at later. If spyware is found, then one is saved for you. If you need help from someone else, they may want to look at it. Click the report button on the top of the program, and you will have a list of the scans that you have done. You can save the report or simply copy and paste it to a posting at on online spyware removal help forum.

Let's take a look at a few of the other features of Ewido. The shield button is for the real time monitor. It is available only during the 30 day trial or if you have a paid subscription. This watches your computer for spyware, and can help to prevent it from getting on your computer. The infections button will take you to any spyware files that have been removed from your computer. This is where the quarantine option puts them. Quarantine files can't do anything, so if something was removed by mistake, then you can put it back to where it belongs. After a few days of using your computer, you should remove any malware files from the quarantine. Use the remove finally button at the bottom to do this. The analysis and tools buttons provide some useful ways to learn more about your computer, but are not newbie friendly. Last, there is a help file that can give you answers to any questions you may have about Ewido Anti-Spyware.

Overall, I find that this new version of Ewido is a great improvement. It is light on computer resources and memory, easy to use, and scanning is improved over the last version. One of my complaints about the older version was it alerted you about every suspicious file it found while it was scanning. This could get tedious on a computer with many detected malware files. Extending the trial period to 30 days is also a good move. This allows people more time to use and judge the program. One thing I do not like about this new version is it does not tell you what update you have installed. You can get around this by looking at the number of threats detected, but it is probably better to just check for updates every time you open the program to make sure you have the latest detections. These are minor problems though, Ewido is a great free product.