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Spybot – Search & Destroy 2.0 rebuilds itself from ground up

19 November 2012, Nick Peers

Irish security firm Safer-Networking Ltd has announced the final release of Spybot – Search & Destroy 2.0. The popular anti-malware tool, available in both free and Professional editions, comes completely rewritten from the ground up.

Spybot S&D 2.0 boasts a brand new user interface and promises both functionality and performance-based improvements, claiming a faster, more feature-rich experience for users compared to the previous release.

Version 2.0’s new user interface opens with a Start screen providing one-click access to the program’s various components. The most significant new feature of note is support for whitelisting trusted files – if a machine is less than 30 days old, users are prompted to run the Whitelist Preparation tool to mark all files on the drive as safe and skip future scans.

Spybot 2.0 introduces a new whitelisting tool for speeding up scans.

Spybot S&D 2.0 also promises to start faster and produce quicker scans, plus integrates with Windows Security Center for the first time. It also promises additional assistance dialogue boxes.

Like the previous edition, version 2.0 comes as a fully functional free version for personal use, while commercial users are required to purchase the Professional Edition. A new licensing model has been implemented with this new release with three different single-user editions available: Free, Home and Professional.

Free functionality includes malware and rootkit scanning tools and Spybot’s well-known “Immunize system” button. It also comes with tools for managing startup items, Registry backup and repair, and secure file shredding.

The Home edition drops the nag screens found in the free version and adds a tool for scanning iPhone apps. It also supports task scheduling and command line parameters. Pro users also gain a dedicated command-line tool.

Two additional features – Protected Repair Environment and Boot CD creation of the Spybot liveCD rescue disc – require a multi-user Corporate or Technician license.

Spybot – Search & Destroy 2.0 Free Edition is available now as a free-for-personal use download for PCs running Windows XP or later. Full pricing information has yet to be confirmed, but at time of writing a Pro license is currently available for $24.99, which covers the user for 18 months instead of the usual 12.

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