Monday (February 5, 2007), Sunbelt Software released version 2 of their award-winning CounterSpy anti-spyware / anti-adware program.
I’d been waiting on the new version to upgrade. I had decided that I didn’t want to run the beta version on my notebook, so I just waited… and I’m happy with the finished product.
First, one of the issues that Sunbelt was targeting with CounterSpy 2 was to reduce the memory requirements of CounterSpy. I see the difference, too. Version 1.5 could take drastically different amounts of memory — I saw a low of 22MB to a high of almost 200MB. I suspect that CounterSpy had its spyware/adware signatures both significantly compressed and encrypted on the hard drive.
However, to try to speed up the constant processing, I also suspect that it had uncompressed the signatures in memory for faster checking. They were probably still encrypted so that other antispyware applications and antivirus applications
All this is simply my speculation of how it could have used that much memory.
Version 2, though, seems much more efficient. A quick Control-Alt-Delete pulls up the Windows Task Manager so I can click on the Processes tab. I see two files, SBCSSvc.exe and SBCSTray.exe.
SBCSSvc.exe is likely to be a new Windows service — the SunBelt CounterSpy Service. Simiilarly, SBCSTray.exe is likely to be the user-interface program that sits quietly in the Windows Status Bar.
In my case, after running CounterSpy 2 for four days, I see the SBCSSvc.exe taking 17,620 KB right now, while SBCSTray.exe is using 4,344 KB. That’s much improved from the previous version.
So, what’s in the new program?
According to Sunbelt Software, these are some of the highlights of the new version:
- Heavy duty antimalware protection that eradicates spyware, rootkits, trojans and blended threats, but uses so little system resources, you’ll hardly know it’s there.
- Provides broad protection against today’s threats, so multiple antispyware programs aren’t necessary to protect your PC.
- New hybrid antimalware engine combines Sunbelt’s own VIPRE(tm) antimalware technology with CounterSpy’s award winning spyware detection and removal.
- CounterSpy V2 is the only antispyware software with FirstScan(tm), scan and remove on-boot technology that, if triggered by a CounterSpy scan, eliminates the deepest rooted malware before Windows loads.
- Vista Compatible! Integrates seamlessly with the Windows Security Center.
- Still only $19.95! Undoubtedly the best value in antispyware software.
That last point surprised me — I expected to see the price bump upwards by $5 or $10, so this is great news.
Sunbelt has made an excellent choice on the update to v2. They’re not shoving it down our throats. We can choose when to upgrade to v2. Until we do, our v1.5x versions will continue to check for signature updates to 1.5x.
How do you get CounterSpy v2?
- If you already have CounterSpy v1.5, just go to Sunbelt’s CounterSpy page and download it.
- If you aren’t running CounterSpy now, you can go to Sunbelt’s CounterSpy page and download the same version as a current user. CounterSpy v2 will run as a fully-functional trial for 15 days. If you haven’t purchased and entered your license by that time, it will be disabled. At that point, you can either purchase your license (only $19.95) or uninstall it.
By the way, Sunbelt has great discounts for multiple copies — if you need 2, 3 or 4 copies, you can save a lot by purchasing the licenses at one time.