Ad-Aware Free Antivirus +

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus +

Editors' Rating:
5
Spectacular
Average User Rating:
3.9
out of 15351 votes
See all user reviews

Quick Specs

Version:
11.3.6321
File Size:
2.68MB
Date Added:
August 27, 2014
Price:
Free; paid upgrade available
Operating Systems:
Windows XP/Vista/7/8
Total Downloads:
386,794,306
Downloads Last Week:
81,816
Product ranking:
#2 in Anti-Spyware
Additional Requirements:
Not available

Editors' Note: This is a full review of Ad-Aware Total Security 2014

Editors' review

Ad-Aware has faced its ups and downs over the past few years, shimmying in and out of relevancy. Though last year's version was an overall improvement over its prior incarnations, our review staff had ultimately concluded that there was still some maturing to do if Lavasoft was aiming to reclaim the throne as top security honcho.

Gone is the Vipre scanner that powered it before and Ad-Aware now comes primarily powered by Bitdefender's core security engine and with added perks and utilities.

The installation process isn't exactly short when you include the extra download time to grab the virus definitions but it's not unbearable. Like many other security programs before it, Ad-Aware does come bundled with an in-house toolbar; but before you go on snickering in disgust, it's actually a surprisingly useful utility.

The toolbar add-on is one of the least obnoxious things we've ever used among browser bundles. Granted most toolbars are a hindrance, but Ad-Aware's security toolbar actually provided some value. In fact, we'd even go so far as to recommend it if you find yourself constantly trying to remove unintended toolbar installations and BHO add-ons that mysteriously appear inside your browser. Ad-Aware's toolbar comes with three basic features: a built in search that's powered by Yahoo!, a Web profile that indicates if a page is safe to visit...and a toolbar remover.

Regardless of which browsers you have installed, the tool actually identifies all third-party toolbars installed across the three major browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE). It'll not only guide you through the uninstall/removal process, but Ad-Aware's security bar takes you directly to the control panel to help you remove other remaining dependencies. In other words, it's a cleaner that actually works. Each widget is mutable a la Firefox extensions.

Ad-Aware 11 has slimmed down, visually, even more so than last year's release. The overall menu is cleaner, with thinner fonts and a drastically streamlined menu layout, providing an overall more pleasant experience that gives you a bit more room to breathe. The bottom pull-up shows only basic components and keeps unnecessary social widgets neatly tucked away. The entire overall feel is almost Webapp like.

Gone is the breadcrumb-style interface: Instead Ad-Aware 11 maintains a permanent left-side panel for quick access. All of its tools are still there, but just much more neatly organized inside their respective categories.

The AV-TEST Institute hasn't published individual reports for Ad-Aware 11 yet, but according to the most recent August Real-World Protection Test, Bitdefender scored the highest protection rate at 100 percent, with Trend Micro being the only other competitor to match. Since then, Lavasoft has also claimed even more impressive conclusions based on their own internal evaluations, but we'll have to see those benchmarks confirmed as the product becomes more widely distributed.

Full scan took about 19 minutes and 12 seconds on our test machine and Ad-Aware provides the standard trio of Quick, Full, and Custom scanning options. Boot and shut-down performance were initially impacted, clocking in at a whole 90.82 seconds for boot and 13 seconds to shut down. However, Ad-Aware 11 also takes some time to get adjusted to your system and, sure enough, boot and shut down times stabilized the second and third time around, clocking in at an average 44.75 seconds and 9.04 seconds, respectively.

Bottom Line:

Ad-Aware 11 represents a huge comeback by Lavasoft and has responded to basically all of our criticisms from last year's review. System impact, scanning efficacy, and design have all been improved across the board and pricing is set competitively. If you're still on the fence about which free security suite to install, then you might want to give this one a try.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All Versions:

    3.9

    out of 15351 votes

    • 5 star: 7199
    • 4 star: 4164
    • 3 star: 1141
    • 2 star: 725
    • 1 star: 2122
  • Current Version:

    4.6

    out of 319 votes

    • 5 star: 201
    • 4 star: 105
    • 3 star: 11
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 2
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

    Results 1-10 of 320

  • 5 stars

    "Cleaned my computer!"

    October 01, 2014   |   By bravosarah

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    Got rid of 2 viruses not caught by McAffee for FREE! Can opt out of toolbar bundle.

    Cons

    To opt out of toolbar, you must un-check the "add ask toolbar" button before you install, or it could be difficult to undo. More of a Pro than a Con I guess, as most free installations don't have an opt out at all!

    Summary

    I'm very grateful to Ad-Aware. Thank you

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  • 5 stars

    "5 stars for sure"

    October 01, 2014   |   By SydneyAppleBee

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    no dodgy virus will get past Ad Aware, it's worked wonders for my laptop and even after 3 years with this, it's still running as well as it did when I first got it.

    Cons

    Easy decision was to download it.

    Summary

    Keep your antivirus updated and don't visit shady sites and you shouldn't encounter any viruses. It's that simple

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  • 4 stars

    "Best deal so far - free"

    October 01, 2014   |   By breakfast4lunchnow

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    Great alternative to Norton, Kaspersky and AVG. Best of all it's free (unlimited usage) and still gives you top notch security that you would get in other paid versions.

    Cons

    This is the internets gift to us

    Summary

    Definitely one of the most underrated security solutions on this site yet Ad Aware is probably the best one on here.

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  • 4 stars

    "exactly what I need"

    October 01, 2014   |   By SimplyRebecca00

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    this free version protects against all types of threats and doesnt constantly bug you with annoyin pop ups asking you to upgrade.

    Cons

    doesn't need much improvement to be honest

    Summary

    download it, install it and use it. You won't regret it that's for sure

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  • 5 stars

    "never had any problems, keeps system clean"

    October 01, 2014   |   By MarginalMargarine

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    Don't need my antivirus to frustrate me, I just need it to work properly and keep my system clean, ad aware does a great job of that.

    Cons

    Too few to name

    Summary

    No headaches, just a simple and easy to use application for any level of computer user.

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  • 4 stars

    "Nothing better at killing viruses"

    October 01, 2014   |   By lambshanked44

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    It uses very little computer bandwith - which is nice;
    Scans are very fast and Ad Aware is easy to use;
    I Like the new look;
    Updates are really easy.
    I've not had any viruses or malware causing any problems since I've started using Ad-Aware.

    Cons

    If a program is sketchy, but you know and trust it, you will have to manually add it to the list of allowed softwares just like you would on your firewall.

    Summary

    Very satisfied with this and could very much see myself using this for a while

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  • 4 stars

    "Better than alot of the free anti virus."

    October 01, 2014   |   By Big82Ricky

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    Better than my old antivirus, that's for sure. I couldn't figure it out. Ad-aware fixed my computer almost immediatly after running the first scan. I love it. Really good program!

    Cons

    So far it's good.

    Summary

    No longer have to worry when I'm online.

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  • 5 stars

    "Terrific software."

    October 01, 2014   |   By Jorge-feathers

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    Doesn't hog memory at all, doesn't load your computer with junk. Picks up threats instantly and makes it really easy to fix problems on the fly.

    Cons

    Nope, I'm happy with everything.

    Summary

    Total protection and detection of threats.

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  • 4 stars

    "Very good virus detection."

    October 01, 2014   |   By theo92hudson

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    It works. No virus problems for as long as I've had it on my computer. I'm using the free version comes with everything I need. The live protection doesn't slow down by PC and it blocks any incoming threat.

    Cons

    I don't like the toolbar.

    Summary

    Reliable solid antivirus.

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  • 5 stars

    "Just get it. You wont regret it."

    October 01, 2014   |   By D94myers

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    This free antivirus program has it all. It includes a powerful firewall, real time protection, mail scanner and more. It doesn't slow your system down I still prefer a separate firewall but as an antivirus program it is perfect. It keeps you away from spyware, trojans and all kinds of viruses. I can really recommend this incredible piece of software.

    Cons

    Not all the features are free.

    Summary

    Ad-aware real-time protection is great.

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  • Results 1-10 of 320

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