Ad-Aware Free Antivirus +

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus +

Editors' Rating:
5
Spectacular
Average User Rating:
3.9
out of 15252 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:
386,690,487
Downloads Last Week:
93,021
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.

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All User Reviews
  • All Versions:

    3.9

    out of 15252 votes

    • 5 star: 7139
    • 4 star: 4129
    • 3 star: 1138
    • 2 star: 725
    • 1 star: 2121
  • Current Version:

    4.6

    out of 220 votes

    • 5 star: 141
    • 4 star: 70
    • 3 star: 8
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 1
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

    Results 1-10 of 222

  • 5 stars

    "Strong virus detection."

    September 22, 2014   |   By D-evans10

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    The program is just, great. Better than any other antivirus in features, detection rate, real-time protection, everthing. It is very customizable and user-friendly. It also has antispyware protection.

    Cons

    Don't see any yet.

    Summary

    This antivirus is working good.

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  • 4 stars

    "why not!!!!"

    September 22, 2014   |   By unicornfirehydrant

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    Had Norton but let it expire without knowing what that meant. I didn't want to pay for another year of Norton (very expensive) so I D/L Ad Aware Free. Not a fun process cleaning out all the crap the computer had but at least with Ad Aware, it wasn't so bad. Managed to get everything out. Computer runs perfectly again. I scheduled automatic scans late at night while I sleep and with automatic updates, im always protected.

    Cons

    Great antispyware and antivirus

    Summary

    Lesson is keep ur antivirus updated

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  • 5 stars

    "definitely worth the download"

    September 22, 2014   |   By ChickenFleechood

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    My grandmother tried downloading musin on itunes but instead ended up on some shady site and must have accidentally download a virus. Computer was crazy slow and she got these weird very shady looking pop ups saying she had 67 viruses. I download adaware and installed it in SAfe Mode. Rebooted and run and a scan. It detected so 5 trojans and a few other malicious files that it easily removed. All said and done, the whole process was just seamless. My grandmother kept thanking me thinking it was me who had invented the software, it took me 1 hour to explain to her what a virus and anti virus was LOL

    Cons

    Hey man if this thing saves you the time of having to go to your grandmothers house and spending 2 hours giving computer advice, than its definitely worth soemthing

    Summary

    I personally have been using ad aware for about 8 years and upgraded to the Pro recentely because of the added features I felt I needed. Whats beautiful about this software is the fact that you get the almost the same level of security across the Free and the Pro version. Just more useful and userfriendly features on the Pro.

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  • 5 stars

    "Works like a charm!"

    September 22, 2014   |   By ArmyM16Experts

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    A serious charm! i like how quick it was to setup and start scanning. total time taken from setup to first scan was less than a minute (my internet connection is quick though).

    Cons

    I've yet to see anything serious

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  • 4 stars

    "synced for protection"

    September 22, 2014   |   By crackrocks43

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    all updates are great when they're frequent. They allow my laptop to stay up-to-date with all the latest virus definitions to ensure I never get any viruses. the look is nice and easy and smooth.

    Cons

    no real complaints

    Summary

    Im very impressed with this free software. I've tried a few others but none made me feel as protected as this one did

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  • 5 stars

    "Complete security"

    September 22, 2014   |   By BrendaMarino45

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    prevetns viruses from overriding my computer's security and installing malware on it.

    Cons

    The interface is easy but i'm not a fan of the colors

    Summary

    Gives me the feeling of safety and complete security when using my computer

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  • 5 stars

    "Works as advertised."

    September 20, 2014   |   By Sumrall_Rob

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    Comes free with all the basic antivirus functions I need. Uses minimal resources. Prevents viruses, spyware, trojans, from gettin on my PC.

    Cons

    Cannot find anything wrong with it.

    Summary

    Free antivirus is very good.

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  • 4 stars

    "Best program on the market"

    September 20, 2014   |   By rocky-roth94

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    This is the first AV that has kept me virus free for 12 consecutive months. The real time protection is great without slowing down my PC. The interface isn't confusing. In my opinion this is the best AV on the market.

    Cons

    The fist scan was long but it improves with time.

    Summary

    I feel like my computer is really protected from viruses

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  • 5 stars

    "It's good free software."

    September 20, 2014   |   By R-elliot11

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    Performs great. Scans are quick , full set of security features and PC is safe.

    Cons

    No issues for me.

    Summary

    Free - user friendly - very useful.

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  • 4 stars

    "Keeps computer clean."

    September 20, 2014   |   By Melissa_G70

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    I love everything about this program. It's easy to use and has all the features you need from an antivirus and it keeps my computer clean. I don't have to worry about a thing.

    Cons

    Downloading this program was long.

    Summary

    Pretty good for a free program.

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  • Results 1-10 of 222

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