Ad-Aware Free Antivirus +

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus +

Editors' Rating:
5
Spectacular
Average User Rating:
3.9
out of 15232 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:
386,639,331
Downloads Last Week:
108,177
Product ranking:
#1 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 15232 votes

    • 5 star: 7127
    • 4 star: 4122
    • 3 star: 1137
    • 2 star: 725
    • 1 star: 2121
  • Current Version:

    4.6

    out of 200 votes

    • 5 star: 129
    • 4 star: 63
    • 3 star: 7
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 1
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

    Results 1-10 of 201

  • 5 stars

    "Great active protection"

    September 19, 2014   |   By PhillipHillsersmans

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    Have this installed and safely running on all my devices (2 desktops and a netbook) never ran into any craziness - just the way I like it. As long as I dont have to spend my time figuring out how to use this software and it stays straightforward , ill be happy.

    Cons

    The last thing I want to do is having to learn a complicated peice of software, Thakfully, this is not complicated at all.

    Summary

    Looks liek the best things in life are free

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  • 4 stars

    "Laptop's 1st line of defense"

    September 19, 2014   |   By Jefferyshamnight

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    I trust this application to keep my laptop safe for the last few years and it's never disappointed me.

    Cons

    Nothing worth mentioning

    Summary

    no obnoxious pop ups... Definitely a plus

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  • 5 stars

    "veeeery effective !"

    September 19, 2014   |   By Hollisssttiiiic

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    Close calls with a few bits of viruses but ad aware free blocked those sons of b***** down and kept my computer safe!

    Cons

    PC still running well!

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  • 4 stars

    "Excellent level of protection"

    September 19, 2014   |   By ChristopherS9954

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    It may be free but it stands up to the best of em. Loads of protection keeps my files safe from prying eyes and intrusive programs.

    Cons

    Nothing I can really think of`

    Summary

    I was skeptical - free usually means you're sacrificing something - usually, your computer's overall security. Happy to say this was definitely the exception !

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  • 4 stars

    "Not bad for a free software!"

    September 19, 2014   |   By MarioJones11

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    lots of updates which is good, keeps your computer aware of all the malware out there. not a bad look, kinda sleek but nonetheless functional and fluid.

    Cons

    You can't blame them for this, but every once in a while, you will receive some newsletters if you choose too, highlighting different offers to upgrade.

    Summary

    All and all I find Lavasoft makes some pretty solid software, Ad Aware is definitely no exception. Get some solid security along with a nice and simple interface

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  • 5 stars

    "Worked great for me."

    September 18, 2014   |   By narshalmeale

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    My computer guy at work told me to get this. So far, it works like a charm. It's easy to use to use and once I set it up you can harldy tell it's there.

    Cons

    Works like a charm.

    Summary

    I like this product. It's the best antivirus I've tried.

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  • 5 stars

    "Hassle Free antivirus."

    September 18, 2014   |   By d81boyd

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    I am very happy with this program as it does not waste any of my time. Once it's set up, the real time protection takes care of everything. I can customize scans when I need to but I just let it run free.

    Cons

    Nothing wrong or bad.

    Summary

    A really good program to have.

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  • 4 stars

    "Over-all great virus protector."

    September 18, 2014   |   By Hajohn98

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    Overall, this is a good product. Getting started is simple. Live protection, customized scans. It checks for everything. It comes packed with features, some more useful than others.

    Cons

    The interface isn't very pretty.

    Summary

    Easy to understand and very effective.

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  • 5 stars

    "It's an excellent product."

    September 18, 2014   |   By L77Thomas

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    It's well-made, well-supported program that updates itself, alerts you when something is wrong, and provides a way to allow or block any program or website.

    Cons

    No problems yet.

    Summary

    Free and that is good. realtime scan is good too.

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  • 4 stars

    "The best so far."

    September 18, 2014   |   By dick_gomez10

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    The best free AV software I have found. Real time protection is great proactive detection. It checks your emails and downloads for threats. Safe browsing is annoying but you can turn it off.

    Cons

    Only the safe browsing.

    Summary

    It does a good job of protecting my PC.

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  • Results 1-10 of 201

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