Ad-Aware Free Antivirus +

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus +

Editors' Rating:
5
Spectacular
Average User Rating:
3.9
out of 14788 votes
See all user reviews

Quick Specs

Version:
11.2.5952
File Size:
1.63MB
Date Added:
June 03, 2014
Price:
Free; paid upgrade available
Operating Systems:
Windows XP/Vista/7/8
Total Downloads:
385,796,487
Downloads Last Week:
63,513
Product ranking:
#3 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 14788 votes

    • 5 star: 6822
    • 4 star: 4001
    • 3 star: 1122
    • 2 star: 724
    • 1 star: 2119
  • Current Version:

    4.6

    out of 247 votes

    • 5 star: 175
    • 4 star: 64
    • 3 star: 3
    • 2 star: 1
    • 1 star: 4
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

    Results 1-10 of 247

  • 5 stars

    "Very effective."

    July 21, 2014   |   By War_cox

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.2.5952

    Pros

    Hardly any impact on my computer's speed or effeciency in running multiple programs side by side, even though protection is always on. Oh yeah, it also kills viruses as soon as they're detected.

    Cons

    None to date.

    Summary

    I am very much impressed by its effectiveness.

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  • 4 stars

    "Great job, great price!"

    July 21, 2014   |   By Sharpe_Ruth

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.2.5952

    Pros

    I have been using this for 5 years or more. Works great for me. It is alot easier on the system than the top ones and it comes packed with premium features.

    Cons

    It needs a new look.

    Summary

    A bit ugly but does a great job.

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  • 4 stars

    "Set it & forget it solution."

    July 21, 2014   |   By Saltymark

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.2.5952

    Pros

    1.ease of use 2.least amount of hassle 3. real time protection 4.really does the job of protecting a pc pretty good.

    Cons

    Don't want another toolbar.

    Summary

    It's a relief knowing that ad-aware is installed on my PC.

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  • 5 stars

    "That AV available at the moment."

    July 21, 2014   |   By Darryllllll76

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.2.5952

    Pros

    The best free antivirus for a gaming PC, fast scans and overall protection is enough for a home user. Download this program if you wan't speed, stability, and Security at the same time.

    Cons

    Can't think of any right now.

    Summary

    Perfect for my personal use.

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  • 5 stars

    "Free antivirus is very good."

    July 21, 2014   |   By Robbievazquez

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.2.5952

    Pros

    No complications with viruses or faulty program errors. It works silently in the back round. Nice extra features.

    Cons

    Have had no problems at all.

    Summary

    Keeps your PC clean and running without interference.

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  • 5 stars

    "Lightweight & good detection."

    July 21, 2014   |   By rayhjohn68

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.2.5952

    Pros

    Everything! The automatic updates and live protection. Its effective watch on the system and the fact that it tells you what it has blocked and the potential dangers. The best performing AV for free!!!

    Cons

    I couldn't find anything wrong.

    Summary

    Catches everything.

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  • 1 stars

    "Used Lavasoft Ad-aware to eliminate adware."

    July 20, 2014   |   By ejism

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.2.5952

    Pros

    Quick download. Thorough scan.

    Cons

    Ad-Aware found multiple adware and other viruses and Trojans. One problem. When I hit the clean button to quarantine the bad guys, Ad-Aware accomplished it's goal by deleting my entire user folder!! Nothing was left. Folder empty!! I ended up doing a system restore, which I wanted to avoid. I was able to retrieve basic user folders, but most personal files are gone. Some were backed up, but not all, that's on me.

    Summary

    Want to save some time and money? Keep a back up of your system and when you get a virus, do like Ad-Aware and just delete all of your files. "Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out!" Nice. I do not recommend this product.

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  • 5 stars

    "My personal favorite."

    July 20, 2014   |   By Wens_Jacobo

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.2.5952

    Pros

    Easy to configure and use. Habitual and automatic updates ensure constant protection. It checks emails and websites for threats. Basically secured from all angles.

    Cons

    No cons at all.

    Summary

    Good product. Worth a try.

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  • 5 stars

    "As good as paid programs."

    July 20, 2014   |   By Lonnie85Jones

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.2.5952

    Pros

    I have it on 3 pc's because it does what it's supposed to do. I recomend to everyone. If you need more. Try the pro version.

    Cons

    The interface needs a makeover.

    Summary

    Works well without dragging down my system.

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  • 4 stars

    "A very efficient way to protect the computer."

    July 20, 2014   |   By Tyjeff

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.2.5952

    Pros

    Just like many other programs of this type it takes much of the worry and concern when utilizing the web. Anti-virus software is a must today and this antivirus comes with all the basics.

    Cons

    Safe browsing blocks too many websites.

    Summary

    Does as expected for a free program.

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  • Results 1-10 of 247

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