Ad-Aware Free Antivirus +

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus +

Editors' Rating:
5
Spectacular
Average User Rating:
3.9
out of 15208 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:
386,612,764
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.

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All User Reviews
  • All Versions:

    3.9

    out of 15208 votes

    • 5 star: 7115
    • 4 star: 4111
    • 3 star: 1136
    • 2 star: 725
    • 1 star: 2121
  • Current Version:

    4.6

    out of 176 votes

    • 5 star: 117
    • 4 star: 52
    • 3 star: 6
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 1
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

    Results 1-10 of 177

  • 5 stars

    "You can't go wrong with this antivirus."

    September 16, 2014   |   By Mad_burnett

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    I like this antivirus because it is not a resource hog of a antivirus. It has great protection and has been around since 1988 and is great at protecting people and always has great security.

    Cons

    Haven't found any.

    Summary

    I like it very much.

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  • 4 stars

    "Favorite antivirus software."

    September 16, 2014   |   By Shall888

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    I've used every free anti virus software ever made and none can out perform this one. Best detection and removal I've ever seen in freeware. I've been using it for over a year and have been virus and trojan free the whole time. To top it off, I have bad surfing habits

    Cons

    Sometimes a little slow.

    Summary

    I recommend this antivirus cause you get automatic updates and you get great protection that is fast and safe.

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  • 4 stars

    "Great detection rates."

    September 16, 2014   |   By Dick-liedtke

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    1] High detection
    2] Low system usage
    3] Fast scanning speed
    4] Scans web and emails.

    Cons

    1] Download can be long
    2] Interface needs to be updated.

    Summary

    More than good enough if you just want to protect your home computers.

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  • 5 stars

    "Good protection for free."

    September 16, 2014   |   By D75borden

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    Easy to set up. Followed the directions, turned on and forgot it was there. Lets you know if it finds something, or else it is invisible. I have not found anything easier to work with and it's free!

    Cons

    No cons for me.

    Summary

    A good basic antivirus.

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  • 5 stars

    "Best antivirus for me"

    September 16, 2014   |   By Pace_Stephanie88

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    This is the best antivirus for me.It doesn't even take too much of the computer's memory like others.

    Cons

    I don't see any cons.

    Summary

    This software is helpful during your work,you should have a try,I think you will like it.

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  • 4 stars

    "No issues with this"

    September 16, 2014   |   By tylerdwalker

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    Didnt really experience any issues with this, it kept my system clean as advertised.

    Cons

    good antivirus software with even better updates

    Summary

    If this software continues to perform well then I might even consider paying for the upgrade.

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  • 5 stars

    "Must have on my laptop"

    September 16, 2014   |   By HelenKMorris88

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    I bring my laptop everywhere... my whole life is in that thing! Can't afford to reformat my drive when it gets infected so I searched for a robust and most importantly - free - antivirus and antispyware software. The one that came most recommended was ad aware by lavasoft. I installed it as a preventitive measure so I haven't seen it deal with any viruses for the last few months since i've installed it. That could only be a good thing the way I see it.

    Cons

    No viruses to report as of late.

    Summary

    What more can I say ? I guess just that it works well from what I can see.

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  • 4 stars

    "Simplified my life a bit"

    September 16, 2014   |   By TiffanyLSteelman

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    between having to worry about the kids running around the house and all my other chores, the last thing I want to do is have to deal with an infected computer. Seeing as how my kids use the computer for their homework and playing games daily, it was enevitable. I called my husband at work for advice, he suggested downloading the software he uses on his work laptop - Lavasoft Ad Aware, which I did. After the first scan and clean it found something like 32 infections! Holy crap ! I feel better knowing this is installed with my kids using the computer every afternoon.

    Cons

    It was actually pretty simple so nothing negative to report

    Summary

    The family computer now runs way quicker and smoother. Wasn't all that hard to figure out how to use. I'd recommend this !

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  • 3 stars

    "nice little product"

    September 16, 2014   |   By HenryJLandrum

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    its a workhorse/bodyguard for my computer which desperately needs it. I've seen it all from pop ups and slowdowns to boot times that took forvever! Thankfully most of that has been dealt with thanks to ad aware free

    Cons

    haven't used anything that works better

    Summary

    Reliable up to now so no complaints.

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  • 5 stars

    "Pure speed!"

    September 16, 2014   |   By gavinlanwar

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.3.6321

    Pros

    MAn, this thing is super quick at scanning my entire computer, really impressed !

    Cons

    I'll wait to comment on this till I see a virus made it through

    Summary

    Nice clean look, and crazy fast scanning!

    Reply to this review

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  • Results 1-10 of 177

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