Ad-Aware Free Antivirus +

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus +

Download Editors' Rating:
3.5
Very good
Average User Rating:
3.9
out of 16526 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    10.0.186.3233
  • Total Downloads:
    389,296,076
  • Date Added:
    Apr. 13, 2012
  • Price:
    Free; paid upgrade available
  • File Size:
    1.96MB
  • Downloads Last Week:
    130,339
  • Platform:
    Windows
  • Product ranking:
    #2 in Anti-Spyware

Editors' Note: The product is installed as a 30-day trial of Ad-Aware Pro that becomes Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + if no action is taken after 30 days. The Free version will require one-time activation via e-mail.

Editors' Review

+

The bottom line: The new owners of Lavasoft have revamped Ad-Aware to the point where it has almost nothing in common with its predecessors besides function. It's a good reboot, but it's not out of the woods yet.

Review:
While the name Ad-Aware remains the same as it has for the past 13 years, everything from the user interface to the code powering Ad-Aware 10 is entirely new.

More so than any recent version of Ad-Aware, the suite is usable, lightweight, and worthy of your attention.

Installation
The installation is straightforward, although it still does opt you in by default to the Ad-Aware browser toolbar for Internet Explorer and Firefox. A software installation ought to get your program installed as quickly as possible, with as little requirement for input from the person installing it. Ad-Aware's installation was zippy and generally painless.

Unlike nearly all of its competitors, it does not require you to register to use the free version or the trials of the paid upgrades. What it does do similarly to its competitors on install is good, though: it automatically downloads new virus definition files and runs a quick scan. A reboot is unfortunately required; that's an occupational hazard for security suites like this one that have deep hooks into the Windows OS.

Interface
A big reason that the new Ad-Aware stands a good chance of surviving is because it's finally a usable product again. Gone is the tripartite vertical sectioning, replaced instead with a more traditional layout. Not unlike the major interface change that Avast introduced for its fifth version, the interface's quirkiness has been replaced by usability. The interface is divided into three horizontal sections: the top contains navigation to Home, Info, and Options; the second shows you a large, protection status icon with links to dive deeper into recent protection on the right; and the majority of the interface offers additional protection tools such as gaming mode, firewall, and safe browsing.

The interface is multithreaded, which means that using text "breadcrumbs" you can easily find your way back through the interface the way you came, or directly to the Home screen.

Even though tools are categorized into Basic and Advanced, they all have buttons on the main screen for quick toggling. More advanced configuration options are still available, but as with most of the competition, they've been buried one level down to avoid confusing beginners and to keep visual clutter to a minimum. Click the name of any feature and a pop-up provides a brief explanation of what it does. Click the gear icon next to it to dive into config options.

Features and support
Ad-Aware's features have been improved as well. It offers the same level of core protection against malware across the board, in free and paid products. Nag screens have been removed, a silent/gaming mode has been added, and Ad-Aware now gives advanced heuristics and rootkit protection to people using the free version.

Ad-Aware's antivirus engine is powered by Vipre, a well-known security suite that's more popular in Europe than North America. Vipre has never set the security world on fire for its results, but it is a good, solid, middle-of-the-road engine that will detect many, and in some cases most, of the threats you'll face on a regular basis.

The toolbar's been streamlined, stripped of most extraneous features, and offers a search engine powered by upstart Google competitor Blekko. It also detects bad URLs and blocks you from loading them, so it has a legitimate security purpose.

Assouline also said that people can expect to see new features land in Ad-Aware regularly, as the program has adopted an aggressive release cycle not unlike Chrome and Firefox. He cautioned, though, that it was not the six-week cycle that those browsers have.

The differences between the paid versions and the free versions have shrunk, as more features have been front-loaded into the free version. Ad-Aware Personal Security 10 adds reputation and anti-malware filtering for $12 per year. Ad-Aware Pro Security offers e-mail phishing protection, USB guards, a two-way firewall, and network protection at $36 per year. If you don't care about the lack of spam filters or parental controls, or the lack of reputation-based protection, and you trust Ad-Aware -- always a key point -- $36 could be quite a deal. Considering what's offered, it's very nearly priced to disrupt the market.

One interesting problem we encountered was the program updates were pushed out in separate installation files. Unlike most competitors, which offer in-place downloads so that the suite updates without having to run an installer, an offered software update opened a Web site and asked for approval to start downloading.

It's an extra step that's unusual because it leaves the installation of the new security suite version up to the individual, and that could potentially create security risks.

Performance
3 When it comes to threat scanning, our tests on a real-world computer found that the Ad-Aware Pro Security 10 averaged 4 minutes, 23 seconds over three clean installs for its first scan, a competitive score.

We don't have any third-party security efficacy results to share at this time, but Vipre, the company that provides Ad-Aware's engine, received passing grades from AV-Test in 2011 and the first few months of 2012. It wasn't tested by AV-Comparatives.

The new Ad-Aware is off to a good start when it comes to performance. The suite's impact on system performance was slightly better than average.

Security Program Boot time Shutdown time Scan time MS Office performance iTunes decoding Media multitasking Cinebench
Unprotected system 40 6 n/a 395 120 342 17,711
Average of all tested systems (to date) 66.4 15.6 1,195 414 125 347 17,116
Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ 10 55.6 14.3 3,215 427 126 345 17,215
Ad-Aware Personal Security 10 63.6 12.5 3,127 412 126 348 16,810
Ad-Aware Pro Security 10 54.3 13.1 3,112 409 126 346 17,049

*All tests measured in seconds, except for Cinebench. On the Cinebench test, the higher number is better.

Ad-Aware's lowish impact on computer boot time and shut down time, and average impact on in-use tests, were marred by exceptionally slow scan tests. Nevertheless, these scores were better than we were expecting for a completely new security suite.

Conclusion
The new Ad-Aware is an enormous turn for this longtime player in the Windows security field. Lavasoft's plans to update the suite more regularly than its competition bodes well for keeping people safe independent of traditional annual update schedules. If you trust the Lavasoft and Ad-Aware names, Ad-Aware 10 is worth a close look. However, it's got some important gaps that must be filled, and until we can see the impact of the Ad-Aware engine with the Vipre engine, it will be challenging to honestly evaluate the suite.

If Ad-Aware's reboot takes the way that Webroot's has, then we could be watching the rebirth of yet another aggressive competitor in the field, and at the end of the day that bodes best for your computer security.

 
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Publisher's Description

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User Reviews
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  • Current Version

    3.5

    out of 59 votes

    • 5 star 31
    • 4 star 6
    • 3 star 1
    • 2 star 3
    • 1 star 18
  • All Versions

    3.9

    out of 16526 votes

    • 5 star 7929
    • 4 star 4570
    • 3 star 1173
    • 2 star 727
    • 1 star 2127
  • My rating

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1–11 of 59

5 stars

"The best protection for your computer"

April 18, 2012  |  By AydenYoung

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 10.0.186.3233

Pros

Ad-Aware stops all viruses, adware and spyware from ever getting into your computer

Cons

There are no cons

Summary

Ad-Aware places a lock and key on your computer and the sensitive files within. As soon as I was done building my first computer, I installed Ad-Aware on it and have never been infected with a single piece of malware since. When I had built my other computer in my dorm room, I unfortunately did not install Ad-Aware on it and when I finally managed to get around to installing it, I found over 50 malicious items on my PC that my other security software did not detect. My heartfelt suggestion is to download this program on your PC the minute you connect to the internet. In fact, stop reading my review and download it now! Ad-Aware is the only program I have had on my first PC that to date, it's still unaffected by malware and runs perfectly.

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1 stars

"Blocked my browsers"

May 15, 2012  |  By VjCnet12

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 10.0.186.3233

Pros

It looks better, I suppose.

Cons

This program caused me to be unable to use my browsers for the majority of the time since the program's installation. I tried tweaking the settings and thought the issue may be due to my modem or IpV6 but I have now realised it is this Ad-aware update that I would have much preferred to go without. Mozilla, Chrome and IE all were not able to access any websites. However, my automatic updates and uTorrent were working fine (at times). My internet connection showed that everything was fine and 50% of the time troubleshooting came back with no results, or saying that I could access some websites. Apparently, being able to access some websites (which I couldn't seem to identify) is okay to live with, according to Windows7.

Anyway, I am now going to uninstall it. I am not sure whether to go to AVG, which annoys me or see if I can find an older version of Ad-Aware because, as a back-up to my Kaspersky, it was not half bad before this terrible update.

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4 stars

"Just amazing!!!"

May 08, 2012  |  By georgefor139

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 10.0.186.3233

Pros

Ad-Aware is effective at successfully blocking, removing, neutralizing and preventing infections, and it is free!I'm happy!

Cons

Almost finish the trial. I'll buy it!

Summary

If you want to have it, just go for it!

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1 stars

"Installing with a "bonus" virus"

May 06, 2012  |  By MadizonMM

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 10.0.186.3233

Pros

None so far

Cons

Makes both computer on my network to crash and the program is impossible to uinstall. I have used it for years but after this version I'll never use it again.

Summary

If you want your comupter to work DON'T install this program.

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1 stars

"Extremely annoying"

May 05, 2012  |  By txzby

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 10.0.186.3233

Pros

It probably provides good protection

Cons

It is constantly in your face warning "Not Fully Protected" goading you to buy the full program. Pops up every time you turn on the computer.

Summary

I'd rather find a new program than deal with this extremely annoying one.

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3 stars

"Works But Blocks Some Websites"

May 04, 2012  |  By alf12

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 10.0.186.3233

Pros

Seems to work fine once installed. Scan speed is average.

Cons

Forced into the 30 day trial of the PRO version before it reverts to the free version. It has been blocking some websites (resets the internet connection) that are perfectly fine sites....aggrivating. Will be removing it and going to AVG Free.

Summary

If it didn't block some perfectly good sites I may have kept it until it reverted to the free version.

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1 stars

"Unstable and NOT recommended"

April 28, 2012  |  By roboman012

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 10.0.186.3233

Pros

Looks like the older versions of Ad-Aware so older users are not lost upon upgrade.

Cons

Messed up my computer's stability. Upon installing I found I could no longer put my computer into sleep or hibernate modes. Tried uninstalling, cleaning the registry, manually deleting files, and nothing has worked so far. I also tried using a program to help find errors in the registry, but it seems that has not worked either. I am still working on a fix, but might have to re-install the OS to fix.

Summary

Pretty pictures, but poor performance.

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1 stars

"All I wanted was an update to Adaware v9.6"

April 28, 2012  |  By t472

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 10.0.186.3233

Pros

None that I can find

Cons

All I wanted was an update to Adaware v9.6 but it looks like v10 is a fully functioning anti-virus program. I already have a AV program with which I am completely satisfied.

Summary

If i can't just get an update from Adaware v9.6 I guess it's time to stop using this product

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1 stars

"Warning, do not install this program."

April 27, 2012  |  By hectorrafael

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 10.0.186.3233

Pros

none to speak of.

Cons

It infected my computer and I spent 3 days to finally get it cleaned up. I had the free version and bought the pro version. When I updated to version 10 that's when the trouble started. The money I paid was wasted but at lease I got my computer is well again.

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1 stars

"Stopped my browser from working."

April 27, 2012  |  By conand19

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 10.0.186.3233

Pros

None, messed up my machine.

Cons

Stopped my browsers from working. When first installed it put a task bar on, even though I had unchecked that box. Then when I uninstalled three separate parts of it, we had to use regedit and there were many pieces left in the registry. Terrible.

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1 stars

"If I could give it a tenth of a star I would...."

April 27, 2012  |  By JMagni

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 10.0.186.3233

Pros

None at all

Cons

CRASHED MY COMPUTER

Summary

Crashed my computer and wouldn't uninstall in safe mode.... READ UP ON THE INTERNET BEFORE INSTALLING THIS WASTE OF TIME

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Results 1–11 of 59

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Full Specifications

+
What's new in version 10.0.186.3233
Version 10.0.186.3233 includes:
  • Improved Antivirus
  • Enhanced Real-Time Protection
  • Now includes Download Protection and a Game Mode
  • Enhanced performance and redesigned user interface.
General
Publisher Lavasoft
Publisher web site http://www.lavasoft.com
Release Date April 13, 2012
Date Added April 13, 2012
Version 10.0.186.3233
Category
Category Security Software
Subcategory Anti-Spyware
Operating Systems
Operating Systems Windows, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000
Additional Requirements None
Download Information
File Size 1.96MB
File Name Adaware_Installer.exe
Popularity
Total Downloads 389,296,076
Downloads Last Week 130,339
Pricing
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free

Previous Versions:

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