Ad-Aware Free Antivirus +

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus +

Download Editors' Rating:
3.5
Very good
Average User Rating:
3.9
out of 15963 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    10.2.21.3698
  • Total Downloads:
    387,859,624
  • Date Added:
    Sep. 13, 2012
  • Price:
    Free; paid upgrade available
  • File Size:
    1.84MB
  • Downloads Last Week:
    70,168
  • Platform:
    Windows
  • Product ranking:
    #2 in Anti-Spyware

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 Not unlike the major interface change that Avast introduced for its fifth version, the interface's quirkiness has been replaced by usability.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.

 
read more +

Publisher's Description

+
 
read more +
User Reviews
+
  • Current Version

    3.0

    out of 9 votes

    • 5 star 2
    • 4 star 2
    • 3 star 2
    • 2 star 0
    • 1 star 3
  • All Versions

    3.9

    out of 15963 votes

    • 5 star 7581
    • 4 star 4372
    • 3 star 1161
    • 2 star 726
    • 1 star 2123
  • My rating

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1–9 of 9

3 stars

"It's fast and effective."

September 23, 2012  |  By sabinodg

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 10.2.21.3698

Pros

Thorough and scans quickly.

Cons

Update are slow. Insallation of new versions requires removal of other antivirous programs which I prefer.

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (1) (1)

4 stars

"Four stars from me!"

September 23, 2012  |  By AnyBarto

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 10.2.21.3698

Pros

Does not drain your system resources like other bulky security suites.

Cons

Still looking!

Summary

A quick version, nothing really complicate, you don't have to be an expert to work with it. A perfect price-quality: free-efficient. I tried several antivirus software along time, but...

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (0) (1)

5 stars

"Good detector"

September 23, 2012  |  By Moccacoca

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 10.2.21.3698

Pros

Considering it's free, it's a great product.

Cons

Nothing bad to say

Summary

It detects trojans. I had some trojans and it found them. I wouldn't rely heavily on real time protection anyways. You should scan any file that seems suspicious that enters your computer. The real time detection does find viruses. It's very low on memory, and doesn't slow your computer much. I used Lavasoft for a quite a long time. If ad-aware can't delete it for you, you can manually delete it. It healed my computer of the trojans though, so I didn't have to do that.
Fast, configurable, works with other security programs like Microsoft Essentials.

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (0) (1)

1 stars

"Too oppressive if you just want on-demand scanning."

September 21, 2012  |  By mrichson

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 10.2.21.3698

Pros

Fine for scanning, but all the rest drags my system down.

Cons

Ad-Aware has morphed from a scanner to full-fledged AV. I already have AV and don't need a competitor. Typically, it's ill-advised to have more than one AV. All I want is Ad-Aware's on-demand scanner, so I've turned off its features, including load automatically at startup.

Summary

I uninstalled an earlier version because of its intrusiveness. Now having tried it again, I may well ditch it...again.

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (1) (0)

3 stars

"Tech Tracker(daily) asks to updat AdAware Free(I paid)."

September 20, 2012  |  By marilynbah

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 10.2.21.3698

Pros

The Anti Virus works GREAT!

Cons

I miss the old screen.

Summary

I wish CNET Tech Tracker could see that this HAS been updated!

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

1 stars

"Beware - Don't waste your time with new version"

September 18, 2012  |  By 99silverbullet

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 10.2.21.3698

Pros

None - None

Cons

Installed and changed all my personal settings and even wiped out my outlook files.

Reply to this review Read replies (2)

Was this review helpful? (2) (0)

4 stars

"Very happy with this software"

September 17, 2012  |  By Atzli

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 10.2.21.3698

Pros

Does a good job

Cons

Sometimes a bit slow

Summary

Overall content

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (0) (1)

5 stars

"Great step forward!"

September 15, 2012  |  By Borsh55

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 10.2.21.3698

Pros

Spyware sucks and you can use this great program to find and eliminate it. Efficient and not heavy at all on my system, superior quality and the customer service is more then professional!
When installing just follow the instructions. If you read carefully its very easy to instal.

Cons

There are no negative commentaries with this product.

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (0) (1)

1 stars

"New version of Ad-Aware caused my Dell XP to freeze."

September 15, 2012  |  By tcd333

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 10.2.21.3698

Pros

Didn't get a chance to evaluate it. Had to almost immediately uninstall the new version.

Cons

My Dell XP Pro machine slowed to a crawl and froze right after I installed the new version. I had to uninstall it and revert to version 9.6. If I hear it's changed I'll try it again. Now even the 9.6 stops running and I have to restart it almost daily. I hesitate to try it on my H.P. Win 7 laptop.

Summary

My Dell XP Pro machine slowed to a crawl and froze right after I installed the new version. I had to uninstall it and revert to version 9.6.

Reply to this review Read reply (1)

Was this review helpful? (1) (0)

Results 1–9 of 9

Add Your Review

Login or create an account to post a review.

You are logged in as . Please submit your review for Ad-Aware Free Antivirus +
Add Your Review

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.
Click here to review our site terms of use.

Update your review

Since you've already submitted a review for this product, this submission will be added as an update to your original review.
Submit

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.
Click here to review our site terms of use.

 
see all reviews +

Full Specifications

+
What's new in version 10.2.21.3698

Updates in Ad-Aware 10.2 include:

-Removal of the default 30-day trial in the free version of the product.

-Improved protection against phishing attempts, Trojans, exploit sites, malicious scripts, drive-by downloads, and more

-Integration with ID Watchdog provides free credit report monitoring and alerting capabilities to notify users of any critical changes to their credit report that might be an early indicator of identity theft (for U.S customers only)

-Lavasoft's malicious site scanning (Safe Browsing) system scans 24/7 for new malicious URLs and updates the engine every few minutes

-Bug fixes

General
Publisher Lavasoft
Publisher web site http://www.lavasoft.com
Release Date August 12, 2012
Date Added September 13, 2012
Version 10.2.21.3698
Category
Category Security Software
Subcategory Anti-Spyware
Operating Systems
Operating Systems Windows, Windows 7, Windows 2000, Windows Vista, Windows XP
Additional Requirements None
Download Information
File Size 1.84MB
File Name Adaware_Installer.exe
Popularity
Total Downloads 387,859,624
Downloads Last Week 70,168
Pricing
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free

Previous Versions:

Add to my list Report a problem
 
read more +

More Products to Consider

Close[x]

Submit a problem report for Ad-Aware Free Antivirus +

Please describe the problem you have with this software. This information will be sent to our editors for review.

Problem:

The Download.com Installer isn't working as expected

The download link does not work

The software has a newer version

The product contains malicious software

Other

Description:

Please select a feedback type.

Please enter a description.

Submit Problem Report

Close[x]

Problem Report submitted

Thank you for submitting a problem report! The Download team is committed to providing you with accurate software information.

OK