Ad-Aware Free Antivirus +

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus +

Download Editors' Rating:
3.5
Very good
Average User Rating:
3.9
out of 15542 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    10.4.47.4163
  • Total Downloads:
    386,934,315
  • Date Added:
    December 07, 2012
  • File Size:
    1.67MB
  • Downloads Last Week:
    68,414
  • Operating Systems:
    Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7

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 Not unlike the major interface change that Avast introduced for its fifth version, the interface's quirkiness has been replaced by usability.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 6 votes

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

    3.9

    out of 15542 votes

    • 5 star 7313
    • 4 star 4233
    • 3 star 1148
    • 2 star 725
    • 1 star 2123
  • My rating

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 50

  • 4 stars

    "Does the job real well"

    October 20, 2014   |   By Dykler-Marks

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.4.6792.0

    Pros

    . Installed on my computer and running for 3 years now
    . No viruses since
    . No other AV has this level of defense against malware
    . So light, you'll forget it's actually there
    . Autoupdates are a great plus

    Cons

    works faster on my flash drive than it does on my regular HDD

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 5 stars

    "features are excellent!"

    October 20, 2014   |   By BarettaDonna38

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.4.6792.0

    Pros

    effective Antivirus with useful and simple features. easy as pie to understand and barely any configuration is required. run deep scans regularly and rest easy knowing you're protected.

    Cons

    99% of viruses get killed. why not 100 % ?

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 5 stars

    "5 years of virus protection"

    October 20, 2014   |   By WalterWhiteBlues

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.4.6792.0

    Pros

    Free extra features other free AVs do not have. Everything from the self updating to the self protection and detection has proven to me for the last 5 years that nothing beats Ad Aware.

    Cons

    I have not come across any other free software that even compares.

    Summary

    The best free version there is for total computer protection

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 5 stars

    "Wouldnt want another antivirus on my computer"

    October 20, 2014   |   By HitterQuitter88

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.4.6792.0

    Pros

    High quality virus protection for free. doenst interfere with any applications on your operating system Not intrusive.

    Cons

    not a waste

    Summary

    Happy with what im getting with ad aware and would want everyone to give it a try.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 4 stars

    "The free version works well"

    October 20, 2014   |   By Russel2fel

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.4.6792.0

    Pros

    It has a nice looking interface, and many features. Simple control over the protection of my PC. emails, online, everything. And of course it's free.

    Cons

    Takes too long for it to scan the entire hard drive.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 5 stars

    "Very glad I got this."

    October 20, 2014   |   By Semple-penny

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.4.6792.0

    Pros

    This is the easiest anti virus software I have ever had to use, it's like a couple of clicks and everything is setup. I get alerts when something is detected and I remove it right away. It even helps me stay away from bad sites.

    Cons

    Could not find anything wrong with it.

    Summary

    It's not intrusive unless it finds a threat.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 5 stars

    "Free & works well."

    October 20, 2014   |   By Anita83mitchell

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.4.6792.0

    Pros

    Very easy to install. Has everyting I need. Interface is very simple, that makes using it very easy. I like the idea of real time protection working in the background without slowing me down.

    Cons

    Haven't come across any.

    Summary

    Make sure to uninstall your old antivirus first before installing Ad-aware.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 4 stars

    "Antivirus I Can Trust."

    October 20, 2014   |   By MarioC75

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.4.6792.0

    Pros

    My old antivirus was slowing down my PC too much, so I tried this one for free. It's the best antivirus I've ever used. It's simple to use, scans everything, real time protection and my PC works like new. I really like how it warns me when I click on something I shouldn't.

    Cons

    The only thing I don't like is the toolbar.

    Summary

    I think its even better than all the other antivirus programs I've tried.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 5 stars

    "It's free and it definitely works."

    October 20, 2014   |   By Cole4Nathan

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.4.6792.0

    Pros

    You can hardly notice it's there, even though it's always on. It uses very little system resources and the scans show constant results. After trying a bunch of different Antiviruses, this one works the best for me.

    Cons

    All Good!!

    Summary

    My PC is safer now that I have Ad-aware.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 4 stars

    "Great anti virus & anti malware software."

    October 20, 2014   |   By Donharvey5

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.4.6792.0

    Pros

    The real time protection works perfectly, and most of the time, I cant even tell this is running. I got this I think pretty much since it came out, and still can't find anything wrong with it.

    Cons

    Full system scan take a while.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • Results 1-10 of 50

    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 10.4.47.4163

    Version 10.4.47.4163 features:

  • Installer updates
  • Identity Protection revamp
  • Multi-language UI fixes
  • General
    Publisher Lavasoft
    Publisher web site http://www.lavasoft.com
    Release Date December 07, 2012
    Date Added December 07, 2012
    Version 10.4.47.4163
    Category
    Category Security Software
    Subcategory Anti-Spyware
    Operating Systems
    Operating Systems Windows Vista, Windows 2000, Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows
    Additional Requirements None
    Download Information
    File Size 1.67MB
    File Name Adaware_Installer.exe
    Popularity
    Total Downloads 386,934,315
    Downloads Last Week 68,414
    Pricing
    License Model Free
    Limitations Not available
    Price Free

    Previous Versions:

     
    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