Ad-Aware Free Antivirus +

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus +

Download Editors' Rating:
3.5
Very good
Average User Rating:
3.9
out of 15532 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 Not unlike the major interface change that Avast introduced for its fifth version, the interface's quirkiness has been replaced by usability.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.

 
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Publisher's Description

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User Reviews
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  • 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 15532 votes

    • 5 star 7307
    • 4 star 4229
    • 3 star 1148
    • 2 star 725
    • 1 star 2123
  • My rating

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Results 1-10 of 40

  • 5 stars

    "Actually free"

    October 19, 2014   |   By RoboticsArmReach

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.4.6792.0

    Pros

    As skeptical as I am, I ate my words after trying this antivirus on my laptop. I was blown away by the results of a full scan and how much spyware and adware was actually living in my hard drive before Ad Aware quarantined them. Deleting them was easy and figuring out how to keep my system and antivirus updated to prevent this from happening in the future took under 6 minutes.

    Cons

    I'd like the Total Security software suite Lavasoft offeres, but it's too expensive.

    Summary

    I am very happy with how little juice Ad Aware takes from my computer, making it very effecient as well. Do yourself a solid and install Ad Aware now to prevent yourself from having to deal with what I did down the line.

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  • 5 stars

    "will use this for years"

    October 19, 2014   |   By Creamandsugars

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.4.6792.0

    Pros

    - good malware removal detect and remove
    - potent real time protection from malware
    - little to no memory consumption
    - firewall is fully active and reliable

    Cons

    mostly noticed benefits in this software

    Summary

    go for ad aware without a doubt. i'll use this for years to come.

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  • 4 stars

    "Evil software blocker"

    October 19, 2014   |   By WittyWhitman

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.4.6792.0

    Pros

    No more worrying about these stupid pop up prompts and active x downloads from shady sites that constantly tell me my antivirus program (which I never had) was out of date and needed to be upgraded. That cost me about 1 week of my time trying to figure out how to regain control of my computer. LEt me tell you if it wasn't for Ad Aware being recommended, I probably would have microwaved this computer out of frustration. After the download, a few clicks on the install and a quick scan, Ad Aware found a myriad of evil software that was crawling in my computer's vains. After removing them all, and rebooting my computer, browsing the web and using basic programs felt so much quicker and more enjoyable than before.

    Cons

    Noticed huge system improvement after removing all the crap ad Aware found.

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  • 5 stars

    "Must have protection"

    October 19, 2014   |   By DiamondEdged18K

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.4.6792.0

    Pros

    Good malware detection without compromising on cost and ease of use. UI looks fluid and attractive - not that you really ever have to interact with it.

    Cons

    Quick scans are great but the full scans are best done at night when you're not waiting for it.

    Summary

    Pretty good at working on its own without taking too much out of my computer's power output.

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  • 5 stars

    "friendly look and feel"

    October 19, 2014   |   By Seargent4stars

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.4.6792.0

    Pros

    functions with simplicity and ease. there are no completely unecessary features only what you need. its easy to forget it's there because it works quietly until it finds a threat.

    Cons

    would recommend they change the upgrade price to something like $15

    Summary

    good software all around

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  • 5 stars

    "Secured as soon as you install it"

    October 19, 2014   |   By WormyJenny

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.4.6792.0

    Pros

    * Been using Ad Aware since 2008
    * Has kept my PC protected from catching all kinds of viruses
    * This free version is on par with Avast, AVG, Kaspersky's and Norton's paid versions
    * Doesn't slow down your PC like others

    Cons

    The larger the drive, the longer the scan will take.

    Summary

    Simply the best in its class

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  • 4 stars

    "Free, but worth buying"

    October 19, 2014   |   By Dick3ward

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.4.6792.0

    Pros

    Efficient, fast, low resource usage, pin point scanning to go along with real-time protection. I've used ad-aware for years and this is the best combination of anti-spyware/antivirus.This program covers all my PC security.

    Cons

    The full version should cost less.

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  • 5 stars

    "The best AV available at the moment."

    October 19, 2014   |   By antharg70

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.4.6792.0

    Pros

    Easy to use,
    always online,
    blocks everything,
    Low CPU usage,
    Game mode,
    FREE!!

    Cons

    Almost perfect.

    Summary

    The best all-round free antivirus available on the market.

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  • 5 stars

    "Serious virus protection."

    October 19, 2014   |   By Chuck-g62

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.4.6792.0

    Pros

    The IT guy at work told me to get this and he was right. It's simple simple to use and the real time protection catches everything on the spot. I even setup the parental controls for my kids. Now I have nothing to worry about.

    Cons

    Not much to dislike.

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  • 5 stars

    "Really good antivirus!"

    October 19, 2014   |   By Lorenz6con

    Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11.4.6792.0

    Pros

    Automatic updates. Full virus protection. Able to set exceptions. Best of all. It's free!

    Cons

    Nada!!!!!!

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  • Results 1-10 of 40

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    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:

     
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