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Ad-Aware Free Antivirus +

Download Editors' Rating:
5
Spectacular
Average User Rating:
3.9
out of 16723 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    11
  • Total Downloads:
    390,769,361
  • Date Added:
    Oct. 08, 2013
  • Price:
    Free; paid upgrade available
  • File Size:
    1.92MB
  • Downloads Last Week:
    62,396
  • Platform:
    Windows
  • Product ranking:
    #4 in Anti-Spyware

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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Publisher's Description

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User Reviews
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  • Current Version

    4.5

    out of 264 votes

    • 5 star 170
    • 4 star 64
    • 3 star 17
    • 2 star 6
    • 1 star 7
  • All Versions

    3.9

    out of 16723 votes

    • 5 star 8033
    • 4 star 4649
    • 3 star 1181
    • 2 star 728
    • 1 star 2132
  • My rating

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1–11 of 264

4 stars

"Not intrusive at all"

December 07, 2013  |  By LonCaik

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11

Pros

Light. Easy. Effective. Responsive. Safe Search is nice. Free is as well.

Cons

Download time... About 7 Minutes.

Summary

Over all? Almost Perfect!

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1 stars

"Deleted all emails without warning"

December 26, 2013  |  By irina3131

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11

Pros

I'm sure it detects viruses. However, given what occurred, I won't be using it

Cons

Deleted my outlook pst file (that's right, all the emails, settings, everything) without warning or notice. Beware with using the "disinfect" function on this software.

Summary

I have previously used Ad-Aware and decided to attempt to return to this software. My mistake.

The software installed easily. I ran a full scan and the software indicated a possible infection in my Outlook pst file. It presented three options "quarantine", "disinfect" and "delete". Quarantining the entire pst file would mean I'd have no access to my emails and settings, deleting it was of course out of the question, I therefore chose disinfect.

Ad-Aware ran the disinfection protocol, which appeared to complete successfully. I didn't get notifications of any problems or any further options.

Later, trying to open my emails - Outlook could not find the pst file. It vanished from its folder. It was not in the recycle bin. Ad-Aware gave no options for the recovery of the file. A search of the various forums revealed that I am not the only person it happened to.

Apparently, when Ad-Aware is unable to disinfect something (such as a fairly complex pst file) it simply deletes it. Without asking the user or giving any sort of option or warning.

I don't like leaving very negative reviews for software that probably does have good features, but it is an extraordinary fault in the software. Those who chose to use this software - please be warned.

Updated on Dec 28, 2013

Well, I have contacted Lavasoft support and, after some initial attempt to help, they sent me the following email:

Please note that once you click "disinfect", Ad-Aware tries to heal potentially harmful items but if it is impossible, the program simply deletes them.

And once they are deleted, you cannot restore them.

You should have chosen "quarantine", and then simply restore your .pst. After that you might have put them in the excluded list.


Having used antivirus programs for the last 20 years, I have never encountered one that will delete your file, without asking you, after you specifically chose an option other than "delete". Extraordinary!

On the bright side, EaseUS data recovery wizard managed to recover a part of the pst file. The only recovery software to manage to find any remnants after Ad-Aware's performance.

Updated on Dec 28, 2013

Well, I have contacted Lavasoft support and, after some initial attempt to help, they sent me the following email:

Please note that once you click "disinfect", Ad-Aware tries to heal potentially harmful items but if it is impossible, the program simply deletes them.

And once they are deleted, you cannot restore them.

You should have chosen "quarantine", and then simply restore your .pst. After that you might have put them in the excluded list.


Having used antivirus programs for the last 20 years, I have never encountered one that will delete your file, without asking you, after you specifically chose an option other than "delete". Extraordinary!

On the bright side, EaseUS data recovery wizard managed to recover a part of the pst file. The only recovery software to manage to find any remnants after Ad-Aware's performance.

Updated on Dec 28, 2013

Well, I have contacted Lavasoft support and, after some initial attempt to help, they sent me the following email:

Please note that once you click "disinfect", Ad-Aware tries to heal potentially harmful items but if it is impossible, the program simply deletes them.

And once they are deleted, you cannot restore them.

You should have chosen "quarantine", and then simply restore your .pst. After that you might have put them in the excluded list.


Having used antivirus programs for the last 20 years, I have never encountered one that will delete your file, without asking you, after you specifically chose an option other than "delete". Extraordinary!

On the bright side, EaseUS data recovery wizard managed to recover a part of the pst file. The only recovery software to manage to find any remnants after Ad-Aware's performance.

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5 stars

"Runs good with Avast"

December 12, 2013  |  By ReyHed

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11

Pros

Ive been using both this with avast for a couple of years now and I never had any big issues. They work great together.

Cons

Nothing too bad.

Summary

Over all, this is a great software

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5 stars

"Couldn't ask for more"

December 12, 2013  |  By MikeMitchell201374

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11

Pros

Simple and easy to use. Effective and safe, has daily updates.

Cons

Not really.

Summary

All my home PCs run this. Never any issues.

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5 stars

"No issues!"

December 12, 2013  |  By PaulByrd

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11

Pros

I used to run kasperski and pay for it... I didn't know I could get something equally good for free`

Cons

No Issues...

Summary

I wish I knew before...

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4 stars

"Best in the west"

December 11, 2013  |  By MikeBerger84

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11

Pros

What's not to like? Easy to use, it's very effective and its FREE..! What else in today's world is at the top of its class for free?

Cons

The only thing I don't like is the safe search

Summary

Thanks adaware!

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3 stars

"It's okay..."

December 11, 2013  |  By ClarKeene

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11

Pros

There are a few things I really liked, like the game mode and the scan is pretty quick. Plus, well I never got a virus.

Cons

But the download time was pretty long and they kind of mess with your browsers.

Summary

Still pretty good over all.

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5 stars

"Lavasoft is the best"

December 11, 2013  |  By GarCham

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11

Pros

Lavasoft fan for a long time now... Been using a range of their products for a while and have never been disappointed...

Cons

Nothing that wasn't easily fixable...

Summary

Thanks Lavasoft, you rock guys!

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4 stars

"Pretty cool anti-virus"

December 11, 2013  |  By JoeLeo83

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11

Pros

I've tried a few anti-virus softwares in the past, but really, this is the lightest one so far. It uses almost no resources at all. And I really appreciate that. Also the scan of my 3TB drive only took about 15/20 min...

Cons

The download wasn't very quick...

Summary

Clean, light, quick and easy.

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2 stars

"Did not work for me...read review for details."

December 11, 2013  |  By ghr54321

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11

Pros

I guess it worked, it was better than nothing for the week that I had it.

Cons

After only a week of having the product, I received a "Protection inactive" popup. It said "Update to the latest version now". So I did. Upon installation I got a "Could not download version info" notification. After multiple attempts and even disabling my firewall (just in case that was blocking it-which it wasn't) I gave up.

Summary

I'm perplexed at why after having Ad-Aware Free Antivirus for just a week, it wanted to update to the latest version (11.1.512.0). Does it want me to update to the latest version every 7 days? I don't think so. I'm too busy online to have to worry about that hassle. I'll find a free antivirus that's worry-free. Sorry, Ad-Aware Free Antivirus.

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5 stars

"Reliable and secure"

December 11, 2013  |  By WarMcCart

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + 11

Pros

I been using Lavasoft products for years now and i'm still a loyal fan.

Cons

Not a fan of Safe Search

Summary

Super reliable, you wont be able to tell its running.

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Results 1–11 of 264

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Full Specifications

+
What's new in version 11
Easy to download, install and use, Ad-Aware 11 now sports a light, fluid UI that is a step-up from our previous version with a light, contemporary and modern design.
General
Publisher Lavasoft
Publisher web site http://www.lavasoft.com
Release Date October 08, 2013
Date Added October 08, 2013
Version 11
Category
Category Security Software
Subcategory Anti-Spyware
Operating Systems
Operating Systems Windows XP/Vista/7/8
Additional Requirements None
Download Information
File Size 1.92MB
File Name Adaware_Installer.exe
Popularity
Total Downloads 390,769,361
Downloads Last Week 62,396
Pricing
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free

Previous Versions:

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