Ad-Aware Free Antivirus +
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Full user review
"Worse than the adware it claims to protect you against."
None so far. I haven't had a chance to run it so far, because I'm too busy UN-doing the unwanted things its installation did.
It insinuates Lavasoft (in other words, ITS OWN ADWARE) into a bunch of my operations. So far, I have been unable to remove them successfully; they keep coming back.
Installation has screwed up my normal operation. So far (and I'm nowhere near fixed yet, so I don't know what else it may have done):Well, I did manage to fix the problems the installation introduced. Then I ran a scan. It was a Full scan, and took over four hours!
* It wiped out the current pages in my default browser (Chrome), and restarted Chrome with ONLY its own page. I keep some default pages up on Chrome, and it took me five minutes to restore them. Yeccchhh!
* It installed the Lavasoft page as my home page in Firefox. I am unable to change it. This is REALLY annoying. It treats any attempt to change back to Google as my home page as a violation of something it is protecting. Even clicking, "Yeah, go ahead and do it," does not get the job done; when I start Firefox again, we're back to Lavasoft as the home page.
What a mess!
Updated on Feb 17, 2013
* The scan found some threats (mostly trojans) that my usual antivirus (AVG) didn't catch. Don't know whether Spybot would have found them, because I ran Ad-Aware first.
* It also found a lot of cookies I told it to get rid of them, and it did. Unfortunately, I found that they included a bunch of VERY useful cookies that the old Ad-Aware and Spybot never worried about. For instance, I have preferences and even permanent logins at favorite sites, and had to restore them from scratch; they were in the destroyed cookies.
It's a mixed verdict. Ad-Aware is a horrible mess to install and get your computer back to where you want it. But it seems to serve a useful purpose. Next week, I'll do a scan again, but I'll run Spybot first. If Lavasoft doesn't catch anything Spybot missed, I may just stop using Ad-Aware altogether.