Ad-Aware Pro Internet Security

Ad-Aware Pro Internet Security

Download Editors' Rating:
4
Excellent
Average User Rating:
3.3
out of 66 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    9.0.5
  • Total Downloads:
    79,546
  • Date Added:
    May 05, 2011
  • Price:
    Free to try; 1-user license (30-day trial); $29.95 to buy

Editors' Review

+

The bottom line: One of the first applications built to find and remove malware and spyware, Ad-Aware's reputation has been well-justified. The latest version adroitly addresses some user concerns, yet performance-based annoyances remain.

Review:

Editors' note: Portions of this review are based on CNET's review for Ad-Aware 9.5 Free.

Ad-Aware 9.5 Pro Internet Security continues the development progress that publisher Lavasoft began in the previous version. No longer content with offering only malware protection, Ad-Aware now includes antivirus protections licensed from Sunbelt, the makers of Vipre, as well as interesting in-house improvements.

Lavasoft first started changing Ad-Aware's protection engine more than a year ago in version 8.1, when it introduced Genotype. This heuristics-based technology identified identical snippets of code across multiple threat mutations. In version 9, Genotype received support from what Lavasoft calls "Dedicated Detection." This tech looks inside files, analyzes the code, and creates a loose pattern for finding families of related malware. The company touts that a single dedicated detection signature can detect hundreds of thousands of threats. More importantly, Lavasoft expects that dedicated detection will lower false positive rates by creating more points of comparison.

The second new engine, MagmaShield, is proactive. It emulates processor instructions, comparing approved processor-level operations against those that are undefined in the application layer. This means that it aggressively looks at how a file interacts with the CPU and uses that to call out threats faster.

Installation
Ad-Aware 9.5 Pro has a fairly straightforward installation process, simple in procedure. The installer file is a small 9 MB stub that then downloads the large main file, so users who are on slower connections ought to prepare for a lengthy download wait. Ad-Aware has no toolbars and won't attempt to commandeer your default browser's search engine, an irritation that some competitors still believe in. Installing does require a reboot, which is expected for security software. The install itself was a bit slow, taking more than five minutes including the reboot, yet still noticeably faster than it used to be.

Interface
Ad-Aware's interface hasn't changed much since version 8, which means that it's still in dire need of a refresh. The main window offers three icons that you can click on to update your virus definition files and engines, scan your system, or check your status on Ad-Watch Live, Ad-Aware's real-time protection engine. Below the main icons there's a button for updating your scan schedule and accessing support, while a toggle button to jump between simple mode and advanced mode sits in the bottom left corner of the interface. The interface's simple mode merely makes some otherwise visible options disappear, hidden behind an extra click. All but the newest of users ought to feel comfortable using Ad-Aware's "advanced" mode.

As you can tell, it's sort of a mess, and we're not done yet. At the top right of the interface are a series of buttons that replicate the three features in the main window, as well as a fourth for accessing "extras." A Settings button sits below those four.

Tapping the Scan button will run a full scan, and there's no way to change this behavior to Smart scan or Profile scan, the Ad-Aware term for a custom scan. Within the Scan window there are tabs near the top for jumping into the scheduler, the quarantine, and the ignore list.

The Ad-Watch Live window will show you which kinds of real-time protection you have running. Process protection defaults to on, while File, Network, and Registry protection are available only in the Ad-Aware paid upgrade. Some competitors, such as Avast, offer all of these in their free version.

Features
As mentioned above, the "Dedicated Detection" and MagmaShield engines are the biggest feature improvements in Ad-Aware 9 Pro, although there's no direct interaction between them and the user. Lavasoft has tweaked the scheduler behavior a bit in version 9. Users can schedule Smart scans, Full scans, custom scans, and can set them to run daily, weekly, monthly, or at Windows startup.

In addition to virus and malware scans, Ad-Aware 9 Pro offers a browser track sweeper. Accessible from the Extras button, it can wipe your cache, cookies, history, last-typed URLs, and tabs from Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Opera. The Toolbox, a second tab under Extras, contains options such as additional process-protecting features that are restricted to the paid upgrade.

Ad-Aware has some limitations that make it hard to compare favorably to its competitors. You can't view other parts of the program while running a scan, and the scan itself lacks a progress meter or a pause button.

Free version restrictions are largely absent in this version, so Pro users get a silent/gaming mode called "Do not disturb," advanced rootkit removal, and real-time threat blocking of blacklisted IP addresses, malicious processes, Registry changes, and malicious files. The Pro also offers a start-up process cleaner, to help your machine boot faster, and the offered support includes in-product access to the Lavasoft Support Center.

Performance
Ad-Aware 9 Pro performed scans on a real-world computer quite slowly, taking close to 2 hours for its first Full scan. The quick, "Smart" scan, which checks only mission-critical areas of your computer for infection, took about 4 minutes in version 9, slightly slower than the quick scan under version 8.3. Meanwhile, version 9.5 averaged 5 minutes, 37 seconds over three cold-boot runs. So, despite Lavasoft's claims that the program has gotten faster, it appears that the opposite is true.

Lavasoft has not submitted Ad-Aware to be tested by any third-party efficacy tests at threat detection and removal, so we can't speak directly to how secure it will make you. CNET Labs has tested the suite for how it affects your system, and found that while it had a lighter-than-average impact on system performance, its scans were the slowest we've encountered so far this year.

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) 57.41 19.18 1,323 420.17 125.17 351 17,097.17
Lavasoft Ad-Aware 9.5 Pro Internet Security 54.4 16.9 2,080 405 125 347 16,884
Lavasoft Ad-Aware 9.5 Free Internet Security 59 12.8 2,076 406 123 342 17,132

*All tests measured in seconds, except for Cinebench. On the Cinebench test, the higher number is better.

These benchmarks show that Ad-Aware is definitely light on your system for startup and shutdown times, at least when compared to the average-to-date. Its impact on in-use programs, especially during the iTunes decoding test and media multitasking test, were the smallest so far this year. However, Ad-Aware's scans were the slowest we've seen by around 200 seconds compared to the next slowest, and around 700 seconds slower than average.

The in-system marks are strong, no doubt, but most people will be looking at scan speed, and that definitely has to be tightened when coming from an underdog position.

Conclusion

Longtime fans will notice the changes to Ad-Aware, and the program continues to grow in the right direction after several missteps in recent years. However, given the gains that Ad-Aware's paid competitors have made, and at similar price points, we're hesitant to recommend Ad-Aware 9 Pro any more than we have.

 
read more +

Publisher's Description

+
 
read more +
User Reviews
+

Results 1–10 of 25

1 stars

"Tricked into downloading Pro while trying to update"

June 29, 2012  |  By shawnxxx1

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Pro Internet Security 9.0.5

Pros

A nice looking package with lots of nice colors and fonts.

Cons

I was tricked into downloading the Pro version while trying to update the free version. I will never by software from a company that sucks you into trying their product. To me that is worse than SPAM. I then spent an hour uninstalling the program, and then after getting 5 blue screen computer crashes, I had to download a Reg Edit program to clean up all the useless drivers that were left behind. I am so done with LavaSoft!

Summary

Do a search for Free Registry cleaner on CNET in order to find a program to clean up your system. And be sure to support the software company with a donation instead of funding what I consider to be more online fraud.

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (1) (1)

1 stars

"Has no good product"

October 31, 2011  |  By almoria

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Pro Internet Security 9.0.5

Pros

Has four real time protections in.
Good against rootkits.

Cons

Blocks 20 out of 50 chunks of simple malware.
Gaming/silent mode sucks.
No firewall.
No good email protection.
No good removal of new threats.
Cannot replace components of the system.
Complex interface.
Scanning misses 30% of new malware.
Updates take to long.

Summary

There is no reason to buy this product.

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (0) (2)

3 stars

"A drag on system resources..."

August 15, 2011  |  By Xenon_XE

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Pro Internet Security 9.0.5

Pros

Great reputation, easy to use, some of the highest detection rates in studies that I have read.

Cons

System feels sluggish.

Summary

I have a Dell XPS l502x with Core i7 high clock, 6 GB of RAM... plenty of muscle. Anyway, I wanted some extra protection from MSE and bought Ad Aware PRO. After using it for a week I liked the UI, but after severl crashes, not restarting after hibernate, and disappearing from my tray until I restarted I'm back using MSE. Also, my system was sluggish, things opening slowly and it just wasn't the same as prior to my install. So much so that I thought I needed a reinstall of Windows 7 ultimate. As soon as I uninstalled Ad Aware my system was back to normal.

My advice: It is still a great program. I would just run something else and if you think you have an infection that your other program is pick up I'd fire it up and run it just to make sure. I wouldn't pay for the Pro version, though.

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (0) (1)

2 stars

"Ad-Aware will protect you, but it is also slow."

July 12, 2011  |  By The_Light_Bringer

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Pro Internet Security 9.0.5

Pros

It does have good detection rates. It can disinfect a machine suffering from entrenched malware very well. It's blocking is also very thorough. Generally does not bother you about non-important things.

Cons

Even on a very fast machine.. (We're talking 3.20 Ghz CPU with 2 cores, and 8 GB of RAM).. I can see a pretty noticeable slowdown on all activities. Realtime is glitchy while scanning, and it does take up unnecessary amounts of CPU cycles.

Summary

Ad-Aware can protect you well, and it can clean up well.. but in it's current state it's really too much of a resource hog even on a fast computer. About the only reason i'm using it is because I haven't seen another anti-virus/anti-spyware application do as good of a job as Ad-Aware. I also paid for this product so i'm not going to waste good money like that. If it were up to me though, I would not buy this, and I would instead buy the full suite from Ad-Aware's engine licensor, Vipre.

Reply to this review Read reply (1)

Was this review helpful? (0) (1)

1 stars

"Ad-Aware Pro Internet Security- Bloatware/Resource Hog!"

July 04, 2011  |  By scottls59901

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Pro Internet Security 9.0.5

Pros

Supposedly good detection rates, but never found anything for me?

Cons

- 398mb download, + lotsa definitions from a Very SLOW server!
- Hourly 60sec/min updates bring system to a halt, and my variable speed fans Scream from overheating (on 6min+ startup too).
-No download check for FireFox, & IE9 wants to disable/Slow..

Summary

I have a pretty Fast desktop- 3.2ghz Dual Core, 10k rpm WD Raptor hard drive (Optimized/defraged by Auslogics), 8,000kbps cable internet-

-There is a 1-2 sec delay after clicking on "anything" (never learns).
- I'll be at an idle reading a web page, and all of a sudden the fans Scream from overheating (100cfm)- first time from more than an idle.
- You Must first disable non-active SpywareBlaster on install/reboot, or installation gets corrupted- Corrupted Acronis Restore.
- No good uninstaller- Support says you Must pre-disable everything, and use Revo Uninstaller- Didn't go smoothly..., and left dozens of files for CCleaner/Wise Reg Cleaner/chkdsk...

-Bottom Line- If you Must try it, do the free Trial from their web site First.
- I installed Avast Free (Cnet), and they made me a Super 1 to 3-computer deal on their full Internet Security (It's sooo fast/configurable, and remembers scanned files that don't get modified/ free Good/no-wait phone support, and they'll do a easy safe interactive session on your computer (First install was tricky...).

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (0) (2)

5 stars

"Does not install"

May 29, 2011  |  By mandrewwhiteman

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Pro Internet Security 9.0.5

Pros

Excellent virus/malware protection but only on my laptop.

Cons

Will not install on desktop~~is a waste of time trying to install.

Summary

Doesn't work on everything.

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (2) (1)

4 stars

"its easy for anyone"

May 18, 2011  |  By redneckwomen66

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Pro Internet Security 9.0.5

Pros

it is easy for new people to computers to use

Cons

havent found any yet

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (2) (1)

5 stars

"Ad-Aware user since 2002"

May 17, 2011  |  By Smitonova

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Pro Internet Security 9.0.5

Pros

Perfect software to clean an infected PC.

Cons

cant think of any now

Summary

The program is performing well on my windows 7 machine with 1GB of ram. It also removes any problems I accidentally download.

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (2) (1)

5 stars

"Staying in my recommended...."

May 16, 2011  |  By drunken-cobra

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Pro Internet Security 9.0.5

Pros

They fix all the flaws from 8, much better spyware detection, magmashield really helps and much, much lower on resources.

Cons

Rather frequent and annoying popups about updates

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (3) (0)

5 stars

"Life saving and life changing protective cloak"

May 16, 2011  |  By jimn3408

 |  Version: Ad-Aware Pro Internet Security 9.0.5

Pros

Pure internet chainmail

Cons

No hammer icon anywhere in GUI

Summary

To me Ad-Aware is not just a program.I would describe it as a sheath that I put my warrior soul right into. I will confidently venture out on the internet each day as if protected by chainmail, I feel bullet proof! This program was made with the energy of the hammer of Thor and the strength of the Plains Indian spirit. My fellows this is a MUST HAVE app if you want to be king of your domain, I promise you this.

Reply to this review Read reply (1)

Was this review helpful? (5) (0)

Results 1–10 of 25

Add Your Review

Login or create an account to post a review.

You are logged in as . Please submit your review for Ad-Aware Pro Internet Security
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 9.0.5
Version 9.0.5 resolves issues with the ignore list/crashes in AAWTray.exe and the installer file has been downsized to 9MB.
General
Publisher Lavasoft
Publisher web site http://www.lavasoft.com
Release Date April 27, 2011
Date Added May 05, 2011
Version 9.0.5
Category
Category Security Software
Subcategory Internet Security Software Suites
Operating Systems
Operating Systems Windows 2000/XP/7 32-bit/Vista 32-bit/Vista 64-bit/7 64-bit
Additional Requirements None
Download Information
File Size 1.92MB
File Name Adaware_Installer.exe
Popularity
Total Downloads 79,546
Downloads Last Week 174
Pricing
License Model Free to try
Limitations 30-day trial
Price $29.95

Previous Versions:

Add to my list Report a problem
 
read more +

More Products to Consider

Close[x]

Submit a problem report for Ad-Aware Pro Internet Security

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