Read a CNET review of the full version of Lavasoft Ad-Aware.
One of the first applications built to find and remove adware and spyware, Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition's excellent reputation is well justified. The sky-blue, skinnable interface features five buttons. The first two, Status and Scan, lead to the core function of the application. These buttons initiate a scan of your files for adware components. After scanning is complete, the program presents a summary of results, followed by a list from which you select exactly which components to remove. Right-clicking an individual entry gives some information about the piece of suspected adware, though we would like more details.
Ad-Aware SE can alert you to more malignant forms of malware by separating items into critical and negligible categories. The third button, Ad-Watch, is nonfunctional in the Standard version. The fourth button, Plug-ins, shows you which Ad-Aware plug-ins are installed. The fifth leads to the help files.Ad-Aware SE does an excellent job of quickly finding and removing most adware and spyware components, although you will have to restart and rescan for a seriously infected machine. We were pleased to see an auto-update feature included with the program, keeping Ad-Aware up-to-date with the latest adware components. Ad-Aware SE should be part of your arsenal for keeping your machine free of adware and spyware components.
With the ability to scan your RAM, Registry, hard drives, and external storage devices for known data-mining, advertising, and tracking components, Ad-Aware SE easily can clean your system, allowing you to maintain a higher degree of privacy while you surf the Web.
Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition boasts a number of improvements. Extended memory scanning now scans all modules loaded by a process. Scanning uses the all- new CSI (Code Sequence Identification) technology to identify new and unknown variants of known targets. Extended Registry scanning now scans Registry branches of multiple-user accounts and performs additional smart checks to detect dynamically created references. Scanning speed is noticeably faster, and this version offers an Extended Scanning mode for known and unknown/possible browser hijackers.
New in version 1.06: Disk-scan is approximately 30 percent faster. CSI scan is now more efficient. Added "Scan for low-risk threats" option, to scan for targets with low TAC index. Ad-Watch CSI engine performance highly improved; using less CPU and Memory as well as having a smaller footprint. GUI adapted to use the new TAC.