Ad-Aware 8.0.7 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Ad-Aware

CNET Editors' review

One of the first applications built to find and remove adware and spyware, Ad-Aware's excellent reputation is well-justified. The Anniversary Edition continues the publisher's tradition of adroitly addressing user concerns, but is still not quite perfect.

Without a doubt, though, this version of Ad-Aware improves greatly on what has come before. It loads faster during your boot cycle. Scans take less time than before, too--the Quick Scan completed in less than 10 minutes. Although we did notice a major false positive crop up for another program's uninstaller, there were no other flaws in the scan. New users should notice that the app performs faster than integrated antivirus and antimalware programs, because only the paid version of Ad-Aware comes with an antivirus engine.

Some important features are disabled in the free version. While rootkit detection is present, heuristics and real-time registry protection are not. Ad-Aware Free cannot scan networked drives, and even a basic feature like the scheduler remains off-limits to nonpaying customers. The proprietary real-time defender Ad-Watch Live has been reconfigured to run more smoothly in the background, however, and long-time fans will notice the change.

Interface refinements make this the easiest-to-use Ad-Aware yet. Action button placement at the bottom of the pane might feel odd to those familiar with older versions, but the forced continuity between windows is a plus. Links to drill down to more information are easy to see, as is the Settings button. Overall, Ad-Aware continues to make improvements and seems to be unwilling to rest on its malware-removing laurels, but the free version is undeniably hamstrung.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    3.8 stars

    out of 14,270 votes

    • 5 star: 6415
    • 4 star: 3906
    • 3 star: 1114
    • 2 star: 723
    • 1 star: 2112
  • Current version:

    3.5 stars

    out of 108 votes

    • 5 star: 27
    • 4 star: 42
    • 3 star: 13
    • 2 star: 6
    • 1 star: 20
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 108

  • 5.0 stars

    "high quality"

    January 10, 2011  |   By banlj

    Version: Ad-Aware 8.0.7

    Pros

    all very nice

    Cons

    I can not find fault

    Summary

    -

    Reply to this review

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  • 4.0 stars

    "This product keeps getting better."

    October 15, 2009  |   By patton2832

    Version: Ad-Aware 8.0.7

    Pros

    Its easy to use and understand.

    Cons

    No cons at this time.

    Summary

    This program keeps improving and has a very clear interface and highly recommended.

    Reply to this review

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Easy to use and SAFE"

    October 11, 2009  |   By jaxons

    Version: Ad-Aware 8.0.7

    Pros

    Bought the paid version but the free one is as good

    Cons

    Did not like the choice of other programs to try to get Ad-Aware free

    Reply to this review

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Honestly what happened? It is now a giant piece of junk"

    October 11, 2009  |   By Dissanpointed

    Version: Ad-Aware 8.0.7

    Pros

    Sadly I have nothing good to say, only they better get it right with the new version or the reputation will be shot.

    Cons

    I don't think I need to repeat what's wrong with the current version.

    Summary

    Honestly what happened to what used to be probably the best adware program available. It has become a gian piece of ......need I say more. For those of us who read the user reivews we are seeing a number of unique programming problems associated with the Anniversary Edition. I have one of the common problems in which it will download updates, but will only scan approximately 3000 files, then stops and finally closes on its own. I find it curious that only two days from now a new edition is coming out...of course without any acknowledgement of this being an attempt to fix the obvious bugs. Basically the Anniversary editions SUCKS....and big. Don't download the Anniversary Edition, just wait until Tuesday, 10/13/09 when the 2010 version comes out and let's hope they got it right this time.

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  • 3.0 stars

    "There Are Better Alternatives"

    October 11, 2009  |   By BigBirdPhila

    Version: Ad-Aware 8.0.7

    Pros

    Seems to do what it's supposed to do, although painfully.

    Cons

    Erratic behavior of update mechanism. Frequently can't connect to update server. Confusing update prompts (software vs. database). User interface can't connect to scanner module after updating. Bloated download (58 meg!).

    Summary

    I'm an ex-programmer and can easily spot a poorly-designed user interface and the shortcuts the designers took. The update mechanism in Ad-Aware has all the hallmarks. For two weeks, my version (2008, Windows XP) can't connect to the update server. In the past, even when it successfully connected, I couldn't start the scan for about 60 seconds after the update -- the user interface module complains that the "scanner" is busy. When no errors occur, the program seems to work OK. When there are errors, that's when the sloppy error recovery design becomes apparent. Bottom line: take a look at Malwarebyte's Anti-Malware program.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "I have used it for several years and it works for me !!"

    October 10, 2009  |   By FranandJane

    Version: Ad-Aware 8.0.7

    Pros

    It does a super scanning job.

    Cons

    It does take a long time but then I do have a lot on this computer to look at.

    Summary

    IIt works and I like it !!

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Why would anyone like this thing?"

    October 10, 2009  |   By RRR15er

    Version: Ad-Aware 8.0.7

    Pros

    Free, that's about it

    Cons

    Doesn't find anything!

    Summary

    I've had this program on my computer for over 2 years and not ONCE has it ever detected anything that my other spyware programs found! The only thing it finds are false-positives. It's useless and I'm removing it from my computer - it's doing nothing but taking up RAM space I could use for something else.

    Updated on Oct 10, 2009

    I also think this program is a joke and it's NEVER once found the things that my other programs found. Waste of RAM is all it is.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Fast and complete spyware and adware removal"

    October 9, 2009  |   By dgoldie86

    Version: Ad-Aware 8.0.7

    Pros

    easy to install and use; simple interface and complete scanning

    Cons

    takes a long time to scan and has a lengthy update time

    Summary

    A good, free spyware and adware software program.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Find another Product, too big and doesn't work"

    October 8, 2009  |   By OSUnTexas

    Version: Ad-Aware 8.0.7

    Pros

    Looks nice, has slick feel to it and does find issues

    Cons

    Too big and doesn't preform recommended actions

    Summary

    Deleting it and looking for another program, been using Adware for 5 years, but if it doens't work it is gone

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  • 1.0 stars

    "A program becomes popular and then gets too big"

    October 7, 2009  |   By TKS144

    Version: Ad-Aware 8.0.7

    Pros

    It'll scan your computer.

    Cons

    It will slow down your computer. This is not the Ad-Aware I loved, this comes packed with way too many extras. I would recommend Personal SE, but it is nowhere to be found. Only this train wreck.

    Summary

    This program is for making your computer work better. Ironically, it will slow your computer down. A crummy virus protection program with fantastic adware protection. Lavasoft, just leave it to adware scans. They basically took Ad-Aware Personal SE and weighed it down with thousands of pounds of trash.

    Reply to this review

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Results 1-10 of 108

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