Our editors say:
Adware is known by many names--spyware, trackware, or even Big Brotherware. While producers of adware claim its purpose is merely to collect information about Internet habits in order to deliver ads tailored to a surfer's interests, privacy advocates are concerned about the potential misuse of this data.Where does it come from? Most likely it was installed alongside that free software widget that you downloaded just last week, without you even noticing.
Ad-aware identifies and removes these surreptitiously installed applications. Using updateable "reflists," which are sort of like antivirus DAT files, Ad-aware scours your system--including Registry and temporary Internet files--and looks for traces of recognized adware modules. When it's finished searching, it displays a list of what it found and lets you select the items you'd like to remove from your system. And when coupled with its companion program, RefUpdate, you're always assured of using the most comprehensive list of adware to search for. The main drawback is that some ad-supported programs, such as GoZilla Free, will no longer function if you remove their ad modules. If privacy is your main concern, Ad-aware will help keep you anonymous on the Web.
The latest release detects even more adware modules and includes several minor fixes and improvements.