Featured Freeware: Ad-Aware 2007

The free spyware-detection and removal application goes bilingual, with a new version that offers Spanish language support. Is the 2007 version worth keeping on your PC? One Download.com editor says yes, another says no.

Ad-Aware 2007
Ad-Aware 2007 provides basic spyware detection and removal features that are easy enough for newbies to learn quickly. (Credit: CNET Networks)

The free security application Ad-Aware 2007 updated today, included in the new version is Spanish language support. An entry on the the Lavasoft blog discusses the latest release, the first in what is expected to be a series of localized versions of the software.

Ad-Aware was once the undisputed king of the download hill, but its reputation was tarnished a bit with the version 2007 release. Stability issues and concerns about the "always-on" updater were a few of the issues that pushed its CNET Download.com rating down to 4 stars. A full CNET review arrived at a much lower 4.8 rating, mostly because of poor testing results.

I still keep it installed, use it regularly, and recommend it to friends. Spyware and spyware definitions change constantly, and performance is something that can change considerably from month-to-month or year-to-year. To me, my most valuable malicious software removal tool is HijackThis, which works wonders as a diagnostic tool. For quick scans when I notice some odd browser behavior or system instability, though, Ad-Aware 2007 is the application I run first. It's certainly not an all-in-one security solution, but it's easy to use and provides a decent line of defense against known malicious software attacks.

What do you think? Is Ad-Aware over the hill or does it still maintain a necessary spot in your antispyware toolbox?

About Peter Butler

Peter has been working at Download.com since 2003, when trialware was shareware and toolbars were those large metal rods for smashing car windows. Currently, he wrangles the reviews, videos, newsletter, blog, and special collections for Download.com, as well as managing the program data throughout the software directory.