Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ 11.12

Ad-Aware moves into the big league of security suites

Most users will be familiar with Ad-Aware, the anti-spyware app that’s been around for over a decade. In version 10, developers Lavasoft made the jump from anti-spyware to fully-fledged antivirus. In version 11, they've improved and tweaked it to produce a security suite which they claim significantly outperforms all other free anti-virus and anti-malware products. View full description

PROS

  • Includes BitDefender anti-virus protection
  • Well designed Windows 10 style interface
  • Basic, Moderate and Advanced scanning
  • Allows you to pause scans

CONS

  • Some features only available in other versions
  • Initial scan can be slow

Very good
8

Most users will be familiar with Ad-Aware, the anti-spyware app that’s been around for over a decade. In version 10, developers Lavasoft made the jump from anti-spyware to fully-fledged antivirus. In version 11, they've improved and tweaked it to produce a security suite which they claim significantly outperforms all other free anti-virus and anti-malware products.

Slick and intuitive user interface

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ looks clean and simple, taking advantage of the streamlined look of Windows 8. Installation is fast although it does try to launch a scan upon start-up. You can skip this if you like and you're presented with a clean interface that's clearly divided into separate functions along the left-hand side, namely Home, Scan Computer, RealTime Protections, Web Protection, Network Protection, App Management.

3 different types of scans

Ad-Aware offers lots of scan options, making things very flexible for the user. There are 3 initial scan options, Quick, Full and Custom. The Custom option is particularly nice, allowing you to completely customize the scan with easy checkbox inclusions. You can also schedule scans, a must-have option for a modern antivirus. Scans aren’t particularly quick, but can be paused if you find they are slowing-down your system too much. LavaSoft have beefed-up the power of the anti-virus engine by introducing the award winning BitDefender to version 11 of AdAware.

Easy to manage plus Gaming Mode

The rest of Ad-Aware’s options are divided into two parts – the ones under Protection Settings (top right hand corner) and under Options. Under Protection Settings, you’ll be able to tweak the real-time protection and browsing options, although Safe Browsing can only be enabled and disabled, and not customized. Under Ad-Aware’s Main Options, there are various settings related to basic operation, updates and an explanation of Gaming Mode (although this can be quickly toggled in the main interface and from the task bar).

A serious competitor to the big boys

In all, we’re impressed by Ad-Aware’s addition of BitDefender to the antivirus suite, and we’re looking forward to trying it over time and seeing what future updates bring. Right now, it’s a solid app, with impressive detection rates, a slick Windows 8 modeled interface with all the basic options. It still doesn't have the brand trust of competitors such as Avast!, Avira, and AVG but it’s now certainly an antivirus to be reckoned with.

Changes

  • Full Windows® 10 compatibility
  • Full scanning capability in Safe Mode
  • Improved update mechanism
  • Increased windows XP and Vista support
  • Minor bug fixes

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+

Ad-Aware Free features real-time anti-malware protection, rootkit protection, and community-driven initiatives. Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ now includes the following features that were, up to now, reserved for our paid products: Gaming (silent) mode, Advanced Rootkit Protection, Enhanced Real-Time Protection, Download protection to block malicious files before they are written to disk.

— User reviews — about Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+

  • jimsmith891496454

    by jimsmith891496454

    "Product works, but sponsored links ruin the experience"

    A good product that totally infuriates by trying to by default install unwanted software. More.

    reviewed on July 1, 2016

  • ChromeMonkey1313

    by ChromeMonkey1313

    "Still debating on keeping it, btw I am using the free version."

    I downloaded Ad Aware on a previous nite, waited until I was at the library at my college so I could run a deep scan whi... More.

    reviewed on April 26, 2016

  • synvaramcallen

    by synvaramcallen

    "wouldnt recomend it until a faster version comes out."

    does what its supposed to do, but slows the pc down and has advertising pop up every ten minutes, which can really get y... More.

    reviewed on February 1, 2016

  • Chrislic

    by Chrislic

    "Very bad, sucker install process."

    Install process tries to trick you to add software, not wanted. The chat application, GeekBuddy, it says is to provide ... More.

    reviewed on October 6, 2015

  • kristiansolstad

    by kristiansolstad

    "Adawareis virus , installs crap we want gone, cannot uninstall"

    Never seen a worse piece of software. First it eats up 800 mb, slows the pc to a crawl and adds errors galore. Once you ... More.

    reviewed on July 26, 2015

  • Jimmy787

    by Jimmy787

    "Stay away from this product!"

    Stay away from ad aware. This product sucks and will ruin your computer. After installation, my laptop shows non genuine... More.

    reviewed on May 4, 2015