Related Questions



Ad-Aware is an anti-spyware program developed by Lavasoft that detects and removes spyware or adware on a user's computer. It also detects other malware, including dialers, Trojans, viruses, bots, rootkits, data miners, aggressive advertising, parasites, browser hijackers, and tracking components.

Lavasoft offers a free, downloadable version called Ad-Aware 2008 Free, and three paid-for products called Ad-Aware 2008 Plus, Ad-Aware 2008 Pro and Ad-Aware Enterprise 2.0. With the 2008 release, the Plus and Pro products include integrated anti-virus protection.


Ad-Aware was originally developed in late 1998 to highlight web beacons inside of Internet Explorer. On almost every website you would see tiny pixelated square next to each web beacon. This was to warn you that your IP address and other non-essential information was being tracked by this website. Over time they added the ability to block those beacons, or ads. Ad-Aware no longer makes you aware of the ads on your screen, instead the programs fights spyware and malware.

Ad-Aware 2008 does not support Windows 98 or ME; previous versions did support these older versions of Windows.


Ad-Aware 2008 is the latest version of Lavasoft’s anti-spyware solutions. The Plus and Pro versions include integrated anti-virus protection. Ad-Aware 2008 allows computer users to combat malicious spyware, viruses, and malware; it protects users from spyware that takes control of a computer and can result in aggressive advertising pop-ups, sluggish computer activity and stolen private information. Ad-Aware detects hazardous content on a user's computer, identifies the threat level, and then gives the user the ability to remove unwanted content.

Lavasoft’s Code Sequence Identification (CSI) technology detects malware and then searches for similar codes in order to identify emerging variants. Ad-Aware 2008 scans the computer's memory, registry, Hosts file, hard, removable and optical drives for known data-mining, aggressive advertising, parasites, scumware, keyloggers, Trojans, dialers, malware, browser hijackers, and tracking components.

Ad-Aware is compatible with Microsoft Windows operating systems only.


Ad-Aware is currently available in four versions: Free, Plus, Pro, and Enterprise.

Ad-Aware Free

Ad-Aware 2008 Free is Lavasoft's freeware anti-spyware software that is available for home, non-commercial use. It is offered to consumers worldwide to protect their personal and home computers from malware attacks, and has been downloaded over 300 million times worldwide. The download includes skins, help manuals and the latest definition files, however, real-time protection and anti-virus protection are not included with this version. Real-time protection and other advanced features are available in the paid versions of Ad-Aware 2008.

Ad-Aware Plus

The main difference between the Free and the Plus and Pro versions are the addition of anti-virus protection, extended threat detection, and real-time monitoring. Real-time monitoring means that users are protected as they use the Internet. Other additional features include automatic updating, custom scanning of specific directories, scheduled scans, a hosts file editor and cookie blocking.

Ad-Aware Pro

Ad-Aware Pro incorporates all the features of the Plus version while also offering command line support, and the ability to scan other hard drives across a network. Two other programs are also included: Ad-Watch Connect and a Process Watch Module.

Ad-Aware Enterprise

Ad-Aware Enterprise is for businesses that want central control of all their network computers with Ad-Aware installed. It includes network tools to manage and monitor Ad-Aware across a network.

Version feature summary

Ad-Aware 2008 Free Ad-Aware 2008 Plus Ad-Aware 2008 Pro Lavasoft Ad-Aware Enterprise 2.0
Anti-Spyware + Anti-Virus
Extended Threat Detection
Automatic Updates
Custom Scans
Scheduled Scanning
Ad-Watch Real-Time Monitor
Ad-Watch RegShield
Hosts File Editor
[cookie|Cookie] Blocking
Free Support
Priority Threat Updates
Additional Scan Reports
Additional Command Line Support
Ad-Watch Connect
Process Watch Module
Network Drive Scanning
Monitor machines across a network with AAW installed
Scan one or more client computers across network
Update all AAW computers on network
Cost Freeware USD 26.95 USD 39.95 N/A (Volume licenses only)


Between May 27, 2005 (when version 1.06 appeared on and April 23, 2007, the program was downloaded over 239 million times. It has now been replaced with Ad-Aware 2008, which is listed as having been downloaded over 292 million times.

System requirements

Minimum Requirement
Processor Intel Pentium 600 MHz or higher (or equivalent)
RAM RAM operating system + 100 MB
Free hard drive space 50 MB
Operating System Windows 2000 (Pro/Server), XP(32- & 64-bit), Server 2003, Vista (32- & 64-bit)
Internet Browser Internet Explorer (5.5 or higher), Firefox (1.5 or higher), Opera (9 or higher)


Ad-Aware's previous version, Ad-Aware SE, has been criticized by reviewers for having a confusing interface and not being able to schedule scans and automatic updates. Some found the customer support poor and thought the product was expensive compared to other similar products. It was also claimed to only use basic security protection in the coding.

Test results showed that Ad-Aware SE did not always remove the bundled adware program, "WhenUSave", and that removal of the program would disable the free, advertising-supported eDonkey parent program.


See also


External links

Search another word or see Awareon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature