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Most users will be familiar with Ad-Aware, the antispyware app that’s been around the block a few times. What you might not know, however, is that with version 10, developers Lavasoft have made the jump from antispyware to fully-fledged antivirus. How does it do? On first looks, Ad-Aware , properly known as Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+, looks good. Installation is fast, but it does insist on a scan upon start-up, which can slow things down a little. You can skip it if you like, though, and if you do, you’ll see a crisp, clean interface divided into user-friendly Basic and Advanced protection areas. Scans As you might expect, 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. Advanced options Something that users of Ad-Aware might find confusing are the settings under Advanced Protection. There are 3 versions of Ad-Aware – Free, Pro and Personal Security. In effect, they are the same program shell, but more advanced features become available as you move through the versions. This will annoy some users who would prefer a unique free version without extraneous distractions – although we have to admit that Ad-Aware doesn’t nag about upgrades, which is great. Other options 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). Conclusion In all, we’re impressed by Ad-Aware’s transformation to antivirus, 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 nice interface and all the basic options. It’s not exactly mind-blowing, however, and doesn’t have as many nice options as competitors such as Avast!, but it’s well on the way to becoming an antivirus to reckon with.Free

  • Version: Free Antivirus+
  • Compatibility: Windows 2000Windows XPWindows 2003Windows VistaWindows 7
  • License: Free
  • Part of: Anti-Virus