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There are a lot of security solutions available to consumers today. Recently, we’ve covered programs from Bitdefender Stay Safe Online with the New Bitdefender Total Security 2013 [Giveaway] Stay Safe Online with the New Bitdefender Total Security 2013 [Giveaway] Bitdefender Total Security 2013 is packed full of features without the impossible learning curve. This thing is a gargantuan software package that has everything you’ll ever need when it comes to computer security. This week,... Read More , IObit IObit Releases Advanced SystemCare 6 [Updates] IObit Releases Advanced SystemCare 6 [Updates] Utility developer IObit has announced the release of Advanced SystemCare 6, an update to the long-standing SystemCare software. The new version, which is available immediately, focuses on refreshing and updating the interface while also enhancing... Read More , and iolo System Mechanic 11: Tune Up Your PC and Boost Performance Instantly [Giveaway] System Mechanic 11: Tune Up Your PC and Boost Performance Instantly [Giveaway] It’s no secret that computers slow down over time. No matter how well-maintained you keep your computer, it’s going to experience a loss in efficiency. No matter how well-maintained you keep your computer, it’s going... Read More –and I will be the first to say that they’ve all been excellent programs. however, when it comes to computer security, some could argue that Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware was one of the originals.

I still remember when malware was new and its full impact hadn’t been discovered. Ad-Aware was the first anti-malware tool I heard about and it served me for a great many years before it fell off the radar, having been outshadowed by a couple of products. But now, I think Lavasoft has updated their program sufficiently.

Let’s take a look at Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware Pro and see what it has to offer in terms of security.


The Ad-Aware dashboard looks a lot like most security suite dashboards–a centralized location where all of the features, options, and reports can be seen. The computer’s security status is displayed prominently at the top. Options are easily accessed–the little gear icons are subtle yet distinctive. The on/off toggles are easy to use, too.

I like the setup, frankly. The basic toggles are separated from the more advanced toggles so that newbie users don’t have to trip themselves up wading through a bunch of options that they don’t care about. At the same time, advanced users can do their advanced tasks with ease.

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Anti-Malware Scans

The anti-malware functions don’t offer much in terms of uniqueness, but they’re laid out simply and succinctly. As expected, there are 3 modes: Quick Scan, Full Scan, and Custom Scan. Threats can be quarantined and you can read generated reports every time you run a scan. These reports are logged so you can always return to them if needed.

Anti-malware scans can be run on program startup or based on a schedule of selected days and times. One feature I liked is the ability to set performance levels for the different scan modes. Performance levels range from Lowest to Critical, allowing you to set the intensity of particular type of scan.

Real-Time Protection

Ad-Aware’s real-time protection acts sort of like a traditional antivirus program: it sits in the background and warns you whenever something suspicious occurs on your computer. You can set which parts of Windows will trigger an Ad-Aware response, such as when shell options are changed, the hosts file is tampered with, or when a new context menu is created.

When real-time protection detects a suspicious program, you can select whether those programs should be allowed, blocked, or quarantined.


Lavasoft claims that their firewall is better than what you can get from Microsoft’s Windows Firewall. Why? Because while other firewalls only check for incoming data, Ad-Aware checks outgoing data, too. So whether malicious data is coming in or going out, Ad-Aware promises to catch it.

The firewall can be configured based on a number of rules that you set: application rules, port rules, network rules, and gateway rules. You can pretty much block or allow whatever you want. Talk about a powerfully flexible firewall.

Advanced Features

As for Ad-Aware’s more advanced features, here’s what you can expect:

  • Bad Web Site Blocking. Protects your credit card information and banking data when using online services. With the real-time filter enabled, Ad-Aware protects against phishing attacks and impersonating websites.
  • Email Protection. Detects and prevents email-based threats when reading incoming mail and sending outgoing mail.
  • Identity Protection. By integrating with ID Watchdog, Ad-Aware will monitor your credit report and other personal information, letting you know whenever there are critical changes that may indicate identity theft.
  • External Storage Scan. Automatically scans external storage devices, like USB flash drives, whenever they are plugged in.
  • Safe Networking. Constantly monitors network activity to defend against malicious activity.
  • Gaming Mode. Disables notifications and alerts so that you can play games and watch movies without being disturbed.

Interested in purchasing Ad-Aware Pro? You could spend $36 for a 1-year subscription, or you could head on over to the MakeUseOf Rewards page and get a copy of Ad-Aware Pro for just 500 points! For those new to our Rewards program, visit here to learn more about MakeUseOf Rewards NEW: Earn Points & Grab Premium Freebies With the MakeUseOf Rewards System NEW: Earn Points & Grab Premium Freebies With the MakeUseOf Rewards System Some of you may have noticed the login buttons at the top of the sidebar here at MakeUseOf, so today I'm here to explain what they are, why you might want to use them, what... Read More .

  1. Yiz Borol
    October 31, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    Might get it from there's nothing else in Rewards that I want.

    Though usually I tend to stick to brand names (think norton, Mc'Afee, kaspersky, etc) I am open to other options as long as they don't tie up to much of my ram or processor (as certain anti-spyware software is want to do, I'm looking at you Avira)

  2. Muhammad Ahmad
    October 31, 2012 at 9:28 am

    I suggest you to please participate in antivirus tests. ==like av-test etc.

  3. Marian Cimbru
    October 31, 2012 at 4:18 am

    Yes, very good and reliable app! I was using it since the first versions.

  4. Nikhil Chandak
    October 31, 2012 at 4:12 am

    the security program Lavasoft is very good in detecting virus
    but its for only one year........
    that's what I don't like about it

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      October 31, 2012 at 2:01 pm

      Well, we can use our points so it's not that bad. Besides, if it's really good, you might want to contribute to their project.

  5. Efi Dreyshner
    October 30, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Its fine, not beyond..

  6. Azhar Mamoojee
    October 30, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    I used Ad Aware some 5 years ago, back in the days when I was still using Windows, and I can say it's a superb app! :)

  7. Jerome Burks
    October 30, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    I remember when they're malware product first came out use it for 5 years sesame you malware product now I keep changing from month to month

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      October 31, 2012 at 1:56 pm

      May you elaborate? I don't catch the meaning of your comment.

  8. Tarek Ramadan
    October 30, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    best ever adaware

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      October 31, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      They should change the name. I thought it was something like AdBlocker the first time I heard about it, but it's in fact a full fledged security suite.

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