Ad-Aware Antivirus

 Ad-Aware was originally developed in late 1998 to highlight 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 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.



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.

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 editor and  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.


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.

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