Ad-Aware Pro 9 Review


Ad-Aware Pro is rock-solid anti-spyware software from Lavasoft. Spyware has become one of the most dangerous and prevalent (not to mention annoying) security threats online. Ad-Aware Pro is fully equipped to protect you and your PC from spyware, but it doesn’t stop there. Ad-Aware Pro includes protection from viruses, keyloggers, Trojans, dialers and other types of malware. The software is so comprehensive that while it’s billed as anti-malware software, it includes some features you’d expect to see in a full-fledged internet security suite.

The only features that Ad-Aware Pro doesn’t have that the best anti-spyware software do are antiphishing, antispam and email scanning. For all of these features and more, Lavasoft’s upgraded Ad-Aware Total Security is a good option.

Ease of Setup/Use:

There are a lot of features and customizable settings in Ad-Aware Pro, but for the most part the anti-spyware software is easy to use. The user interface is well organized, and the software is fairly intuitive to navigate and use. The software actually has two separate modes, one designed for advanced users and the other for accommodating basic users (or those of us who simply want the software to do what it’s supposed to without much intervention or supervision).

The anti-spyware software installs quickly and pretty much sets automatically with default settings that will get the application up and running. The installer comes bundled with Google Chrome, so if you don’t want that make sure you opt out. After installation, the software will require an update (which may take some time) and one restart.

Detection Effectiveness:

A good user interface and fast performance are important, but when it boils down to it, efficacy is the most important aspect of anti-spyware software. Ad-Aware Pro is quite adept at locating spyware and other malware, using a number of advanced technologies to find even the newest threats.

The proprietary Ad-Watch Live! Expert technology provides realtime protection from malware by monitoring the PC registry, network, files and even processes. When malware strikes or an unauthorized change is attempted, Ad-Watch stops the threat before it has a chance to cause any damage.

Another feature that helps improve detection rates is Lavasoft’s Genocode detection technology. Genocode is Ad-Aware’s advanced heuristic detection, which proactively analyzes file behavior and determines if a file is malicious by nature, even if it is so new it isn’t on the virus definitions yet.

How about spyware and malware spread through downloads? Ad-Aware Pro has Download Guard, which checks files as they are downloading and lets you know what it finds. We’d like to see Download Guard available for more internet browsers and downloaders than just Internet Explorer, but it’s a good start.

Removal Effectiveness:

More than just finding spyware and preventing future malware attacks, it’s also important for anti-spyware software to effectively remove the threats. Ad-Aware Pro competently removes threats. The anti-spyware software can even unearth and effectively remove rootkits, some of the hardest malware to remove because they are deeply rooted and use stealth tactics to hide. Some malware even attempts to restore itself after it’s been removed, but Ad-Aware’s included “Neutralizer” utility blocks any future attacks.

Ad-Aware can also scan more than just your standard hard drive, but can scan network drives and any external drives you mount, including DVDs, USB storage media and iPods. When threats are detected, the software will automatically remove the threat if possible.

While Ad-Aware isn’t perfect, it is quite competent. The anti-malware software effectively detected and removed most of the online threats Hotbar, Csrss and Taskmqr. But while the software detected and removed a greater percentage of the traces than some of the competition, it didn’t remove all traces.

In general, Ad-Aware Pro is better at detecting and removing spyware than most antivirus products, but not quite as effective when compared with software that is more focused specifically on spyware removal.

System Performance:

To run this anti-spyware software you should plan on having at least 300MB of free space available and at least 512MB of RAM. Most PCs should have no trouble running the software without any noticeable system impact. If you’re doing something that requires optimum priority and you don’t want to be interrupted (like watching a video or playing a video game in full-screen mode) you can turn on the “Do Not Disturb Mode” to suspend resource-intensive processes until later.

Scan Performance:

Ad-Aware Pro isn’t technically the most efficient anti-spyware software, but it’s certainly not a resource hog by any means. The memory used during a scan is fairly minimal, and the scan doesn’t take very long at all. The basic quick scan on our test computer took less than two minutes, and the full scan took about 20 minutes. You can use your computer during a scan without much slowdown, but to be safe you can always use the integrated scheduler to run a full scan when you won’t be using the PC.


Lavasoft has several resources available to help you with any issues you might run into. The software comes with an in-program manual, but you can also refer to the FAQs section, user manual and even tutorial videos available in their online support center. For more personalized assistance you can contact Lavasoft customer support staff by submitting your question via email.


Overall, Lavasoft Ad-Aware Pro is very good anti-spyware software. The program is well equipped to locate existing threats, remove spyware and prevent future infestations. While not the overall best anti-spyware software, Ad-Aware Pro is better than the average software, and much more effective than even some of the full-featured internet security suites when it comes to spyware removal.[source]


Post a Comment