With the ability to scan your RAM, registry,
hard drives, and external storage devices for known data-mining,
advertising, and tracking components, Ad-aware SE easily can clean your
system, allowing you to maintain a higher degree of privacy while you
surf the Web.
Ad-aware SE Personal
Edition boasts a number of improvements. Extended memory scanning now
scans all modules loaded by a process. Scanning uses the all- new CSI
(Code Sequence Identification) technology to identify new and unknown
variants of known targets. Extended registry scanning now scans registry
branches of multiple-user accounts and performs additional smart checks
to detect dynamically created references. Scanning speed is noticeably
faster, and this version offers an Extended Scanning mode for known and
unknown/possible browser hijackers.
New in version 1.06: Disk-scan is
approximately 30% faster. CSI scan is now more efficient. Added "Scan
for low-risk threats" option, to scan for targets with low TAC index.
Ad-Watch CSI engine performance highly improved; using less CPU and
Memory as well as having a smaller footprint. GUI adapted to use the new
One of the first applications built to find and
remove adware and spyware, Ad-aware SE Personal Edition's excellent
reputation is well justified. The sky-blue, skinnable interface features
five buttons. The first two, Status and Scan, lead to the core function of
the application. These buttons initiate a scan of your files for adware
components. After scanning is complete, the program presents a summary of
results, followed by a list from which you select exactly which components
to remove. Right-clicking an individual entry gives some information about
the piece of suspected adware, though we would like more details. Ad-aware
SE can alert you to more malignant forms of malware by separating items into
critical and negligible categories. The third button, Ad-watch, is
nonfunctional in the Standard version. The fourth button, Plug-ins, shows
you which Ad-aware plug-ins are installed. The fifth leads to the help
Ad-aware SE does an excellent
job of quickly finding and removing most adware and spyware components,
although you will have to restart and rescan for a seriously infected
machine. We were pleased to see an auto-update feature included with the
program, keeping Ad-aware up-to-date with the latest adware components.
Ad-aware SE should be part of your arsenal for keeping your machine free of
adware and spyware components.
Ad-aware SE Personal Edition 1.06 is the latest version of Lavasoft's popular
free antispyware program, and not surprisingly, it continues to meet the high
standards that Ad-aware is known for. Long considered the grandfather of
antispyware programs, Ad-aware keeps getting better and is one of our
recommended additions to any desktop.
This latest version of Ad-aware SE runs faster than previous versions, and it
finds and deletes even more illicit programs that track your surfing and cause
many of those annoying pop-up ads. With its light use of resources and thorough
scans, Ad-aware also beats paid antispyware programs, such as McAfee
Anti-Spyware. In addition to providing a more robust scanning engine, Ad-aware
now sports a sleek new interface that makes the program more attractive and
extremely simple to use. Ad-Aware's custom skins let you change the look and
feel of the app in a variety of ways.
Downloading and installing Ad-aware SE Personal took only a few minutes. It's
best to run a full system scan the first time you use Ad-aware. After that, it's
much faster to use the Smart Scan option, which checks only files that have
recently changed on your hard drive. Ad-aware is highly configurable, with more
options and choices than you'd expect in a free spyware-removal program. The
default settings work great with most systems, though, and unless you have an
unusual situation, you shouldn't have to fiddle with any settings.
If you've been using your PC on
the Internet without any spyware protection, you'll probably be amazed at how
many offending programs Ad-aware finds. Unfortunately, the process of removing
offending apps with Ad-aware can be confusing at times because Ad-aware doesn't
provide much helpful information about the suspect spyware it marks for
quarantine. For example, it doesn't identify which applications might need a
suspected spyware/adware component in order to run. But don't worry, Ad-aware
doesn't entirely remove the spyware, just quarantines it in a secure folder, so
if for some reason you actually needed one of those adware components, you could
easily reinstall it later within Ad-aware.
Our only gripe is regarding
Lavasoft's paltry support options. E-mail technical support is not available for
the free version, and the support area on Lavasoft's Web site is underwhelming
to say the least. That said, the program is pretty easy to use and the
integrated help system is complete and should be able to answer most questions.