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Your Ad-Aware Questions, Answered

First off, we would like to thank all of our Lavasoft News readers for the outpouring of feedback we received following the news of our product launch. We appreciate all of your comments, as your feedback keeps us in touch with your needs and how we can better meet them — to provide you and all our users around the world with the best online protection available.

In light of a few frequently asked questions, we put together the Q & A, below, to provide you with answers to some of the most commonly asked questions on the new version of Ad-Aware.

Q: Why should I update to this new version?

A: The new version of Ad-Aware has new features and improved functionality that you will benefit from upon upgrading. Ad-Aware Internet Security gives you the power to combat the latest and the most complex forms of malware, protecting you from viruses, spyware, trojans, keyloggers, password stealers, and much more. With minimal strain on system resources and advanced anti-malware technology, including Genotype detection and a deep level rootkit removal system, you have all the power you need to stay secure online.

Q: How do I update to the new version of Ad-Aware? Is it free?

A: If you have a valid Ad-Aware Pro license, update to the new version free of charge by clicking 'Update now' on the update screen that loads when you startup Ad-Aware. You can also update to the new version through the Lavasoft Support Center by following these three steps:

  1. Log-in to the Support Center and download Ad-Aware from the download link option in the "My downloads" menu.
  2. Start the installation. The previous version will be automatically uninstalled before installing Ad-Aware.
  3. Ad-Aware will recognize your previous license information and the Pro features will be activated automatically when the program is started.

If you are running Ad-Aware Free, clicking on the 'Update now' button will open your browser and redirect to the Ad-Aware Free page on Please proceed to download the latest Ad-Aware installation file.

When the download is complete please run the "Ad-AwareInstall.exe" file to start the installation. Follow the on-screen instructions in the Installation Wizard to install. The old version will be replaced by the new version.

Q: Is anti-virus protection included in Ad-Aware Free?

A: The new version of Ad-Aware Free does have virus protection included. This means that our freeware now offers complete malware protection — including real-time anti-virus and anti-spyware, and a rootkit removal system — still completely free of charge for home users, with no strings attached.

Q: Should I use Ad-Aware Free along with other anti-virus software?

A: There is always a chance of compatibility issues when running concurrent security products; in fact, some companies have these issues by design. At Lavasoft, we always give you, the computer user, the right to choose what's best for your system. That's why we work to develop programs that will not conflict with other security software. Whenever a compatibility issue arises, Lavasoft's Quality Assurance Team works to remedy the conflict immediately.

At the same time, we also give you the option to "turn off" the anti-virus detection in Ad-Aware Free and Pro versions, if you choose to do so.

Among security professionals, there's no debate that computer users need — in addition to a personal firewall — two forms of online protection: anti-virus and anti-spyware.

With the addition of anti-virus to its anti-spyware and anti-rootkit, Ad-Aware Free is now a first line of defense that provides basic protection against viruses, spyware, rootkits, blended malware, and more.

By continuing to offer the Ad-Aware Free version and now adding anti-virus protection, Lavasoft is ensuring that you have a one-stop product that delivers core malware protection: anti-spyware, anti-virus and anti-rootkit.

Q: Can you have too many anti-virus programs or firewalls?

A: There is always a chance of compatibility issues when running concurrent security software. It is not recommended that you run more than one anti-virus product or firewall on a computer at the same time.

It is generally not recommended to use the active protection of different security software (such as the real-time protection of Ad-Aware's Ad-Watch feature) at the same time. If you have multiple programs running in the memory of your computer simultaneously, it may cause performance issues. That is why Ad-Aware has a built-in 'incompatibility check' feature; as part of the incompatibility check, Ad-Watch Live! Files turns itself off when incompatible software is found, to ensure that you will not have a conflict.

Q: What makes Ad-Aware better than other competitor products? Why should I choose only Ad-Aware as my first line of defense?

A: While there may be a flood of security products on the market today, Lavasoft is the company that put spyware removal on the map. An early leader in the security industry, Ad-Aware, the original anti-spyware, is the world's most trusted anti-malware technology — downloaded over 400 million times worldwide. At the same time, Lavasoft's commitment to protecting computers users with innovative solutions means we constantly work to adapt our products to better fit your security needs. With that in mind, we have developed the new version of Ad-Aware with two major changes:

Ad-Aware Free Internet Security now includes anti-virus. At Lavasoft, we believe that every computer user, regardless of economic status or geographic location, must have the power to control their individual privacy and security when they use the Internet. That is why we continue to offer the Ad-Aware Free version, complete malware protection that now combines Lavasoft's pioneer technology for anti-spyware with traditional anti-virus protection.

Ad-Aware Total Security joins the product lineup. Ad-Aware Total Security is a new all-in-one security product from Lavasoft, integrating the industry-leading malware detection power of Ad-Aware Pro Internet Security with multiple layers of additional protection for complete security and PC health.

  • You'll find industry-recognized, advanced threat detection capabilities, like Genotype, in each of the Ad-Aware products. Lavasoft's Ad-Aware Pro software was recently tested in Virus Bulletin's April 2010 comparative review. The Reactive and Proactive (RAP) test scores — which measures each program's detection capabilities against new and emerging malware — place Ad-Aware Pro in the upper range among all the ranked anti-virus products, well above many of the top security industry competitors.
  • Ad-Aware not only provides powerful protection, it also efficiently keeps you and your private information secure. In June 2010, Lavasoft performed extensive research to gain an understanding of the performance and amount of resources used by popular security products on the market today. The findings include:
    • Ad-Aware removes more traces and fragments of an infection than any other security program tested.
    • Malwarebytes uses more than twice as much memory during scans than Ad-Aware Free Internet Security.
    • Microsoft Security Essentials takes almost 4 times longer to perform a scan than Ad-Aware Free Internet Security.
    • BitDefender uses 9 times more resources in real-time protection mode than Ad-Aware Total Security.

Q: Is Ad-Aware compatible with Windows 7?

A: Yes, Ad-Aware is compatible with Windows 7.

Q: I have a technical question about Ad-Aware. Where do I go for support?

A: Through your purchase of Ad-Aware, you have unlimited access to free online customer support from Lavasoft. Please log in to the Support Center at to contact the Lavasoft Support Team.

If you´ve been in touch with Lavasoft´s Support Team through the Support Center, you already know how easy it is to make contact, and how quick the team is to respond to your needs. Now, we´ve made things even better: Lavasoft has launched a new chat support service. Chat Support gives Lavasoft customers another convenient way to contact the Support Team for quick answers to product questions. Here's how it works: when you log-in to the Support Center, you're still able to contact the Support Team through e-mail, but you now also have the added option to click the "Chat with Support Staff" button to begin a live chat session. The choice is yours.

For product questions or information on how to rid your computer of malware, Ad-Aware Free users can take advantage of free assistance from our volunteer security network at the Lavasoft Support Forums.

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Pro for the price of Plus
Thanks to the support of You and our other loyal users around the world who depend on our software to protect their online privacy and security, Ad-Aware has now been downloaded over 400 million times! Thank you! Power to the people!
Not sure which product is right for you? Check out our comparison chart to find out.

New Targets in Detection
Visit the Lavasoft Malware Labs blog to protect your privacy with new targets for July 2010.

Threat Check
Find out which threats have been plaguing Ad-Aware users this past month.

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