Lavasoft Ad-Aware Pro
Ad-Aware Pro includes extra tools and network protection
- Several types of heuristic detection, protection against network-borne threats
- May not be worth it for home users
Many free anti-virus programs, including Microsoft Security Essentials, Avira AntiVir Personal, and Avast! Home Edition offer competent anti-virus protection for free, so it doesn't seem as if it would be worthwhile for a home user to pay for anti-virus protection. As for the extra tools that Ad-Aware Pro offers beyond virus protection, it may not also be worth paying for them, either, given that they are of only moderate usefulness. Business users may be content with Ad-Aware Plus. If you're looking for an antispyware program for your home PC, though, Ad-Aware Free still contains the best of what the Ad-Aware tools have to offer--and in that program, they're still free for personal use.
Price$ 45.74 (AUD)
The Ad-Aware series of products have long been known primarily for Ad-Aware Free, a famous and free piece of anti-spyware software. But Lavasoft's products include for-pay Ad-Aware Plus and Pro versions as well. Designed primarily for businesses, Ad-Aware Pro (various pricing; $40 for a one-year, single-user license) includes anti-virus, network protection, and a variety of advanced tools. The Pro version is the most comprehensive program in the lineup.
As with Ad-Aware Free and Plus, Ad-Aware Pro also scans for spyware, in addition to viruses. There's certainly room for improvement over the last version, Ad-Aware Anniversary Edition. Security company AV-Test.org found in tests that Ad-Aware's Anniversary Edition was able to locate only 83.6 percent of 111,833 Trojans, spyware and other malware samples--not an impressive result compared to its competition. No such tests have been run on the newest version of the software, so there is no way to know whether the software has been improved.
One reason to hope for a better showing in this version is the inclusion of several types of heuristic detection. Heuristic detection protects your PC by examining complex system behaviour, rather than just looking for known malware signatures. If the program's heuristics work as well as do the heuristics in other anti-malware software, it should provide better protection against emerging and unknown threats, as well as against threats that are already known.
The Pro version also includes protection against network-borne threats, which neither the free nor Plus versions do. In addition, the Pro version has what it calls the "Toolbox" of additional protection. The Toolbox includes items such as the AutoStart Manager, which lets you control what programs and services start at Windows startup. It also includes a way to view and kill processes running on your PC. In addition, there is a tool to edit your HOSTS file, which may help increase your security. The final tool in the toolbox does not directly help security; it submits any dangers you come across to the Lavasoft ThreatWork Alliance, which then uses the combined information it finds to uncover dangers. Overall, the toolbox is moderately useful.
As with the other new versions of Ad-Aware, Ad-Aware Pro promises to protect you against malware that tries to restore itself after a system reboot. And it now integrates with Internet Explorer to scan files as you download files from the Web, alerting you to any malicious files you may send to your system. PC World has not tested these features. Also new to this version is a "Simple mode" that lets you set your configuration once, and never have to do it again. If you prefer, you can toggle to Advanced Mode, where you can select advanced features for customisation.
The question for the Pro version of the software is whether it is worth $45. Many free anti-virus programs, including Microsoft Security Essentials, Avira AntiVir Personal, and Avast! Home Edition offer competent anti-virus protection for free, so it doesn't seem as if it would be worthwhile for a home user to pay for anti-virus protection. As for the extra tools that Ad-Aware Pro offers beyond virus protection, it may not also be worth paying for them, either, given that they are of only moderate usefulness. Business users may be content with Ad-Aware Plus. If you're looking for an antispyware program for your home PC, though, Ad-Aware Free still contains the best of what the Ad-Aware tools have to offer--and in that program, they're still free for personal use.
Note: This program's pricing varies according to the number of users. The price given is for a single-user license for one year.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P9 review: lifting photography to another level... sometimes.
- 2 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 3 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 4 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 5 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Apple slates March 21 event, with 4-in. iPhone likely on the stage
- Convoy International restructures business focus
- ASUS launches world’s first liquid-cooled gaming laptop
- Tablets replace books for kids back at school
- Dell agrees to acquire EMC for US$67 billion
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCBiztalk developerNSW
- FTIT Project ManagerAsia
- CCSenior Business Analyst- BPMN, Testing backgroundNSW
- CCProject Manager - IT SecurityNSW
- CCDynamics CRM DeveloperNSW
- CCMiddleware Developer - BaselineACT
- CCSolution Architect / Designer - Cyber SecurityNSW
- CCProject Master SchedulerVIC
- CCBusiness Analyst - Healthcare industryVIC
- CCProject ManagerNSW
- CCSystems EngineerNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (J2EE/Oracle) 160704/AP/601Asia
- CCProgram Test ManagerNSW
- CCEnvironment Manager - POSVIC
- CCTibco DeveloperWA
- CCMaster Scheduler - IT Infrastructure ProgramsNSW
- FTProject Coordinator / AdministratorNSW
- CCProject CoordinatorNSW
- CCBusiness System Analyst - FinanceVIC
- CCOracle iLearning Business AnalystNSW
- FTOracle Fusion Implementation ConsultantNSW
- CCSharePoint AdministratorNSW
- FTStorage ConsultantACT
- CCPerformance Test AnalystNSW
- CCImplementation ManagerNSW