Newest Review: ... Teamed with my anti-virus (AVG), I find that this product is really effective. It's a software that finds potentially harmful spyware a... more
Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition...another FREE one!
Member Name: JohnGroom
Date: 01/03/06, updated on 01/03/06 (1400 review reads)
Advantages: Finds and deletes the stuff that Spybot doesn't.
Disadvantages: None up to now and...it's FREE!
Just over a year ago I found out that, sometimes, when you visit websites, small programs are accepted by your computer without your knowledge. These small programs are able to track what websites you visit and what software you use and send the information to marketing companies so they can target you with junk mail. Some programs can also log your keystrokes which can lead to you being the victim of internet fraud.
I was already using Spybot Search & Destroy and thought I had found everything that it was possible to find that may have been messing with my computer without my knowledge. I'm always on the lookout for stuff that will help me to use the computer more efficiently...and I don't like my computer being messed with by someone else...especially someone I don't know or can't see. I was advised to install Lavasoft Ad-aware Free Edition to stop this problem and was told that it would be OK to run it along with Spybot.
I downloaded the program using the Google Search "ad-aware" (without the inverted commas) and found it at 'lavasoftusa.com'.
On the right of that page, if you click on 'Download Now', you are taken to another page that you scroll down to find two download links - one is "download.com" and the other is "pcworld.com" and I've found both to be reliable. It's worthwhile reading about what you intend to download at this point... but don't get paranoid... as the stuff it's going to find has probably been on your computer for months!
I downloaded the file and saved it in a new folder in My Documents (so that I could find it more easily) and installed the program which loads and then a light blue screen appears. I'd advise at this point to click on "Search for Updates", as long as you are connected to the internet, so that you have the latest updates available and are therefore protected from the latest threats. I found the default settings were suitable and didn't change anything, as basically I'm working on a tightrope...or is that walking on a treadmill?
Left click on "Start". You can then then set some options if you wish. To me that's a bit like deciding which wire to cut when de-fusing a bomb, as I have limited knowledge in all things computeristic, so I'd advise you to read the manual before you change or tweak anything. Personally I just leave it as it's set and click "Next"...it's that easy!
Sit back and watch...or make a brew! It doesn't take as long as Spybot Search & Destroy to finish but it's not exactly enthralling viewing! A word of warning...make sure the sound is low on the computer as when the program finishes scanning a weird sound occurs if it finds something...which it invariably does on mine. (That noise still makes me jump after more than a year of using it!)
If you want to delete all the files just right click and select all or you can select them individually if you want to...then click next...then OK...you will be amazed...or quietly satisfied if it says "Congratulations...no spyware found!"
Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition is a FREE program that can run alongside Spybot Search & Destroy. Apparently, they do the same job but I have found that one finds stuff that the other doesn't and I now use them both on an irregular basis (mainly because I forget!) I try to remember to run both programs on, roughly, a weekly basis or if the Internet browser is acting weird or even if I'm bored and waiting for inspiration. At least it's something to watch and there's a result at the end of it! That noise that makes you jump! (I suppose I should get out more!)
Enjoy Spybot Search & Destroy...it's FREE!
(if you want to you can upgrade for $27 to get more features.)
To sum up : Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition is really, really easy to install and to use and is extremely effective in removing the nasty stuff that I mentioned earlier. It made a massive difference to the performance of my computer. Even though it seemed OK before I used this program I was still amazed at what it found.
I haven't gone for the upgrade as yet, as it just seems to have a pop-up blocker as an extra which is already in Windows XP. Also, because the free version is so effective, I can't see any reason at the moment for upgrading. I'll let you know if I do and, obviously, write a review on it!
Ad-Aware is compatible with Microsoft Windows
98/98SE/ME/NT4/2000/XP/XP Home/XP Pro
Good luck and thanks for reading.
© John Groom 2006
Summary: I find that this easy to use free program keeps my computer running faster.
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