Ad-Aware 2007 review: Ad-Aware 2007

The Good Ad-Aware 2007 has finally updated its interface.

The Bad Ad-Aware 2007 doesn't offer antivirus protection, and it doesn't detect or remove spyware in CNET Labs' tests.

The Bottom Line Spyware has evolved rapidly over the last few years, but Ad-Aware 2007 seems slow and has fallen behind the times.

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4.8 Overall
  • Setup 7
  • Features 7
  • Performance 5
  • Support 6

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Editors' note: On March 5, 2008, CNET revised its antispyware review ratings to emphasize a product's ability to remove spyware. The new ratings are based on the following formula: Installation (20 percent), Features (20 percent), Performance (50 percent), and Support (10 percent). In most cases a product's rating went down, expanding the range between highest and lowest rated.

Lavasoft Ad-Aware 2007 came in dead last in our CNET antispyware testing. Other than sporting a new interface, this long-awaited update doesn't feel much different than earlier versions. What cripples this release most is that Ad-Aware failed to detect half of the test spyware, either actively or on demand, and, unlike nine out of the 10 other antispyware apps we reviewed in December 2007, Ad-Aware left behind traces for all but one spyware. With such a detection and low removal rate, it's hard to get too excited by the latest iteration of this classic antispyware app. Also, with the exception of Microsoft Windows Defender, Ad-Aware remains one of the few well-known antispyware apps not to include (or provide the option of) antivirus protection. In a rapidly evolving market, Ad-Aware seems to have fallen way behind the times.

All versions of Ad-Aware 2007 run on Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Vista (32-bit). There is a free version, but with that version, expect to find all features other than antispyware scanning turned off. The paid version, Ad-Aware Plus 2007, costs $29.95 for a one-year single-user license; Ad-Aware Pro costs $39.95 for a single-year license. The higher price points activate more features within the basic product, with Pro being more advanced than Plus.

Features in the paid products include a host file editor, Registry-blocking shields, and a system-restore point.