Ad-Aware SE Personal
Developer Homepage: Lavasoft
Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Our Summary: Ad-Aware SE Personal is free, easy to use through its stylish and compact GUI and provides fairly regular definition updates making it a good choice in combating Spyware.
One of the most well known and popular Spyware remover programs is called Ad-Aware and the first program we are taking a look at is Ad-Aware SE Personal by Lavasoft. The Swedish company offers three versions of Ad-Aware: SE Personal (free), Plus ($27) and Professional ($40). The more you spend the more features you will get. However, for basic Spyware removal needs Ad-Aware SE Personal will do what we need it to do and it won't cost you any money.
Plus and Professional versions include a program called Ad-Watch which runs in the background and looks out for Spyware that might try to install on or modify your system. It works just like any anti-virus software which monitors your system in real-time.
The latest reference file from Lavasoft at the time of writing this article is dated 10 / 10 / 2004 which is a good sign as you will have recent Spyware detection capabilities. If you are using a Spyware remover program which hasn't had its reference or definition database updated in a few months, you'd probably be better off using another program.
Ad-Aware SE Personal is a fairly basic Spyware remover (about a 2.6MB download) with a stylish and easily workable GUI (Graphical User Interface) with the must-have feature offering the ability to download updates through the program saving you having to hunt for them on Lavasoft's website. Let's take a closer look at the program in the screenshots I took while testing out the software - for the full size image, just click on each image below and a new window will pop-up.
When you load Ad-Aware you are first greeted with the screen as shown above. It is the status screen which tells you which definitions file you have loaded, when you last scanned and so forth. To begin searching your system for Spyware, just click the Start button toward the bottom right of the screen.
Next up we have the above screen where you choose which scan mode you wish to run. The smart scan is like a quick scan which should be run once a day. For the first scan, you should select full system scan which will take longer to complete and as the name suggests, provide a complete system scan.
Once the scan is complete, you will get the screen above which gives you a run down on what was scanned and what Ad-Aware found on your system.
Now you are presented with the scanning results which allow you to see which items are critical, others which are less important are listed in the negligible objects section. You can right click and choose to select all items which is handy if you have a whole bunch of Spyware that needs removing. If you double click on an item, it will bring up a new window with more info on that particular Spyware such as risk level, location on your PC and who made it.
Just choose the Spyware you wish to remove and click next and the Spyware will be put into quarantine (which keeps the Spyware isolated from your system) where you have the option to delete the file from your system later.
Overall - Ad-Aware SE Personal is free without any trial limitations, easy to use through its stylish and compact GUI and provides fairly regular definition updates making it a good choice in combating Spyware.
We are giving the SE Personal version of Ad-Aware a high rating of 8.5 out of 10 - a solid choice.
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