Lavasoft Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ - Second opinion virus scanner

Lavasoft became famous for its own antispyware program a decade ago and later introduced a real antivirus program. The program is getting better and better results in tests, possibly because it uses the Bitdefender engine.

Lavasoft Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+




Windows XP (32 bit)/Vista/7/8/10 (32 and 64 bit)


7 Score 70
  • Pros
  • Ease of use
  • Good performance security
  • Install alongside other security program
  • Negatives
  • No mail scan
  • Registration required
  • System impact

Lavasoft offers its security in four flavors, the free Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ and the paid Personal Security, Pro Security and Total Security. The Free Antivirus+ includes antivirus and antimalware, protection against drive-by downloads while surfing and has a gaming mode that suppresses notifications. What you miss from the paid versions are online banking protection, a firewall, integration with email programs, parental controls, file encryption and a shredder to delete files irretrievably. If you find these functions important, start with Free Antivirus+ because during the installation you can upgrade to one of the paid Lavasoft programs at a considerable discount. After installation, Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ is in English, but in the options you switch to Dutch. Lavasoft uses the Bitdefender engine for malware recognition.


During installation, you can choose to install Ad-Adware Free Antivirus+ only as a "second line of defense", i.e. alongside another antimalware program. Ad-Adware is then only active when you even launch it to perform an additional scan. As additional options, Ad-Aware Web Companion is also installed that blocks dangerous websites, and optionally converts your default search engine in Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer to Microsoft Bing. After installation, activation and registration are required. The modern and fresh interface requires a lot of scrolling. Free Antivirus+ shows banners for the paid products and also shows all missing features. Click on one to get an upgrade offer. Free Antivirus+ includes three scans for quick scanning, one of which you can automatically run every day, week, or month. The further options are limited, most tabs contain functions that are only in the paid version. You can protect the configuration with a PIN code. The impact on PC performance is above average with Free Antivirus+.


Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ from Lavasoft is a nice scanner with modest options. The scan results may have improved considerably in recent years, partly as a result of the Bitdefender engine. However, the functionality of the program is limited. Use as a second scanner is obvious, partly due to the lack of a maila scan.

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