What Does Ad-Aware Mean?

Ad-Aware is an anti-virus and anti-spyware program that helps to combat the most complex forms of computer malware, spyware and adware. The anti-spyware software program was developed by Lavasoft in 1999 and is licensed under proprietary software.


Ad-Aware software can be downloaded free of charge from the official Lavasoft Ad-Aware website or from any reputable website that allows free software downloads.

Techopedia Explains Ad-Aware

The Ad-Aware program aims to detect, remove and block computer viruses, spyware, Trojan horses, bots, rootkits, data miners, aggressive advertising, parasites, browser hijackers, password thieves, keyloggers and much more.

This software was originally created to highlight the Web beacons present in the Internet Explorer Web browser. On some websites, users would notice a small pixelated square beside every Web beacon, alerting them that their IP addresses and other nonessential data were being monitored by this website. Over a period of time, Ad-Aware added a new feature into the software to block these beacons or ads entirely. This feature does not make the user aware of the ads on the screen; instead, it combats spyware, malware, adware and other viruses.

Ad-Aware uses real-time detection technology to offer its Internet security service. The software has less impact on system resources than other anti-virus systems and allows users to browse the Internet with peace of mind.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.