Free download from Adaware.com - How much crap gets installed?

Spawn

Administrator
MalwareTips Staff
Verified
Joined
Jan 8, 2011
Messages
17,516
OS
Windows 10
Antivirus
Microsoft
#1
Disclaimer:
  • I'm "acting" as my own new-average PC user who wants Free Security for my Windows 10 PC, and by visiting these sites I will click on the buttons that I think I will need for Free security.
  • In some cases Free Trials, Bundleware (Crapware) may be installed
  • Custom Install buttons will be ignored for the purpose of this experiment, but still may be shown.
  • Start-up Impact in Task Manager are not recorded, as results may vary per system.
  • Test system under VirtualBox running Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
  • I strongly advise you to make your own judgements
Free Download from adaware.com - How much crap gets installed?

Head over to adaware.com which is Lavasoft's new website for version 12. Once you follow the Discover Adaware Antivirus links, you'll be taken to download their "Get Adaware Antivirus Free" next to a chart showing their paid products.

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The Adaware Web Installer will fetch the latest Updater for you.

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In terms of a custom install, there's not a lot of choice apart from installing with No Real-Time protection, as Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender Antivirus. And for compatibility, stability and performance reasons, it's better to avoid using both simultaneously.

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The adaware antivirus updater shows it's progress and what's being installed.

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Once complete, the default browser is launched with a thank you message and "something new for you".

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Clicking on Get Ad Block, it's only available for Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. As I don't have either nor was offered by adaware, I won't be using the Ad Block extension.

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Upon completion, we are recommended to reboot and register when prompted. Let's reboot now.

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Now that adaware antivirus is fully running, we get a message Free Registration or Enter Activation Key.

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Following the Free Registration link, we are taken where we can Register or Get Pro Protection at a 25% discount.

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If we follow the Get Pro Protection link, we are taken to the adaware Store where we receive a 1 year Pro license and a physical media (CD) with a saving price included. To continue, we must enter our billing address and payment details.

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Browser closed. Adaware notifies us that we are not protected and must Get the latest definition files.

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Please note, we have not yet Registered adaware, but we can proceed with updating the virus definition files, which is roughly 194MB. It may take some time, depending on your Internet connection.

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Some time later.. adaware needs to scan the system and I perform a quick scan which takes about one minute to complete.

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Now our PC is protected, but not activated.

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As you can see, a lot of the features are greyed out with an Upgrade button. Upon clicking we are given a choice, however there is no discount now.

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Investigating the (not activated) title bar message, from the Settings we are informed that the free version, if not activated, will expire in 30-days.

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Windows Task Manager: Start-up list.

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Complete list of installed software by adaware antivirus free.

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A few final words:
Installation & Customisation : It's a minimal process for a program that has a limited set of features. Users can chose to run alongside Windows Defender (on Windows 10) but lose out on real-time protection.
Bundleware : No extra software was installed without user consent, but post-installation we could have tried "adaware ad block", however without Lavasoft offering Chrome or Firefox during installation, we did not get to try ad block.
Up-sell Ads : Upgrade buttons are scattered around the Free antivirus which may prompt the user to pay up sooner rather than later.
Discounts : After skipping the initial 25% discount, we didn't see it again and users may miss out on getting a good deal. Users are automatically paying more when Upgrading, as a physical installation CD is included in the basket.

This concludes my How Much Crap Gets Installed with adaware free antivirus. Thanks for reading, commenting and any other feedback.
 

Evjl's Rain

Level 38
Content Creator
AV-Tester
Verified
Joined
Apr 18, 2016
Messages
2,718
OS
Windows 8.1
Antivirus
Avast
#7
thanks for the review. I used to have a problem trying this program. It's a shame that there is no way to try the pro features
and the free version requires registration to use

Thanks for the review. Almost as good as BD, as crap was not installed whatsoever.
if we have a deeper look, it's nowhere near BD. It does have BD 's signatures and that's everything. It doesn't have active threat control/BB, which is available in BD free, not sure if they are the same or different
because the free version just has signatures but no other zero-day components and there is no trial for pro version, it's not recommended to use. There are much better free options
 

rockstarrocks

Level 15
Verified
Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
744
OS
Windows 10
Antivirus
Kaspersky
#10
thanks for the review. I used to have a problem trying this program. It's a shame that there is no way to try the pro features
and the free version requires registration to use


if we have a deeper look, it's nowhere near BD. It does have BD 's signatures and that's everything. It doesn't have active threat control/BB, which is available in BD free, not sure if they are the same or different
because the free version just has signatures but no other zero-day components and there is no trial for pro version, it's not recommended to use. There are much better free options
Sorry if I wasn't clear, I just meant that just like BD, Adaware also doesn't install any bundled software. I wasn't comparing them based on their protection features.