AdAware SE Review

Product: Adaware SE
Price: $26.95
Company Info: Lavasoft -
Editor Rating:


AdAware SE review

AdAware SE is the second edition of one of the first anti-spyware programs in the history of the Internet. While it is clearly a high quality anti-spyware tool, the lack of a few important functions and overly technical interface makes AdAware SE a less interesting choice than it appears to be at the first glance.


The interface of AdAware SE is much better and more intuitive than the old AdAware program use to be in earlier versions, but it still has a lot of cryptic options, especially for inexperienced users. On the other hand, AdAware SE gives experienced users and IT professionals plenty of technical options to sort through and play with if they are willing to dig through all the menus, sub-menus and techie-like descriptions. The interface is colorful and nice to look at, which makes it a little more inviting to those who might be trying it out for the first time.

Main features

AdAware SE is an extremely capable anti-spyware software. Its most important features include:

*A built-in pop-up blocker,

*Real-time spyware/adware protection and the ability to stop illegitimate program downloads,

*It also comes with all the standard features such as Windows processes and registry monitoring,

*It has an effective immunization method, protecting your browser settings and key registry entries,

*It also comes with RAM anti-spyware scans.

For unknown reasons, however, AdAware SE lacks an important ability - an advanced scheduler for scanning. The user is forced to start any and all scans manually. This is a serious drawback, especially in case of corporate users.


During the majority of tests, AdAware SE performed reasonably well, though it was usually outperformed by other spyware scanners such as Spyware Doctor and Spy Sweeper. It is recommended to use some other anti-spyware tool in conjunction to AdAware SE.

The scanning process is quite fast, but most applications won't respond well during that time. It is a common problem of most spyware scanners, but it is not as bad if you can schedule a scan for a time when you won't be using your PC at all. When this option is missing, as is the case with AdAwareSE, you won't really be able to use your computer during the scanning time.

Pros & cons:

+ Lots of configuration options,

+ Reasonable spyware detection/removal ratio.

- Interface is difficult to comprehend for inexperienced users,

- AdAware SE doesn't offer the same protection level as other anti-spyware tools,

- There is no schedule option.


AdAware SE is an interesting additional tool for IT professionals and it works well as a supporting product when you have additional programs already on your hard drive. Due to the relatively low removal rate, it is not recommended to use AdAware SE as the only spyware protection you have. Luckily, there are many other programs out there, such as XoftSpySE that can be used in conjunction with AdAware that make a great team.

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