Adaware Antivirus Free Review

Screenshot of Adaware Antivirus Free
Adaware Antivirus Free.

Lavasoft has been in the antivirus business for a while (since 1999), mainly providing premium products. However, they also have a free antivirus program called Adaware Antivirus Free.

Adaware Antivirus Free is really easy to use, light on resources, and supports detailed custom scanning.

Adaware Antivirus Free provides free on-access or resident protection, meaning it's always running in the background to monitor files. This means Adaware Antivirus Free can completely replace any premium or professional antivirus software that you might be paying for, like products form McAfee and Norton. While those programs might include tools you won't find in free software, Adaware Antivirus Free can still provide the virus protection you need at no cost.


  • Constant, real-time protection against spyware, viruses, and other malicious items
  • Requires little CPU usage to run
  • Scan files and folders from the right-click context menu
  • Updates definitions automatically throughout the day
  • Supports a silent mode when gaming or watching movies to reduce its impact on system resources and suppress notifications
  • Can run a quick or full system scan on a schedule


  • Some features only work if you purchase a paid version of Adaware
  • Doesn't scan incoming or outgoing email messages
  • Takes longer to install than most other antivirus programs
  • Registration, though free, is required once a year to prevent expiration


  • Real-time protection allows Adaware Antivirus Free to monitor the Windows Registry for modifications
  • If malicious items are downloaded, Adaware Antivirus Free blocks them before they even have the option of infecting the system
  • Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP users can install and use Adaware Antivirus Free
  • A virtual sandbox is used in Adaware Antivirus Free to emulate a hard drive. This means that while potentially malicious files are analyzed in real-time, they can also be launched without fear of infection.
  • Adaware Antivirus Free reportedly uses less than 1% of CPU usage to run
  • If you choose compatible mode during setup, Adaware Antivirus Free can be used with other antivirus software
  • URLs are scanned against a database of recognized malicious/phishing websites to prevent an attack

My Thoughts on Adaware Antivirus Free

Basically any antivirus program that's free will have my blessing. I don't find anything extra special about Adaware Antivirus Free, but it's still useful if you need antivirus software.

I do like how easy it is to use. Whether the program is open or if you're using the context menu scanner, things seem to start up fast and begin working without much delay.

Honestly, however, I don't think Adaware Antivirus Free should be your first choice when choosing a good antivirus program. There are too many settings in the program that would be useful but aren't allowed to function because it's just the free version.

For instance, email is a widely used form of communication but it's not even supported as a real-time scan location. Because of this fact, it'd be wise to use a program like avast! or AVG.

Don't get me wrong, though, Adaware Antivirus Free is a nice choice if you're not concerned about the cons from above. Having real-time protection is extremely important, and it's included at no cost in this program.