By: Craig Chamberlin
Since its inception, Lavasoft has been a software development company that specialises in malware and spyware detection software. Lavasoft gained a lot of popularity by releasing the free, albeit limited, version of the Ad-Aware Free Antivirus suite to the public. They continue to offer the free package today alongside their more powerful, advanced security suites.
Lavasoft was founded in 1999 in Germany. The company now resides and operates out of Montreal, Canada.
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Lavasoft's Ad-Aware products, including Ad-Aware Personal Security, Ad-Aware Pro Security and Ad-Aware Total Security, are extremely easy to use and install. The installation may take longer than the other antivirus software packages available but for added security, it does complete a quick scan prior to performing installation.
The user interface is definitely as intuitive, if not more intuitive, than the major players in the antivirus market such as Kaspersky, Norton or McAfee. The layout makes it extremely easy to navigate and manage integrated features such as file system scans, parental controls or network security.
Another quick positive note about Ad-Aware's user interface is the simplicity of using new features when upgrading a package. The dashboard is divided into sections that make users feel right at home when upgrading their antivirus package from one edition to another. As with other packages, quick scans or full scans can be performed easily directly from the dashboard.
When it comes to reliability, antivirus packages need to stand up to their competition in two areas of protection: virus detection using traditional virus file scanning methods and real time protection that monitors files being saved or used in the system.
For comparisons we used AV-Comparatives, a well known 3rd party antivirus testing company. The Lavasoft antivirus package with Ad-Aware Personal Security, Ad-Aware Pro Security and Ad-Aware Total Security was well above average for traditional virus file detection, almost the best. Unfortunately, the software came nearly in last place for real time scanning protection.
Lavasoft's antivirus packages also use more computer resources than their competitors. Essentially this means the software packages will slow down your computer more than the other options available.
Lavasoft offers a good amount of support for Ad-Aware Personal Security, Ad-Aware Pro Security and Ad-Aware Total Security. Users can find a support centre for managing all of their downloads and licences as well as a knowledgebase full of frequently asked questions, forums and product manuals.
Lavasoft customers can use the online support ticket or e-mail system. At this time, it does not appear that Lavasoft offers premium paid support options to customers.
To be honest, Ad-Aware offers below average protection at premium prices. If you're currently in the market to purchase an antivirus product and don't already use their products, then it's probably a good idea to look at one of the other options available. The two strongest points are the inclusion of 10 licences in premium and the user interface.
If users want to give Lavasoft's products a try, they can take advantage of the 30 day money back guarantee for Ad-Aware Personal Security, Ad-Aware Pro Security and Ad-Aware Total Security. This may be a good option for those comfortable with the Lavasoft product and want to give the premium options a try.
At the end of the day, Lavasoft is charging premium rates for below average protection. To make matters worse, rates get extremely high when considering the more advanced features such as parental controls.
Users can decide between many packages that may include full antivirus protection, silent gaming mode, online identity and financial protection, safe file shredder, firewall protection, digital file locking, network monitoring, parental controls, phishing, e-mail and spam blocking for up to 10 PCs.
The market for this product is likely users who are basic users and not experienced with the ins and outs of the internet. Also, for people who are already comfortable with the usability of the Lavasoft interface. For those looking to branch out, they may want to consider looking at the features of Lavasoft’s premium antivirus package.
About Craig Chamberlin
Craig the Tech Teacher is your source for common sense
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Last Updated: November 8, 2015
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