Private limited company
Founded Germany (1999)
Headquarters Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Products Adaware antivirus
Lavasoft Digital Lock
Lavasoft File Shredder
Ad-Aware Web Companion
Lavasoft Privacy Toolbox

Adaware, formerly known as Lavasoft[1], is a software development company that produces spyware and malware detection software,[2] including Adaware antivirus. Adaware software is often bundled into third-party installers, thus reaching unwilling users in the same way used by the malware they claim to fight[].

The company offers Adaware antivirus in three editions, one free and the other two, Pro and Total, commercial. Other Adaware products include Adaware Ad Block, Adaware Web Companion, Lavasoft Digital Lock, Lavasoft File Shredder, Lavasoft Privacy Toolbox and Lavasoft Registry Tuner.

Adaware's headquarters are in Montreal, Canada, having previously been located in Gothenburg, Sweden since 2002. Nicolas Stark and Ann-Christine Åkerlund established the company in Germany in 1999 with its flagship Adaware antivirus product. In 2011, Lavasoft was acquired by the Solaria Fund,[3] a private equity fund front for entrepreneurs Daniel Assouline and Michael Dadoun, who have been accused of selling software that is available for free, including Adaware antivirus prior to acquiring the company itself.

Adaware antivirus

Adaware antivirus
Ad-Aware antivirus+ 11 Free running under Windows 7
Ad-Aware antivirus+ 11 Free running under Windows 7
Developer(s) Adaware
Initial release 1999; 19 years ago (1999)
Stable release[4] / 19 December 2014; 3 years ago (2014-12-19)
Written in C++, Visual Basic .NET
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Available in Multilingual[5]
Type Spyware removal software
License Proprietary, Freeware

An anti-spyware and anti-virus software program, Adaware Antivirus, according to its developer, detects and removes malware, spyware and adware, computer viruses, dialers, Trojans, bots, rootkits, data miners,[], parasites, browser hijackers and tracking components.[6]


Adaware antivirus was originally developed, as Ad-Aware, in 1999 to highlight web beacons inside of Internet Explorer.[] On many websites, users would see a tiny pixelated square next to each web beacon, warning the user that the computer's IP address and other non-essential information was being tracked by this website. Over time, Ad-Aware added the ability to block those beacons, or ads.

In the 2008 Edition, Lavasoft bundled Ad-Aware Pro and Plus for the first time with an antivirus scanner,[7] which used the Avira engine[8] and this arrangement continued for a few years.[9] Starting with Ad-Aware version 10, the Bitdefender antivirus engine was used instead.[10][11][12]


According to PC World Magazine, an older version of Ad-Aware, the Anniversary Edition, could locate only 83.6% of malware in a comparative test carried out by the security firm AV-TEST.[13] However, it stated that no such tests have been run on the newest version. Neil J. Rubenking at PCMag performed a lab test on version 8.3, where Ad-Aware scored 9.2 points, beating the previous top score of 9.1.[14]

Market share

In July 2013, Adaware Antivirus Free was listed as having been downloaded a total of 450 million times on the Lavasoft site, including over 387 million times on Download.comas of December 2014.[15] According to OPSWAT, in January 2015, Ad-Aware had less than 1% of market share globally.[16] Paid versions of the product are being competed from low-cost or free products, such as Microsoft Security Essentials.[13]


The company was acquired in January 2011, as Lavasoft, by the Solaria Fund, a private equity fund,[3] front for entrepreneurs Daniel Assouline and Michael Dadoun, key people of UpClick and Interactive Brands.[17] SC Magazine reported that Lavasoft had been acquired by the same entrepreneurs who have been accused of selling software that is available for free to unwitting users under the guise of premium support,[18] inlcuding the free version of Lavasoft's security program prior to acquiring the company itself[]. Security consultant Dancho Danchev has documented this controversy.[19]

Additionaly, Danchev has reported in 2013 that Lavasoft was used to hide hard-to-uninstall programs into third-party software to trick the users in installing them, like in the K-Lite Codec Pack, and the Lavasoft Web Companion changed your browser without given permission. Although the company shields itself behind the complete legality of bundled software and claims that their software is only used to fight malware, there are users who have branded their products as malware.[20]

In February 2015, it was reported by CERT Coordination Center, that a new security feature in Ad-Aware Web Companion was implemented with Komodia SSL Digestor, one of Komodia's public SDKs, the company behind the Superfish security incident in Lenovo machines.[21][22][23]


  1. ^ "adaware facebook page, about section". Archived from the original on 16 Mar 2018. Retrieved 2018. 
  2. ^ "The adaware story". Adaware. Retrieved . 
  3. ^ a b "Solaria Fund acquires software business from Lavasoft - Mannheimer Swartling". 2011-01-18. Retrieved . 
  4. ^ "Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ - History". Retrieved . 
  5. ^ "Ad-Aware Free Tech Specs - Lavasoft". Lavasoft. Retrieved . 
  6. ^ "Ad-Aware User Manual" (PDF). Retrieved 2014. 
  7. ^ Hopkins, John A. "Ad-Aware 2008 - Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET". Retrieved . 
  8. ^ "Page 3 - Ad-Aware Pro Anniversary Edition Review: Computer Security Articles at". 4 May 2010. Retrieved . 
  9. ^ "Ad-Aware v8.1, Powered by People Anti-Malware Protection". 19 July 2010. Retrieved . 
  10. ^ "Ad-Aware Product Comparison". Lavasoft. 22 January 2014. Archived from the original on 22 January 2014. Retrieved . 
  11. ^ "Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ Review". Yahoo! News. 8 December 2014. Retrieved . 
  12. ^ "Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ 11". PC Magazine. Retrieved . 
  13. ^ a b "Editorial Review of Ad-Aware Pro". PC World. 13 October 2009. Archived from the original on 24 November 2009. Retrieved . 
  14. ^ Rubenking, Neil J. "Ad-Aware Pro Internet Security 8.3". PC Magazine. 
  15. ^ "Ad-Aware Free". n.d. Retrieved 2013. 
  16. ^ "Antivirus Market Share Report January 2015 | OPSWAT". Retrieved . 
  17. ^ "Daniel Assouline - SC Magazine". 2011-08-05. Retrieved . 
  18. ^ Danny Bradbury (2006-03-03). "Money for nothing | Media". London: The Guardian. Retrieved . 
  19. ^ Danchev, Dancho (2008-03-20). "Dancho Danchev's Blog - Mind Streams of Information Security Knowledge: Cybersquatting Security Vendors for Fraudulent Purposes". Retrieved . 
  20. ^ Danchev, Dancho. "How to Remove Redirect Virus from your computer?(Removal Guide)". Frances. Retrieved . 
  21. ^ "Lavasoft Information for VU#529496". Retrieved . 
  22. ^ Blue, Violet. "Zero Day Weekly: Superfish attacks, FBI GameoverZeus bounty, Komodia in Lavasoft | ZDNet". ZDNet. Retrieved . 
  23. ^ "Gefährliche Adware: Mehr als ein Dutzend Anwendungen verbreiten Superfish-Zertifikat" [Dangerous Aware: More than a Dozen Applications spreading Superfish Certificate]. Heise Security. February 24, 2015. Retrieved 2018. 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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