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Lavasoft offers a free, downloadable version called Ad-Aware Free, and three paid-for products called Ad-Aware Plus, Ad-Aware Pro and Ad-Aware Enterprise. The current version, Ad-Aware Anniversary Edition, celebrates Lavasoft's 10th year of providing malware detection and removal.
Ad-Aware was originally developed in 1999 to highlight web beacons inside of Internet Explorer. On almost every website, the user would see tiny pixelated squares next to each web beacon. This was to warn the user that their IP address and other non-essential information was being tracked by the website that they are on. Over time, they added the ability to block those beacons, or ads. Ad-Aware no longer makes the user aware of the ads on your screen, instead the programs fights spyware, adware and malware.
In 2009, by releasing the Anniversary Edition, Ad-Aware was bundled for the first time with an antivirus scanner, which uses the Avira engine. Ad-Aware Anniversary Edition does not support Windows 98 or ME; previous versions did support these older versions of Windows.
Ad-Aware Anniversary Edition is the latest version of Lavasoft’s anti-malware solutions. Each new version includes integrated real-time threat protection. The Plus and Pro versions include anti-virus protection. Ad-Aware Anniversary Edition allows users to combat malicious spyware, viruses, and malware; it protects users from malware that takes control of a computer and can result in aggressive advertising pop-ups, sluggish computer activity and stolen private information. Ad-Aware detects hazardous content on a user's computer, identifies the threat level, and then gives the user the ability to block or remove unwanted content.
Ad-Aware is compatible with Microsoft Windows operating systems only.