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Private limited company
FoundedGermany (1999)
HeadquartersMontreal, Quebec, Canada
ProductsAdaware antivirus
Lavasoft Digital Lock
Lavasoft File Shredder
Ad-Aware Web Companion
Lavasoft Privacy Toolbox
ParentAvanquest (Claranova)[1][2]

Adaware, formerly known as Lavasoft,[3] is a software development company that produces spyware and malware detection software,[4] including Adaware. It operates as a subsidiary of Avanquest a division of Claranova.[2]

The company offers Adaware 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,[5] a private equity fund front for entrepreneurs Daniel Assouline and Michael Dadoun, who have been accused[citation needed] of selling software that is available for free, including Adaware antivirus prior to acquiring the company itself.

Adaware antivirus[edit]

Adaware antivirus
Initial release1999; 20 years ago (1999)
Stable release
12.3.909.11573 [6] / 27 March 2018; 13 months ago (2018-03-27)
Written inC++, Visual Basic .NET
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows
Available inMultilingual[7]
TypeSpyware removal software
LicenseProprietary, 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,[citation needed], parasites, browser hijackers and tracking components.[8]


Adaware antivirus was originally developed, as Ad-Aware, in 1999 to highlight web beacons inside of Internet Explorer.[citation needed] 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,[9] which used the Avira engine[10] and this arrangement continued for a few years.[11] Starting with Ad-Aware version 10, the Bitdefender antivirus engine was used instead.[12][13][14]


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.[15] 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.[16]

Market share[edit]

In July 2013, Adaware Antivirus Free was listed as having been downloaded a total of 450 million times from the Lavasoft site, including over 387 million times from as of December 2014.[17] According to OPSWAT, in January 2015, Ad-Aware had less than 1% of market share globally.[18] Paid versions of the product are being competed from low-cost or free products, such as Microsoft Security Essentials.[15]


The company was acquired in January 2011, as Lavasoft, by the Solaria Fund, a private equity fund,[5] front for Daniel Assouline and Michael Dadoun, key people of UpClick and Interactive Brands.[19] 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,[20] including the free version of Lavasoft's security program prior to acquiring the company itself[citation needed]. Security consultant Dancho Danchev has documented this controversy.[21]

Additionally, 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.[22]

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.[23][24][25]


  1. ^ "50.1% Stakes in Upclick Inc. and Lulu Software, Inc. and Adaware: Private Company Information". Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b "A major new Internet player in Montreal". March 26, 2018. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  3. ^ "adaware facebook page, about section". Archived from the original on 16 Mar 2018. Retrieved 16 Mar 2018.
  4. ^ "The adaware story". Adaware. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
  5. ^ a b "Solaria Fund acquires software business from Lavasoft - Mannheimer Swartling". 2011-01-18. Retrieved 2012-05-25.
  6. ^ "Release notes - Adaware". Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  7. ^ "Ad-Aware Free Tech Specs - Lavasoft". Lavasoft. Retrieved 2007-11-09.
  8. ^ "Ad-Aware User Manual" (PDF). Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  9. ^ Hopkins, John A. "Ad-Aware 2008 - Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET". Retrieved 2010-11-09.
  10. ^ "Page 3 - Ad-Aware Pro Anniversary Edition Review: Computer Security Articles at". 4 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-09.
  11. ^ "Ad-Aware v8.1, Powered by People Anti-Malware Protection". 19 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-09.
  12. ^ "Ad-Aware Product Comparison". Lavasoft. 22 January 2014. Archived from the original on 22 January 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-22.
  13. ^ "Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ Review". Yahoo! News. 8 December 2014. Retrieved 2015-01-16.
  14. ^ "Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ 11". PC Magazine. Retrieved 2015-01-16.
  15. ^ a b "Editorial Review of Ad-Aware Pro". PC World. 13 October 2009. Archived from the original on 24 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-31.
  16. ^ Rubenking, Neil J. "Ad-Aware Pro Internet Security 8.3". PC Magazine.
  17. ^ "Ad-Aware Free". n.d. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  18. ^ "Antivirus Market Share Report January 2015 | OPSWAT". Retrieved 2017-01-03.
  19. ^ "Daniel Assouline - SC Magazine". 2011-08-05. Retrieved 2012-07-14.
  20. ^ Danny Bradbury (2006-03-03). "Money for nothing | Media". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-05-25.
  21. ^ Danchev, Dancho (2008-03-20). "Dancho Danchev's Blog - Mind Streams of Information Security Knowledge: Cybersquatting Security Vendors for Fraudulent Purposes". Retrieved 2012-05-25.
  22. ^ Danchev, Dancho. "How to Remove Redirect Virus from your computer?(Removal Guide)". Frances. Retrieved 2013-04-23.
  23. ^ "Lavasoft Information for VU#529496". Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  24. ^ Blue, Violet. "Zero Day Weekly: Superfish attacks, FBI GameoverZeus bounty, Komodia in Lavasoft | ZDNet". ZDNet. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  25. ^ "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 March 17, 2018.

External links[edit]