We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Security software Reviews
15,669 Reviews

Ad-Aware Total Security review

£34 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Lavasoft

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

Ad-Aware Total Security (£34), the newest addition to the Lavasoft line of security software, is an all-in-one suite that builds on the longtime anti-spyware favourite Ad-Aware.

Ad-Aware Total Security (£34), the newest addition to the Lavasoft line of security software, is an all-in-one suite that builds on the longtime anti-spyware favourite Ad-Aware.

Ad-Aware Total Security adds anti-virus, rootkit detection, a personal firewall, spam protection, parental control software and more. In essence it's the same software as Lavasoft Ad-Aware Free or the £21  Ad-Aware Internet Security Pro, with extra capabilities bolted on.

Like the other software in the line, Ad-Aware Total Security includes heuristics detection, and so examines complex system behaviour, rather than just looking for known malware signatures. In this way, it can protect against emerging and unknown threats, not just threats that are already known and found via the use of signatures.

New in this version of Ad-Aware Total Security is the Genotype heuristics detection system, which Lavasoft claims is superior to its previous heuristics. Our colleagues at the PCWorld Labs have not yet tested this product's antivirus feature, and thus cannot offer an opinion about this feature's usefulness.

As with all Ad-Aware products, the interface for Ad-Aware Total Security is simple and straightforward. The main screen displays basic information about the state of your security, including when you last performed a virus check and when you last updated the program and antivirus signatures. There's also a tabbed section for delving deeper into the program, including for email and antispam protection as well as enabling parental controls, which are disabled by default.

Note that the first time you run a scan with Ad-Aware Total Security, and the program updates its signatures and similar information, it can take a very long time. It took more than an hour on my system. Subsequent runs took 15 to 30 minutes.

If you're the kind of person who likes to tinker, you'll be pleased with the many customisations available to you. For example, you can have the virus-scanner pause during times of high system load. Also useful is a CPU load indicator, which displays how much of your system's CPU is being used over time, as well as how much of the CPU Ad-Aware Total Security takes up.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

See also: Group test: 13 internet security suites compared


Ad-Aware Total Security Expert Verdict »

P733 MHz or better processor
Minimum 512MB RAM
1.5GB free space recommended
Windows XP (with SP 2 or greater), Vista, 7 (32/64bit)
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

Is it worth paying £34 for Ad-Aware Total Security, when the latest Pro version runs only £21? Ad-Aware Total Security includes a number of features missing in the Pro version, such as an email scanner, anti-spam, data recovery, scanning of instant message, a personal firewall, parental controls, and a file shredder. Those are useful, but not necessarily essential, so it may not be worth the extra £13 to you. But if you're looking for an all-in-one security suite, Ad-Aware Total Security is worth a try.

  • Lavasoft Ad-Aware Free 8.3 review

    Lavasoft Ad-Aware Free 8.3

    Ad-Aware Internet Security Free 8.3, one of the most popular spyware killers on the planet, just got better: It's not just an anti-spyware killer any more. The newest version adds anti-virus capabilities to its already very good job of detecting and killing spyware while keeping a low profile.

  • Lavasoft Ad-Aware Internet Security Pro 8.3 review

    Lavasoft Ad-Aware Internet Security Pro 8.3

    Ad-Aware Internet Security Pro 8.3, designed for businesses, resides at the upper end of Lavasoft's Ad-Aware internet security software product line.

  • Lavasoft Ad-Aware Anniversary Edition review

    Lavasoft Ad-Aware Anniversary Edition

    Security program Ad-Aware is now a decade old, and vendor Lavasoft calls its new version of Ad-Aware the Anniversary Edition. We've taken a closer look at the features of Ad-Aware Anniversary Edition in its Pro, Plus, and Free versions.

  • Lavasoft Ad-Aware Pro 8.0.2 Anniversary Edition review

    Lavasoft Ad-Aware Pro 8.0.2 Anniversary Edition

    Lavasoft Ad-Aware Pro 8.0.2, the paid-for version or the Anniversary Edition of Lavasoft's antispyware app, brings in an antivirus engine to supplement its antispyware scans.

  • Lavasoft Ad-Aware 2007 Plus

    Lavasoft Ad-Aware 2007 Plus

    Lavasoft's Ad-Aware 2007 Plus is the paid version of the popular scanner Lavasoft Ad-Aware 2007 Free. Despite Ad-Aware 2007 Plus's name, Lavasoft says that the program combats spyware as well as adware.


IDG UK Sites

LG G Watch R video review: The most desirable Android Wear smartwatch

IDG UK Sites

Apple's 2014 highlights: the most significant Apple news of 2014

IDG UK Sites

2015 creative trends: leading designers & artists reveal the biggest influences & changes coming th)......

IDG UK Sites

Ultimate iOS 8 Tips: 35 awesome and advanced tips for using iOS 8 on iPhone and iPad