Adware is a type of malicious computer program that forces a computer to display pop-up ads, banners or pop-under ads. Clicking the advertisement can lead to spyware becoming installed on the computer, including privacy-invasive software and advertising software. The only way for a computer user to sufficiently stop adware is to use adware blockers. These adware blockers can come in the form of freeware, licensed software or browser add-ons.
Free anti-adware programs can offer a number of different features, depending on what the author decided to include. For example, it might come with the ability to scan for currently infected files and heal them. On the other hand, it might not allow the user to constantly scan for threatening adware in real time. Installing freeware programs is as simple as installing any other program.
Many paid, licensed adware blockers generally offer more services than their free counterparts, and they might even come with a free trial for testing. It is important for users to ensure that even licensed adware is coming from a reputable website. The people who make adware software are also known to make false adware blockers in an attempt to trick others into installing them.
There also are browser add-ons that serve to protect their users. These add-ons typically need only one click to install and will activate as soon as the user restarts the browser. Add-on developers normally do not charge for this service. Some of these add-ons might even have as many features as licensed adware blockers that cost money.
Like any other software program, adware blocker programs come with a set of pros and cons. For example, one adware blocker might be free, but that might mean the program's author has no incentive to offer support or updates. This means that it can quickly become outdated.
On the other hand, another adware blocker might come with full-fledged support and frequent updates but it might by costly or even require a subscription. These license-based programs often come with a few more features than free programs. This might include the ability to run the program in the background in order to conserve memory resources.
Whatever type of adware blocker is used, the same general rules apply in terms of maintenance. Whenever possible, the program should be regularly updated. This ensures that the program uses the most recent adware database, allowing for the maximum protection possible at any given time.