The new version of Lavasoft's flagship antispyware application, Ad-Aware 2008 Free, aims to supplement your existing antivirus protection by detecting spyware and privacy risks.
The feature-limited free version lacks real-time protection, and it will discover security or privacy threats only when you run a manual scan. Lavasoft Ad-Aware 2008 Free also doesn't automatically update, so before you start a scan, you must click a button on the main window to receive the latest spyware definitions.
You can choose either a 'smart' scan, which focuses on critical parts of your computer, or a full scan that digs in everywhere.
Besides scans, you can run a "TrackSweep" to clear browsing history, cache elements, cookies, and other data from Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera (although each browser has a similar feature built in). You'll also see options for Ad-Watch, which actively monitors for threats, and references to other tools and plug-ins, but you have to upgrade from Lavasoft Ad-Aware 2008 Free to Plus or Pro to use them.
True, your existing antivirus program likely has antispyware features of its own. But if you suspect you might have spyware on your PC and you want to double-check your antivirus program's assessment, download Lavasoft Ad-Aware 2008 Free, for an extra spyware and privacy scan.