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ascendant

Lavasoft Pop-ups from Ad-aware program?!

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Ok, I am a bit confused here. I have had ad-aware for a long time now, and it has treated me pretty good. However, upon downloading their latest version of their product, I have had a few pop-ups that were supposedly from "lavasoft" that solicited me with ads asking me to buy their "pro" version or something along those lines? I looked around on the internet and apparently I'm not the only one who ran into this issue. I do have anti-virus security and nothing popped up in my scans for that, and I did download the latest version of ad-aware from www.cnet.com, so I know it was a credible website. I have also found several other complaints from other people running into this same issue as well, one example found here: [url="http://www.lavasoftsupport.com/index.php?showtopic=25237"]http://www.lavasoftsupport.com/index.php?showtopic=25237[/url]. Now, though that isn't the exact message I received recently, it is set up the same way.

So, am I to understand a company who's sole purpose is to keep your computer from dealing with solicitations is actually soliciting you themselves??? I don't see how this makes any sense as that in and of itself will kill your business. Surely someone within the company wasn't thinking or this is some version that has slipped out from some hacker? I would like to get confirmation as to whether or not this was actually from the legit version of ad-aware or not and if it was, how do they justify keeping you from dealing with pop-ups when they make you deal with theirs? You can't justify it with the program being "free", cause regardless there is still pop-up solicitations coming up on to a persons computer, which is the exact kind of thing that ad-aware is supposed to protect you from. If they want to advertise their pro versions or whatever other version they want you to purchase, that would easily be done through the main window of the ad-aware program itself in a non-obtrusive way. I don't understand how they could make a pop-up advertisement like this and think they would actually get someone to purchase their product that way?

Anyway, I have removed ad-aware completely from my computer just in case and am waiting for a response to this to see if I will be downloading it again or if ad-aware has become exactly what they were fighting against??? Edited by ascendant

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You found the right topic since Lavasoft chimed in with their comments, starting with post #26:

[url="http://www.lavasoftsupport.com/index.php?showtopic=25237&st=20&p=103012&#entry103012"]http://www.lavasoftsupport.com/index.php?s...mp;#entry103012[/url]

I don't know about the current version, but with the Anniversary Edition discussed, the ads were a notification area popup, which Lavasoft considered an industry standard. Though not as unobtrusive as a banner on the GUI which was screenshot in the post, it's not as bad as AVG which uses a real popup center screen. AVG even changed it once a workaround was found to avoid it.

Bottom line is that it's legit and Lavasoft apparently will continue to use it, just as they have recently included ads for their paid support in this free-user forum. The subject's been beaten to death, Lavasoft has already commented, so there's not much left to say.

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[quote name='visitor' post='121754' date='Aug 14 2010, 02:40 AM']You found the right topic since Lavasoft chimed in with their comments, starting with post #26:

[url="http://www.lavasoftsupport.com/index.php?showtopic=25237&st=20&p=103012&#entry103012"]http://www.lavasoftsupport.com/index.php?s...mp;#entry103012[/url]

I don't know about the current version, but with the Anniversary Edition discussed, the ads were a notification area popup, which Lavasoft considered an industry standard. Though not as unobtrusive as a banner on the GUI which was screenshot in the post, it's not as bad as AVG which uses a real popup center screen. AVG even changed it once a workaround was found to avoid it.

Bottom line is that it's legit and Lavasoft apparently will continue to use it, just as they have recently included ads for their paid support in this free-user forum. The subject's been beaten to death, Lavasoft has already commented, so there's not much left to say.[/quote]

wow, thanks for the info. looks like i will no longer be using ad-aware, nor will i be referring anyone else to it anymore for computer protection. they've become what they used to protect people against. sad to see this happen to companies cause of greed. shame is, it's gonna kill their business as who will be referring people to them that might buy their product now?

i would understand them having ads on their ad-aware window, but a pop-up is just plain wrong, and they have to be well aware of that. i just don't get how they could possibly think this will help their business? they get business through referral. provide people with a hypocritical product (aka product which supposedly protects from ads, yet spams you with it's own ads), and i can assure you people are going to stop using this product. it's a shame too, cause though i never would've purchased it personally, i have had 3 people that i knew personally who i referred to it who did. i'll be sure to not make that mistake anymore...

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[quote name='ascendant' post='121758' date='Aug 14 2010, 01:00 AM']though i never would've purchased it personally, i have had 3 people that i knew personally who i referred to it who did.[/quote]
That's the point - you don't get the popup ads when using a paid version. I wouldn't clasify it as greed, at least not like big banker greed. It's a business after all. You offer a free version which demonstrates it's capabilities, and hope people will buy the paid versions. Granted, I don't like popups, but if it offers a discount, then it's probably effective.

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[quote name='visitor' post='121762' date='Aug 14 2010, 10:15 AM']That's the point - you don't get the popup ads when using a paid version. I wouldn't clasify it as greed, at least not like big banker greed. It's a business after all. You offer a free version which demonstrates it's capabilities, and hope people will buy the paid versions. Granted, I don't like popups, but if it offers a discount, then it's probably effective.[/quote]

I absolutely 100% disagree with you. You don't offer to protect someone with something, yet do the same thing to them with your product. It's like saying "I'm gonna protect your house from being set on fire by someone, but I'm gonna go ahead and set fire to it myself". The whole point of their software is to avoid being solicited by malignant software. Considering they are doing the very thing their software is supposed to stop, it's not only hypocritical but horrible advertising.

I understand they want to sell their product, but they were already doing so by word of mouth (as I and many others I knew used to do prior to this). Additionally, as I already stated, they could advertise on the softwares window, not on a pop-up. A pop-up will make people think this software is no better than any other malware that spams them with ads, which it isn't.

I don't care to hear you justify why you think it's a good idea, cause you're not convincing me nor anyone else with any common sense who looks at this situation. All I wanted to do was address this issue, express my concern, and let the makers know they've lost one of many users for becoming what they used to protect people against. Edited by ascendant

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[quote name='ascendant' post='121782' date='Aug 14 2010, 06:03 PM']I absolutely 100% disagree with you. I don't care to hear you justify why you think it's a good idea, cause you're not convincing me[/quote]
Fair enough, everyone's entitled to their opinion.

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Just an additional update... just had my sister call me up over the weekend and tell me she thought she had some kind of virus or ad/spyware on her computer. When I asked her why, she told me cause there was a pop-up on her computer that was trying to sell her ad-aware pro, and pretty much her exact words were: "Do they think I'm some kind of idiot? I mean really, an anti-adware program that is supposed to protect you is popping up ads on my screen? How could someone NOT know this is adware and not the real program? What kind of moron would believe this is really from lavasoft?!". Her words, not mine. Just a perfect example of what the majority of the non-computer savvy public is going to think. Less people using the free version means less people getting exposed to the paid version, hence less sales.

Anyway, of course my response here was to completely remove ad-aware from her computer and address her concern in their questionnaire after removal in hopes they will come to their senses. I have also mentioned my concerns to a close friend of mine who had the paid version of ad-aware installed within the school system he took care of. When I made him aware of what they were doing to attempt to solicit free users, he has since removed the paid version from all their computers and assured me he will be using other anti-spyware software that actually practices what it preaches. I'm sure he's not the first and certainly won't be the last.

Oh, and in regards to a previous comment of them considering this to be the "industry standard", that is incorrect. I'm a businessman myself and have run a successful business for many years now. Coming from this perspective, this was a horrible business move, about the worst they could make. People no longer accept pop-ups nowadays, regardless if software was free or not. The *respectable* company standard in this industry is actually advertising within the programs window, NOT in a pop-up. Pop-ups 99.99% of the time means the software had adware in it and is what anyone with any kind of common sense is going to assume. Here's something to think about:

[b]Definition of adware: "Software that is given to the user with advertisements already embedded in the application.". So, ad-aware has actually become adware itself!!! Again, how can you advertise to protect someone when you yourself will be doing exactly what your program promises to keep them from dealing with?[/b]

In addition, another *respectable* company standard is to have a contact e-mail and phone number on your website for potential customers for them to speak with someone regarding questions and concerns prior to making a purchase. This company only provides that to paying customers and is lacking in this area as well. If they were more receptive to potential customers rather than only caring after you paid, they would be far more successful and probably wouldn't have made this bad business move to begin with. The only help they have is these forums, which after browsing them has become painfully clear they do not have any actual employees from their company respond to.

Anyway, I'm trying to throw all this out there in hopes of this company realizing how big of a mistake they are making, cause it's outright embarrassing that I suggested this program to people with what it has become now. Most people are just walking away, I'm hoping to wake whoever up that's asleep at the wheel right now and get them to fix this.

One last thing as well, I do really dislike that the only way you can use this program now is if it runs as a startup program on your computer. Not only is it very difficult to stop it from running as a startup program, but I had realized after doing so that you can't even use it by simply booting it up when you want. Though from the information I read it only uses 1-3% of system resources, when combined on top of other background programs, this adds up. For gamers (which is a large part of this companies customer base I'm sure), even 1% of their system being taken up by a program is a big deal when trying to push all they can from their computer on a graphic-intensive program. You should have the option of running this as a startup program or on-demand. If anything, simply give someone a warning that they will get far less protection from not running this continuously in the background. I know this seems like info for a new thread, but considering I'm done with this company for now and the thread issue needs to be addressed first before I'd ever consider using or referring people again, there's no need at this point in time. Edited by ascendant

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Was using a mac. Came back to the PC. Always loved adaware, very handy at blocking the nonsense PC's get infected with... And so yup, just reinstalled it... Found an issue today:

I had a popup ad appear, something irritating/annoying/distracting from what I was doing -- school discounts on software or somesuch junk -- and while I know exactly what program spawned the ad, the adware didn't seem to have any option to remove it.

Well, sorta... There is that link to uninstall adaware...

ADAWARE IS ADWARE! Does that even make sense? What the hell happened? Yeah, I'm all for them having free and retail versions of the software, have 8 different pay-levels of it if ya want, even. But the free program to help keep me free of ads *is showing me popup ads* at (seemingly) random to sell itself? Am I the only one seeing the humor in this? Time to check google for ad-blocking software that doesn't *create ads* and thus negate it's own point. I should *pay* for ad blocking software that shows ads? Why pay when it's clearly not working?

Only setting I found that *might* be relevant? Ad-watch live has various levels of notification. I have it at "only show the important notices" or somesuch (not verifying the phrasing). A back to school discount -- which happens to be the price the site seems to charge anyway, me not going back to school, etc... None of that is important to me...

Nah. I'll find something else. I recommend the same for other users. Will you really trust protection from a group that's so clearly lost it's mind? Ad defense that pops ads up is like hiring a ###### to defend you from ######. They coulda put an upgrade/price ad/button in the program's main screen, called it a feature, only shown to those wanting to fiddle with adaware at the time, that wouldn't bug me. It would fit there, God knows they wasted a lot of screen real estate on flashy colorings they once skipped. But to pop up ads to buy something that helps remove pop up ads? I really do appreciate the giggle. But you can keep your defective software, I want something that works.

I cannot recommend your software to other users.

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yet another update for those who falsely believe that this was a good business move for this company...

[url="http://download.cnet.com/Ad-Aware-Free-Internet-Security/3000-8022_4-10045910.html?tag=mncol"]http://download.cnet.com/Ad-Aware-Free-Int....html?tag=mncol[/url]

look at the last few reviews for ad-aware. all of them are horrible and pointing out to potential new users that this program is now adware. i guarantee 90% of all their new reviews will be like this, and this companies reputation is going to die out because of it.

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[quote name='ascendant' post='122050' date='Aug 24 2010, 08:18 PM'][url="http://download.cnet.com/Ad-Aware-Free-Internet-Security/3000-8022_4-10045910.html?tag=mncol"]http://download.cnet.com/Ad-Aware-Free-Int....html?tag=mncol[/url]

look at the last few reviews for ad-aware. all of them are horrible and pointing out to potential new users that this program is now adware.[/quote]
Maybe you should have posted a disclaimer? The review by truthshallsetyoufree sounds like you. At least part of it is a direct quote of your post here. I still don't understand why some people go on a mission over a free product. I've said it here before - if you're so unhappy with it, why not stop using it and move on to something else? I mean, if a brick and mortar store is giving away freebies which turn out to be junk, you either don't take one or you toss it later. It would look pretty ridiculous to boycott in front of the store with signs that say "Free stuff is not worth it!" :)

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[quote name='visitor' post='122051' date='Aug 25 2010, 05:19 AM']The review by truthshallsetyoufree sounds like you. At least part of it is a direct quote of your post here.[/quote]

Yes, it is. I felt a need to make people aware of what changes this company has made, and obviously I wasn't the only one, so not sure what your point was on that.

[quote name='visitor' post='122051' date='Aug 25 2010, 05:19 AM']I still don't understand why some people go on a mission over a free product.[/quote]

Likewise, I don't understand why someone who is termed "visitor" and acts as if they do not work for the company seems so adamant about defending it. It's pretty sad when a company hides behind people pretending to defend it on the outside like this, very sad indeed...

The reason I'm on a "mission" as you termed it is due to the fact that I had recommended so many people to this product, and many of those people became paying members of ad-aware. When I back a product like that, I am putting a part of my reputation on the line for it, and I feel that lavasoft with its current actions has blemished my reputation to all of the people who are still free users of this product. [b] To date, I have now had 3 people tell me they thought they had viruses on their computers because of this adware, and that's only the ones who approached me on the matter, let alone all the others who dealt with it on their own or through someone else. If you were in a position that I am in with the connections I have, you would better understand why I'm taking this personally.
[/b]
Also, if you are so adamant about defending the company you clearly have some sort of financial interest in, why don't you stop dodging the fact that the free version of "ad-aware" is now adware and attempt to give a logical explanation as to how that's smart marketing? So their paid version will defend you against their free version? I don't understand how someone can lack the ability to see the hypocrisy there? I can provide a list of countless products that have ads embedded in a free version of a product that ad-aware identifies as adware, so why do they think their free version of ad-aware is an exception? Also, where did this company get the information that this kind of marketing is the "industry standard" as you have stated previously? I can assure you it is no "standard" and is strongly looked down upon, not just on the user-end but on the business end as well. If you'd like I can easily cite some examples from business networking websites in regard to this. I can assure you, I am right and they are wrong. Not an opinion, it's a fact.

Regardless of the fact that I had personally used their free version and have no evidence to present in regards to me making this company substantial money through referrals to their paid version, all free users contribute towards this product. The free users refer, which occasionally lands the company a paid user. The more users they have on the free version, the more free advertising the company receives for it's paid version. I can assure you if websites like cnet didn't have so many people downloading it's free version in the past bumping it up to one of the more popular downloads on those sites and providing them with that kind of free advertising, the company would not have had the success it has experienced prior to this version.

Visitor, you seem to have a very poor sense of business marketing here. Please do not take offense, but I'm going to go ahead and identify you as a minimum wage cs rep from lavasoft? If you truly are from the outside defending the companies actions, I seriously wonder what your foundation of morals and principals are that would lead you to the perspective you have on this subject...

Additionally, not once have you managed to justify this companies actions or address any of the issues here, primarily ad-aware now being adware. If you are going to defend the company, do so, but criticizing those pointing out the companies current issues is not a very professional way to address this. Edited by ascendant

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ascendant,

Thank you for your input on Ad-Aware Free.

[quote]Also, if you are so adamant about defending the company you clearly have some sort of financial interest in, why don't you stop dodging the fact that the free version of "ad-aware" is now adware and attempt to give a logical explanation as to how that's smart marketing?[/quote]

Not sure how you can come to that conclusion. Ad-Aware is in no way close to being considered adware. I am on the front lines every day removing malware and helping people fix their malware issues, and Ad-Aware is on the same side trying to go after the bad guys. Saying that Lavasoft is now the bad guy is far from the truth.


[quote]Also, where did this company get the information that this kind of marketing is the "industry standard" as you have stated previously?[/quote]

There are actually many companies that offer free security products that include advertisements in their free versions to upgrade to the Pro version. So yes, in a way it is standard practice, and not one that Lavasoft alone does.


[quote]all free users contribute towards this product[/quote]

You are right, that is what makes it great. Everyone here can contribute and help make Ad-Aware Free as well as the other products grow by helping to submit new malware samples, to spreading the word about Ad-Aware, and even helping people on this forum.


[quote]Additionally, not once have you managed to justify this companies actions or address any of the issues here, primarily ad-aware now being adware. If you are going to defend the company, do so, but criticizing those pointing out the companies current issues is not a very professional way to address this.[/quote]

Justify what? What is there to justify? The fact that Ad-Aware free has ads to upgrade to their Pro version, as it is accustom with many other companies that offer free products? I think not.


[quote]I can assure you if websites like cnet didn't have so many people downloading it's free version in the past bumping it up to one of the more popular downloads on those sites and providing them with that kind of free advertising, the company would not have had the success it has experienced prior to this version.[/quote]

I would have to disagree with you here. Ad-Aware has had a huge following for some time, and has helped many people with it's free version over the years.


[quote]Visitor, you seem to have a very poor sense of business marketing here. Please do not take offense, but I'm going to go ahead and identify you as a minimum wage cs rep from lavasoft?[/quote]

First of all, please do not bash any of the volunteers here, as we are all here to help the members; Visitor is a great asset here as well as the rest of us volunteers. If you really have an issue, please take it up with Lavasoft Support via email, do not go around picking fights here.

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[quote name='SpySentinel' post='122070' date='Aug 26 2010, 01:13 AM']Not sure how you can come to that conclusion. Ad-Aware is in no way close to being considered adware.[/quote]
The way I came to that conclusion was by being aware of the definition of adware:

Wikipedia definition of adware: [b]Adware, or advertising-supported software, is any software package which automatically plays, displays, or downloads advertisements to a computer after the software is installed on it or while the application is being used[/b]

Webopedia definition of adware: [b]Software that is given to the user with advertisements already embedded in the application.
[/b]
So now, you go ahead and tell me how your current free version of ad-aware is NOT adware? How can someone who is working the "front lines" be unaware of the definitions of the subject matter he is involved in everyday???

[quote name='SpySentinel' post='122070' date='Aug 26 2010, 01:13 AM']There are actually many companies that offer free security products that include advertisements in their free versions to upgrade to the Pro version. So yes, in a way it is standard practice, and not one that Lavasoft alone does.[/quote]
There are also companies who make their profit off spamming, and hacking, and spreading malware, but that doesn't make it a "standard". Like I had said previously, all respected companies that advertise on free versions have always advertised within that products window, NOT in a pop-up. Again, see the definition of adware above if you disagree. Additionally, if you think it's acceptable, tell that to the 3 out of 4 people who negatively commented on your current version with the ads on cnet. I can assure you, that kind of feedback will be consistent on any website offering your software and allowing users feedback, and it will only be getting worse as more and more people download this latest version and become aware of the hypocrisy here. Also, I would love for you to show me any published information anywhere that ever indicated that pop-ups were an "industry standard"?

[quote name='SpySentinel' post='122070' date='Aug 26 2010, 01:13 AM']I would have to disagree with you here. Ad-Aware has had a huge following for some time, and has helped many people with it's free version over the years.[/quote]
So tell me, if your following didn't begin with your free version and the feedback from it's users, where did it come from? I certainly never saw your product on my local walmarts shelves, or best buy for that matter. This company was established through people using its free version. In case you didn't realize, most PC users will download computer protection software off reviews from other users. I don't understand how you can see it any other way, and I would love for you to explain to me if that was not the case, how it got established? Please don't disagree just to disagree.

[quote name='SpySentinel' post='122070' date='Aug 26 2010, 01:13 AM']First of all, please do not bash any of the volunteers here, as we are all here to help the members; Visitor is a great asset here as well as the rest of us volunteers. If you really have an issue, please take it up with Lavasoft Support via email, do not go around picking fights here.[/quote]
I never "bashed" anyone, I stated a fact. If you're going to defend something, you best have your facts straight, which he failed to do, as did you when you denied that the free version of ad-aware is not adware, which should be very clear to you now from the definitions given above. If I tried to give someone scuba-diving instructions and someone told me I had no idea what I was talking about, I'd have no problems accepting that feedback, cause I do not know how to scuba-dive. Hence, if you don't understand something, you shouldn't be talking about it as if you do.

As far as telling me to contact lavasoft via email, your only contact information provided for free users in the support section of lavasoft's website is either the forums, paid live help, or a FAQ section. I find it disturbing that the only person from lavasoft to even comment in what is basically our only way to provide feedback is unaware of our contact options.

I originally started this thread in hopes that enough people would be commenting on what could only be called a horrible business decision that the company would come to its senses, but it is painfully obvious to me that this company will fail to do so until they see this out and watch this business move hurt their bottom line. Due to the fact most people will just be walking away and spreading negative feedback about the company and doing the exact opposite of what established this company to begin with, I'm afraid that by the time this company admits its mistake (if ever), it will already have been dominated by a superior competitor. I wish the company luck, but fail to see a business structure here successful enough to pull out of this.

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[quote]The way I came to that conclusion was by being aware of the definition of adware:[/quote]

[u]Let us try some real definitions of adware shall we[/u]:

Adware is software that loads itself onto a computer and tracks the user's browsing habits or pops up advertisements while the computer is in use. Adware and spyware disrupt your privacy and can slow down your computer as well as contaminate your operating system or data files. ...

adware is considered to go beyond the reasonable advertising that one might expect from freeware or shareware.

A form of Malware normally consisting of 'pop-up' and other advertisements

Like spyware, this is software that installs itself on another computer without the owner's knowledge, and in certain situations places advertisements on the screen.


[quote]So now, you go ahead and tell me how your current free version of ad-aware is NOT adware? How can someone who is working the "front lines" be unaware of the definitions of the subject matter he is involved in everyday???[/quote]

Well if you read the real definitions of adware above, you can come to a pretty good conclusion of how Ad-Aware Free is not adware.

Excuse me? What am I unaware of?


[quote]Please don't disagree just to disagree.[/quote]

I would never think of it. That's foolish.
It would be so counter-productive now wouldn't it.


[quote]There are also companies who make their profit off spamming, and hacking, and spreading malware, but that doesn't make it a "standard".[/quote]

You're right. That is what Ad-Aware tries to protect it's users from. Companies that create rogue antispyware apps and force them on people thinking they are legit, and all they do is steal personal information and credit card information; hold computers randoms until the owner is forced to give in and pay to get their information back. Please tell me how Ad-Aware falls under this category?


[quote]I never "bashed" anyone, I stated a fact. If you're going to defend something, you best have your facts straight, which he failed to do, as did you when you denied that the free version of ad-aware is not adware, which should be very clear to you now from the definitions given above.[/quote]

Sure you did. You bashed visitor and you bashed me. We are both volunteers and I fail to see why you continue to pick fights. When you pick a fight with volunteers who are trying to help, then that tells you something now doesn't it. We are all aware of why you started this thread, and that is fine. We appreciate your view of Ad-Aware Free. But you are taking it too far, and for you to need to defend your opinion so much, proves as to what we have to deal with day in and day out. Ad-Aware is not, nor will it ever be adware; case closed.


[quote]Hence, if you don't understand something, you shouldn't be talking about it as if you do.[/quote]

I completely agree. It is you who does not understand what you are talking about not us.
Your feedback is greatly appreciated, and I'm sure Lavasoft appreciates your feedback as well.


This has gone on long enough, therefore I have closed this topic. You can continue to discuss this with me via PM, and I will gladly let Lavasoft know and see if they can get in contact with you.

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