Free Adware Removalby Stephen Lilley
"Adware" is a term used to describe malicious software that can be downloaded from the Internet to your computer without your knowledge. These programs can cause pop-up advertisements to appear on your computer screen whether you are connected to the Internet or not, and generally take up valuable system resources. Adware that is left unchecked can also lead to spyware and viruses. There are a number of free tools designed to remove these unwanted programs from your computer, once and for all.
Ad Aware Free
A company called Lavasoft publishes a free adware removal utility called "Ad-Aware Free." In addition to scanning your hard drive and removing instances of adware, Ad-Aware Free will also prevent any unauthorized changes to your computer's registry and monitor your Internet connection for security breaches. There are two (paid) upgrades available to the program for those interested that offer increased protection.
Another popular free adware removal utility is called "Spybot: Search & Destroy." In addition to adware protection Spybot also offers basic malware protection (including virus protection and spyware protection) to users free of charge. Periodically Spybot will use your Internet connection to access a server and download "Definition Updates." These updates inform the program of the latest types of adware so that it can be on the look out for them the next time it scans your hard drive.
"Spyware Blaster" is another free malware removal utility. As with Spybot and Ad-Aware Free, Spyware Blaster offers protection against spyware, viruses and web browser hijacking software in addition to general adware protection. Spyware Blaster gives you the ability to scan every file on your hard drive to search for adware. Spyware Blaster will also monitor the files being downloaded to your hard drive to prevent adware from appearing in the first place.