Malwarebytes, makers of the popular Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, Anti-Exploit, Anti-Ransomware and other security tools, announced on October 19, 2016 that it has acquired AdwCleaner, a program for Windows designed to clean adware from computer systems.
We have reviewed the standalone version of AdwCleaner back in 2013 the first time, and then again in 2015 when AdwCleaner 5 was released. The team released version 6 of the application in 2016, but we have not reviewed that yet.
AdwCleaner, compatible with all versions of Windows starting with Windows XP, has been designed to scan a Windows PC for traces of adware, and to provide you with options to remove those traces.
Adware in the context refers to any unwanted software, setting or file that is not considered malicious. So, all those potentially unwanted programs (PUP) that you may get while installing another software count as adware for instance, but also changes to a browser's homepage or search engine, services added to Windows, advertisement popups, or cookies planted to track users.
Malwarebytes plans to improve the company's programs in regards to the detection of potentially unwanted programs. Check out the company's definition of potentially unwanted programs if you are interested in how Malwarebytes classifies potentially unwanted software.
The company did acquire another tool in that vertical not long ago for that very same purpose, called Junkware Removal Tool.
Like Junkware Removal Tool, AdwCleaner will remain available as a free standalone program. This means that users who rely on the program currently may continue to use it after the acquisition.
Malwarebytes plans to integrate the technology that is powering AdwCleaner into its Anti-Malware product.
According to the company, AdwCleaner is downloaded more than 200,000 times every day, and has been installed "about" 200 million times in total.
Both AdwCleaner and Junkware Removal Tool are already listed on Malwarebytes official product site. The AdwCleaner download link points to an external site for now and files are not downloaded from Malwarebytes servers.
This is probably going to change very soon though. You will notice however that is is already showing up as Malwarebytes AdwCleaner when you run it.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a popular second opinion scanner -- the free version lacks real-time protection -- and the premium version is quite popular as well as a replacement for traditional antivirus solutions.
I like how Malwarebytes handles its acquisition for now. Keep the programs free and available as standalone versions, but integrate the technology into the main products.
Now You: What's your take on Malwarebytes and the acquisition in particular?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.