Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » A »

adware

(n.) (1) Adware is the common name used to describe software that is given to the user with advertisements embedded in the application. Adware is considered a legitimate alternative offered to consumers who do not wish to pay for software. There are many ad-supported programs, games or utilities that are distributed as adware (or freeware).  Today we have a growing number of software developers who offer their goods as "sponsored" freeware (adware) until you pay to register. If you're using legitimate adware, when you stop running the software, the ads should disappear, and you always have the option of disabling the ads by purchasing a registration key.

(2) Another use of the phrase adware is to describe a form of spyware that collects information about the user in order to display advertisements in the Web browser. Unfortunately, some applications that contain adware track your Internet surfing habits in order to serve ads related to you. When the adware becomes intrusive like this, then we move it into the spyware category and it then becomes something you should avoid for privacy and security reasons.

See The Difference Between Adware & Spyware in the Did You Know...? section of Webopedia.
Also see Webopedia's "All About Software" article.







TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
LATEST ARTICLES
8 Agenda Apps to Help Students Stay Organized

Webopedia's student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework. Read More »

List of Free Shorten URL Services

A URL shortener is a way to make a long Web address shorter. Try this list of free services. Read More »

Top 10 Tech Terms of 2015

The most popular Webopedia definitions of 2015. Read More »

STUDY GUIDES
The 7 Layers of the OSI Model

The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »

Computer Architecture Study Guide

This Webopedia  study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »

What Are Network Topologies?

Network Topology refers to layout of a network. How different nodes in a network are connected to each other and how they communicate is... Read More »