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What is Adware?

"Ad-ware" or "advertising-supported software" is any software application in which advertisements are displayed while the program is running. These applications include additional code that displays the ads in pop-up windows or through a bar that appears on a computer screen.

Adware helps recover programming development costs, and helps to hold down the price of the application for the user (even making it free of charge)--and, of course, it can give programmers a profit, which helps to motivate them to write, maintain, and upgrade valuable software.

Some ad-ware is also "shareware", in that users are given the option to pay for a "registered" or "licensed" copy, which typically does away with the advertisements.

Some adware programs have been criticized for occasionally including code that tracks a user's personal information and passes it on to third parties, without the user's authorization or knowledge. This practice has been dubbed "spyware".

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