How Is Adware Different From PUPs?


Looking for an appropriate answer to the most confusing question “what’s the basic difference between adware and PUPs? “ Don’t worry because now you don’t need to look hard for it. As in this post, I will tell you about How adware is different from PUPs.

After reading the complete article you will never be going to get confused between these two PC Threats, namely Adware and PUPs.

Adware VS PUP: 



Adware is advertising-supported software that displays annoying ads and gathers data on a user’s activity for making more marketing revenues. PUPs are such unwanted/hidden software programs that come bundled along with Freeware software like a package.
Adware makes revenue in two ways: firstly by showing advertisement and secondly through the pay-per-click payment made when any user clicks on the ads. PUP makes revenue by hijacking your respective browsers and then showing obstructive ads content.
Means through which Adware gets into your PC are: browsing the malicious website or through downloading freeware/ shareware programs from an un-reputed website. PUPs download & install itself meanwhile the installation of the legitimate free software.
You can protect your device from the impact of Adware using a reliable and reputable anti-virus program. You can uninstall PUP programs from the control panel or by removing unwanted toolbar and extension from the browser’s setting.
Problems rendered after the intervention of Adware are: bombard your device with so much of pop-ups, advertisements, changes the browser’s homepage, slows down internet connection, frequent crashing, etc. This program just clutters your screen with so much of add-ons and toolbars, tracks user’s browsing activities, pop-up additional advertising and slows down your PC performance.
Adware can obtain a variety of forms like pop-up ads, banner ads, full-screen ads, videos, etc. PUP features like; pop-up windows, browser redirections to suspicious websites, buried options of closing, worthless ad content, etc.

Characteristic Differences Between Adware & PUP:

Characteristic Of Adware:

1. Slow Computer

Adware mainly attacks your device processor and captures lots of your memory space which ultimately hampers PC’s overall performance. Very soon you will start noticing that your programs taking longer duration to get loaded or to run.

2. Bombarded With Ads

Well, it’s common to receive few pop-up ads at the time of surfing it’s also normal to get similar ads related to the one you have searched previously. But when your device is bombarding with so much off sticky pop-up ads. That seems difficult to close and redirecting you to full-page ads. In that case, chances are high that your device is infected with Adware malware.

3. Constant Crashing

If your running programs are crashing frequently or whole of your device getting freeze then it’s a clear sign that your PC is infected with Adware.

4. Browser Homepage Changes

The presence of Adware on the PC is also identified by browser homepage redirection. In this issue either you are redirected to a new page that invites more adware or installs other forms of malware species on your PC.

5. Slow Internet Connection

Adware also hampers your internet connection speed because it downloads huge amounts of ads from the internet.

Characteristic Of PUP:

1. Installing Adware Applications

During the installation of the downloaded program’s users don’t pay much attention to read terms and conditions appearing in the pre-installation Window. This gives an open chance to PUPs program to get easy entrance into your PC.

2. Showing Advertisements

PUPs are mainly targeted for advertising purposes. This program will show images and pop-ups for unrelated advertisements or for the application already installed in your device. Usually, it is seen that this type of behavior often comes from video player applications or toolbars.

3. Collecting Private Information Or Data Mining

All the Sensitive and private information like any application’s login details, browser cookies, temporarily saved files, and many more things time to time get stored in your system. In Window, it is stored in “%programdata%”, “%appdata%” and “%localappdata%”. After completing the installation of the PUP program with the downloaded application, these programs get an open chance to access all these credential information.

So, it’s become too easy for hackers to analyze and extract data.

4. Offering Fake Security Features

Internet security is nowadays is a big concern and many users are also ready to pay for the complete protection of their devices. PUP targets such users and frequently gives security warnings to show users that they are genuinely worried about their system protection. But the fact is, these warnings are fake and are only to take out user’s credit card information for purchasing malware removal software.

5. Just To Annoy Users

Some PUPs are only created for pranks. They don’t hamper your system security nor steal any private information. Such programs are only designed to impair the user’s experience by showing fake messages and alerts regarding viruses and network issues.

How Is PUPs Different From Adware?

How Is PUPs Different From Adware

Is PUP similar like Adware? You must have seen that in many instances both these PUP and Adware used interchangeably.

Up to a great extent, using PUP for Adware is entirely not wrong because most of their behaviors are almost the same. Both cause massive degrade in your PC’s performance and hinder you to work flawlessly.

However, both Adware and PUP need detail discussion. So, let’s start with Adware first.



For a clear understanding of “what Adware is” actually we have divided Adware into two types. One that comes from the downloaded program and second which occurs from browsers hijacking.

1. Adware Comes From The Downloaded Program

While downloading any freeware or shareware, most of the time adware comes included with it. These freeware software programs use Adware for fund making and spreading.

Though this type of adware doesn’t have contained any malicious content but these can be too annoying.

Adware is also counted as spyware because both exhibit similar behavior. The only difference is that spyware gets downloaded unknowingly and secretly tracks all your browsing activity to serve ads related to your browsing interest.

2. On-Site Adware

The second type of adware is known as browser hijacking. It mainly comes in your PC when the user visits any malicious website and results in unauthorized Adware installation. Thus at the time of browsing, you get so many unnecessary ads.

We all assume these ads are coming from the sites we have browsed or currently been browsing.  But actually the fact is Adware was already got installed in your device and it’s throwing such annoying ads.

Name of some commonly rendered Adware are: Fireball, Appearch, DollarRevenue, Gator, DeskAd, RevenueHits, FoxyLyrics, Free YouTube Downloader, YoutubeAdblocker, Freecorder Toolbar, FunkLyrics, Funmoods Search, Funmoods Toolbar, GadgetBox Search, etc.

PUP(Potentially Unwanted Program):

Potentially Unwanted Program

The name “PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program)” was assigned by McAfee for avoiding the labeling of downloadable programs like malware. Name of some commonly rendered Potentially Unwanted Program are:

Spoutly PUP, 1ClickDownload, MyPcBackup, 215Apps MySearchDial, 22Find MyWebSearch, Aartemis, NationZoom, Ad.yieldmanager, Nattly Search, Adlyrics, Network System Driver,, New Player, NetAdapter, Bablyon Ominent, Bandoo Media, OpenCandy, etc.

Potentially Unwanted Programs generally gets into your PC with freeware software. Even many downloading sites are also bundled such type of creepy unwanted programs. So, if any user downloads software from such suspicious websites, they are more likely to invite PUP into their PC’s.

This mainly happens when a user ignores the careful reading of the download agreement at the time of the downloading process setup.

Mostly it is seen that PUPs, first of all, captures your system’s browser homepage or search engine. Very soon, it starts throwing several unwanted ads that are not having any relevance with the site you are currently browsing.

Here are a few typical signs and symptoms to identify the presence of PUPs on your PC:

  • Ads appear in such places they don’t even require.
  • Mysteriously, your browser homepage is been changed without your permission.
  • Web pages that you generally or most commonly visit are not appearing correctly.
  • Sites are being redirected to some different malicious or irrelevant websites.
  • The occurrence of Frequent browser pop-ups regarding, fake software updates or new browser installation.
  • Installation of different unwanted programs without your permission and knowledge.

What Impact Does Adware/PUP Put On Your Device?

Impact Does Adware AND PUP Put On Your Device

If your PC is inflated with such Adware/PUP malicious PC threats, then you will surely notice some abnormal changes. Apart from making the system performance slow and sluggish, it causes several other instabilities. Following are some of the impacts of Adware/PUP on compromised PC:

  • Without your knowledge, some unknown icons get added to your system. If you are noticing that any unknown application which you have not installed is running into the system then it is very likely that your system is infected with this malware.
  • All of a sudden you will notice your system stored files get disappeared this can be because of the threat that presents in your PC. This threat is able to hide or delete your files.
  • It will make your system performance slow and sluggish. At this time system will face random crashes and make lots of trouble in performing your routine task.
  • Another very typical impact of this threat is that the security system (antivirus, firewall, etc.) which you have installed on your computer is disabled without your permission. If your security components are disabled, then the chances of other infections automatically raise.
  • It is another very common symptom of this infection in which it may reduce your available bandwidth or make it impossible to use the Internet.

If you are facing this issue in your PC then it is better if you scan your PC with some reliable and professional recommended anti-virus.

How To  Stay Protected From Adware And PUP?

How To  Stay Protected From Adware And PUP

Both PUP (potentially unwanted program)/ Adware is a kind of software program which knowingly no user wants to use. But unintentionally give them allowance to get downloaded.

Such unwanted programs come bundled with freeware software. For using such freeware software, maybe you are not charged any amount but it will annoy you with the intervention of frequent pop-up ads, redirection issues, etc.

To avoid installation of such Adware/PUP, always try to install the main software by selecting the custom/ advanced options. Some of these software programs are genuine but their activity should be stopped if it’s overruling the user’s consent.

Always keep keen attention while installing any software because chances are high that the software installer is bundled with malicious PUP. So, be careful about what you are agreeing to install.

During the software installation, opt for the custom installation and uncheck anything which doesn’t seem familiar to you. Mainly the optional or additional software which you don’t wants to get downloaded.

My Opinion On Adware & PUP

Fundamentally Adware and PUPs are almost the same. But the basic difference is that PUPs throw pop-up ads that are both offensive and meaning-less. Whereas, Adware most of the time shows meaningful pop-up ads. Both these PC threats are too annoying as it engulfs your browser with several pop-up ads.

The main thing which makes PUPs different from Adware is the user allowance for downloading it.

PUPs are not meant for stealing personal data or making alterations in your PC’s settings. That’s the reason why the proprietor of such PUP programs doesn’t count it as malware. As the device user themselves allows software download and installation.

PUPs do not always behave like a malicious program which damage, steal or lose your device data. But it doesn’t mean that these PUP programs are beneficial for your device and only bring annoying pop-ups.  As it is seen sometime PUP also starts behaving like an Adware. It also starts showing pop-up ads regarding WebPage cleaning; prevents users from closing pop-up ads until the video ads get finished.

Final Verdict:

Whether it’s PUP OR any kind of Adware both attack users’ computers all of a sudden and then do a number of malicious payloads in the infected computers in order to steal confidential information. This infection can lead to various unpleasant problems also. To prevent your device from such PC vulnerabilities, you need to be a little aware while at the time of internet surfing. Don’t forget to follow the precautionary stuff instructed above to be safe and secure.

If your PC is already got infected with any of these Suspicious threats, then try reliable Malware Removal Tool for easy removal of Adware or PUP like a malicious program from your PC.