What is AdVPN?
Nowadays, many free software distributing websites bundle free applications with adware and our researchers say that if you got AdVPN while installing such a program, you should remove it. Indeed, you might install it unintentionally, or the bundled installer might do this without your knowledge or consent. Once on your PC, it will show you various commercial advertisements of questionable authenticity. Some of the promoted websites may be malicious and try to extract personal information while others might feature malicious software installers. There is nothing good to be said about this program, but if you are not convinced, then read this whole description to know all about it.
What does AdVPN do?
Our security experts classified AdVPN as adware because its only feature is to show commercial advertisements while you browse the web. It should show the ads in various shapes and forms that include pop-ups, pop-unders, coupons, banners, in-texts, and so on. Fortunately, at the time of this description, this program does not work. Malware researchers say that it autostarts with Windows but does not connect to VPN automatically, and you have to do this manually (not that we encourage you to do so of course.) If it were to connect to VPN, then this program would start displaying advertisements, but there is no way to tell whether the advertisements are safe because they come from unknown third parties. AdVPN’s EULA states that “Altocloudmedia allows other companies, called third-party ad servers or ad networks, to serve advertisements within the Service. These third-party ad servers or ad networks use technology to send, directly to your browser, the advertisements and links that appear on the Service.” So the concept is fairly simple — third parties pay this program’s developer Alto Cloud Media for having it to promote their content. But, this content may be of malicious nature, so you should not trust this program’s promotions.
We also want to point out that, even though you can uninstall AdVPN from Control Panel, if you have it running while running the uninstaller, then it will leave junk files. In other words, the uninstaller will not remove all of the files, but you should do this manually either way. The list of files that make up this program includes tap0901.cat, tap0901.sys, tapinstall.exe, ca.crt, client.crt, client.key, client.ovpn, RestSharp.dll, Serializer.dll, and System.Windows.Interactivity.dll. Depending on your operating system architecture that can be either 32-bit or 64-bit, these files are located in C:\Program Files (x86)\AdVPN or C:\Program Files\AdVPN. Moreover, it creates additional supporting files in various other locations as well as registry keys. We have created a guide that includes uninstalling this program from Control Panel and deleting the remaining files manually. Please check below for the Step-by-step guide.
Where does AdVPN come from?
As mentioned, this adware comes from a company known as Alto Cloud Media Ltd. However, we want to point out that this program is this company’s only release. Regardless, Alto Cloud Media is a company that offers its clients advertising solutions at the expense of your computer’s security apparently because it is likely to promote malicious content. This company’s website at Altocloudmedia.com does not work very well as its subpages redirect to the top of the main page when clicked. However, you cannot get AdVPN from this website because it is distributed using dishonest ways.
Our researchers say that this program can be bundled with free and open-source applications featured on questionable freeware hosting websites. Our security experts believe that the bundles may hide this program and might even install it without your knowledge or consent Nevertheless, you may be able to deselect its installation by selecting advanced installation settings and unchecking AdVPN’s respective checkbox.
How do I remove AdVPN?
That is all of the information we have at this moment, but it is sufficient to conclude that this application is adware and will not improve your browsing experience in any shape or form. It is designed to display advertisements while you browse the web, but the good news is that it currently does not work. Nevertheless, there is no reason to keep it on your PC. If you want to remove it, then please follow the instructions presented below.
Uninstall from Control Panel
- Open the Start menu and select Control Panel.
- Click Add or Remove Programs.
- Locate the malicious program and highlight it.
- Click Remove.
Windows 7 and Vista
- Open the Start menu.
- Click Control Panel.
- Select Uninstall a program.
- Locate the software and highlight it.
- Click the Uninstall button.
Windows 8 & 8.1
- Open the Charm bar and click Settings.
- Select Control Panel.
- Click Uninstall a program.
- Locate the program and highlight it.
- Click Uninstall.
- Right-click the Start menu.
- Go to Programs and Features.
- Locate the application and highlight it.
- Click Uninstall.
Delete the remaining files
- Hold down Windows+E keys.
- Enter the following file paths in the address box and press Enter.%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
- Locate AdVPN, right-click it and click Delete.
- Close File Explorer and click Delete.
- Hold down Windows+R keys.
- Type regedit in the box and click OK.
- Locate and deletethe following registry keys.HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\AdVpnProxyService
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