If you notice an increased number of third-party advertisements and redirections to questionable software promotion webpages, it is possible that your computer has been infected with Moatads. This threat is indeed an adware server that may serve legitimate websites as well. However, we have found that a lot of these ads can be potentially harmful or highly annoying to say the least. You may be exposed to the flow of these annoying third-party ads if your system has been infected with malware. But it is also possible that you simply get redirected to one of its questionable domains after clicking on corrupt third-party content on a suspicious website. If you engage with any of these ads, chances are you infect your computer with more malicious programs but you may also land on malicious pages and get scammed out of your money. All in all, it is important that you remove Moatads from your computer if you want to restore your online experience.
As we have mentioned, there are basically two ways for you to be introduced to this adware server and its questionable advertising campaigns. The less problematic way is when you click on the wrong content while surfing the web and you get redirected to one of the domains on this server (z.moatads.com, px.moatads.com, or v4.moatads.com). This means that you may be viewing a questionable website that promotes unsafe third-party advertisements or disguised content like fake buttons and fake notifications. Such websites usually include online betting, gaming, dating, file-sharing, and pornographic pages. One click on the wrong content, or sometimes even on empty space or seemingly original content, and you can either drop a bundle of malware threats or get redirected to malicious websites. In this case, you may not need to do more to delete Moatads than close your browser window.
The more problematic way is when your system is infected with malware, such as adware programs, browser hijackers, or potentially unwanted programs. These threats may all be able to redirect you to certain websites; in this case, to this annoying adware server. When your PC is infected with any of these threats, chances are you installed them from a free software bundle. This is the main distribution method to deliver a whole bunch of such threats to unsuspecting victims. If you would like to avoid infection by bundles, you need to forget about downloading free and cracked software from shady torrent and freeware pages, visiting suspicious pages we mentioned before, or clicking on third-party advertisement in general. If there is any likelihood that your PC could be infected, we suggest that after you delete Moatads, you also run a reliable online malware scanner to identify all other threats as well.
In all fairness, we need to mention again that it is possible that this adware server serves legitimate websites as well with legitimate third-party ads. However, we have found that your screen can also be flooded with a highly annoying number of useless third-party ads, too. These ads may push you to buy or download potentially unwanted programs, claim that your system or software needs an urgent update, make you believe that there is a system error that you need to fix, and so on. We do not say that all of these are malicious but you can still end up installing unwanted programs or being scammed by schemers. It is also possible that you drop further infections if you click on the wrong ad. Unfortunately, the malware infection that promotes this adware server may also change your hosts file by inserting "18.104.22.168 z.moatads.com" or any other related domains. So in order to remove Moatads from your system and from your browsers, you also need to restore your hosts file.
Finally, let us provide you with the solution. As we have said, if you clicked on the wrong content and that is how you ended up with the ads from this adware server, it is possible that your PC is not even infected. In this case, it may be enough for you to close your browser right away. However, if you experience more of these ads after relaunching your browser, you definitely need to make sure you remove any possibly related threats. We have included instructions below for you to be able to restore your hosts file and reset your browsers. Yet, it is possible that you may also need to scan through your list of installed programs in Control Panel and uninstall any suspicious applications you have installed lately. If you would like to protect your computer from similar or more dangerous threats in the future, we suggest that you install a reliable malware removal application like SpyHunter.