What Is 'Gator'

Gator is the former name of a defunct software company best known for its network of adware products. The company changed its name to Claria Corporation in 2003 and eventually shut down in 2008.

Adware is pop-up internet advertising and Gator was one of the first companies to promote widespread adware. In addition to pop-up advertising, Gator adware tracked an online user's browsing habits and also silently downloaded its software onto PCs. This created significant computer problems for users. Some of the most common sites that utilized Gator adware and software installations included Limewire, eWallet and KaZaa.

BREAKING DOWN 'Gator'

Gator would undercut the ad-supported models of internet publishers by replacing banner ads on visited web sites with its own – in the process pinching revenues from the originating content provider.

Gator's software, known as Gain AdServer was installed on tens of millions of PCs. The company was one of the first to use online behavioral marketing to target users with display ads.

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