Softpedia Editor's Review for Avast! Free Antivirus
Reliable antivirus software with spyware protection
Written by Bogdan Popa on January 4th, 2012
Read an in-depth analysis in our professional review for Avast! Free Antivirus
Avast! Free Antivirus is a reliable antivirus software solution designed to provide computer users with effective protection against viruses and spyware.
Avast comes with well-organized interface that targets beginners and professional users alike, with all features being clearly displayed right in the main window.
Be careful during the installation though, because the setup kit also attempts to drop a separate browser on your computer, although Avast doesn't need this kind of app to work properly.
However, once installed, Avast works simply great, with virus definitions updated even several times a day. The scanning process is very fast and is quite light on hardware resources, but it all depends on the computer and the files you're about to scan. We were pleased with its speed during our tests, even though sometimes we were a bit annoyed by the boot-time scanner.
The boot scanner is actually a very handy function because it attempts to scan the computer before the operating system is fully loaded and thus before any virus is ready to take control of certain system files.
There are four scanning modes, as follows: “Quick Scan”, “Full System Scan”, “Removable Media Scan” and “Select folder to scan”; the latter allows for an in-depth scan of a user definded location. The “Quick Scan” mode takes just a few minutes, while the "Full System" mode can last for more than a half an hour, depending on the size of the drive and the amount of data stored locally.
In addition, Avast comes with dedicated tools to protect multiple apps running on your computer, so it also comprises a “File System Shield”, a “Mail Shield”, a “Web Shield”, a “P2P Shield” to protect peer-to-peer programs, an “IM Shield” for instant messaging clients, a “Network Shield”, a “Script Shield” and a “Behavior Shield”.
All in all, Avast is a must have if you're looking for a reliable antivirus solution and, as far as we're concerned, this application is indeed serious competition for other elite software tools belonging to this particular category.
Avast! Free Antivirus description
Here are some key features of "Avast! Free Antivirus":
Antivirus and Anti-spyware Engine:
· Our award-winning scanning engine protects against viruses, spyware, and other malicious agents, now with a new algorithm that is based on machine learning, which can process new-virus data in milliseconds.
Streaming, Real-time Virus Database Updates:
· Each virus signature comes to you in real-time via connection to the AVAST Virus Lab cloud, rather than needing to wait for a traditional virus-database update. Your database will be continuously updated with latest definitions.
File Reputation System:
· Now with more than a billion unique files in our cloud, avast! FileRep lets you know whether a file is safe before you open it - determined in part by how many people have the file and how new the file is. The technology is also used internally, to
· help the scanning engine make more intelligent decisions.
· Software Updater
· Browser Cleanup
· Behavior Shield
· Real-time Anti-rootkit Protection
· avast! WebRep
· Boot-time Scanner
· Intelligent Scanner
avast! Real-time Shields - a team of 24/7 guards:
· File System Shield
· Mail Shield
· Web Shield
· P2P Shield/IM Shield
· Network Shield
· Script Shield
· Behavior Shield
· Processor Pentium 3
· 128 MB RAM
· 400 MB of free hard disk space
What's New in This Release: [ read full changelog ]
· BSOD fix in aswTdi.sys
· Fixed WebRep crashes in IE
· Fixed WebRep FF issue with not saving the position
· SecureLine stability improvements
Users are advised to pay attention while installing this ad-supported application:
· Offers to download or install software or components (such as browser toolbars) that the program does not require to fully function