Avast! Free Antivirus is an efficient and comprehensive antivirus program. It is one of the most popular antivirus programs available, thanks to the reliable and trustworthy brand that Avast have created. The key features that continue to make Avast! Free Antivirus so popular are the easy UI, optimized scanning options and continuously updated database of virus definitions.
Simple, improved UI
The latest version includes a much simpler and quicker to use UI than previous versions. Key features can be easily reached in the sidebar and the homepage is now customizable so you can access the tools you use most often directly. The overall appearance is clean and uncluttered, with buttons intuitively labelled and positioned.
Avast are constantly updating their database of virus definitions, meaning your computer will be protected against the latest spyware, viruses and potentially hazardous websites. Avast’s large and active community quickly alerts the development team of new security threats which are swiftly countered and added to Avast’s significant database. The browser add-on further improves computer security with features like cookie and social tracking blocking.
Avast! Free Antivirus comes with a range of standard scanning options, based on depth and speed. Rapid scan will suffice in most cases - targeting removable media and the files you select, identifying security threats in usually less than a minute. A startup scan will launch automatically on boot up and is a useful, regular security check. The optimized scan engine in the latest version means scanning of text content is significantly faster than previous versions. Scanning of EXE files is around also faster. Improved memory usage means Avast! Free Antivirus should cause less strain on your system so you can continue with other tasks faster.
Avast! Free Antivirus is definitely one of the best free total security managers available. It is relatively lightweight and efficient, while still providing comprehensive security protection. The browser add on can slow browsing speed and the scanning might not be as detailed as some premium antivirus options. But the simple, effective UI and strong security capabilities make Avast! Free Antivirus a very good choice for those looking for free computer security.
# Core product changes
* Fully rewritten the WebShield so that it now doesn't work as a "transparent proxy" anymore. I.e. no more routing of all HTTP traffic through the AvastSvc.exe process - which should hopefully result in no more conflicts with various firewalls (especially older firewalls that can't handle transparent proxies) and overall improvement in stability and performance. Besides that (and this is really exciting) it allows us to see and detect more threats (the original webshield had some limitations).
* The Firewall component (in IS and Premier) has also changed dramatically. More compatible with other applications, such as Java and various VPN services.
* The installer/updater has been improved to allow more reliable installation in case of infected machines. The installer is now protected by the avast self-defense driver from the very beginning, making it harder for active malware to kill it (if you have problems starting the installer in the first place, it may be a good idea to try to rename the executable to a random name first)
* The changes in the File System Shield's driver should result in faster performance, especially in the copy files and install programs scenarios.
* The Browser Cleanup tool to be able to rip off even the more stubborn toolbars and other "PUBEs" (Pontentially Unwanted Browser Extensions :))
* Fixed a whole bunch of bugs reported in the last couple of months. Especially if you encountered a problem with R1, I suggest you try this new version, chances are that the problem is resolved there.
* For trialware users, added an interactive tutorial that explains all the features of the product in a straightforward, concise manner.
# In addition to the core, there's two more things included in this version:
* Connectivity to the new avast! GrimeFighter product. GrimeFighter is our take on PC Optimization / tuneup and is the result of the Jumpshot acquisition that we did earlier this year. This will be a standalone product (sold separately) but has some connections into Avast. It is really a cool product (and I encourage everyone to give it a try) - technically, it's Linux based, although you wouldn't be able to tell as it's perfectly skinned and does a good job at hiding all the complexities.
* SafePrice is a new, optional module of the Avast browser plugins. It's designed to combine security (hence the "safe" part) with best deals (hence the "price") into one, easy-to-use module. It's pretty silent (almost invisible) unless you search for a specific product -- in which case, it would pop up a price comparison and allow you to pick one of the deals in the trusted stores. The feature can be turned on or off through the browser plugin settings.