Probably one of the best-known free anti-virus software offerings, the previous anti-virus software that Avast! offered suffered from a few chronic glitches. We were curious to see if they had been corrected.
A Classic Interface That’s Very Effective
The classic interface from Avast! has been redone for its newest arrival. For those novices out there, it does take a certain amount of time to figure out this program, but once you become used to it, it becomes really easy to use. That being said, it is not exactly the easiest software to use that is available on the market today.
The default settings suffer from a major failure: when Avast! scans for viruses, your archives are completely ignored. In order to fix this, choose the option “All Files.” Despite the relatively few possibilities available for advanced settings, the unique choice of functions (“settings” and “repairs,” notably) is practical and perfectly convenient for beginners.
The Weakest Protection That We Found In This Test
The hard drive scan showed us that this software has some serious problems (even after selecting the “All Files” function), and the resident protection only works during the scanning process. Moreover, it systematically leaves text files unchecked, even though they are a classic refuge for malevolent programs. However, it’s the email-attachment scans that have disappointed us the most–Avast manages to find the viruses more or less easily (with the notable exception of text files), but our version was completely incapable of getting rid of threats correctly. After a dozen or so tries, we gave up.
A Notable Influence on System Performance
Although the extra time it takes Windows to start up after Avast! is installed is limited (+10%), as is the case for all of the free anti-virus software we tested, the scan is far from easy on PC resources, despite its reasonable scan period (28 minutes). The use of memory resources is not excessive, but the processor is given quite a workout. All the same, it must be said that effectiveness of the uninstall process is really good.
The performance of Avast! is largely inferior to that of competing offerings in every way and is definitely not better than what Antivir or Comodo offer. The results speak for themselves, and despite the presence of some utilities, like the P2P shield, we really can’t recommend Avast!.
- One-Stop Comparison for 14 Anti-Virus Titles
- Anti-Virus Basics
- Comodo Internet Security v3.8: The Newbie
- Avira Antivir Personal Free Edition v9.0.0386: The Best of the Freebies
- Clamwin Free Antivirus 0.94.1: Open Source Protection Software
- Avast! 4.8 Home Edition Free: The Classic
- BitDefender Total Security 2009: A Balanced Choice
- F-Secure Internet Security 2009: A Disappointment
- Trend Micro PC-Cillin Internet Security Pro 2009: A Reasonable Option
- McAfee Internet Security 2009: Very Complete
- Norton Antivirus 2009: The Choice For Ease and Simplicity
- Panda Global Protection 2009: An Outsider Who’s Left In The Dust
- G-Data Total Care 2009: The Heavy Weight Of Security
- ESET Smart Security 4 (Nod32 Antivirus 4): A Positive Evolution
- Kaspersky Antivirus 2009: A Half-Colored Version
- AVG Internet Security v8.5 (paid version): An Insufficient Evolution of What You Can Get For Free
- The Verdict
- The Test Protocol