Avast antivirus is being used on millions of laptops and computers. It is available for download as a freemium software. This AV is better than other free security software. However, it lacks features like sandbox testing and firewall.
To be honest, you don’t need these 2 features as the antivirus engine in Avast is quite powerful. If you’ve accidentally downloaded a malware or virus infected file, Avast will detect and remove this file within a day. Read our review of this software to know more about its abilities and features.
Setup process: Users are allowed to install Avast in any one of the 40 supported languages (including Hindi). The setup window has an option for skype download and installation. Select it if you want to communicate with your friends via webcam.
This free antivirus supports regular and custom setup mode. If you don’t want to install Avast in C:\\Program Files folder, select the 2nd method. Before this software stores any file to your PC, it will create a restore point. Thus, if your system’s performance is down after the installation, you can easily restore Windows in earlier and stable state through the safe mode.
During the setup process, this free antivirus will use your computer’s internet connection to download latest files and virus definition.
Once its setup is complete, Avast will open a slideshow based tutorial in its main window. You can skip the tutorial and start using this software immediately.
The interface of Avast Antivirus 2015 is good and you don’t have to follow any tutorial to understand it. Here are the important features that you need to understand:
The UI of this free software has the below modules:
Smart Scan: This tool will analyze files in important directories of Windows operating system for malware and virus infections. If it detects malicious application, Avast will prompt you to take an action on the file. Smart Scanner is fast. It took just a few minutes to analyze several 100 megabytes of data on my laptop.
Apart from the smart scan, this free antivirus software allows you to run full system scan which may take several minutes to complete its task. Baidu took around 2 hours to analyze 120000 files.
Avast took half an hour to scan a similar number of files. When the scanner was active on my PC, I carried on my routine work and Avast didn’t affect the performance of other applications and processes that were active.
I checked the resource utilization details in the task manager. On an average, Avast used 5 to 25% of CPU and its memory usage didn’t exceed over 60 megabytes.
Browser cleanup: This utility will check browser plugins and their ratings. Infamous and bad extensions will appear in a list soon as the scan operation is complete. To check which plugins were checked or removed, click on the show logfile option.
Home network security: This tool will check the router configuration for your home network and the internet connection on your PC. It will make you aware of settings that are vulnerable to eavesdropping. It will also present an option to fix all open vulnerabilities. Home security network displays a list of IP addresses that are active on the same home network.
Software updater: Outdated applications are always vulnerable to virus infections. Avast makes you aware of them automatically with this feature. This utility also allows you to download the latest update or patch files with a single click of a button.
Remote assistance: If any virus is wreaking havoc on your PC, use this feature and get help from any security expert you know.
Rescue Disk: With this utility, you can easily create a bootable rescue USB or CD. When you’ll insert or connect this medium to your computer, Avast will begin a boot time scan operation.
SafeZone, Sandbox, and Firewall are premium features. You can use them only if you buy Avast Pro for around 30 dollars.
Settings: If you visit Avast settings, you’ll find that this software separate protection for mail, online activities, and file system. Each layer can be configured as per user’s requirement.
For example, if you want to ignore scanning of emails sent using SMTP protocol, modify mail settings. If you want to block malicious URLs that might implant malware in your PC, visit web shield window and change its settings. This window also allows you to check your registration details and virus definitions date.
Statistics: This utility makes you aware of the count of viruses, malware and other infections that Avast has blocked from infecting your computer. You can also view graphical data for the same.
Testing: Avast has powerful antivirus engine. It displayed more than 30 viruses in the same DVD which I had tested with Baidu. Baidu was able to find just 20 infections. Folks at av-test.org has also tested avast and it scored quite well.
Conclusion: This free software has impressed me a lot. It was able to find some viruses on my DVD that were undetected by some other antiviruses.