Avast Free Antivirus

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CNET Editors' Rating 5.0 stars


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  • 5.0 stars

    "AVAST most effective, productive out of 8 AV's tried."

    October 6, 2012  |   By Poppypbr


    Exceptionally quick to recognize threats and block them from the system. Nice interface that tracks security history and show where to be confident and where to be careful. Will conservatively prevent possible threat with unusual behavior by encapsulating it until it has determined it is safe. Scans are fast, even when selected for slowest, deepest and most time consuming full scans on 1TB drive using a 2006 dual core with just 2GB ram. Excellent and reliable, confidence inspiring, transparent use of CPU.


    None. AVAST FREE better than the majority of antivirus available and better than several paid versions as well.


    Have used Microsoft Security Essentials: terrible resource hog, slow scans, doesn't respond to threats before they cause problems. AVIRA not compatible with some common software and AVAST beat out AVIRA 80% of the time and is exceptionally fast when browsing internet. AVG, while good at one time, has been set upon by its own problems with routine installations (read reviews). Can AVG protect your OS if it can't install on a plain, properly updated Windows XP Home/SP3 32-bit system? Norton AV very good but costs $$$ and uses more resources. Threatfire, Comodo, Malwarebytes, Ad-Aware all tried. AVAST responds faster to immediate threats than all of them.

    Bottom Line: AVAST FREE has a light touch on your system while responding much faster (than other AV) to threats. AVAST reliably updates in a few seconds several times a day. Combination of AVAST, Firefox browser, and Web of Trust has resulted in no time lost since January 2011. Other AV remain dormant and passive while AVAST vocally and visibly announces a threat and has already contained it in a sandbox where it can do no harm.

    Finding infections in a scan, the measure of most AV ratings, while important, is not as important as finding the infection when it first enters the computer. In this regard, AVAST may be the best AV you can install. The depth that you select for the scan has a lot to do with its "rate of discovery" in a scan and AVAST learns and gets faster each time it scans. When a problem is detected, it adjusts to the possible presence of additional threats until it runs clean a few times. AVAST learns! Superb!

    Updated on Oct 6, 2012

    Full scans, +60 GB at deepest level take 30 minutes. Quick scans +20 GB at deepest level take 11-12 minutes. Has found viruses in Microsoft Updates, Hewlett Packard Updates, System Restore Points, on the System Restore "D" drive, updates to existing software such as Advanced System Care, Firefox, Adobe Acrobat, Verizon e-mail, Hotmail. AVAST FREE, when set to do a thorough job, does a VERY thorough job and I've been able to access websites that are known threats without harm. Boot scan identifies software problems before they mushroom into an unbootable computer. Extraordinarily competent protection for a FREE product. When we recently bought a high-end Win7 64-bit 4-core (11.2Ghz) 8GB memory 750GB hard drive laptop with video card and Blue Ray, we chose AVAST protection.

    Updated on Oct 12, 2012

    Contact Avast through the "Contact Us". They can help you uninstall it and also get it working correctly. You may have an update issue regarding your operating system...if updates are done out of order it can cause problems like you describe. Avast is a really great FREE Antivirus and 150+ million users agree.

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3 replies to this review

  • Reply by TigerRaptorFX on October 11, 2012

    Threatfire isn't an A/V solution. It's a behavioral HIPS designed to run alongside your anti-virus. Not like it really mattes any more since PC Tools discontinued the standalone version.

    Malwarebytes is an anti-malware program, not an anti-virus as so many confuse it with one. Even though MBAM can be ran as a standalone. The programmers also made to run alongside your anti-virus.

    Don't put too much trust into Avast as your only protection since it won't catch everything.

  • Reply by EricVonZipper on October 6, 2012

    If it's finding malware in Microsoft automatic updates, you've got the heuristics set too high and are getting false positives.

  • Reply by tydicea on October 6, 2012

    Can AVG protect your OS if it can't install on a plain, properly updated Windows XP Home/SP3 32-bit system?

    No A/V program can protect you if you can't get it installed!

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