Avast Free Antivirus 5.0.594.100712 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Avast Free Antivirus

CNET Editors' review

Avast Free 5, an A-list freeware antivirus app, provides the same steadfast protection of well-known, pricier antivirus programs. Avast is remarkable for both its effectiveness and arguably providing the most complete free antivirus on the market.

Avast Free 5, formerly known as the Home Edition, protects you with multiple guards. The antivirus, antispyware, and heuristics engines form a security core that also includes multiple real-time shields. The adjustable mail and file system shields join the pre-existing behavior, network, instant messaging, peer-to-peer, and Web shields. The behavioral shield is a common-sense feature, as security software publishers leverage their large user bases to detect threats early and warn others. Other new features include a silent-gaming mode and an "intelligent scanner" that only looks at changed files after establishing a baseline. The biggest change in Avast 5, though, is the interface. Gone is the music player default look, which was skinnable but confusing. In its place is a sleek UI that new users should find far more manageable. It's also Aero-friendly, with Explorer-style navigation buttons in case you can't remember where you tweaked a particular setting.

Avast's recent independent third-party testing has been notably solid, able to hold its own against better-known programs from Symantec and Microsoft. Avast 5 Free lacks features in the paid upgrade including antispam measures, a testing sandbox, a Script shield, and a firewall. Even without those, Avast Free 5 is probably the strongest, free antivirus currently available.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    4.5 stars

    out of 25,823 votes

    • 5 star: 18807
    • 4 star: 4707
    • 3 star: 806
    • 2 star: 470
    • 1 star: 1033
  • Current version:

    4.2 stars

    out of 377 votes

    • 5 star: 213
    • 4 star: 103
    • 3 star: 16
    • 2 star: 17
    • 1 star: 28
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 377

  • 5.0 stars

    "Works great"

    March 19, 2011  |   By clubmudslide1001

    Version: Avast Free Antivirus 5.0.594.100712

    Pros

    It has real-time protection, when Tagged was plagued with viruses, it stopped them BEFORE they got in my computer by closing the webpage instantly and letting me know that a threat was detected.

    Cons

    Can't put WildTangent games on my pc, not even from a disc. It thinks they are a virus. Maybe they have adware in there?

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Works and stays invisible. What more could you ask?"

    September 21, 2010  |   By djd808

    Version: Avast Free Antivirus 5.0.594.100712

    Pros

    In the two years since I changed from AVG I have never had a conflict or error of any type. It takes up few resources and works effectively. The cool icon is better than AVG too.

    Cons

    While database updates are automatic, program updates can sometimes require manual action which can interrupt your work though this is very rare.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "I love the software and i would recommend it to anyone"

    September 15, 2010  |   By Ru4shygirl

    Version: Avast Free Antivirus 5.0.594.100712

    Pros

    Its always up to date

    Cons

    there isn't anything that i don't like about it. I would recommend it to my friends

    Summary

    It prevents my computer from getting any viruses. And i like that you can do a boot scan with this software

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  • 5.0 stars

    "I tried avast free antivirus, couldn't believe quality!"

    September 10, 2010  |   By samphillipssr

    Version: Avast Free Antivirus 5.0.594.100712

    Pros

    After current antivirus I had used for years doubled their price, a friend suggested trying avast. I did, and never looked back. It's that good! It keeps my computer in great shape. Frankly, I'm sold. Best antivirus I've ever used.

    Cons

    You may laugh, but I'm sitting here trying to think of something I don't like about Avast Antivirus. I can honestly say from my heart, I can not think of one single thing. Unless "free" and top notch is bad!

    Summary

    The avast antivirus has always been good. However, with this last update, it is even better, and more simple to use than ever. The protection is unreal, and they keep me secure with out worry. Plus, one thing I've really noticed, is my computer speed after the last update. I try to keep my computer in great shape every day, but it had slowed down some, even with my being so particuliar. After updating however, there was no question...my computer acted more like it was new. Thanks Avast.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Avast FREE version is fantastic and free of problems."

    September 10, 2010  |   By 1TigerWon

    Version: Avast Free Antivirus 5.0.594.100712

    Pros

    It has tested high.

    Cons

    So far I have not seen any.

    Summary

    Easy for a novice to use as is when downloaded. There also are additional settings to get DEEPER SEARCHES for those that understand why to use them or not.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Finest anti-virus ever"

    September 8, 2010  |   By EevenLiu

    Version: Avast Free Antivirus 5.0.594.100712

    Pros

    Godly software, it runs very friendly on all of my computers. I've owned three windows xp, one vista, and one windows 7, they all run it very smoothly). Before installing Avast, try to use CCleaner or other Registry cleaner to wipe your "dust" first.

    Cons

    Nothing, This is my first posting on Cnet. I've known this web site for certain years. Never try to post any, but I need to say about Avast. Best anti, small, less memory consumer, and fast scan, no lagging.

    Summary

    A++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Before installing Avast, try to use CCleaner or other Registry cleaner to wipe your "dust" first. Or can try system recovery to restore your PC to factory shipped condition. PC needs some maintain too.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Topnotch program"

    September 8, 2010  |   By cbowers--2008

    Version: Avast Free Antivirus 5.0.594.100712

    Pros

    Easy to use, comprehensive, self-maintaining

    Cons

    No negatives

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Hate unconscious reviews."

    September 8, 2010  |   By gorilinyahoo

    Version: Avast Free Antivirus 5.0.594.100712

    Pros

    I use Nod32 4.But avast! is the best AV I´ve tested.Why are there so many negative reviews.YOU MISLEAD PEOPLE...Version 5 is still better than 4.You talk about trojans,etc...but learn first...

    Cons

    Nothing at all.

    Summary

    DOWNLOAD IT AND INSTALL IT,IT´S BEAUTIFUL.NEGATIVE REVIEWS ARE PART OF A HOAX.CNet people,watch out for comments from ignorant people.Avira and Avast! are the best free AVs in the net.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Best AV by far"

    September 8, 2010  |   By IslandBoy_77

    Version: Avast Free Antivirus 5.0.594.100712

    Pros

    Light on system resources, very accurate detection, boot-time scan (no other AV allows this), sufficient configurable options for the average user

    Cons

    A bit slow on startup while it sorts itself out & updates, free version has no scheduler (which is not a prob for me, but will be for those who rely on automation)

    Summary

    I've been using Avast for 7 years now, and see no reason to swap to any other AV. Avast consistently scores well in lab tests, but more importantly does what it does very well in the REAL WORLD. I believe that a number of the negative experiences people have with Avast are due to the following: 1) System already infected (very common) so Avast doesn't work properly (or at all) after installation. 2) System is messy / unstable / in serious need of updating. I run a PC repair business - 9 out of 10 PCs I see are a mess: it's a wonder most people are able to use their PCs at all, let alone get a new AV installed & working). 3) A previous AV (esp Norton & AVG) has not been uninstalled properly (or is still on the PC!). Norton requires the Norton Uninstaller Tool run after to clean up it's mess, and AVG usually requires manual Registry / services editing as well as file deletion. 4) Old PC or one with slow CPU or not enough RAM. I see this often - people trying to muddle along on a 4-5 year old PC and thinking it should still work as good as the day they got it, despite the OS, Office & AV at least doubling in size over that time (or in the case of XP, trebling in size). Even modern PCs / laptops needs at least 2GB of RAM (pref 4GB) - so those trying to be cheap-skates and get by with "as little as possible" (whilst expecting stellar performance) are often the biggest moaners.

    The short of it is that there is no such thing as a perfect AV. What one is looking for is a GOOD AV that is consistent (scratch Norton & pretty much all the others except perhaps NOD32 - arguably the AV with the ugliest interface!). The first 3 versions of the 5 series of Avast were not good - and I told them off a few times by email. Since then, the last 3 versions have been good. It's true that version 5 is heavier than 4.8 - but then, 4.8 is an XP-era AV, so that's par for the course.

    The real clincher for using Avast is it's boot-time scan. No making boot CDs, no lacking this ability at all - being able to do a boot-time scan is the NUMBER 1 way of killing viruses. IMHO, any AV that can't do this - as good as it otherwise might be - is a waste of time.

    Lastly, for the moaners out there: if you're using LimeWire, FrostWire, Kazaa, Bear Share, UTorrent or any other P2P program to steal music, video & software - no wonder you're in such a state! Avast can't help you with your probs. All those progs just listed either by-pass all Windows security, and / or make it very easy for the infected / stolen stuff you are downloading to infect you / disable your protection. You'll have to stop stealing stuff & get a decent tech to clean your PC up - THEN you can install Avast and have it work properly!

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Bug Issues - AVAST Free Anti-Virus Vers.??"

    September 8, 2010  |   By onlyone45

    Version: Avast Free Antivirus 5.0.594.100712

    Pros

    It uses less memory to scan while your using your netbook.

    Cons

    The bug issue 9/8/10 am game scanned for virus and malware When doing update r definitions for anti-virus program it asks me for a password that was never created.,

    Summary

    Yes it's free. I wish it would be a bit more user friendly and stop asking me for a password I never created!!

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