Editors' Note: Avast Antivirus Home Edition is free to use but requires e-mail registration before the end of the initial 60-day trial period. Following the registration you will receive by e-mail a license key valid for a period of 1 year.
This impressive software provides the same steadfast protection of well-known antivirus programs, yet it's surprisingly free.
Avast Home Edition guards your PC and the network with multiple shields that scan executables and files. You can select parameters for scanning, and even choose wildcards to exclude specific file types. You can adjust the sensitivity level for the program's detectors when it comes to scanning downloaded files, instant messages, e-mails, and a host of P2Ps. Its efficient interface opens up window after window to tweak its settings to your liking, for novice to advanced level protection.
Though it took quite some time to run, we're impressed with this application's boot-time antivirus scan. Fortunately, if you're in a pinch you can bypass it. If malicious contents are detected, Avast comes to the rescue with handy virus cleanup tools. Some decent PC controls are even handed out here. You can block certain URLs and file operations, such as writing to files or even renaming, deleting or formatting them.
With immediate real-time protection, clockwork updates, and much more, this free software is highly regarded in our book.
Avast Home Edition - Free Antivirus is a complete, certified anti-spyware and anti-rootkit package. Avast includes the following components: an on-demand scanner with skinnable simple interface; an on-access scanner with special providers to protect most commonly available e-mail clients; instant-messaging intrusion detection with a lightweight firewall; P2P protection; a Web shield that monitors and filters all HTTP traffic; an NNTP scanner that scans all Usenet Newsgroup traffic and all operations with files on PC; and a boot-time scanner that scans disks in the same way and in the same time as the Windows Chkdsk application does.
What's new in this version:
Version 4.8.1367 includes improvements in the malware URL blockers and solved a vulnerability in aswRdr.sys.