Editors' Note: The program requires free registration on developer's Web site.
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 is a complete ICSA & Checkmark certified antivirus, Checkmark certified anti-spyware & anti-rootkit package. Avast includes the following components: On demand scanner with skinnable simple interface, just select what do you want to scan in which way and press the Play button; On access scanner, special providers to protect the most of available e-mail clients; Instant messaging--ICQ, Miranda; Network traffic--intrusion detection, lightweight firewall; P2P protection for Kazaa, BitTorrent; Web shield--monitors and filters all HTTP traffic; NNTP scanner--scans all Usenet Newsgroup traffic and all operations with files on PC; Boot time scanner--scans disks in the same way and in the same time as Windows CHKDSK does.
What's new in this version:
Version 4.8.1335.90414 features: Uni brings improvements in the malware and rootkit scanners and an enhanced setup experience.