avast! Free Antivirus 5.0.396 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

avast! Free Antivirus

CNET Editors' note: Avast Free Antivirus 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.

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 25,826 votes

    • 5 star: 18810
    • 4 star: 4707
    • 3 star: 806
    • 2 star: 470
    • 1 star: 1033
  • Current version:

    4.4 stars

    out of 225 votes

    • 5 star: 153
    • 4 star: 49
    • 3 star: 4
    • 2 star: 3
    • 1 star: 16
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 225

  • 5.0 stars

    "Did exactly as promised."

    February 16, 2010  |   By lynlin1957

    Version: avast! Free Antivirus 5.0.396

    Pros

    Did as promised, easy to install, first time I ran a scan it found 3 trojans and severlal pieces of malware. No problem getting rid of the any of it either.

    Cons

    I had a little difiiculty navigating the program, but I was eventually able to figure it out.

    Summary

    The cost (free) is great. What you get for that cost is awesome. Excellent product.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Easy to install. My computer is now more resonsive."

    February 15, 2010  |   By cpacfecva

    Version: avast! Free Antivirus 5.0.396

    Pros

    Does not eat up gobs of memory. Installation is simple.

    Cons

    When the virus definitions are updated, a loud female voice announces the completeion. It can be somewhat startling.

    Summary

    The program does not require a computer genius to install or operate. My computers are not slowed to a crawl by it either.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Spectacular; stellar performance for Avast."

    February 13, 2010  |   By mokriner

    Version: avast! Free Antivirus 5.0.396

    Pros

    Automatic virus update protection without review of microsoft update site. Constantly scans downloaded packages, while reviewing system needs and requirements.

    Cons

    None that I have noticed, being thoroughly pleased.

    Summary

    Exceptional product for the individual with little to no experience dealing with security issues. Especially the the feature of multiple scanners for different browser types. Easy to use, being very self-explanitory, lacking vices, and hang-up. Works well even if you are using dial-up, causing little if no delay.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE PREVIOUS ONE"

    February 12, 2010  |   By molesme

    Version: avast! Free Antivirus 5.0.396

    Pros

    Non-flashy but elegant. Somehow.....has very solid feel to it. My old poorly spec'd laptop runs slightly quicker since switching from AVG to AVAST FREE. Safer.

    Cons

    None up to this very moment

    Summary

    I used to think that AVG slowed down my laptop significantly, but have unistalled AVG and giving AVAST AV FREE a run through its paces. The layout is straightforward and simplified. The silent gaming mode is a great touch.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "I have used for over 5 yrs. & really like the product."

    February 11, 2010  |   By spenick

    Version: avast! Free Antivirus 5.0.396

    Pros

    It has protected all of my family's computers well and provides daily updates to virus definitions. it is fairly easy to use and it's free. I feel protected against virus and other similar threats.

    Cons

    a scan takes a while to complete, but it's worth it for the overall protection.

    Summary

    i highly recommend avast. i have used paid versions of virus protection in the past and was totally dissatisfied due to many problems using the software. i haven't had any problems with avast and i really like the latest version's interface. it is the best anti-virus software i have used.

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Great Program"

    February 11, 2010  |   By B3tonyc

    Version: avast! Free Antivirus 5.0.396

    Pros

    I been using this anti virus for a couple of months now and I have been covered very well all this time. Protects me in P2P, IMs, etc.

    Cons

    None I am happy with this product

    Summary

    Best Anti Virus Out There and Its Free

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Superb protection"

    February 11, 2010  |   By VigneshBalasubramanian

    Version: avast! Free Antivirus 5.0.396

    Pros

    1. Good security
    2. Better interface than the previous versions
    3. Highly customizable

    Cons

    None so far

    Summary

    Perhaps it is the best free anti virus around which provides solid protection

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  • 5.0 stars

    "the best free AntiVirus i ever used"

    February 11, 2010  |   By kisswade

    Version: avast! Free Antivirus 5.0.396

    Pros

    the UI is friendly and easier to use than the old

    Cons

    nothing at all

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Surprised how well it works ! And it talks too."

    February 11, 2010  |   By whitestone_NZ

    Version: avast! Free Antivirus 5.0.396

    Pros

    Non-flashy but elegant GUI. Somehow.....has very solid feel to it. My old poorly spec'd laptop runs slightly quicker since switching from AVG to AVAST FREE. Just installed so, early days....hence the 4 stars.

    Cons

    hard to think of one !

    Summary

    I've suspected for some time that AVG slowed down my laptop significantly, but have unistalled AVG and giving AVAST AV FREE a run through its paces. The layout is straightforward and simplified. The silent gaming mode is a great touch, and the little revolving icon (on scan) in the tray at the bottom, is such an easy reminder that its doing its job. Its got a P2P and IM shield and I particularly like that as I'm using Paltalk once more. To be fair to AVG, my laptop is old and low spec'd, but there seem to be fewer pauses, and a bit more 'flow' to things. I'm poor as a church mouse.....but this is one AV product I'd be keen to purchase.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "BEST FREE ANTIVIRUS"

    February 11, 2010  |   By d2zx1

    Version: avast! Free Antivirus 5.0.396

    Pros

    Multiple shields
    easy-to-use UI
    better than avast! 4.8
    price: FREE

    Cons

    there aren't any

    Summary

    I would defiantly recommend this product to friends, and family

    Reply to this review

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Results 1-10 of 225

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