computerbismarck.com – 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.
The product installs quickly, though it does require a reboot to finish the installation. I found it to be quite chatty. It speaks the message “Virus database has been updated” when appropriate. When it detects a virus, a siren whoops and a voice warns “Caution—a virus has been detected.” You can turn off or replace the sounds if they become a problem.
In addition to the expected system tray icon for the product itself, you’ll see another for the Virus Recovery Database, or VRDB. This unusual feature takes a census of the files on your system, retaining data about the three most recent versions. If a virus manages to get past avast!’s initial protection, the VRDB can be useful in repairing infected files. By default, it builds the database automatically when the computer is idle, so you don’t have to think about it at all.
The product checks for threats in memory each time it launches. If it finds malware actually running, it offers to launch a boot-time scan—a powerful feature. The boot-time scan runs
before Windows has loaded so that rootkit techniques are prevented from working, and most malware has no chance to defend itself against removal. You do have to keep an eye on the text-only scan when launched automatically, because it will ask what action to take the first time it hits a malware-related file and again if it finds an infected file in a system folder. If you request a boot-time scan manually, you can preselect the program’s actions, thereby letting it run unattended.
The program’s user interface looks more like a media player than like your average antivirus. You click a few big buttons to select where it should scan; choose a quick, standard or thorough scan; and click what looks like the Play button. Simple! And it’s fast, too. On my clean test system, the standard scan took less than 10 minutes.
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