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Avast AntiVirus is an antivirus protection software from Alwil, in the Czech Republic. There are two versions of this software available: the Avast Antivirus Home edition, which is free, and the Avast Antivirus Professional edition, which you pay for and comes with more advanced settings and additional features. The free version is available for a 60-day trial period, after which you will have to register the product and renew your registration each year. It is good antivirus software but does not have anti-rootkit protection, antispyware or anti-phishing protection.

In the latest test results from AV-Comparatives Lab test, Avast Antivirus 4.7 earned an Advanced rating (the second highest), catching 93% of all malware tested. In the CNET Lab test, Avast used just 10% of system resources during different scans, but while generating the Virus Recovery Database (VRDB), it used 40%. In PC Pro Lab's malware detection test, Avast was able to identify and remove just 70% of malware overall. In email tests, it identified a further 4% of malware, but was unable to remove the infected attachments.

Downloading and installing the free version is just a matter of a few clicks. After 60 days, however, you will have to register the product for a free license key by e-mail, which will be valid for one year. After installation you need to reboot the machine, and Avast performs a boot-level antivirus scan to ensure that your operating system is free from viruses. There is no uninstall option, so you will have to remove the program using Windows 'Add/Remove Programs' functionality. After removing the program you will find lots of registry entries and files left behind.

Features found in the free version of this software are basically those of your average antivirus software - such as a basic antivirus kernel, a virus recovery database and automatic updates. The paid-for version comes with the following extra features:

â?¢ Push updates: high priority changes are deployed in the program
â?¢ Script blocker: a heuristic scanner to analyze javascript and Active X.
â?¢ Custom tasks
â?¢ Scheduler
â?¢ Command line scanner.
â?¢ Advanced user interface

The free home version has a simple interface, as does but the paid-for version, just with more functionalities. Overall, this is simple antivirus protection and workable if you do not use the internet much, but for most users cannot give enough protection to deal with the huge number of viruses and threats populating the net.

Author Kevin McLanedate added 2009-09-07 12:06:21

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