"Powerful protection trusted by millions"
Avast is among the most popular anti-virus software in the world at present. As a testament to its capabilities, the antivirus is currently registered to more than 130 million users around the world.
In January 2010, the company released the current title Avast! Free, replacing the previous Avast! Home which was free for home use. Although it has limitations compared to the paid version, it does all the essential tasks of an antivirus tool. It is also up-to-date, with the software regularly updating itself as well as its virus definitions.
Installing the 50mb installer files is a breeze. You will be given the option to participate in their community feedback service where the software sends some of your computer information to Avast to further help the company in improving the antivirus but you can choose to uncheck it if you wish not to participate.
The installation was very fast and unlike other antivirus software, it does not require you to restart your computer after installing. Another great thing about the installer is how it is not bundled with other programs which are common in many freeware.
Avast! Free Antivirus shares the same GUI as the paid version. It is rather large for an antivirus but is nevertheless user-friendly, pleasing to the eyes, and very easy to navigate in. Even novice computer users will not have any problem navigating through the interface.
Avast! Free Antivirus is light and does not use up much system memory compared to other antivirus software. It is easy to install, responsive, and has all the basic and important features of commercial antivirus tools as well as many advanced options.
Avast! Free Antivirus can be registered for lifetime use and updates can be made regularly depending on what settings you save on the software.
Because this software is free, you should not expect it to come with all features that are available with the paid versions including online banking protection, personal identity and data protection, and email spam protection.
Another thing worth noting about Avast is that a small window pops up and a voice speaks when the program does certain things such as finding a suspicious file or finding a new update. Although this may be a good thing to many, it can be intrusive if you are concentrating on computer-based work.
The main window seldom displays banners advertising the paid versions but it can easily be ignored.
There are similar software available that are also free of charge. Two such antivirus software that can be compared to Avast! Free Antivirus are ClamWin Portable and Simple Machine Project.
ClamWin Portable is a small and portable antivirus but does not have advanced features. It has also been reported to be susceptible to false positives and misdetection of some viruses.
Simple Machine Project on the other hand is not recommended for heavy internet users because it does not have the option of real time protection.
Overall, Avast! Free Antivirus has the potential to become the most popular freeware antivirus in the industry. It functions and feels like a paid commercial antivirus and has advanced features that some of its paid competitors do not have.
Requirements: Processor Pentium 4, 256 MB RAM, 2 GB of free hard disk space
What's new in this version: Virus Chest redesigned and moved to the Protection menu for easier access Improved low-level optimizations for better performance with AMD Ryzen CPUs Exclusions for Real Site (Secure DNS) can now be added
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