is an anti-virus
program developed by ALWIL Software
based in Prague
, Czech Republic
, first released in 1988. Avast! was one of the first on-access antivirus programs to be released for Windows x64
edition. Avast! 4 Home is a popular full-featured freeware
anti-virus applications available to Microsoft Windows
users. As of July, 2008 it has had over 25 million downloads on Download.com
. As of March 7
Avast! (Home version) has had 60 million registered users.
Avast! is aimed at preventing several types of computer threats, including those that are not technically computer viruses such as spyware and even rogue anti-spyware, and can also make a virus Recovery DataBase which is used to recover files when they are infected (instead of deleting them). The program is available with text and voice translations for 27 languages.
- Standard Shield — Real-time protection
- Anti-rootkit — Built-in protection
- Anti-spyware — Built-in protection
- IM shield — Instant Messenger protection
- P2P shield — P2P protection
- Internet Mail — E-mail protection
- Outlook/Exchange — Microsoft Outlook/Exchange protection
- Web Shield — HTTP protection (localtransparent proxy)
- Script blocker — script checker (Pro version only)
- Network Shield — basic protection against well-known network worms. Acts as a lightweight Intrusion Detection System
- Audible alarms — vocal warnings such as "Caution, a virus has been detected!"
- Boot-time scan — through the program interface, a user can schedule a boot-time scan to remove viruses that load during Windows startup and are therefore difficult to remove. A very important feature especially for viruses written to shut-down the virus protection as soon as Windows starts.
- Self-Protection — Prevents malware from terminating Avast! processes and damaging Avast! files.
- Skinnable — Program is skinnable GUI.
- Virus definition updates — Avast updates its virus definitions on a regular basis (sometimes multiple times a day), and this process is automated by default.
- The virus chest is quarantine folder where "infected files" can be stored. The chest causes the files' usage to be disabled and is meant to prevent them from causing any harm. The virus chest also stores vital system files to prevent them from virus damage. They still can be run, but the access to the file by any source or other program is blocked until it is removed from the chest.
Registration (Home Edition)
Avast! needs to be registered within the first 60 days of use. After registering, a license key is e-mailed and can be used for only one year. After one year, the user is required to re-register. Despite registration, the program is still free for home use.
It is currently in version 4.8 on the Microsoft's Windows line of OS and the version changes with other OS.
These are currently the different editions of Avast! antivirus software available for the various different operating systems and environments.
- Avast! 4 Home Edition (freeware for personal, non-commercial use) - a fully featured antivirus package for home computers running Windows.
- Avast! 4 Professional Edition (commercial) - antivirus package with additional options for workstations.
- avast! 4 SBS Edition Download (commercial) - Basically for small businesses running Windows Server Edition.
- Avast! 4 Server Edition (commercial) - antivirus package intended to use on servers, may be extended by modules (protection of MS Exchange Server 2000/2003, MS Proxy/ISA Server, SMTP Server, MS Sharepoint Server (Portal Server 2001/2003 and Windows Sharepoint Services 2003))
- Avast! U3 Edition (shareware) - antivirus designed to protect U3 smart drives from viruses and other forms of malware.
- Avast! 4 Small Business Server Edition (commercial) - complete antivirus solution for Microsoft Small Business Server, including Exchange server or ISA server.
- Avast! Mac Edition (freeware/shareware) - Antivirus for Mac (version 2.74)
- Avast! for Linux/Unix Servers - Edition designed to run on Linux and BSD servers running x86 kernels only. Packages are available as RPM , debian or in Tarball
- Avast! Linux Home Edition - (freeware for personal and non-commercial use, both conditions should be met) - antivirus solution intended for use on Linux workstations.
- Avast! for Kerio (shareware) - Designed to work with Kerio products like their secure mail servers.
- Avast! 4 PDA Edition (commercial) - Available for Windows PocketPC/Windows Mobile, WinCE and Palm OS
- Avast! Distributed Network Manager - Allows for network administrators to manage the avast! antivirus product line across the whole enterprise.
Awards and tests
- From Feb 2006 to June 2008, Avast has failed 3 times out of 13 times at the VB100 tests by Virus Bulletin. From 1998 to June 2008, it has failed 22 times and passed 25 times at the same test. It has failed the last two tests which were on April and June 2008.
- As of July 2007, both Avast Home and Professional Editions have gotten a 6.5 out of 10 Editors rating at CNET reviews.
- SC Awards 2006 Finalist
- Review Centre Award 2006 for Best Anti-Virus software.