Avast 4.7 Home Edition review | AV Scan

Monday, January 21, 2008

Avast 4.7 Home Edition review

Note: please check out the FAQ if you have any issues.

The latest version of avast (v4.7.1098) is reportedly very good. I have friends who are long time users of avast, and they're happy with it. I myself used it for a couple of weeks. It's good: it has a good boot-time scanner, and it's much better catching viruses and malware now. It's light on system resources, too. avast is clearly the best free antivirus out there, although I can't really say it's as good as a decent paid antivirus (it did, however, catch worms that Norton and an older version of McAfee missed).

avast's download servers aren't the best (or at least the ones they have in Asia aren't); like all free antivirus software, their real-time scanner needs improvement; and once it's running on your PC you'll get lots of false alerts (mostly update-related).

I had a very weird problem with a previous version of avast (v4.6; I forgot to test it on the latest one): I use a DD-MM-YY date format on my computer, but avast seems to recognize only MM-DD-YY. As a result I couldn't use the software after a point; avast kept reminding me that my license had expired. I wrote to Alwil (the company) about it more than once, but didn't get a reply.

The problem wasn't fixed in the upcoming weeks, so I decided I had had enough. The avast icons, spinning on their own (one of them) in the system tray, is a sight that I can't stand (why do you need to have spinning, bloated-looking icons?). And although avast has many skins available, the interface needs to be much more intuitive.

The good:
- Light on system resources
- Decent detection rate
The bad:
- Poor interface
- Real-time scanner needs improvement
- Slightly overrated

The ugly:

- Poor support
- Bugs

Price: Free (registration required)
Go to: Alwil website


Alastair said...

The update to Avast 4.8 hangs my XP install (chokes at the "loading personal settings" stage on boot).

I figure it's time to review my outdated preconceptions on AV software (it's good to re-evaluate every couple of years I guess).

Thanks for the well written reviews.

Tashfeen Mahmud said...

Thanks alastair. Well I try :)

Anonymous said...

Avast! is very strong at self protection, also, the support from avast is quite good, i recently sent them an email about avast 4.7 not scanning thunderbird emails, they replied and told me to reinstall avast! to fix it, it worked, i used a googlemail email address and u do get support

Tashfeen Mahmud said...

Well I did use a Gmail address when I contacted avast!. I still can't figure out why they didn't even respond to my DD-MM-YYYY problem; if they didn't have a cure, they could have at least been polite. Anyway, I sure hope they have improved!

Daniel Añez said...

i have used avast for years and i haven't had a mayor virus in my pc, as it used to be when i had norton, panda, trend micro, and avg. yes i did try them all^^ and avast is the one that have made me feel more secure, as it deleted viruses the others i mentioned ignored. i also disagree about the updating, i find it very fast(even for my shitty internet connection) and i've barely ever have had to update it manually. the boot time scan is also a great feature, it saved me from a virus that multiplied itself like shit in my ram, and the av told me to make a boot scan to delete it, since then it earnt my trust^^

Daniel Añez
Maracaibo Venezuela

Tashfeen Mahmud said...

@daniel añez: I'm glad to know avast! worked out for you. It didn't for me, and I suffered from all the issues I've mentioned, so I stand by my opinion.

From my experience, I feel PCs are sometimes like people -- every one is different. Perhaps that's why, for instance, avast! has worked out for you and not for me! My cousin, btw, faced the same problems as I did with avast! and he ditched it. But then again he's satisfied with AVG, which I thought was absolutely horrible.