Five years ago the idea of free antivirus software was pretty much unheard of. Nowadays there are a lot of freeware programs on the market all offering to protect your computer without you spending a penny. We take a look at what was one of the first programs to offer antivirus without the price tag – avast! Home Edition, now on version 4.8, and see if you can save money on your antivirus and still remain well protected.
Installation and Setup
Installation of avast! Let’s you choose full, minimal or custom installation options. To achieve full functionality from the program for longer than sixty days you need to register, although the process is free and requires only your name, email address and country. The software installs to around 77 MB and uses a relatively small amount of system resources while idle, and around 200-300MB of RAM when scanning a system. Depending on your language options and any custom themes, avast! could take up considerably more space.
Ease of Use
Despite being free, avast! easily holds its own against many professional copies of antivirus software and is even faster than some. In independent tests, avast! has scored very high in terms of pure threat detection.
avast!, like many antivirus programs, now offers spyware and malware protection was well as detecting and cleaning viruses. This is a bonus for anyone who would rather use one program to find all potential threats.
Although it hasn’t always fared quite so well on cleanup, it’s still very capable of removing threats. avast! uses a built in resident protection module that and block attacks from a variety of sources such as email, IM and P2P programs. The programs ‘web shield’ can stop potential threats from even downloading but if they do manage to get that far, avast! also checks all file on access to prevent any malware attacks.
avast! Is an excellent free alternative to expensive virus software that doesn’t skimp on protection whatsoever.
Differences Between Free and Professional
The professional version of avast! offers even more protection against resident threats, as well as an enhanced interface and task scheduling. You can try it free for the Avast site for up to sixty days.