Avast - howww vast is it?

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by bellgamin, Aug 22, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2002
    Posts:
    5,648
    Location:
    Hawaii
    A few questions concerning Avast...

    1- What added benefits are offered by Avast's paid version in comparison with its free version?

    2- Does Avast actually have heuristics capability? If so, how good are Avast's heuristics in comparison to (SUCH as) F-Prot's heuristics or DrWeb's heuristics?

    3- Does Avast have good & plenty unpackers, or... not?

    4- I understand that Avast has several *extra* modules, over & above its anti-virus module. "Web Shield" is one example of those extra modules. Can the extra modules be easily disabled?

    5- I prefer to update manually. Can I easily disable Avast's automatic/scheduled updates?

    6- On average, how often does Avast update its (a) signatures? (b) engines?

    7- Do I have to use Avast's "mod-type" GUI, or are there alternatives? If there ARE alternatives, can they be easily put into operation?

    8- Is Avast's excellent support forum its only means of providing tech support? In other words, will Avast answer e-mail queries on tech support matters, or do they insist that such matters be exclusively handled by the forum?

    9- How does the numeric size of Alwil's staff compare with the staffing of the "big dudes" such as Symantec, Kaspersky & McAfee?

    I am considering Avast NON-free as the replacement for my current paid AV. Ergo, any additional comments or suggestions you might care to make concerning the Pros & Cons of Avast would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. trjam

    trjam Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Posts:
    9,057
    Location:
    North Carolina
    From the look of things, they mean to be a player, real quick. I work for the local government here in Charlotte and the IT folks, who can get Mcafee free, and used to use Nod, have all gone to Avast. Dont know why but evidently they do.
     
  3. C.S.J

    C.S.J Massive Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Posts:
    5,029
    Location:
    this forum is biased!
    1. http://www.avast.com/eng/av4_version_comp.html

    2. yes, they aint too bad but i think they are behind drweb and fprot

    3. not quite sure here, but it wont be as much as drweb.

    4. yes

    5. not sure, but think so yes.

    thats as good as i can do for you.
     
  4. Page42

    Page42 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Posts:
    5,828
    Location:
    Last Breath Farm
    I run avast! v4.7 Home Edition on my computers. I can respond to a few of your questions.

    Yes. Very easily. From the On-Access Protection Control interface simply select Start or Terminate. Other Custom choices abound. But per your question, On/Off is easy.

    Yes. Very easily. Under Program Settings, it's as simple as two clicks... Select Update, then tick Manual. Done. Oh yeah, click OK.

    Sigs, at least once a day and sometimes more. Engines, I dunno.

    Excellent questions.
     
  5. Page42

    Page42 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Posts:
    5,828
    Location:
    Last Breath Farm
    I did some quick checking. I've run avast! for 3+ months. I have emailed tech support twice.

    One email (asking them to please explain what exactly happens when a user selects the "Test memory during application start-up" setting, and also asking what are the benefits and/or drawbacks to having this option checked or not checked?) was sent on a Thursday afternoon, and I did not get a reply until the very early hours of Monday morning.... so call it 3 1/2 days. The reply, when it arrived, was somewhat helpful.

    The other email was in regards to a false positive and was replied to in 10 hours, informing me that a new database update had fixed the problem.
     
  6. solcroft

    solcroft Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Posts:
    1,639
    http://www.avast.com/eng/av4_version_comp.html

    avast! has zero heuristics, except in the POP3 realtime scanner module. Heuristics will be added in version 5 according to the people in charge. What they do have at the moment are generic detections (not only for particular families, but for overall malicious code - at least, it seems that way), a VRDB (guaranteed file recovery from file infectors/overwriters) and a very crude behavior blocker that monitors writes, deletes and renames to files based on extension.

    Better unpackers than most. Could possibly give NOD32 a run for its money.

    Yes. You can not install them either, if you wish.

    Yes.

    Average for signatures is once per day, sometimes twice. Updates are less frequent on weekends, as usual. Engine... its hard to say. You could check the version changelog page and see for yourself.

    http://www.avast.com/eng/avast-4-home_pro-revision-history.html

    Not sure what you mean by "mod-type" GUI. As far as I'm concerned, the default skin is ugly, but you can easily use another one, or turn off this function completely.

    No idea. avast! has been very stable for me, and I've never had problems that necessitated anything more than a short post on their forums.

    No idea either.
     
  7. Eliot

    Eliot Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2003
    Posts:
    854
    Location:
    Arkansas, USA
    If I may add a question or two.

    1. Is it Vista compatible?

    2. Any time table for v5?
     
  8. Arup

    Arup Guest

    For a free AV, Avast offers way more, its virtually safe for novices, offers protection modules like no other, no slow servers for users, all get super fast servers which do nice small and frequent updates, it comes with POP scanner, IM scanner, real time, P2P scanner and if your firewall is compromised, a network shield as well to protect you from the nasties, every PC novice or even veterans I know have switched from the big names to Avast because of disappointment with their previous AV, Avast is growing, their forums are very good and they are willing to listen and improve, so along with Anti Vir which of course is quite crippled in their free version, Avast provides an excellent and viable alternative for those willing to try it out. Of course, Avast was also the first along with KAV to come out with a x64 version for XP64 users and that too free, now how can that be matched.
     
  9. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Posts:
    10,632
    @Eliot - yes to your first question and no to the second
     
  10. Eliot

    Eliot Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2003
    Posts:
    854
    Location:
    Arkansas, USA
    Cool, thanks. I looked around and decided to give it a whirl on the free side.
     
  11. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Posts:
    2,095
    Location:
    Mountaineer Country
    I agree with everything said here. Avast has been rock solid so I have had no need to contact support. The paid version has what I believe they call an enhanced user interface that looks nicer. Turning off and on the modules is one of the easiest things to do. I only needed the Web and Standard Shields and I had them turned up high. I don't remember ever seeing a FP and I've run Avast Home for around 9 months. The manual updates work flawlessly. I'm only trying Avira now so I can make a comparison, but I have to admit, I miss my Webshield. The only thing I would like to see added would be the heuristics which solcroft covered in his post. Advantages are a boot time scanner, screen saver scanner and VRDB.

    If you do give it a try, I hope your satisfied with it. Avast is probably the most stable program that I have had on my computer. If you check the comparison between the free and paid version, you will see that there is not much missing as far as protection except for the script blocker. I do however hope that the next version includes heuristics with the free version also :D .

    Take care, innerpeace
     
  12. JerryM

    JerryM Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Posts:
    4,221
    As innerpeace posted, "Avast is probably the most stable program that I have had on my computer." I have found Avast Home to be one of very few AVs that did not cause me a single problem of any kind. It is my choice for the freebies.

    It is well worth a trial if you are looking for a free AV.

    Best,
    Jerry
     
  13. RejZoR

    RejZoR Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Posts:
    6,426
    2- Does Avast actually have heuristics capability? If so, how good are Avast's heuristics in comparison to (SUCH as) F-Prot's heuristics or DrWeb's heuristics?

    Heuristics in the right meaning of the word, no. But they do have and use quiet some generic detection tecniques which can partially be classified as heuristics. You can check AV-Comparatives Proactive test to see how well it fared... Behavior detection may come in avast! 5.x

    3- Does Avast have good & plenty unpackers, or... not?

    They have. And they were for example among the first (if not the first) to support unpacking of 7z archives (7-zip). Fact they also can unpack advanced packers like Armadillo tells about their engine and staff capabilities.
    No generic unpacking though, may come in avast! 5.x.


    4- I understand that Avast has several *extra* modules, over & above its anti-virus module. "Web Shield" is one example of those extra modules. Can the extra modules be easily disabled?

    They can be paused or completelly disabled. You can also add or remove any of them at any time using uninstaller

    5- I prefer to update manually. Can I easily disable Avast's automatic/scheduled updates?

    Why would you want to do that? It's so problem free and uses small amounts of bandwidth it's really not smart to disable it. 3-10KB VPS updates are nothing that even 56k modem couldn't handle.

    6- On average, how often does Avast update its (a) signatures? (b) engines?

    Basically it updates daily, right now like every second day, probably because of holidays. Though i remember it updated once in this time a bit over midnight on sunday. Considering we're in the same CET time zone it appears that they aren't sleeping for threats even at those times. There were also days during current holidays where they updated it twice or three times a day. So there isn't really any fixed pattern, they release them as needed.

    7- Do I have to use Avast's "mod-type" GUI, or are there alternatives? If there ARE alternatives, can they be easily put into operation?

    Skins can be enabled/changed easily using built in skin slection menu.
    You can also use skinless menu which simply uses interface theme used by WIndows itself.


    8- Is Avast's excellent support forum its only means of providing tech support? In other words, will Avast answer e-mail queries on tech support matters, or do they insist that such matters be exclusively handled by the forum?

    You can contact them via e-mail too but considering that we have some highly dedicated users up there from all over the world checking forums almost day and night (taking this globally) you have a much greater chance getting help there faster, than waiting for e-mail response. Unless it's some really technical thing where only ALWIL guys can help.

    9- How does the numeric size of Alwil's staff compare with the staffing of the "big dudes" such as Symantec, Kaspersky & McAfee?

    You'd be surprised how small actual virus labs are in these companies.
    I think sales departments and other "paper" departments have more ppl than virus labs.


    I am considering Avast NON-free as the replacement for my current paid AV. Ergo, any additional comments or suggestions you might care to make concerning the Pros & Cons of Avast would be greatly appreciated.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.