Is Avast Free good enough to use?

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by Willc, Sep 11, 2005.

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  1. Willc

    Willc Guest

    Hello!

    I've been looking for a free antivirus to replace AVG free and AntiVir Classic that are difficult to get updates because I'm using dial-up modem. I've read so many threads here and other forums about Avast free but it seems that this free antivirus is not as good as AVG free and AntiVir Classic, what I've read is that Avast free seems to be a bloated software with lots of feature, slow, memory hog, very low detection capabilities in many tests, lack of heuristics detection, slow at adding new virus signatures, many false positives and it's not play nice with other software.

    So is that true? if so, I will give up to searching a good freebie and end with purchase a commercial product Norton Anti-Virus.

    Thanks
     
  2. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

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    What you had read aren't true...

    avast! Home Edition is a very good AV, better than some paid, but to choose if it will be good for you depends of your Internet habits...
     
  3. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    Avast does seem to be about the best free av.
     
  4. mers2

    mers2 Registered Member

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    All 3 free AV's test about the same - with Avast slightly higher. I run Avast and for as full featured as it is it runs fine on my older box. You can also not install or uninstall any of the protections you don't need.
     
  5. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Willc,
    Avast, AVG and AntiVir have all three a free version. I work with AVG Free.
    If I think I'm infected with a virus and AVG doesn't find it, I ran Avast and if Avast doesn't find it, I run AntiVir and when AntiVir doesn't find it, I ran Bitdefender free and when Bitdefender doesn't find it, I install NOD32 Trial and if NOD32 doesn't find it, I would have serious doubts of having a virus after all.

    I would see a problem, if I would have to BUY 4 AV scanners, but you can download free AV scanners as many as you want.
    Does it really matter, if an AV scanner is slow or a memory hog, when it is able to remove a virus, which couldn't be removed by your main AV scanner.

    The very best free or paid AV scanner isn't foolproof, that's why many users have a second AV or even more.
    I have only one AV scanner installed, the rest is on CD in case I need them.
    Just try one by one to see which AV scanner works best on your computer and that will be your main scanner and keep the rest as a backup.
    I don't see any problem at all with free AV scanners.
     
  6. InfinityAz

    InfinityAz Registered Member

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    Willc,

    Avast free is very good and ran just fine on my computers (i.e., didn't use too many resources - but it really depends on your computers). Just make sure to follow Avast's instructions for setting up proxies in your browser (it's very easy).

    Personally, I run AntiVir because from my own testing it did a better job of blocking trojans, etc. but I wouldn't have any problem running Avast free in place of AntiVir.

    You might also take a look at AntiVir Classic's beta incremental update. It will only download relevant updates. I've run it since it was made available and have not had a problem on either computer.

    You can find more information here.

    Either Avast or AntiVir incremental are very good and you should probably test both and see which you are more happy/satisfied with.

    Good luck.
     
  7. RejZoR

    RejZoR Registered Member

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    ...what I've read is that Avast free seems to be a bloated software with lots of feature, slow, memory hog, very low detection capabilities in many tests, lack of heuristics detection, slow at adding new virus signatures, many false positives and it's not play nice with other software.

    Now i hate when people say word bloated for everything without any real reason. What do you define as bloated? Full featured product without those traditional "freeware" limitations or something that is all-in-one dishwashsinkware with extra firewall,antispyware,privacy service and special function that take out kitchen garbage and even take your dog for a walk?
    No,avast! is certanly not bloated. It's even beyond flexibility of other freeware antiviruses. You don't use MS Outlook or any other POP3 mail client? Cool,remove the Internet Mail provider and save extra memory (around 1,5-2MB). All modules can be removed or added anytime you want.
    There is also many settings to fully customize avast! to your needs.
    I wonder if you'd prefer AntiVir where you can't even exclude entire folder from scanning or tweak auto-updater so it really works the best. Thats the main reason for those extra few setings that might be a bit confusing for a new user,but you'll quickly get used to it.

    Slow? Not really. Pretty much depends on your hard drive speed (throughput and seek times+HDD cache size) and CPU speed and memory is also a small factor. Also expect better results on Windows NT based systems (WinXP/2k).
    But i found it to be very fast.

    Memory hog? Well i hear all sorts of stories about how avast! slowed down someones PC to a crawl. But again i never experienced that in Windows XP on medium perfromance system nor on Win98 SE system with only 256MB of RAM and P3 733MHz CPU. Memory usage is from 12-15MB. Nothing unusual.

    Very low detection in many tests? What tests exactly? In VB100% it has the most awards among freeware antiviruses and even in some payable.
    In AV-Comparatives it was always better than AVG,sometimes even than AntiVir,better than SOPHOS and very very close to Trend Micro (yeah the big one). So it's not really that bad right?

    Heuristics? I agree, it could have them (those real ones), but Trend Micro also doesn't have them. And still lots of companies and users use it.
    Also Internet Mail provider provides heuristics that can prevent some new malware to get pass pattern matching engine... not perfect (which heuristics are anyway?) but does it's job quiet well.

    Slow on adding signatures? Not really. They do delay some very rare samples at the momement,but for new born threats the act extremely fast (i remember the days of MyDoom,Beagle and Zafi when i got signatures hours before crap hit my mailbox. They are currently also working to improve signatures by employing new virus analyst and to provide new samples submission system. Fair enough i say even though i was a bit dissapointed few weeks ago :)

    Also avast! as the only free AV features fully featured auto-update system with incrimental updates. This means it will constantly check for updates through entire day (not like AVG that checks only once per day and AntiVir that doesn't even check by default and you need to update it manually)
    There is no server differences between payable and free version of avast!. They both use same fast update servers.
    Incrimental updates are also probably the smalles among all antiviruses on market. Few days ago in installed around month old setup package of avast! free and entire update size was mere 136 KB ! Regular updates are as small as 5KB or even 3KB. A real wonder for dialup users. Program updates are only 2-3MB and they are provided to Pro and Home edition at the same time. No more delays to see program update in free version.

    Only thing that i agree is that they have many false positives lately. But they fix them fast so this isn't a huge problem (and since avast! free provides flexible exclusion system to exclude problematic file until they fix the issue).
    But again all AVs have false positives. Even AntiVir flagged some FTP program as Trojan Downloader some time ago and it took quiet some time for H+BEDV to fix it,few days ago,AVG detected my programs as Trojan Agent. False positive again,they fixed it fast. Kaspersky even detected Notepad (yeah the one that is in every Windows system) as malware. They also fixed it fast.
    So no one is immune to false positives, avast! is no exception.

    Long and constructive post i belive. I'm constantly nagging about avast! because i'm specialized in it and i can tell how things really stand compared to other AVs or rumors that people say and write on forums.
    I agree,it's not perfect and needs improvements. But there is no perfects software don't you think? There is always something to improve, enhance or simplify.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2005
  8. Iangh

    Iangh Registered Member

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    Avast is great because of the forum.

    Nice people who don't flame noobs like me.

    Plus, it's also a pretty good programme :D
    Ian
     
  9. Slovak

    Slovak Registered Member

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    It is a bloated, slow, memory hog IMO. It slowed my pc down to a crawl, slower than f-secure :eek: The only good part about it is it's free IMO. And yes that all happened with the latest version on my pc. Mine is not exactly old either, I have a 1.4Ghz server processor and 512Mb ram, I don't game and have nothing running in the background other than my Netveda firewall when running Avast.
     
  10. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

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    avast! use more resources than the others freewares AV's, but takes more resources than F-Secure is impossible...
     
  11. RejZoR

    RejZoR Registered Member

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    Read my post. If thats the case NOD32 is also bloated and KAV too. Not to mention BitDefender. Do people understand what bloated means at all!?
    15MB memory hog? Can't really agree with that. Especially not on a 1,4GHz CPU backed up with 512MB of RAM.

    And last (but not least) i was running Norton 2000 through 2003 on my pre-ancient Celeron 333MHz backed up with only 64MB of SDR 66MHz RAM.
    Now all people say Norton is bloated and resource hog. And it was still working just fine. Now please enlighten me how the hell can something like avast! be a bloated resource hog and slow down machine that is like 4 times faster and backed up with 8 times more RAM than my machine that was running Norton?
     
  12. gigaman

    gigaman Guest

    In that case, there's something very wrong about your PC - or at least about the settings of the programs you use, sorry.
     
  13. patermann

    patermann Registered Member

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    I am running Avast on two old Win98SE machines: one a desktop with 450MHz AMD K6-3 and 256Mb RAM and the other a laptop with 400MHz Celeron and 128Mb RAM and I am having no problems at all. Firewall is ZA free, if that is relevant. (Note: Avast did kill an old HP desktop with only 32Mb RAM, though! I ended up installing AntiVir on that one...)

    The only problem I used to have was with Trillian slowing the PC down but this was solved by excluding the Trillian log directory from the real-time scanning (or disabling logging in Trillian). This is a known problem and and affects all anti-virus programs, not just Avast (i.e. it is really a Trilllian problem not an Avast problem).

    I think that I have to agree with gigaman, it sounds like something is not set up right on your machine. One thought inspired by the Trillian problem that I mentioned: Is Netveda doing a lot of logging and does it help to exclude the Netveda log directory in Avast?

    HTH

    patermann
     
  14. Willc

    Willc Guest

    Hello!

    Ohhh... man, how stupid me!!! I shouldn't rely on what I've read or seen before I give it a try.

    After I've tried Avast home free by read its help, its support forum and playing with it for a while so all I have to say is, I'm very impressed with it. Avast free is a stylish design antivirus, it's fast, runs so smooth and I haven't noticed any slow down although my PC is not that fast (Windows XP Home SP2, Celeron 1.7, 256 MB RAM). Avast updater is very cool, it automatically updates itself when I get my dial-up modem connected.

    I can't believe this antivirus is free, because Avast home free has a lots of feature that I've never seen in other antivirus software, I really love to know that Avast scans all web pages downloaded before it reached to my browser, so I will stay with Avast home free.

    Thank you guys!!!
     
  15. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

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    Good choice, Willc ;)
     
  16. 324234

    324234 Guest

    My expirience was that Avast! is useless! Also AVG as well.

    They do not protect against spywares (just some o them) which are todays main threat!
    For long time I did not see that somebody here asking for help because of virus infection.
     
  17. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    well they are called antiviruses and not antispyware. if u want a do everything, get something like kaspersky security suite or kaspersky internet security beta.
     
  18. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

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    It seems to be a 50/50 tossup out there between Avast users, and AVG users...regarding which free AV product is favored. (based on what I see in other forums too)

    Myself, even though AVG 7 is a lot slower than AVG 6 was...I still feel it's a whisker faster and lighter than Avast. I don't use either of them myself, I'm an NOD user, but on some clients or friends which insist on not purchasing a product...I have to slap something on their rigs, and so far, I still use AVG for that purpose.

    It's not just about counting memory in Task Manager either ( a lot of people forget to add up all the processes an AV products enters in there...as there is usually more than just one)...to figure how how much an AV product slows down a computer...there's also taking into cosideration CPU utilization, and other factors which affect real time file protection performance...how much it slow down a system while sniffing all active files.
     
  19. waters

    waters Registered Member

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    There seems to be a growing difference among free ones now.Last av comparatives,trojans Antivir 93% Avast 73% ,Backdoors Antivir 98% Avast 82% ,Worms Antivir 94% Avast 85% .
     
  20. gigaman

    gigaman Guest

    Oh god. That's exactly what you must not do. I mean, sum whatever you want, but you'll get a complete nonsense. There may be a lot of memory shared between the AV processes - but of course, it appears in each of the processes again (in Task Manager). So, summing them together yields... a big number, having nothing in common with reality.

    (Speaking of "memory usage" only, of course - you are right that there are many other effects to be considered).
     
  21. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

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    I disagree with that on a couple of levels. You have your realtime protection engine, you can have something related to the GUI in the systray, you can have your live update checking utility that checks <at whatever intervals based on what product you use>, etc etc. Some AV products can have 4x or 5x processes running at the same time, and I don't see how they'd share anything but the overall system RAM...IMO nothing overlaps in sharing though...except when it comes to the pagefile.sys.

    On systems with low system RAM (like those poor unfortunate souls trying to run WinXP on 128 or 256 megs of RAM)...this comes into play quite a bit, as there is little RAM left for even moving the mouse without resorting to virtual memory. So on these glacially slow computers, overall sum of processes certainly does come into play.

    On systems with adequate minimum RAM, like WinXP with 512 megs or more...this doesnt come into play much, so the main focus on antivirus performance hit focuses on how real time file protection runs as far as file system and CPU utilization...RAM usage of the processes really don't affect it much.
     
  22. gigaman

    gigaman Guest

    How? Easy. One of the processes (let's call it the "main process") allocates the necessary memory and creates the structures necessary for virus scanning (for example). The other processes (when they also perform some scanning) simply map this block of memory into their own virtual space. So, the memory is allocated just once; the operating system takes care about mapping the necessary pages of physical memory into the other processes, no additional memory is needed for that. But, Task Manager adds this block to the "Memory usage" column for each process.
     
  23. Slovak

    Slovak Registered Member

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    Well I don't know what to say, other than it did indeed slow my computer down, especially web browsing, and opening of programs. I have no problems whatsoever with Antivir, NOD32, or KAV for that matter, so I think I can rightfully say what I said about Avast, which I used last about 2 months ago.
     
  24. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

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    If you say that avast! use more resources than F-Secure, I believe in you...
    Maybe you have some problem that cause some incompatibility with avast!...
    Did you tried it in a clean system? i.e. without installing another AV before?
     
  25. Beefcarver

    Beefcarver Registered Member

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    Im having no problems at all with avast. I like booting up and having it say virus database has been updated. I think its cool. The only problem is when I add all those shields and added protections I dont use. I dont P2P so I dont need that.
    And the email thing it will change your settings and will mess things up.
    I use the standard shield and the web shield only set to High and its great.

    I also use bitdefender free and A2 Free as second opinion on demand scanners.
     
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