The topic of Internet security, despite promising statements by OS developers, has not lost its relevance in recent years. Today, we are witnessing (and sometimes even the victims) endless virus outbreaks, almost continuously replacing one another, not to mention the harmful “Trojans” who organized a real hunt for passwords and other confidential data stored on our hard drives. So no sane person will go online without first protecting their computer from external aggression. One of the essential components of such protection is undoubtedly an antivirus.
At the moment there is a large selection of antivirus packages from different manufacturers, but the most popular among them (at least in our country) is the well-known “grandees” of the antivirus industry, such as Kaspersky Anti-Virus, Dr. Web and Norton Antivirus. All of them have vast armies of both fans and opponents leading an endless “religious” war with each other.
Recently, however, the influence of competing products, able to compete on equal terms with eminent brothers, has noticeably increased. About one of these programs, antivirus Avast Czech company Alwil Software, and will be discussed today.
Versions of Avast Antivirus
Antivirus Avast It is available in both home and corporate users, not only for small and medium businesses (for personal computers and workstations) but also for large corporations (for servers and server clusters). This antivirus can correctly use the resources of multiprocessor computers based on any server operating system of the Windows family. In addition to the traditional support of the Windows operating system family, including the new Windows Vista platform (both 32-bit and 64-bit versions), Linux and DOS, the antivirus can also work on handheld computers running Palm OS and WinCE. Also, avast The rescue disk is of considerable interest. BART CD, which is a bootable CD containing not only the antivirus itself but also a set of programs for recovering information on a hard disk.
With this program Avast Home Editing (version for home users) and the utility Virus Cleaner (cleans the computer from “socially dangerous” infections – such as the sensational Klez and MyDoom) are entirely free, which, you see, is a rare phenomenon in the antivirus world. By the way, the free version of avast Home Edition still need to register (preferably – within the first 60 days from the beginning of operation). To do this, go to the official website of the program, fill out a short form and get a registration key. It will be valid for 14 months, and then it will be possible to reregister again.
All of the above versions of the program Avast created based on the same antivirus engine certified by ICSA, which provides almost 100% detection of In-the-Wild viruses and a relatively high level of exposure of Trojans with the minimum number of false positives. Evidence of this is the constant and quite successful participation of Avast in tests Virus Bulletin, award-winning VB100%.
Avast User interface
Regardless of the version of the program Avast, Its interface is straightforward and intuitive, the Russian language is available. Although it is not particularly important – in the process of the program, it is practically not necessary to turn to it. After installing the antivirus, only a small tray icon with a stylized letter “a” reminds of its work.
After installing the professional (paid) version of Avast, the user has a choice between two types of interface – advanced and straightforward, whereas free Avast Home Edition has only a simple user interface that provides access to the settings of the antivirus settings to the minimum necessary (but quite sufficient) degree. In the extended user interface, you can not only define scan areas, but also indicate its depth (file types, extensions, scanning with disinfection, deletion, and so on), as well as configure the disk check on a schedule. By and large, this is the main difference between the “Sharvar” Avast Professional Edition of the free Avast Home Edition.
Work with the program Avast
One of the essential functions of any antivirus is resident protection (real-time protection), the essence of which is to scan the computer’s memory, launch, change and save files from detecting a virus before it infects your computer).
To do this in the avast Home Edition includes several modules (in Avast Terminology – resident providers), three of which serve as resident file system protection, and the rest monitor messages of Internet pagers (ICQ, AIM, Trillian, and some others), programs for file-sharing networks such as P2P (Kazaa and others – more than 30 items in total) and, of course, email clients.
In the first three providers, the “Web-screen” works as a transparent proxy and scans the HTTP traffic coming from Internet websites (through the 80th port), blocking unwanted. It’s nice that the influence of the “Web-screen” on the speed of the browser is almost negligible. This is due to the proprietary technology called “Intelligent Stream Scan,” which allows this module to scan objects on the fly without the need for caching. The “standard screen” is responsible for scanning launched files and processes in memory, and it allocates potentially dangerous signatures of virus-like objects. The “firewall” is a kind of mini-firewall that can protect the system from Internet worms known to it and the most primitive network attacks. However, it is illogical to demand more from him – after all, this is not a specialized product, but only a pleasant “add-on” to the antivirus.
As for the resident mail protection, it includes two modules: the first, the standard provider, checks SMTP / POP3 / IMAP4 at the protocol level, which ensures the security of any modern mail client. Also, there is a separate module for the most popular email client today – MS Outlook.
In all providers, the primary setting is the slider of the sensitivity level of protection, which determines whether it will block and immediately inform the user about any incorrect call. Setting the slider to the default “Normal” really corresponds to its name and fits most users. More fastidious can customize the program more “subtle,” for which you need to click the “Customize” button. However, to avoid trouble, it is better not to change those points, the meaning of which is not entirely clear to you.
The efficiency of the resident scanner is significantly increased due to the heuristic analysis of files, the use of which almost completely excludes the possibility of new, hitherto unknown viruses and worms that cannot be detected by conventional means into the user’s computer. The heuristic module scrutinizes every file launched (or received email) and monitors for suspicious signs that might indicate the presence of a virus. When the number of these signs exceeds the user-defined threshold, the message becomes dangerous, and the user receives an appropriate warning. In the professional version of the program, an executable script scanner is added to this, which protects the system from viruses, even if you run an infected file yourself. Also, it increases the security of using the browser on unknown sites that may contain dangerous Java scripts.
An additional advantage of Avast Resident antivirus scanner. Is very economical use of computer resources, its activity practically does not affect the work of even the ancient and not the most “nimble” systems.
Like any decent antivirus package, Avast, In addition to resident protection, also contains an antivirus scanner. Very simple launching – right-click on the main tray icon and select “Run Avast Antivirus!”. When loading, a time window will appear, which will be in front of you while the scanner checks all the processes in memory and the essential files for Windows on the hard disk.
Avast perfectly integrates into any Windows OS. You can run the antivirus scanner directly in Windows Explorer by right-clicking on a folder or file and choosing “Scan …”. It is also possible to scan for viruses upon starting the computer (only in Windows NT / 2000 / XP / .NET). The startup check is performed before the OS boots up, i.e., before the virus gets an opportunity to be activated. Therefore, it will in no way be able to block the work of the antivirus.
How to deal with viruses detected by the program is evident – delete mercilessly, but it is better to place virus-like objects in Quarantine (antivirus storage) – a particular area on the disk dedicated to the safe isolation of individual suspicious files. The main feature of Quarantine is complete isolation from the operating system (no external processes, i.e., no viruses can get into the data), of course, files in the Quarantine cannot be started under any circumstances. And only after some time, making sure that suspicious files have no relation to the system (or other useful software), they can be safely removed.
The private development of Alwil Software is the file recovery mechanism after the removal of the VRDB virus. After all, if a virus infects, for example, some critical file, then even after removing the body of the “infection,” some bytes of the data may remain changed. VRDB finds a unique hash for each file, stores it in a particular protected folder, and, if necessary, restores it to the original version of the data. By the way, creating hash bases for all files is, of course, not fast, so you can choose in the program settings when to create them: immediately, during inactivity (which gives the maximum creation speed and practically does not load the computer — the best option) or when turn on screen saver. The work of VRDB is indicated by a separate icon with the letter “f” in the tray.
Curious enough and such an exclusive feature in Avast, As an antivirus screensaver. After the program is installed, a new “screen saver” (screensaver) will appear in the “Properties of the screen,” with the launch of which the antivirus scanner is activated — quite a useful feature, especially for those who have a computer on all the time.
Automatic update is another critical element of virus protection. Both Avast Virus databases and the program itself can be updated either manually or automatically (including in the free version). It should be noted that the databases are updated at least less than those of famous competitors – almost every day, so their size is small – about 20-80 Kb and the program update is slightly more – about 200-500 Kb. Moreover, if you use a dedicated channel to connect to the Internet, updates can be performed entirely automatically at a specified time. If you use dial-up access, Avast will determine the availability of the connection and update only when you connect to the Internet.
Antivirus Avast for all its simplicity and modesty (in terms of system resources) it combines almost all the useful qualities of “senior brothers,” such as more than decent functionality of its main components and, which is very important in the conditions of recent explosive epidemics bases. But the best part is that for home users this antivirus is completely free.
The professional version, in addition to the full functionality of the home, additionally has a command line interface that allows you to work in the console, in Avast Professional Edition added a mechanism for launching antivirus on a schedule, expanded the user interface to provide more “fine-tuning” of the program, enabled blocking of dangerous scripts on the pages viewed and added the “Update on Demand” mechanism. In general, this modification does not bring fundamental changes compared to the home version, and it just makes the antivirus even more flexible to use, unleashing the hands of experienced users and administrators. But for the money, even if not as big as the competition.
Versions of Avast Antivirus
Among all of their software products, AVAST Free antivirus is the most widely used solution for protecting home computers from viruses. Such popularity is not the result of an advertising campaign but is fully deserved thanks to the positive reviews of ordinary users and security specialists. The developers have set a high level of quality and support it for many years. This has increased the level of effectiveness of all free antivirus software.
Avast Antivirus has a high speed of scanning files and low system requirements for regular operation. These advantages make their work imperceptible and not causing a significant load on the computer. This is how a good antivirus should be: fast and inconspicuous.
Also, avast antiviruses have a proprietary technology – scanning the computer at the time of its launch when the viruses have not yet been activated and therefore cannot prevent their safe removal.
More advanced in comparison with the free version are paid antiviruses: AVAST Pro and AVAST Internet Security. Detailed information about the capabilities of these programs can be found by clicking on the links. Separately, I want to say that everyone can try these antiviruses for free on their computer by installing their trial versions for 30 days. If you like them, you can continue to use them by purchasing a license key.
Developers are not deprived of the attention of mobile platforms. To protect them was created antivirus avast Mobile Security. Its primary functions are free, but they can be expanded by activating the paid version of the program.
These programs, despite their Czech origin, have been translated into many languages, including Russian and Ukrainian, which also contributes to their popularity and widespread throughout the world. There are separate versions of antiviruses for various platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac OS. It should be noted that avast antiviruses are leaders in terms of the number of awards from independent test laboratories.
AVAST Antivirus: installation
- Download antivirus
Download any program best and safest from the official website of the manufacturer, or a trusted, trustworthy source. So, our “Kulibins” can either inject some malicious functionality into the program, or even donate a malicious malware under the guise of a useful program or try to cash in on you somehow (for example, paid download, or download for free, but paid installation, etc.), etc. and so on). Therefore, we go to the manufacturer’s website in the “downloads” section and select avast! Free Antivirus.
A small digression: why do we recommend the free (free) version? The paid versions of Pro and Internet Security are different from the open availability of a firewall, Sandbox, and antispam module, but they catch viruses in precisely the same way. The firewall, which is designed to “block hacker attacks” of dubious quality, is difficult to configure and, if not set correctly, can completely block the Internet, local network, access to network printers and other devices. I will tell you about the features of using Sandbox (sandboxes) a bit below. The functionality of the Antispam module is generally unclear)). Therefore, paid versions of this antivirus are no better than free ones, and in some cases (for example, blocked Internet) turn out to be worse.
2. Install antivirus
The installation procedure is unremarkable, except that during the installation process it is essential to look carefully at the various “ticks” and not to miss the “parasite program.” In this case, it’s a Google Chrome browser, so you decide whether you need it or not. After the installation is completed, it is necessary to go through the procedure of registering the antivirus to obtain a one-year license, and here we will have the first “pitfall” that we will meet from time to time and on:
avast button Sign up gray and nondescript
By clicking on the bright blue “Make an upgrade now” button, we will receive a trial paid version, which will stop working after 30 days, starting to beg for money relentlessly. Therefore, be careful!
And finally, the last window of thanks for the installation. Attention! Do not accidentally click on the button “Try Internet Security for free,” otherwise see above), close this window with a cross or barely visible link under the button “I prefer to leave the basic protection”:
avast-I prefer to leave essential protection
As a result, we get a one-year license to use the antivirus.
avast year license to use antivirus
after which it will be necessary to re-register everything just in the same way.
3. AutoSandbox – additional protection?
Starting with the 7th version of the antivirus built-in feature “Sandbox» (AutoSandbox), which, according to the manufacturers, “allows you to run all the programs that avast! Finds it suspicious in the avast! Sandbox. (Sandbox). This feature ensures that no harm is caused to your operating system and files.” It would seem – an innovative, progressive and incredibly useful function! But in fact, it turned out that “I wanted the best, but it turned out as always.” In practice, Avast can start to consider any program as “suspicious,” a driver and they end up in the Sandbox. Sometimes a similar message appears about it, and after it, the program usually closes:
Avast! Performs a suspicious program analysis …
But this is not always the case! Sometimes you can only guess why this or that program suddenly stopped running. The evidence that the program works in the Avast Sandbox is an orange frame around the program window, but it is also not always displayed. Avast sandbox significantly affects computer performance.
4. Software updates
In addition to regularly updating the antivirus database, the program itself is updated from time to time, as evidenced by such pop-up windows:
It is necessary to update the program, as it has made improvements, fixed bugs, improved performance, but needs to be done correctly.
Do not give in to provocations! Only “Major updates”!
5. Expiration, license renewal
After the license expires, the antivirus stops working and contributes to re-register. Also, from time to time and when trying to re-register, this type of warning pops up, threatening to try out the “charms of “full protection” with avast! Internet Security. Experience the charms of full protection with avast! Internet Security. We choose “Basic Protection,” it is enough for us!
6. Database updates
In general, when there is a stable connection to the Internet, updates of the antivirus database are carried out without any problems. But what about users who have no Internet at the moment? For such people, the manufacturer has provided such an opportunity. By accessing this page, you can copy it to a USB flash drive or some other storage medium, and then update the antivirus on your computer offline.