avast! 4 Home Edition is a light weight, feature rich antivirus package which is ICSA certified and awarded by the Secure Computing Magazine. This is free antivirus software to be used for noncommercial purposes, that is mainly at home. avast! 4 Home Edition sports a trendy Media Player style interface and its high performance antivirus kernel has great detection abilities. Users benefit highly from its built-in capacity to detect viruses hidden in alternate data streams on NTFS volumes, viruses spreading between users, and even Trojan horses. Its outstanding unpacking support is yet another advantage. In fact, it can scan inside almost all popular archive formats. Additionally, avast! 4 Home Edition supports a number of executable packers (PKLite, Diet, UPX, ASPack, PeShield, FSG, MEW etc.). Its powerful resident module can easily detect a virus before it infects your computer. Another interesting feature of this software is the Virus Chest, which is a safe, isolated folder to store infected, suspicious and even system files, and to restore them later. You can even work with the files in the Chest, though with some security restrictions. Installing avast! 4 Home Edition takes over 2 minutes, though it does ask you to restart your system to install all its features. However, the next time that you start your PC after having installed the software, be prepared for a delayed start as it scans all your files.
avast! 4 Home Edition is a user-friendly software. Its simple ‘on demand scanner’ interface makes it easy to choose files to be scanned and the scanning can also be activated easily with the activation of the Play button. avast! 4 Home Edition also provides an ‘on-access scanner’ protection for popular e-mail clients as well as for over 30 different types of popular IM (Instant Messaging) and P2P (peer-to-peer) programs. Whereas its screen saver scanner scans your PC during coffee breaks, its web shield monitors and filters all incoming HTTP traffic , thus providing effective counter-measures against malware, adware, spyware and dialers. The Web Shield acts as a transparent HTTP proxy and is compatible with all major web browsers like MS Internet Explorer, FireFox, Mozilla and Opera.
At times, avast’s performance does not match its advertised features. It performed poorly in heuristics (e-mail scan) tests, besides being pretty slow. It seems that loopholes exist within the program. Also I would like to see an estimation of the time the antivirus takes to verify my files on my PC.
This much awarded anti virus is worth a try. It benefits from incremental automatic online updates that are quick to download without an irritating system restart. If your Internet connection is persistent, the updates are performed automatically – that is without prompts – and at fixed time intervals. Having an up-to-date virus database is a smart way to protect your computer.