Avast Free Antivirus
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Avast Free Antivirus 2012 have a beautiful graphic user interface and many new improvements and also a lot of new fans. The Interface is now modern, much more popular and easier to use, new features that had previously been included only in the paid version are now available for free for all users.
The installing process is easier and similar to AVG but not easier than Kaspersky or Trend Micro, the desktop gadget (WebRep add-on) is automatically installed during the installation process, however for users that don't want to use it, they are able to select the custom install and uncheck all those gadgets and features. Users that already install the antivirus using the standard installation method they have the ability to uninstall any of the undesired gadgets and features.
Installing Avast Free Antivirus 2012 doesn't require a windows reboot anymore, and the uninstalling process is clean and no registry keys remains after the uninstall process. The installation package file is a little too large download (59 MB free version).
Graphic user Interface
The GUI is almost identical to the previous release, the removal of the Explorer navigation style make the interface easier to use, the new AutoSandbox and WebRep feature are the single changes to the Protection tab in this version 2012.
The summary menu offer full details about the status of your antivirus program, the second tab contain all the default scan procedures including the custom scan feature available on the right side. The third tab contain the real time shield with a clean and beautiful interface. In the maintenance tab users will find the update buttons, and on the top the help center link and also the settings link where you can find a lot of useful settings designed for users than love to tweak the antivirus programs, for those of you that love the program a Like avast button is now available for social networking.
Help Support and new features
AutoSandBox makes avast antivirus one of the best antivirus program available today, the sandbboxing technology is working very good and is used by many users. The new version have the capability to places applications in virtualized state whenever it detect any strange behavior, this feature will protect computers against new and undetected threads which will run in a virtual mode and any damage to your virtual mode will not affect you computer system stability or your registry.
The AutoSandBox feature is available in the left navigation menu , this feature will ask the user whether application should be inserted or not in the sandbox, the auto decision option is available too. The Security WebRep addon have a good reputation , however can reduce a little bit your browser speed and performance. The WebRep addon works in Internet Explorer and firefox, it is not available for Chrome browser and Opera browser. The avast help support is one of the best help support available in the word of antiviruses. The "restore factory configuration" will help users to restore the standard avast settings in any moment and users have the option to disable or enable the windows 7 or vista Avast desktop gadgets.
For the moment there is no link scanner feature similar to AVG free , however will be probable soon available, the company announce that the unsecured URL's will be automatically blocked before to be opened in the browser.
The new SafeZone is a very important feature and is available and accessible from the middle icon from desktop gadget or from the Protection tab from the the easy to use interface.
The gaming mode will disable the notifications during the game and it is a very important and used feature too, however the most important feature remain the internal engine that detect the threads which is now very powerful. There are available for different standard scan methods and the custom scan method, and all related scan feature can be easily adjusted from this tab, for example quick scan and full scans and folder diagnostic scan, users are also able to activate a schedule scan on boot time.
Antivirus engine performance
A full standard scan is completed in 19 minutes and a full scan in about 45 minutes with about 15 Mb of RAM uses, and have a very small impact on system resources. There is minimum impact on computer start up performances and minimum impact to Windows shutdown procedure.
Avast is clearly one of the best antivirus program around, however we are sure that the company will continuously improve the software and the next versions will be better and better.