Back in Oct 2004 I tested Avast (free).
Only difference between free/pro is a couple of features. Features aside overall operations of both are about the same.
When I blasted this program is was because I had a computer that was in the lower end of the then current products. Avast was slower than a glacier, it would not run well.
6 years later I find this to be one of the faster programs (except for full scan). In 2004 I would not recommend this program.
In 2010 I would have to say it is much improved and a worthy product for many people. I will recommend the Free versions to those that don't want to pay and for those that need or want the Pro this is not a bad deal when they have specials on their website.
I did however find that the Product did not fit my needs due to the lack of a better update schedule. I need to set exact times for the updates and this program only allows to set a certain amount of minutes. That is why 4*
I had to choose a different product.
Easy to use, but a little slow to scan. Seems thorough and reliable. I haven't had any problems with avast free version or pro.
I have over the years used Nortons,Zonealarm but found Avast! 4 Professional the best in terms of ease of use and not resource intense like norton or have problems with updates like Zonealarm as i have now for home computer.
There are no need to have a IT background to understand all the settings like some, so all the options are basic which makes this either good or bad depending if you like tinkering with anti virus programs all i want is some thing simple to use and gets all virus.
Give this 1 a go and you might find it works for you as well.
I have been using this program for some time now and am quite happy with it.
I advise to try the free version [for home users] first.
I've used BitDefender, AntiVir, Norton, Symantec, McAffee, Kaspersky, Panda, AVG... and I settled on Avast. It successfully caught some viruses that the heavyweights let through, cleaned up a PC from 3-4 viruses (it previously had ****** on it). It's helper applications (called 'providers') provide all round protection from trojans and viruses exploiting open ports, and also it scans scripts. With Avast, your computer is not only equipped with self-defense/antibodies; it also now has an Level 4 environmental biohazard sterile suit. Awesome thing! Some drawbacks: The interface is not as slick as some of its competitors... really functional though. And when scanning, your system feels slightly sluggish... but it roots out more diseases so it's a tradeoff.
It seems to be quite reliable with its regular automatic online updates of virus definitions (sometimes twice a day). I switched to Avast from Norton which took SIGNIFICANTLY more of my computer resources than this program and was EXTREMELY slow. Avast works very quickly. It has quite unusual but convenient interface (in pro edition you can switch to more conventional enhanced user interface). I have checked this app with several testing tools and it has passed all the exams. I have already been using Avast during several months and so far haven't noticed any cons.
Nothing more to say ...
After dumping the [..], I installed avast! home edition. I was so impressed that I eventually upgraded to the avast! PRO 4.6 edition to get the script blocking feature. You will NOT be disappointed with this app. If anyone is reporting a problem with avast! they probably need to simply clean up their registry of old entries that were left behind after uninstalling past applications. Left-behind registry entries can conflict with many new software installs.
I've always liked (and recommended) Avast Home (i.e. free) Edition. And to be honest, a part of me wants to tell you to give a few bucks to the fine people at Alwil for their good work. However, the other part of me wants to tell you that the free version should be enough for most users. Many of the worthwhile extras exclusive to the Pro version, like script blocking, can be had with other freeware apps (Script Sentry, for example).
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