This is ONLY MY OPINION. Others will disagree with me. That’s OK as long as you do your research before buying a product (or downloading a free one).
This review is from the perspective of a user. It doesn’t contain the technical specs that the professional reviewers include. I use AVAST on my personal computers as does my husband. However, we don’t surf porn sites or any of the binary user groups or illegal free download sites. If you play in bad neighborhoods you can get diseases.
First, the positives:
- Avast uses minimal resources, so it doesn’t slow down the computer very much.
- It has a user initiated “boot scan” available. This means that you can tell it to scan the hard drive BEFORE Windows boots allowing the AV to remove programs that might hide themselves within Windows after boot. The downside is that if a file is infected and removed and IF it is an essential Windows file, the computer might not run as expected or might not even boot. I recommend having a good backup of your documents and pictures before running a boot scan. If a Windows file is infected, you would have to do a reinstall of the operating system anyway, but better safe than sorry if you have important data.
- It updates virus definitions more often than most AV’s — sometimes several times a day, so you are on top of the newest threats.
- It is free. Did I mention it is free? It does require that you register it with your e-mail address and name, but it doesn’t cost anything.
- There are reduced price deals on a regular basis. My paid version on my laptop was $19.99 for 2 years. That offer came when the free version came up for renewal.
Now, the negatives:
- You have to be careful when installing not to permit a “free trial” of the software, or it will demand payment after 30 days. You have to actually READ all of the install screens. A good rule is that if a button is a pretty green or blue, it leads to software that you have to pay for. If it is a plain gray (and harder to find), it leads to the free version. In Avast’s defense, they do have to make money, but it is annoying to have to jump through hoops just to get the thing installed.
- It nags you to buy other products (a Grime remover, for example) with little pop-ups in the lower right corner of the screen. Grime Fighter doesn’t do anything that other free utilities like Malwarebytes and Superantispyware can’t do. I just don’t like being nagged.
- It doesn’t automatically run scans of your computer. It runs in memory and checks everything in or out, but if you want to do a complete scan, you have to initiate that yourself.
Be sure to completely uninstall any previous antivirus program before installing a new one. In Norton’s case this includes the liveupdate program and possibly others. Just look for anything with the Symantec logo in add/remove programs.
Check to be sure your new program is up to date. If Avast pops up a green window offering you an updated program, click on the link and allow it to download and install. It may ask you to reboot.
Buy/download a program that will work on your computer. Read the lable. It will tell you what resources are required, and some AV’s no longer support Windows XP.