avast! antivirus is an anti-virus program developed by ALWIL Software based in Prague, Czech Republic, first released in 1988. Avast! was one of the first on-access antivirus programs to be released for Windows x64 edition. Since its release, avast! 4 Home has become one of the most popular full-featured freeware anti-virus applications for Microsoft Windows users. As of December, 2007 it has had over 14 million downloads on Download.com . As of October 22, 2007 avast! (Home version) has had 40 million registered users.The program is free for home and non-commercial use so it is often compared with the free version of Grisoft's AVG Anti-Virus.The software is aimed at preventing several types of computer threats, including those that are not technically computer viruses such as spyware and even rogue anti-spyware, and can also make a virus Recovery DataBase which is used to recover files when they are infected (instead of deleting them). The product is available with text and voice translations for 27 languages. Features
Screenshot of avast! home edition with the aVist skin created by Sasha-Z-CreationsScreenshot of avast! home edition without any skins
Standard Shield - Real-time protectionIM shield - Instant Messenger protectionP2P shield - P2P protectionInternet Mail - E-mail protectionOutlook/Exchange - Microsoft Outlook/Exchange protectionWeb Shield - HTTP protection (localtransparent proxy)Script blocker - script checker (Pro version only)Network Shield - basic protection against well-known network worms. Acts as a lightweight Intrusion Detection SystemAudible alarms - vocal warnings such as "Caution, a virus has been detected!"Boot-time scan - through the program interface, a user can schedule a boot-time scan to remove viruses that load during Windows startup and are therefore difficult to remove. Virus Chest
Screenshot of avast! Virus ChestThe avast! Virus Chest is a folder where infected files can be stored when detected. Placing them in the chest causes the files' usage to be disabled and prevents them from causing any harm. The virus chest also stores vital system files to prevent them from virus damage. They still can be run, but the access to the file by any source or other program is blocked until it is removed from the chest. Automatic update
avast! Antivirus normally updates itself freely for the first 14 months of usage as long as the using computer is connected to the Internet. After each 14 month period, the user of the software must re-register to receive a new license key. Unless upgrading to the pay version, registration currently remains free. Other uses
avast! is compatible with various archiving software (including WinRAR) and IM applications, because of its tool, ashquick.exe which scans for viruses using a minimalist interface. Skinnable
All avast! editions have a completely skinnable GUI. Versions
It is currently in version 4.7 and it is available for varying OSes including Windows (from 95 onwards) and Linux. However, not all editions of the program run on a Windows Server operating system. System requirements vary with the version of the OS. Editions
avast! 4 Home Edition (freeware for personal and non-commercial use, both conditions should be met) - a fully featured antivirus package for home computers running Windows.avast! 4 Professional Edition (shareware) - antivirus package with extra options for workstations.avast! 4 Server Edition (shareware) - antivirus package intended to use on servers, may be extended by modules (protection of SMTP server, Exchange server, ISA server, SharePoint server, ...)avast! U3 Edition (shareware) - antivirus designed to protect U3 smart drives from viruses and other forms of malware.avast! NetClient - Professional/Server product manageable over network from avast! management server avast! 4 Small Business Server Edition (shareware) - complete antivirus solution for Microsoft Small Business Server, including Exchange server or ISA server.avast! for Linux/Unix Serversavast! Linux Home Edition - (freeware for personal and non-commercial use, both conditions should be met) - antivirus solution intended for use on Linux workstations.avast! for Kerio (shareware)avast! 4 PDA Edition (shareware)avast! 7.7 for DOS (freeware) avast! Mac Edition (in Beta) Virus definitions
Despite being freeware, avast! 4 Home updates its virus definitions on a regular basis (sometimes multiple times a day), and this process is automated by default. Awards
SC Awards 2006 Finalist - Secure Computing Awards are the world's leading awards program for the information security industry and Avast beat out some, formerly, leading companies for top honors.
avast! won SC Award for best anti-virus in US part of SC awards. Additionally avast! won anti-virus and anti-malware section of European part of SC awards. avast! is the only product which won the same section in both US and European parts of the SC Awards.
avast! won the Review Centre Award 2006 for Best Anti-Virus software. The award was given based on consumer reviews from Review Centre