I’ve been using Avast Antivirus for the last three years, ever since my legal copy of Norton Antivirus expired.
I was fed up anyway of how Norton was making my computer slow as hell, due to its bloated size and tendency to hog memory. So I thought let me try out some free options.
I tried both AVG and Avast. Of the two, I found Avast really spectacular (even better than Norton) and more than enough for my needs.
Some salient points:
1. Light and runs fast: It is very light on the system. The program itself is much smaller than Norton (Avast is about 25-30 MB vs Norton’s 120+ MB). And it occupies far less RAM memory on your system, which means that your computer starts faster and also runs faster since it’s less loaded.
2. Effective virus removal:The runtime antivirus scanner is quite effective. I’ve never had any virus problems with Avast. If any external media (USB, CD, etc.) inserted has viruses, then they are all detected by Avast. It has even caught viruses that Norton has failed to catch!
3. Automatic updates: Avast automatically updates the virus definition files every few days. This keeps the definitions up to date, which means even the latest viruses can’t affect you. It also updates the main program whenever necessary.
4. Built-in antispyware: Earlier versions didn’t have an antispyware kit built-in, but the latest versions (Avast 4.8 onwards) have this too. This was my only grouse with Avast earlier, as I needed to use a separate program (Ad Aware) to remove spyware.
5. Easy to use and configure:The configuration menu of Avast is easy to use and configure. All the regular options are provided (see images below). Also, the virus scanner is easy to use and has options to scan folders and drives, schedule boot scans, etc.
6. Skins: Avast supports skins, using which you can change the appearance of the user interface to suit your tastes.
7. Free! The best part is that you get all of these features for free! Why would any sensible person pay for a lower quality product when a far better product is available for free!
Avast is available for free download here. Only thing is that you need to register it. To register, you need to go to the Avast registration page (http://www.avast.com/registration-free-antivirus.php) and provide your email ID. You will be sent a registration number on that email ID. You need to enter this number into your Avast installation, following which you can use it free for a year. After one year, you will need to follow the same process again.