At the moment there is a large selection of anti-virus packages from different manufacturers, but the most popular among them (at least in our country) are the well-known “grandees” of the anti-virus industry, such as Kaspersky Anti-Virus, Dr. Web and Norton Antivirus. All of them have huge armies of both fans and opponents leading an endless “religious” war with each other.
Recently, however, the influence of competing products, able to compete on equal terms with eminent brothers, has noticeably increased. About one of these programs, antivirus Avast! Czech company Alwil Software, and will be discussed today.
Versions of the program Avast!
Antivirus Avast! It is available in both home and corporate users, not only for small and medium businesses (for personal computers and workstations), but also for large corporations (for servers and server clusters). This antivirus can perfectly use the resources of multiprocessor computers based on any server operating system of the Windows family. In addition to the traditional support of the Windows operating system family, including the new Windows Vista platform (both 32-bit and 64-bit versions), Linux and DOS, the antivirus can also work on handheld computers running Palm OS and Win CE. In addition, the avast! Rescue disk is of considerable interest. BART CD, which is a bootable CD containing not only the antivirus itself, but also a set of programs for recovering information on a hard disk.
With this program Avast! Home Editing (version for home users) and the utility Virus Cleaner (cleans the computer from “socially dangerous” infections – such as the sensational Klez and MyDoom) are completely free, which, you see, is a rare phenomenon in the antivirus world. By the way, the free version of avast! Home Edition still need to register (preferably – within the first 60 days from the beginning of operation). To do this, just go to the official website of the program, fill out a short form and get a registration key. It will be valid for 14 months, and then it will be possible to reregister again once more.
All of the above versions of the program Avast! created on the basis of the same antivirus engine certified by ICSA, which provides almost 100% detection of In-the-Wild viruses and a fairly high level of detection of Trojans with the minimum number of false positives. Evidence of this is the constant and quite successful participation of Avast! in tests Virus Bulletin, award-winning VB100%.
Avast! User interface
Regardless of the version of the program Avast!, Its interface is very simple and intuitive, the Russian language is available. Although it is not particularly important – in the process of the program, it is practically not necessary to contact it. After installing the antivirus, only a small tray icon with a stylized letter “a” reminds of its work.
After installing the professional (paid) version of Avast! the user has a choice between two types of interface – simple and advanced, whereas free Avast! Home Edition has only a simple user interface that provides access to the settings of the anti-virus settings to the minimum necessary (but quite sufficient) degree. In the extended user interface, you can not only define scan areas, but also indicate its depth (file types, extensions, scanning with disinfection, deletion, and so on), as well as configure the disk check on a schedule. By and large, this is the main difference between the “Sharvar” Avast! Professional Edition of the free Avast! Home Edition.
Work with the program Avast!
One of the most important functions of any antivirus is resident protection (real-time protection), the essence of which is to scan the computer’s memory, launch, change and save files in order to detect a virus before it infects your computer).
To do this in the avast! Home Edition includes several modules (in Avast! Terminology – resident providers), three of which serve as resident file system protection, and the rest monitor messages of Internet pagers (ICQ, AIM, Trillian, and some others), programs for file-sharing networks such as P2P (Kazaa and others – more than 30 items in total) and, of course, email clients.
In the first three providers, the “Web-screen” works as a transparent proxy and scans the HTTP traffic coming from Internet websites (through the 80th port), blocking unwanted. It’s nice that the influence of the “Web-screen” on the speed of the browser is almost negligible. This is due to the proprietary technology called “Intelligent Stream Scan”, which allows this module to scan objects on the fly without the need for caching. The “standard screen” is responsible for scanning launched files and processes in memory, it allocates potentially dangerous signatures of virus-like objects. The “firewall” is a kind of mini-firewall that can protect the system from Internet worms known to it and the most primitive network attacks. However, it is illogical to demand more from him – after all, this is not a specialized product, but only a pleasant “add-on” to the antivirus.
As for the resident mail protection, it includes two modules: the first, the standard provider, checks SMTP / POP3 / IMAP4 at the protocol level, which ensures the protection of any modern mail client. In addition, there is a separate module for the most popular email client today – MS Outlook.
In all providers, the basic setting is the slider of the sensitivity level of protection, which determines whether it will block and immediately inform the user about any incorrect call. Setting the slider to the default “Normal” really corresponds to its name and fits most users. More fastidious can customize the program more “subtle”, for which you need to click the “Customize” button. However, in order to avoid trouble, it is better not to change those points, the meaning of which is not quite clear to you.