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Free Software: AVAST

With so many vicious threats roaming the web these days, it would be nice to save a little money while arming your system with solid protection.  There are hundreds of anti-virus solutions on the market; several of them offer exceptional results, but will cost you a pretty penny in the end.  When price becomes an issue, quality products such as AVAST 4 Home Edition are there to back you up.

Overview of Features

AVAST 4 Home Edition is a program that includes an easy install and quick setup.  The interface is clean, cleaver and very convenient.  Those familiar with Windows applications will notice that it borrows the skin themes of WinAmp, a style that is easily modified by downloading new themes from the product's website.  Regardless of the application's theme, the interface of the AVAST free security program is well suited for all levels of experience. 

AVAST 4 Home Edition is one of the only free virus scanners that runs in Safe Mode and has the ability to scan your system as it boots up.  This gives you a better chance at ridding your system of stubborn infections, especially those complex threats that work around removal attempts.  

Product Performance

While not as effective as a paid security program, AVAST 4 Home Edition does provide limited spyware and adware removal capability.  The removal rating is very poor when compared to more prominent solutions, but AVAST 4 Home Edition is one of the only free anti-virus applications that has the ability to delete these advanced forms of malware.  The deficiency of this program's scanner seems to be due to it's lack of signature updates as opposed to the actual inability to remove these infections.  On the other hand, the AVAST free software has a much better chance at removing spyware and adware when performing a scan during the system bootup procedure. 

This program provides quality protection for various Windows platforms including XP, 2000, NT, ME and 98.  It installs a little under 40 MB of files and consists of no more than six running processes on most computers.  AVAST 4 Home Edition is much more capable than most free scanners and works well with systems using limited resources.   

Pros

- small application that performs well on older computers

- sophisticated virus scanner easily detects stubborn files

- has the ability to detect and remove specific forms spyware and adware

 

Cons

- default interface may not appeal to more advanced users

- no spam filter

- no personal firewall component

- lack of technical support

 

Conclusion: Decent for Free Antivirus , Spyware, and Adware Protection

Like most free software, AVAST 4 Home Edition has its drawbacks, one of the biggest being the lack of technical support.  While this is a bit unsettling, you will find that support is limited even in several leading brand products.  The most significant advantage the software has over other free anti-virus solutions is the ability to detect and remove a decent amount of spyware and adware.  Considering its ease of use and availability, AVAST 4 Home Edition shows signs of a quality program that will do a great job at keeping your computer free of common infections.

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