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Avast AntiVirus Professional Edition (Version 4.8) Download:


Avast! Antivirus Professional Edition 4.8 VERSION:  Windows 95, 98, Me, NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Vista, Single User

PRICE:  $39.95

Download No Longer Available


Note: This is the old version of Avast. Read our Review of Avast Antivirus 2015 here.
Information Below:  Review, Software Description, Screenshots, System Requirements




Avast AntiVirus Screenshots


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*See Screenshots of Avast AntiVirus 2015

Review of Avast Anti Virus Professional Edition 4:



OVERVIEW:

• Installation time of only 39 seconds (plus 1 reboot).
• Good Performance and Effectiveness.
• Very difficult & cumbersome user-interface.
• Poor software support - including no Chat or Phone support.
Overall Rating: Fair


1) Installation:  

Avast Antivirus Professional Edition v4.8 installed in only 39 seconds plus 1 reboot. Although one of the quicker installations, it did require one reboot which increases the time significantly. Overall, it was a very straight-forward installation though. (See Installation Time Comparison Graph)

2) Features & Ease of Use:  

After examining the user-interface of Avast Antivirus Pro 4.8, it's obvious Avast tried for a futuristic user-interface that looks similar to a Car Stereo (see screenshots), but the end result was instead a very frustrating program to use. Navigation is difficult due to Avast's image-orientated display - accompanying text only appears if you hover over the options for a couple seconds. Avast does offer different program skins that you can select, but none of them are much easier to navigate. Besides Virus Protection, Avast also protects against Spyware, Rootkits, Script Blocking, and offers a Web Shield (to prevent malicious websites spreading malware) and a Network Shield (which is a lightweight firewall which prevents Internet Worms and other attacks). Avast offers a good set of features, but its user-interface isn't user-friendly!

3) Virus Scanner:  

Just getting Avast to start scanning is a chore with its confusing user-interface. There is nothing simple about its Simple User Interface. Once you finally figure out how to start a scan, Avast Antivirus is extremely fast - scanning our test computer with 70 GB of used hard-drive space in just 36.5 minutes. This was the fastest scanning Antivirus program we tested this year (#1 of 10 programs tested). Avast scanned our test computer over 10 minutes quicker than its nearest competitors - Kaspersky Antivirus and Norton Antivirus. Overall, Avast's virus scanner is a mix of good & bad - it has a great virus-scanning engine, but it also has a confusing user-interface. (See Scan Time Comparison Graph)

Updates:
Our testing showed that Avast only updated its virus definitions once per day - well behind industry leader Norton which has over 200 updates per day. Are 200+ updates necessary? Probably not, but 1 update per day is also likely not enough. (See Updates Per Day Comparison Graph)

4) System Resource Usage:  

Avast Antivirus Professional Edition tested quite good in most of the tests we performed on it. View the results of our Antivirus testing below...

Memory Use: Avast AntiVirus uses 20.1 MB of memory. 6th-place rating of the 10 Antivirus programs tested.

Reboot Time: Avast added 16.2 seconds to our test computer's reboot time. Second-worst rated (#9) of the 10 Antivirus programs tested.

Installation Size: Avast requires 88.3 MB of hard-drive space for installation. Top-rated of the 10 Antivirus programs tested.

Application Launch Time: Avast Antivirus Professional Edition added 0.085s on average to launch a web browser. 3rd-place rating of the 10 Antivirus programs tested.

File Conversion Time: Avast added only 0.80s to convert a MP3 file to four other file types. 3rd-place rating of the 10 Antivirus programs tested.

System Impact Score: The "System Impact Score" is a comparative score tallied from the above 5 Antivirus tests. Avast v4.8 scored a total of 33 out of 50 points when compared to the other Antivirus 2009 programs we tested - this was the 4th best program we tested in 2009.

View graphs showing the results of the above System Usage tests.


5) Effectiveness:  

Effectiveness

6) Help & Support:  

Avast offers the following support options: a Knowledgebase (although not all that extensive or "knowledgeable"), an online support Forum, as well as Email support. Unfortunately, Avast doesn't offer any type of Chat support or Phone support - not even paid phone support. We tested their Email support and it took over 14 hours to receive a reply - which is an extremely long response time considering many other Antivirus vendors response time could be measured in minutes. We've rated Avast's support Below Average due to the long response time, and since it lacks both Chat & Phone support, as well as its Knowledgebase isn't very extensive.

CONCLUSION:

Avast Antivirus Pro performs very well and is effective against Viruses and other Malware. However, Avast has a poor user-interface that is difficult to use and its software support is one of the worst we've seen. Avast does provide good Virus protection, but we have a hard time recommending it with its other drawbacks - especially its cumbersome user-interface. There are better antivirus programs for now - see our other Antivirus software reviews for alternatives.

Overall Rating: Fair

Review Date: May 28, 2009, Last Updated: July 28, 2009

Useful Articles:

    • What is a Computer Virus?

    • Antivirus vs. Internet Security software - Which is right for me?

    • Differences between Viruses, Trojans, Worms & Spyware

    • More Articles...


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Avast Software Description:



Avast Antivirus Professional Edition 4.8 is a collection of high-end technologies that work in synergy, having one common goal: to protect your system and valuable data against computer Viruses, Spyware and Rootkits.

Key Features of Avast:

Anti-Spyware Protection
Spyware is software installed on a computer that is designed to collect information about the computer user, usually without their knowledge or consent. This can result in identity theft (ex. bank or credit card info), or loss of important business data. Spyware is often developed by organized crime rings rather than lone individuals and may be installed by a Virus.

Anti-Rootkit Protection
Rootkits are programs that install on your computer while keeping themselves and their activities hidden to remain invisible. They represent a significant security risk on both home computers and company networks and are notoriously difficult to find and remove. Rootkits themselves are normally installed by a Virus or other type of Malware and it is therefore highly recommended that computer users have up to date Antivirus/Anti-Spyware software installed and running on their computer - such as Avast Antivirus.

Resident Protection
Resident protection (the real-time protection of the computer system), is one of the most important features of an antivirus program today. Avast has a powerful resident module that is able to detect a Virus before it has any chance to infect your computer.

Script Blocker
Avast's Script Blocker watches all scripts being executed in the operating system, and scans all the scripts run as a part of a web page within your web browser.

P2P and IM Shields
Avast features a module for the protection of IM (Instant Messaging / "Chat") programs, and a module for the protection of P2P (peer-to-peer) programs. The list of supported IM and P2P programs is extensive, with more than 30 programs currently supported.

Web Shield
Web Shield is a unique feature that enables Avast to monitor and filter all HTTP traffic coming from Web sites on the Internet. Since an increasing number of Viruses and other Malware are being distributed via the World Wide Web, the need for effective countermeasures has also increased. Web Shield acts as a transparent HTTP proxy and is compatible with all major web browsers, including Microsoft Internet Explorer, FireFox, Mozilla and Opera.

Network Shield
A new resident protection module was added to avast! 4.5: the Network Shield. This module provides protection against known Internet worms/attacks. It analyzes all network traffic and scans for malicious content. It can be viewed as a lightweight firewall (or, more precisely, an IDS (Intrusion Detection System)).

Automatic Updates
Automatic updates are another key need in virus protection. Both the Virus database and the program itself can be updated automatically. The updates are incremental, with only new or missing data downloaded: thus reducing the transfer heavily.

PUSH Updates
A special feature of the Professional Edition is PUSH updates. It is a dramatic change in the philosophy of updates. Usually, every installed program checks occasionally for new version availability. PUSH updates, however, are initialized by Avast's server; they result in your computer quickly responding and performing the necessary update.

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Avast AntiVirus System Requirements:



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Avast 4.8





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