Avast! Internet Security 2015 Download:

Avast! Internet Security
VERSION:  Windows 7 / Vista / XP, 1 User

PRICE:  $39.99

Other Versions:  Avast! Antivirus 2015 Pro download
Rating: Very Good

Information Below:  Review, Screenshots, System Requirements

Review of Avast! Internet Security 6.0

    By Jay Andrew Allen

Avast! Avast! provides a great set of antivirus applications, albeit with a few quirks. In past versions, such as Avast! AntiVirus 4.8, we've lamented the system's poor user interface (screenshots). With a few minor exceptions (such as voiceover commands), Avast! has greatly improved over the past several years; the UI is now clean, attractive, and easy to use. But Avast!'s strong point remains its powerful feature set. Internet Security 6.0 builds on the strengths of Avast! AntiVirus 6.0 with additional protections, including Firewall, WebRep, and Antispam.

1) Features & Ease of Use:  13.5/15

The Avast! Internet Security 6.0 Dashboard uses the same basic layout as Avast! AntiVirus. The default home page displays the computer's current security status (a large green check mark means you're fully secured). Below that, users can find two of Avast!'s most useful options. Silent/Gaming Mode suppresses all pop-ups and other activity for a specified period of time. (Avast! automatically suppresses such pop-ups whenever an application runs full screen.) The Network Lock feature, a handy option not available in most other products we've reviewed, disables all incoming and outgoing network activity. This is a great "Danger Will Robinson!" option that users can activate if they notice suspicious activity on their computer.

The left-hand side of the Avast! dashboard provides easy access to each of the platform's major feature areas, including Real-Time Shields, Firewall, and others. Help Center and Settings links in the upper right corner provide access to the Avast! help manual and to application-wide configuration options, respectively.

Avast! Internet Security Dashboard:

View Larger Avast! Screenshots

New Features:
According to the Avast! Web site, Avast! 6.0 introduces several new features. Many of these were covered in our review of Avast! AntiVirus. SafeZone provides a secure browsing desktop, using a special build of Google Chrome, that protects sensitive online transactions such as online banking from keyloggers and other malware. SafeZone also disables all browser plug-ins, protecting users from potentially malicious extensions.

The AutoSandbox feature moves suspicious programs into the Avast! Sandbox, where they are run in a limited execution environment; if the program is indeed malicious, the harm it can do to your system from the Sandbox is minimal. WebRep is a browser-based plug-in that combines Avast!'s database of antivirus activity with user voting to assign a safety confidence rating to Web sites.

Internet Security 6.0 also brings a large number of lesser improvements, including a Restore Factory Settings command (located under Settings->Troubleshooting) that resets Internet Security's settings back to its installation defaults; a smaller installation package; and stability improvements in the Behavior Shield.

Existing Features:
One strength of the Avast! line is its Real Time Shields, which monitor for potentially malicious activity in the file system, mail, Web traffic, Peer to Peer (P2P) applications like bitTorrent clients, and Instant Messaging applications. Real Time Shields also provide general protection against all suspicious network traffic (Network Shield), Web site scripts (Script Shield), and executable applications (Behavior Shield). A rolling histogram shows how many files or connections each shield is scanning, and raises an alert whenever suspicious activity is detected.

Internet Security provides several robust features not included with Avast! AntiVirus. The Avast! Firewall defends the user's computer against unwarranted intrusions, denying incoming and outgoing network traffic on suspicious ports. Avast! provides an intuitive slider control for its Firewall with three settings: Home (everything is trusted in the local network), Work (application rules are enforced), and Public (no incoming connections or new programs are allowed).

Antispam is Avast!'s junk e-mail filter for executable e-mail clients such as Outlook and Outlook Express. The Antispam screen features a Sensitivity setting that can be adjusted between Low, Medium, and High; the higher the settings, the fewer heuristics an e-mail message must fail before it is flagged as spam and removed from the user's Inbox. While Antispam is a great - even necessary - idea, it won't benefit anyone using an online e-mail service such as Gmail or Yahoo! Mail, unless those users check their accounts using a local Windows e-mail client.

2) Virus Scanner:  3/5

Like any good virus scanner, Avast! Internet Security offers several options for scanning: Full Scan, Quick Scan (a scan of memory and the operating system), Removable Media Scan (for USB flash drives and other portable storage devices), and Select Folder to Scan.

Avast! Virus Scanner:

View Larger Avast! Screenshots

Speed: On our reference system*, Avast! Internet Security scanned 24.6MB of data per second, and finished processing our 1GB test file matrix in 41.6 seconds. This places Avast! in the middle of the pack in terms of scan speeds. Unfortunately, Avast! performed even worse in our Subsequent Scan Speed test, which measures the performance of the virus scanner across 10 iterations. Avast!'s performance in this test was 24.3MB/second, which shows that, unlike many other anti-virus platforms, Avast! doesn't use a strong set of heuristics (such as whitelisting trusted files) to speed up subsequent virus scans. (See Scan Speed Comparison)

Updates: Virus definition updates continue to be Avast!'s Achilles heel. On average, the application only updates its virus definitions 2 times daily, placing it near the bottom of the barrel when measured against its competitors. (See Updates Per Day Comparison)

*Reference Computer:  Windows 7 Home Premium running on a Toshiba Pentium Dual-Core T4200 (64 bit), with 3GB of RAM and a 210GB hard drive.

3) Performance Testing:  7.5/10

Avast! 6.0 feature-set shows a great improvement over previous versions. But how does it hold up in our Internet Security Performance Tests? After all, if an Internet Security program is going to bring your computer to a screeching halt, then it doesn't matter how many fancy features it has!

Memory Use: Avast! Internet Security uses 5.4 MB of system memory. #1 ranked of the 15 Internet Security programs we tested.

Reboot Time: Avast! added 23.4 seconds to our test computer's reboot time. #7 ranked program.

Installation Size: Avast! Internet Security 6 requires 393 MB of hard-drive space for installation. #5 ranked program.

Initial Scan Speed: Avast! Internet Security scans files the first time at a speed of 24.6 MB/s. #8 ranked program.

Subsequent Scan Speed: Avast! performs subsequent scans at a speed of 24.3 MB/s. #13 ranked program.

Initial Application Launch: Avast! Internet Security added 0.077s to launch a web browser for the 1st time after a reboot. #2 ranked program.

Subsequent Application Launch: Avast! added 0.206s on average for subsequent web browser launches. #6 ranked program.

File Conversion Time: Avast! added 0.43s on average to convert a MP3 file to four other file types. #8 ranked program.

System Impact Score: The "System Impact Score" is a cumulative score tallied from the above 8 software tests (15 points given for a #1 rating, while 1 point is given for 15th place for each test). Avast! Internet Security 6 scored a total of 78 out of 120 points when compared to the other Internet Security programs tested. This placed Avast! as the #4 ranked overall program we tested this year. Similar to Avast! AntiVirus, Avast! Internet Security is one of the top programs in its class at using minimal system resources.

View above Internet Security Performance Tests.

4) Effectiveness: (Virus/Malware Detection) 12.5/15

Effectiveness Score of Avast! Internet Security 6

5) Help & Support:  3.5/5

»On-Screen Assistance: Avast! has one of the more intuitive interfaces we've used, and this is partly because the application uses informative text throughout the Dashboard to explain all of the options available to users.

»Help Manual: The Avast! help manual - shipped locally as a Microsoft Help file - is both thorough and informative.

»Online Support: The "Help Center" link in Avast! Internet Security only brings up the local help file; users must click the "Technical Support" topic in the help file to find the link to the Avast! online support center. Avast! provides a knowledge base, a user support forum, and technical support phone numbers for those with pressing technical issues. The one support option sorely lacking is live chat, which is nearly universal among antivirus vendors. Avast! could greatly improve their support options by adding live chat (or at least a visible link to the service, if it's currently available), and adding a visible link to the online support center from the Dashboard.

»Quick Support Links:

     • Avast! Internet Security Support Tab
     • Avast! Support Home
     • Avast! Forums


While Avast! Internet Security's virus scanning speeds leave something to be desired, its general impact on system performance is excellent: among all of the Internet Security software we tested this year, Avast! boasted the fourth lowest system impact. Little wonder, considering that Avast! has the smallest memory footprint of any other platform. Its general performance, intuitive UI, and strong feature set make Avast! Internet Security a great selection for users who want a complete security management solution. Were Avast! to improve its scan speeds and virus definition update frequency, we could see it rivaling industry leader Norton Internet Security in a year or two.

Overall Rating: Very Good    (Total Score: 40 / 50 = 4 Stars)

*Installation Time:  125 seconds plus 1 reboot (excluding time taken for updates)

Misc Info:

    • Version Tested:
    • Release Date:
    • Review Date:
    • Last Updated:
May 26, 2011
    • Previous Version:
Avast! Internet Security 5.0
    • Other Avast! Software:
Avast! AntiVirus Pro 6, Avast! Free Antivirus

Useful Articles:

    • What is a Computer Virus?

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

    • Differences between Viruses, Trojans, Worms & Spyware

    • More Articles...

Top 5 Internet Security Programs:

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Avast! Internet Security 6 Screenshots

View Screenshots

Avast! Internet Security 6 System Requirements:

Operating Systems:

    • Windows 7 (all versions)
    • Windows Vista (all versions but Starter)
    • Windows XP Service Pack 2 or higher

Minimum Requirements:

    • Processor Pentium 3
    • 256 MB RAM Memory
    • 395 MB available hard-drive space

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