Friday 10 June 2016

 Avast performed well this year with decent virus removal and good real-time protection. For whatever reason getting both of these things right is a problem for most products this year.

For our first battery of tests, we first installed Avast Pro onto each test PC. Next, after temporarily disabling Avast, we installed a host of malware on our testing PCs including, trojans, viruses, adware, rogueware, etc.

Then, we activated Avast Pro Antivirus and ran a full-system scan to see if Avast would effectively clean and/or remove the malware we'd installed.

Halfway through the scans, Avast prompted us to run a boot scan on some of the test PCs. This was very surprising—pleasantly so—since a boot scan is a way to scan your system before Windows runs.

It's a good way to prevent most malware from launching in the first place. This is a clever move by Avast. And it's one no other antivirus software we tested did as part of the clean-up action.

The down side is, a boot scan takes a very, very long time to run.

Invariably, this kind of thing seems to happen when you least have the time to spare to let it run, but it's a small price to pay compared to having malware festering on your system.

  • Avast Pro Antivirus 2016
    Avast Box

In the end, Avast did a really good job with virus removal, cleaning up the majority of threats off our PCs. There were small handsful of foreign adware left behind on some of the test PCs, but given that the nastiest threats were all caught, it's virus removal can safely be called, "very good."

One strange thing was that Avast claimed to have found zero threats. Not one... even though it obviously got most of them. Puzzling.

We put this question to different Avast reps and got different answers each time, but no one had a definitive solution.

As for real-time protection, Avast did well here, too. With a fresh install of Windows and Avast Pro Antivirus 2016 on each test PC, we attempted to download and install our multiple malware sets. Avast instantly started deleting them one by one before we could even open them. Those that we could open were blocked before we could install them.

Avast then prompted us (again) for boot scans on the test computers, which (again) took some time to run.

After a reboot, our PCs were almost as good as new... almost. About 35% of the malware samples remaining in our 'Downloads' folder, but Avast blocked them when we tried to launch them.

And, there were still some desktop icons remaining and the occasional adware program running.

We'd prefer to see the malware quarantined or it and the icons deleted outright, but all-in-all, it was a very respectable performance by Avast.

During our phishing tests, Avast didn't do as well, where it missed just under a third of the phishing sites we visited.

One thing to note, which we didn't care for: a special browser antiphishing add-on needs to be installed first.

It's easy to see given the bad reputation browser add-ons have these days how some users might neglect to install it.

Avast should be able to identify phishing sites without the add-on. It's a weakness in an otherwise good performance from Avast.

  • Very good virus removal
  • Very good realtime protection
  • Significantly improved interface
  • Expensive so-so tech support
  • download the avast licesense files here 

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