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The latest version of this program is 4.8.

Anti-spyware built-in
Spyware is software installed on a computer that is designed to collect informat
ion about the computer user, often without their knowledge or consent. This can
result in so called identity theft, or theft of valuable information (e.g. bank
or credit card details) or proprietary business data. Spyware is often developed
by organized crime rings rather than lone individuals and may be installed by a
Certified by West Coast Lab's Checkmark process, avast! has full anti-spyware ca
pabilities built-in, to make your protection even more complete.
Anti-rootkit built-in
Rootkits are programs that install on your computer while keeping themselves and
their activities hidden to remain invisible to the use. They represent a signif
icant security risk on both home computers and company networks and are notoriou
sly difficult to find and remove. Rootkits themselves are normally installed by
a virus or other type of malware infection and it is therefore highly recommende
d that computer users have up to date antivirus/anti-spyware software installed
and running on their computer. One such system is avast! antivirus.
Based on the class-leading GMER technology, avast! can now scan your live system
for rootkit infections; no boots disks are required. If a rootkit is discovered
, it is initially disabled and then if it can be safely removed without affectin
g the performance of the computer, it is removed. avast! antivirus includes a vi
rus database which can be automatically updated to provide continuous protection
against rootkits.
Strong self-protection
Some viruses may attempt to switch off a computer's antivirus software. To help
keep your protection working, even against the latest threats that may try to di
sable your security protection, avast! has best-in-class strong self-protection
built in, to make sure, no matter what you face, avast! carries on protecting yo
ur valuable data and programs. This is based on the multi-award winning avast! a
ntivirus technology and provides an extra layer of security to ensure your data
and programs are always protected.
Antivirus kernel
The latest version of avast! antivirus kernel features outstanding detection abi
lities, together with high performance. You can expect 100% detection of In-the-
Wild viruses (viruses already spreading between users) and excellent detection o
f Trojan horses.
The kernel is certified by ICSA Labs; it frequently takes part in the tests of V
irus Bulletin magazine, often yielding the VB100 award.
The avast! engine also features outstanding unpacking support. It can scan insid
e the following archives: ARJ, ZIP, MIME (+ all associated formats), MAPI (Outlo
ok pst files), DBX (Outlook Express archives), RAR, TAR, GZIP, CAB, BZIP2, ZOO,
ACE, ARC, LHA/LHX, TNEF (winmail.dat), CPIO, CHM, RPM, ISO, 7ZIP and SIS. It als
o supports a number of executable packers (such as PKLite, Diet, UPX, ASPack, Pe
Shield, FSG, MEW etc.).
Last, but not least, it can also scan for viruses hidden in Alternate data strea
ms on NTFS volumes.
Simple User Interface
The Simple User Interface is used to start on-demand scanning, work with the res
ults and change various options. Basic resident protection settings can be modif
ied here.
The Simple User Interface is the main application of avast! 4 Home Edition. You
can start additional avast! modules from here, such as the Virus Chest, Updater
or Log Viewer.
The appearance of the Simple User Interface is very flexible. It supports so-cal
led skins (changeable appearance of the application), so you can change the inte
rface to suit you. The main package contains three skins, with additional skins
available from our web pages.
Enhanced User Interface
In addition to the Simple User Interface, the Professional Edition presents the
Enhanced User Interface, giving you access to all features and possibilities for
extensive scanning control.
Unlike the Simple User Interface, the scanning is performed by so-called "tasks"
. First, you define a task, including various parameters - areas to scan, what t
o scan, how to scan, etc. Having the task, you can run it (possibly repeatedly).
Each task generates a list of results, which you can work with later.
Another key feature, closely connected with tasks, is the Scheduler. This featur
e gives you the ability to schedule the tasks running, either one-time or period
Additionally, it is possible to set all existing scanning options, a feature not
available in the Simple User Interface.
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! features a po
werful resident module that is able to detect a virus before it has any chance t
o infect your computer.
avast! Professional Edition contains resident protection of the computer file sy
stem and a resident module for e-mails and news.
File system protection ensures that no virus will be started on the computer. It
offers a wide range of settings, such as the possibility to specify that files
will be scanned during copying, or scanning will include files with a given set
of extensions only.
E-mail/News protection consists of two independent modules; first, there is a ge
neric scanner working on the SMTP/POP3/IMAP4/NNTP protocol level. It is capable
of protecting any existing e-mail client that uses these protocols. Second, ther
e is a special plugin for MS Outlook only; with mail scanning completely transpa
rent, requiring no special settings.
A new feature of version 4 is heuristic analysis of e-mail scanners. This featur
e can protect against new, unknown viruses and worms that are not possible to de
tect by the usual means. The heuristic module performs a thorough investigation
of every e-mail message and watches for suspicious signs that might announce vir
us presence. When the number of those signs exceeds the user-defined level, the
message is considered dangerous and the user is warned.
Script Blocker
The resident protection of the Professional Edition includes an additional modul
e, not contained in the Home Edition, called Script Blocker. This module watches
all scripts being executed in the operating system (so-called WSH scripts - Win
dows Scripting Host), and scans all the scripts run as a part of a web page with
in your web browser (Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator and Mozilla).
P2P and IM Shields
Avast features a module for the protection of IM (Instant Messaging, "chat") pro
grams, 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 curren
tly supported.
While chat itself would not pose any serious security risks in terms of viruses,
today's IM applications are far from being just chatting tools: most support mo
re or less sophisticated file sharing methods - which may quite easily lead to v
irus infections, if not properly monitored.
The P2P protection module doesn't need much explanation - today's P2P networks (
such as Kazaa) contain potentially thousands of infected files, and effective pr
otection is essential.
Web Shield
Web Shield is a unique feature of avast! that enables it to monitor and filter a
ll HTTP traffic coming from Web sites on the Internet. Since an increasing numbe
r of viruses (and other malware, such as adware, spyware and dialers) are being
distributed via the World Wide Web, the need for effective countermeasures has a
lso increased. Web Shield acts as a transparent HTTP proxy and is compatible wit
h all major web browsers, including Microsoft Internet Explorer, FireFox, Mozill
a and Opera.
Unlike most competitive solutions, Web Shield's impact on browsing speed is almo
st negligible. This is because of a unique feature called "Intelligent Stream Sc
an" that lets the Web Shield module scan objects on-the-fly, without the need of
caching. Stream scanning is performed in operating memory only (without the nec
essity to flush the contents to disk), providing maximum possible throughput.
Automatic updates
Automatic updates are another key need in virus protection. Both the virus datab
ase and the program itself can be updated automatically. The updates are increme
ntal, with only new or missing data downloaded: thus reducing the transfer heavi
ly. The typical size of a virus database updates are tens of KB; program updates
typically are in the hundreds of KB range.
If your Internet connection is persistent (such as an always-on broadband connec
tion), then updates are performed completely automatically at fixed time interva
ls. If you connect to the Internet only occasionally, avast! watches your connec
tion and tries to perform the update when you are online.
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 occ
asionally for new version availability. PUSH updates, however, are initialized b
y our server; they result in your computer quickly responding and performing the
necessary update. The system is based on the SMTP protocol (as used for e-mail
messages). The update itself is controlled by the avast! resident e-mail provide
rs (MS Outlook and Internet Mail).
The whole system is protected by asymmetric ciphers and is resistant to unauthor
ized misuse.
Virus Chest
The Virus Chest can be thought of as a folder on your disk drive, having special
properties that make it a safe, isolated place suitable for storing certain fil
es. You can work with the files in the Chest, though with some security restrict
The main properties of the Virus Chest are complete isolation from the rest of t
he operating system. No outside process, such as a virus, may access the files i
nside, and the fact that the files inside the Chest may not be run (executable),
there is no danger in storing viruses there.
System integration
avast! antivirus features outstanding integration into your system. A scan can b
e started directly from Windows Explorer, by clicking a folder or a file with yo
ur right mouse button and selecting the corresponding choice from the menu.
A special screen-saver is also provided, that, when running, performs virus scan
ning. avast! antivirus works together with your favorite screen-saver, so you do
n't have to change your personal settings to use it.
A new option in this release is the boot-time scan (Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista 32b
it only). This important feature allows a user to instigate scanning before a vi
rus is activated, in the case that a virus is suspected to be active on your com
puter already.
Command-line scanner
For experienced users, the Professional Edition features a command-line scanner.
Scanning can be controlled by many arguments and switches; to use as a pipe fil
ter; and a special STDIN/STDOUT mode is available.
The module is intended to be used in BATCH programs. Its output is the same as t
he output from the Enhanced User Interface tasks (including the report files).
Integrated avast! Virus Cleaner
Since version 4.1, avast! includes Virus Cleaner, a tool designed for the comple
te removal of most common infections from already-infected computers. So now ava
st! is capable of reliably healing, and not just detecting, the most common malw
The number of viruses/worms supported by the Virus Cleaner is constantly growing
. For the most up-to-date information we suggest visiting Virus Cleaner's own pa
ge. Note: For emergency purposes, we also offer Virus Cleaner as a standalone pr
oduct, capable of running without installing avast!.
Support for 64-bit Windows
avast! Home/Professional now fully supports the 64-bit Windows platform. ALWIL S
oftware is anticipating massive growth of this platform, as Windows XP 64-Bit Ed
ition will support up to 32 GB of RAM and 16 TB of virtual memory, enabling appl
ications to run faster when working with large data sets. Applications can prelo
ad substantially more data into virtual memory, allowing rapid access by the 64-
bit extensions of the processor. This reduces the time for loading data into vir
tual memory or seeking, reading, and writing to data storage devices, making app
lications run faster and more efficiently.
Regular (32-bit) antivirus applications are unable to operate correctly on the 6
4-bit Windows platform, because they rely on 32-bit kernel-mode drivers. The lat
est version of avast! uses native 64-bit drivers, delivering the same level of p
rotection as the 32-bit Windows environments. The installation package is the sa
me for 32-bit and 64-bit versions - the setup program automatically detects the
operating system it is running on and installs all necessary files. You may find
more information on avast! Antivirus and Windows x64 Edition page.
Commitment to internationalization is one of the key benefits of avast!. During
the last 2 years, avast! has been translated to a number of languages, currently
the list of supported languages is: English, Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chines
e (both Simplified and Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Germ
an, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portu
guese (both Brazilian and Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Sloveni
an, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish.
Network Shield
A new resident protection module was added to avast! 4.5: the Network Shield. Th
is module provides protection against known Internet worms/attacks. It analyzes
all network traffic and scans for malicious content. It can be viewed as a light
weight firewall (or, more precisely, an IDS (Intrusion Detection System)).
The Network Shield is only available on NT-based systems (Windows NT/2000/XP/Vis
ta). Main features
Almost 100% detection
Outstanding performance
Reasonable memory requirements
ICSA certified
Memory test during the program startup
Very intuitive Simple User Interface
Enhanced User Interface (MS Outlook style)
Testing of whole disks or just selected folders
Defining and running of antivirus tests
Working with the scan results - actions for infected files
Storing the scan results (history)
Virus encyclopedia
Log Viewer
Various appearances - skin support
Running from Explorer context menu
Antivirus screen-saver
Boot-time scan
Command-line scanner
The system of incremental updates guarantees low traffic
Updates can be completely automatic
Standard updates are provided 2 times a week
PUSH updates immediately when published RESIDENT PROTECTION
Standard Shield protects the file system
Generic SMTP/POP3/IMAP4 scanner
Specific MS Outlook plugin
Heuristic analysis in e-mail modules
Script Blocker
Certain strong capabilities of direct repair (especially macroviruses)
Repairing files using automatically generated Virus Recovery Database (VRDB)
Task Scheduler
News delivery system: iNews
4 default preset tasks for typical scanning
Possibility to set any test details
Report files
Windows 95
Windows 98
Windows Me
Windows NT 4 (No Server)
Windows 2000 (No Server)
Windows XP (No Server)
Windows Vista