The Avast line of antiviruses is one of the most popular in the world. It has dozens of millions of users, and diversity in consumers calls for diversity in products. And Avast Free Antivirus is among the most used products created for antivirus protection around the globe.
The installation process lets the user choose installed components and select one of the supported languages. There is a registration procedure, but it's completely free and used for statistics. The interface of this program is beautifully minimalistic and self-explanatory, with design solutions inspired by the latest operating systems, utilizing Windows-like tablets and Android-ish looking menus. Not only is it easy to look at, but also very functional, with simple access and little to no chance of being confused. That is an instant plus for average users who can't play software cowboys and dig deep into the settings and options.
There are three main security screens: file system, mail and web, freely accessible with full control over all functions presented in the program. Every setting can be manipulated with a single unifying tool, which gets rid of the tedious process of adjustment and trying to set the antivirus right. It actually works from the start, and all you have to do to change it is click your mouse a couple of times.
The antivirus scanner in Avast supports a great number of scanning scenarios, making it a traditional, but powerful instrument. What I found especially neat is the option to run a check at the system start. Not many antiviruses have this scenario, and scanning at launch can actually help you get rid of some of the most tricky rootkit variations. The three monitoring screen work in an online mode, with lesser and additional functions being distributed over subsystems, which makes the work less complex.
Avast Free Antivirus also utilizes cloud technologies. The cloud is used for effective checking of suspicious files, data exchange and updates, being able to quickly introduce new methods of scanning, prevention and malware identification.
One of the main unique features of Avast Free Antivirus is the DeepScreen technology. It is used to handle unknown and unidentified files. DeepScreen provides protection for application or on a deeper level of the code itself.
Those application that didn't pass DeepScreen or have a low status in the FileRep section (which evaluates file safety and stability), are blocked by the special Hardened mode. Safe programs can be run without restriction from Avast, which, again, is really good for inexperienced users who can now simply start working not worrying about any hazards slipping under the radar or being released by accident.
When working on the Internet, Avast Free Antivirus does a good job of keeping suspicious addresses and files at bay, blocking them and sending warnings to the user. The mail protection system monitors and protect your email data exchange. An extension called Online Security provides online assessment of reputation of specific sites, and the web security screen may be used to include preventing measures against accessing hazardous resources. There is also an option to use the Do-Not-Track mode and surf the net with more anonymity. A user can also run the Browser Cleanup to get rid of annoying and not needed panels and add-ins.
The Software Update components checks most popular programs available on the user's computer for vulnerabilities caused by obsolete versions and offers an opportunity to automatically download and install updates.
Avast free Antivirus can be used on several connected devices for remote management. For this, the technology called AccessAnyware was introduced in 2014. A user ca remotely access the computers that have AccessAnyware installed. Should this not prevent an infection spreading across an operating system, there is an option to use Avast Free Antivirus with Rescue Disk, creating a bootable Flash drive to run and heal the already-damaged system.
Even though Free Antivirus is a lesser most basic program in the Avast family, it's amazingly functional, having unique features absent from most commercial antiviruses, reliable, stable and completely free. It's a nice bonus that, while informing you of options to switch to paid versions of Avast, it never forces you to do so. This antivirus was made with respect to its users and great skill.