The popular Avast 5 is now available for free download. Avast 5 is currently available in English and French and will soon be available in other languages. Avast 5 has an improved antivirus and anti-spyware engine, avast Intelligent Scanner, Silent or Gaming Mode and Behavior Shield as new features.
Avast is now available in three flavors. It has a free AV that will supersede the earlier Avast 4.8 Free Download, a paid AV (successor of Avast Professional Edition) and a full Internet Security suite. The latest free version of Avast, namely Avast
5 6, will have all the features of the earlier Home edition plus a few new features.
All three editions of Avast will share the same antivirus engine (e.g. all of them will still have exactly same detection rates) that has been substantially improved and optimized. Avast developers actually say that the new engine can detect more viruses, while consuming less resources.
Avast 5 will now officially support heuristics (proactive detection), though they say that it was unofficially present in the previous version too. They have also added the ability to detect Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs). Avast 5 also bundles with it a new code emulator that will be of great help when unpacking malware samples packed/protected by unknown packers.Avast 5 also wear a newly designed user interface that will help both novice and experienced users.
Features of Avast 5
- Functions as an anti-virus and anti-spyware
- Ensures all mails sent and received are clean
- Keeps you protected from “chat” infections
- Stops attacks from hijacked websites
- Avast 5 is compatible with Windows XP, Vista and windows 7
- Wears a newly designed user interface
The key technologies behind this excellent antivirus software are listed below.
- Antivirus and anti-spyware engine – State of the art scanning engine provides reliable protection against viruses, spyware and other forms of malicious software.
- New avast Intelligent Scanner – Can reduce the number of required file scans by up to 80% through a white list of proven safe applications. Files identified as safe are not rescanned unless they change.
- New Silent/Gaming Mode – New Silent/Gaming Mode automatically detects full-screen applications and disables pop-ups and other on-screen notifications without degrading security.
- New Behavior Shield – Monitors activity on your computer using a number of sensors (file system, registry and network based) and reports/blocks any suspicious behavior.
- Real time anti-rootkit protection – Unique “on access” technology checks all kernel-mode drivers that the operating system is loading for signs of rootkit behavior. This enables even unknown root-kits to be detected and stopped before they can do any damage.
- Smart virus updates – Incremental updating system minimizes the size of regular update files.
- Avast Community IQ – Most samples we process come from sensors deployed throughout the avast community in the Behavior shield and anti-rootkit modules. This is a unique source of data made possible only thanks to our huge user base. Most of the collected samples are analyzed by a number of automated processes and only a small fraction of the samples need to be processed manually by our virus analysts.
- Behavioral Honeypots – avast sensors identify and monitor suspicious file activity on selected computers, automatically submitting files to the Virus Lab for additional analysis.
- Green computing – Reduced demands on the disk drive result in lower energy consumption.
- Avast iTrack – Real-time graphic scanning reports.
- File System / Mail Shield – Real-time scanning of opened/executed files. Scans all incoming/outgoing e-mails for malware removal. For MS Outlook, a special plug-in is used. Other email clients are protected by a generic POP3/IMAP4/SMTP proxy. New in version 5, the proxy also supports scanning of SSL communication
- Web Shield – Scans all visited web pages and checks all files, pages and java scripts downloaded from the internet. Thanks to the Intelligent Stream Scan feature, the Web shield doesn’t slow down your web browsing.
- P2P Shield – Checks files downloaded using P2P programs.
- Network Shield – Provides protection against network-based viruses. The module has two main components: a URL blocker, designed to block malicious URLs (as defined by the Virus Lab), and a lightweight intrusion-detection system.