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avast! Antivirus
Avast! 5.x User Interface
Developer(s) ALWIL Software a.s.
Stable release 5.0.396 / January 29, 2010; 388888747 ago
Operating system Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7 (32/64 bit), Linux, Mac, Palm OS, Windows Server Edition
Type Antivirus software
License Proprietary
Website www.avast.com

avast! Antivirus is an antivirus program developed by ALWIL Software a.s., a company based in Prague, Czech Republic. It was first released in 1988. Avast! is based on a central scanning engine that is certified by ICSA Labs[1] and West Coast Lab's Checkmark process[2] and incorporates anti-spyware technology, also certified by West Coast Lab's Checkmark process,[3] as well as anti-rootkit and self-protection capabilities. It is a multiple recipient of the Virus Bulletin VB100 Award, for detection of 100% of "in-the-wild" viruses,[4] and is a past winner of the Secure Computing Readers' Trust Award.[5]

Avast! Free Antivirus is the freeware version of Avast! antivirus software available to Microsoft Windows and Linux users, while Avast! Pro Antivirus is offered to businesses and users that want additional features. Priority updates are delivered automatically using PUSH update technology in Avast! Pro Antivirus. Avast! Pro Antivirus also has a command line scanner and a script blocker.[6]

Avast! Antivirus is one of the most widely used antivirus programs in the world, with 100 million users worldwide as of December 2009.[7]



  • Antivirus kernel based on certified antivirus engine.
  • Resident protection comprising individual modules or "shields", each of which can be individually configured or disabled:
    • File System Shield — Real-time protection against viruses and other malware threats.
    • Mail Shield  — E-mail/Microsoft Outlook/Exchange scanning.
    • Web Shield — HTTP protection (local transparent proxy). Version 4.8 also allows the blocking of URLs.
    • P2P shield — P2P protection.
    • IM shield — Instant Messaging protection. (Scanning of files transferred through instant messaging applications)
    • Script blocker — Professional version only; scans webpages for malicious scripts.
    • Network Shield — Basic protection against well-known network worms. Acts as an Intrusion Detection System.
    • Behavior Shield - Reports suspicious behavior by analyzing the behavior of programs
  • Anti-spyware capabilities
  • Anti-rootkit capabilities
  • Self-Protection — Prevents malware from terminating avast! processes and damaging avast! files.
  • Automatic incremental updates — Updates of both the program and the virus database which is used to identify potential threats — Avast! updates its virus definitions on a regular basis (sometimes multiple updates daily) and this process is automated by default.
  • Audible alarms — Vocal warnings and notices such as "Caution, a virus has been detected!" and "Virus database has been updated."
  • Boot-time scan (32 bit only) — Users can schedule a boot-time scan to remove infections that load during Windows startup.
  • Virus Chest — Quarantine; folder where infected files can be stored. The virus chest also stores vital system files to protect them from damage by malware. Users can also add their own files to the virus chest. Once in the chest, a file cannot be executed; double-clicking the file will instead display information about the file.

Registration (Free Antivirus)

Avast! Antivirus can be downloaded and used for free for 30 days. After 30 days, the free Edition must be registered in order for the program to continue functioning. After registering, Avast! can continue to be used free of charge for 12 months.[8] After 12 months, it is necessary to re-register.


The latest Windows version is 5.0. The Avast! product range comprises the following:[9]

  • Avast! Free Antivirus 5.0 — Freeware for personal, non-commercial use only.
  • Avast! Pro Antivirus 5.0 — Shareware for both personal and commercial use.
  • Avast! Internet Security 5.0 — Shareware for both personal and commercial use.

Other versions

  • Avast! 4 Windows Home Server Edition — Shareware for use on Windows Home Servers.
  • Avast! 4 Professional Family Pack — Shareware for use in the home by families with multiple computers. Includes 10 licenses of Avast! Professional Edition and one license for Avast! Windows Home Server Edition.
  • Avast! Mac Edition — Shareware for the Mac platform. The Mac+PC Edition includes both Avast! Mac Edition and Avast! Professional Edition for Macs also running Microsoft Windows.
  • Avast! 4 Server Edition — Shareware for businesses running Windows Server - may be extended by additional modules for MS Exchange Server 2000/2003/2007, MS Proxy/ISA Server, SMTP Server, MS Sharepoint Server (Portal Server 2001/2003, Windows Sharepoint Services 2003 and MS Office Sharepoint Server 2007)
  • Avast! Distributed Network Manager — allows network administrators to manage the Avast! antivirus product line across the whole enterprise.
  • Avast! 4 Small Business Server Edition — Shareware for Windows Small Business Servers, including Exchange server or ISA server
  • Avast! Linux Home Edition — Freeware for personal, non-commercial use only — for use on Linux workstations.
  • Avast! for Linux/Unix Servers — Shareware designed to run on Linux and BSD servers running x86 kernels only. Packages are available as RPM, Debian or in Tarball form.
  • Avast! for Kerio — Shareware designed to work with Kerio products such as their secure mail servers.
  • Avast! U3 Edition — Shareware for the protection of U3 smart drives from viruses and other forms of malware.
  • Avast! 4 PDA Edition — Shareware for Windows PocketPC/Windows Mobile, WinCE and Palm OS.
  • Avast! BART CD (Bootable Antivirus and Recovery Tool) — Shareware to detect and remove virus infections.

Awards and tests

  • In 2006, Avast! antivirus won the Secure Computing Readers' Trust Award for best antivirus.[5]
  • In August 2008, Avast! antivirus was awarded the "Advanced+" rating by the independent testing company AV Comparatives.[10] It was awarded the "Advanced" rating by AV Comparatives in February 2009.[11]
  • In August 2009, Avast! antivirus was awarded the "Advanced+" rating by AV Comparatives.[12][13]

See also


  1. "ICSA Labs Certification". http://www.icsalabs.org/icsa/product.php?tid=dfgdf$gdhkkjk-kkkk. Retrieved 2009-02-23. 
  2. "West Coast Labs Checkmark – Antivirus Certification". http://www.westcoastlabs.com/checkmark/productList/index.cfm?advanced=false&searchString=avast. Retrieved 2009-02-23. 
  3. "West Coast Labs Checkmark – Anti-spyware Certification". http://www.westcoastlabs.com/checkmark/productList/index.cfm?advanced=false&searchString=avast. Retrieved 2009-02-23. 
  4. "Virus Bulletin VB100 Awards". http://www.virusbtn.com/vb100/index. Retrieved 2009-02-23. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Secure Computing Readers Trust Awards". http://www.scmagazineus.com/2006-Awards/section/132. Retrieved 2009-02-23. 
  6. "avast! Pro Antivirus". http://www.avast.com/pro-antivirus. Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
  7. avast! blog » 100 Million Users
  8. Register avast! Free Antivirus
  9. "avast! antivirus Downloads". ALWIL Software. http://www.avast.com/download-software#tab2. Retrieved 2010-01-20. 
  10. "Independent comparatives of antivirus software – AV Comparatives". http://www.av-comparatives.org. Retrieved 2009-02-23. 
  11. "Anti-Virus Comparative No. 21 February 2009". http://www.av-comparatives.org/images/stories/test/ondret/avc_report21.pdf. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  12. "Antivirus Comparative No. 23, August 2009". http://www.av-comparatives.org/images/stories/test/ondret/avc_report23.pdf. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  13. "Retrospective Test, November 2009". http://www.av-comparatives.org/images/stories/test/ondret/avc_report24.pdf. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 

External links

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