Avast is an antivirus and security suite software from the Czech firm Avast Software (formerly called ALWIL Software), developed in the early 1990s. According to OPSWAT report, with a market share of 21.4% is the free antivirus software most used in the world since 2017.
Avast Antivirus products include free and paid versions that provide computer security, browser security, antivirus software, firewalls, anti-phishing, anti-spyware and anti-spam among other services, also has a central analysis engine that successfully passed the ICSA Labs certification and West Coast Labs tests.
According to its creators, Avast was originally conceived under the name of 'Anti-Virus Advanced Set' (whose initials form the current name of the brand), in addition to that, in the Pirate jargon, the expression avast! means high! or stop, so it was used for product identity. As of the 2015 edition, avast! It was renamed 'Avast' for unknown reasons.
Pavel Baudiš, a scientist at the Institute of Mathematical Machines in Prague, the "Viennavirus" in 1988 and wrote a program that could eliminate the virus. With his colleague Eduard Kučera, he founded the Alwil Software Cooperative and transformed it into a private company in 1991, after the political change through the velvet revolution opened the possibility.
Ondrej Vlček joined in 1995 and wrote the first antivirus program for Windows 95. In 1996, Avast Antivirus won the "VB100 Award" from Virus Bulletin magazine in all tested categories. By 2002, the number of users increased to one million, mainly due to the free version available to private users as of 2001. By the end of 2006, the number had increased to 20 million, and the software was awarded the "SC Awards". In the same year, in the categories "Best Antivirus, Anti-Malware" (Europe) and "Readers' Choice" ("User Choice") (USA). When Alwil became a public limited company in 2006, Avast Antivirus already had 40 million users.
In 2010 the company took the name of its antivirus program and changed its name from Alwil Software to Avast Software. In the following two years, the basic product was developed for corporate clients as a "business protection line" and a "free mobile security from Avast" developed for mobile devices. On the Download.com platform, Avast Free Antivirus was the most downloaded software of 2012 and 2013, more than 200 million PCs, Macs and Android devices were protected by Avast programs.
About AVAST Software
AVAST Software is a computer security company based in Prague (Czech Republic). Founded in 1991 by Eduard Kucera and Pavel Baudis, the company is known worldwide for it’s avast! Antivirus, especially since they opted almost from the beginning to create a completely free version of it for home users.
In 2009, Vincent Sticker (formerly a Symantec manager) became CEO of AVAST Software to lead the company to carry out the "most ambitious expansion in its history that the firm had set out to carry out."
In January 2010 came the biggest change of the company with the release of version 5 of Avast!, which involved several changes not only at the product level, but also of internal aspects such as the licensing form, the conditions for distributors, etc.
In December 2010, Avast reported that a license code purchased from an Arizona organization was being used in 200 countries, including the Vatican City. Avast sent instructions to these applications, to display messages demanding regularize your situation.
In October 2014, a website stated that near December 2013, Avast included its own online shopping recommendation system, SafePrice, which was automatically activated by default, added in its Online Security extension. The statements were refuted, point by point, in a message in the Avast Community forum made by Ondrej Vlcek, Avast operations director in response to the article.
In March 2015, it was reported that Avast had been blocked in China, because users reported that the web-based services offered, as well as the antivirus site, began to be inaccessible. Sites such as TechCrunch.com, reported what happened as a result of the Great Firewall of China, and the respective Chinese law on censorship and excessive internet surveillance by this country, it also presents as a cause, the fact of inclusion of the SecureLine VPN service, which is said to be able to evade China's firewall and could view other websites blocked by the Chinese government. Other security services such as Kaspersky and Symantec were also reported as previously censored.
In 2016 Avast has more than 400 million users and 40% of the antivirus market outside of China. Avast integrates more than 650 employees at its headquarters in the Czech Republic and has offices in the United States, Germany, China, South Korea and Taiwan. In September 2016, the purchase of AVG Technologies, a historically rival company, was completed for 1300 million dollars.
Core and detection
- Avast IQ Community: It is a user base through data collection and analysis, after a series of data from the anti-rootkit module that they share with each other, thus avoiding it.
- Integrated anti-rootkit: It is the automatic inspection by GMER technology, you can check and mark Rootkit controller under load, in this way even detect unknown species rootkits, which can be in operation before executing the malicious one and thus prevent and eliminate it in a way Rootkit sure.
- Built-in anti-spyware
- Code Simulator: From Avast! 5.0, when a suspicious execution of a program occurs during manual scanning and automatic scanning, Avast! You can simulate the program code in Sandbox and it does not damage the system. Although technically different from traditional analog technology, a program code that simulates a faster dynamic conversion formula is fully adopted.
- Detect unwanted programs: To get new features from Avast! 5.0, can detect unwanted programs such as remote control software and business key records and thus customize the program to deal with such programs.
- Heuristic Engine: Starting from Avast! 5.0, a new heuristic engine is available to proactively detect malware with common virus definitions, but it can't really verify and detect binary (executable) files and malicious scripting software.
- Scan engine: With the certification of ICSA and other certified scanning engines, they can effectively prevent computer viruses, spyware and other forms of malicious software. In addition to the general implementation of the file, you can also scan ARJ, ZIP, MIME, RAR, TAR, gzip, CAB, bzip2, LHA, Cpio, CHM, 7-Zip and SIS files and other compressed UPX content compressed files, as well as hidden files in NTFS file exchange data flow virus.
Scanning and antivirus
- Avast! Smart Scanner: Reduces the number of files to be analyzed by 80% based on a list of tested and safe applications. Unless the file is changed in another way, the system will be treated as a safe state.
- Avast! Virus Cleaner: Installation since version 4.1, when Avast also began to completely eliminate virus infection from computer files. In some emergency situations, Avast Virus Cleaner can be used as a stand-alone product.
- Quick Scan: Only the system memory area is scanned and the magnetic body scan progress is shown as a percentage.
- Boot analysis (Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7 onwards only): Allows users to organize their own boot analysis to remove hidden files on the hard drive, through the Windows operating system to start the process to Activate the antivirus device. From version 4.8, the progress of the percentage began to be shown.
- Wake-up: Performs a scheduled scan when Windows enters sleep mode and then returns completely to sleep mode.
- Scheduled Scan: Allows the user to define the scan time and the file to be scanned.
- Full system scan: Deep scan of the entire system.
- Scanning of custom folders: The user can select the folder or hard disk to be scanned.
- Removable media scan: Scan all removable disks currently connected to the computer.
- Screen saver: When performing a virus scan, Avast can be preset in screen savers to work together.
Resident system protection
Each function can be managed or disabled individually:
- Honeypot Behavioral: Identifies and monitors the activity of suspicious files on selected computers and is automatically sent to the virus laboratory for further analysis.
- P2P Shield: Scanning point-to-point technology to share files downloaded from the file, it can support Vuze, BitTorrent, BitComet, eDonkey2000, eMule, LimeWire, Shareaza, μTorrent, WinMX and other softwares.
- IM Shield (Instant Messaging Protection): Scan files and applications via instant messaging, support for AOL chat, Pidgin, Google Talk, ICQ, Miranda IM, mIRC, Windows Live Messenger, Psi, Tencent QQ, Skype, Trillian, Yahoo!, Chimo instant messaging and other softwares.
- Behavior Shield: From Avast 5.0 you can analyze the suspicious behavior, and then present the behavioral reporting program.
- Self-protection: Prevents malware from terminating with Avast, or destroys program files. From Avast! 5.0 has been changed to other ways to save.
- Mail Protection: Scan messages and attachments in email messages such as Microsoft Outlook/Outlook Express, Microsoft Exchange Server, etc., using heuristic methods to eliminate potentially hidden viruses in the content. Which uses special add-ons for Microsoft Outlook. Other email clients are protected by the usual POP3/IMAP4/SMTP proxy. In Avast! 5.0, also added support for scanning SSL communication (including the use of gmail and other software uses).
- File system shield: The main protection, by scanning files to avoid toxic files in the operation of the computer, to prevent the threat of viruses and other malicious programs. In addition to the application of the file also real-time scanning.
- Network Shield (Network Shield): It is divided exclusively to prevent a malicious link URL blocker, and intrusion detection systems in two parts, to prevent computer viruses or computer worms infiltrated computers.
- Web Shield: Scan the pages you are viewing and check all Java files, pages and scripts downloaded from the site. Due to the intelligent function of data flow scanning, web protection theory does not reduce web browsing speed.
- Smart Virus Definition Code Update: When updating, the system will minimize the size of the regular update file.
- Automatic updates: By updating the program and virus databases, more potential threats can be identified. Avast! The virus database will be updated regularly (sometimes one day there will be several times), and this process is automatically by default, the default is set to automatically check every four hours for a virus update, a soft update for Windows and messages voice.
- Virus database: Although it is a free version, Avast 2015 - Free updates its virus databases regularly (sometimes several times a day) and is automatically set to automatic mode. Each day, the program downloads more than 250 minor updates from the minor virus database to help protect your data against new virus threats.
- Quickly apply the update: The new virus definition code format can speed up the update and reduce the need for CPU memory so that it does not interfere with the use of the computer.
- Mute/Game Mode: Automatically detects full screen applications and disables pop-up windows and other screen indications. In the "Disabled" state, it will be indicated that there will be a warning pop-up window, but if the full screen operation is entered, the pop-up function will be automatically closed. And in the "On" state, which forced all the time to disable a variety of pop-ups.
- Prompt: Promotes users by issuing sound notices and subtitles.
- Avast Scan engine optimization: The code was optimized, from the start of avast! 5.0 is no longer the same as before, by opening a large part of the program implementation (the old version of the seven defense modes to open seven procedures), the new version of the Streamlined resident program (only two processing procedures), The overall memory occupancy was also significantly reduced:
- Multi-section scan optimization: The ability to efficiently use the fastest running multi-core CPU, allowing work distribution between the two cores, thus accelerating the scanning process. "We are pleased to see that Avast is able to optimize its security solutions to meet the advantages of our recent technology," said Wolfgang Petersen, Intel Regional Director.
- Green Computing: Reduces the need for hard drives, thus reducing resource consumption.
This is a new feature of Avast Premier and Avast Internet Security that allows users to browse the web or run the application in a completely secure environment. You can run any program that the user considers suspicious in the sandbox to see if there are malicious actions to determine if the program is safe.
Free Home Edition
Avast Antivirus software can be downloaded for free over the Internet for 30 days (paid software). The 30-day beta must be registered for free to obtain the code so that the program can continue to work, and after registering Avast will continue to use it for free for 12 months. After 12 months, you will have to re-register if you want to continue using for free. But if the user's version is 4.8, and it has been updated to the latest version, it can automatically use 14 months. In the use of the period, there will be no requirement to upgrade to the commercial version of the pop-up window, the virus will be updated automatically and the programming scan function has no limit.
In the 2010 AV Comparatives test. "Avast! Has the fastest scanning speed, 30% faster than Norton or AVG antivirus, even three times faster than Microsoft Security Essentials and the 99.3% detection rate," he said: John Hawes, a technical advisor and director of the test team of the British magazine "Virus Bulletin", wrote in a January 2010 magazine that "The product is better than many of its partners and is doing well in the interface of the product. And the useful features, and the free version also for home users, which is a miracle."
- Avast ITrack: Real-time graphics scan report.
- Virus quarantine: Save infected files. The body of the virus will be stored in a separate isolation area to avoid damaging other software, users can also add their own files in virus isolation.
- Multilingual interface: includes simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Bulgarian, Czech, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Brazilian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese and other versions. "When people can read in their mother tongue a sense of security" which virus database has been updated "which will be stronger," he said: Ondrej Vlcek, technology director of AVAST Software, also as a software company, said: "Avast users around the world, 238 countries and regions, if the language of the software is the language of the local user, the influence of the software in different parts of the world will be greater."
- Graphical user interface: From Avast! 5.0 began the old version of the console and the disinfection of the operation of the way to cancel, combined in a single interface to facilitate the use of users. The user can directly start the interface to manually scan, handle the scan results and change the settings, often note the protection settings are also changed, in addition, the appearance of the interface can be replaced, just like compressed files in ZIP.
- Automatic processing: Automatically processes infected files without user commands.
Release: December 18, 2002.
- There are two versions, the professional and the home ('home': free). The latter can be used as long as it is for domestic use (discarding all types of businesses, associations, clubs, etc.) and that for the installed computer no activities for profits are developed. Avast! Home can be considered a "cropped" version of avast! Professional, although the detection engine and updates are the same and with the same frequency.
- In the Avast! Professional skins can be incorporated into the user interface (which can be set in two modes: basic and advanced), PUSH updates, specific protection for instant messaging and P2P programs, possibility of setting parameters from the command line, low consumption of system resources, etc. It also allows scanning at startup, that is, examines the system before the operating system starts up, to try to prevent any type of malware from being installed in memory.
- The company offers very important discounts to schools, NGOs, charitable organizations, public administrations, etc., to help these institutions to protect their equipment in the most economical way possible.
- For corporate users, suites and versions Professional, Server, Linux, SBS, Kerio, ADNM, BartCD, PDA are available... For home users, in addition to Home and Professional, the PDA, BartCD and Linux variant can also be used.
- In 2008, the family package (Family Pack), which provides avast! Professional for 10 computers and 1 avast license ! WHS for 1 WHS server (Windows Home Server) at a very affordable single price. This trend is developing in many antivirus products, as it is increasingly common for families to have several computers at home (both fixed and portable). Avast! It differs from the other options in the number of licenses offered, since the rest of the brands usually give only 2 or 3 licenses. It is important to note that the Family PackIt can be used by people who have a home office, that is, it can be used even if there is a profit motive (for example, think of a freelance web designer working from home). However, its purchase is not allowed to companies and businesses that have their own premises, and ultimately everything that is outside the domestic sphere (for example, an SL 'limited company' or SA 'limited company' would be outside the scope of this package).
- On March 29, 2008, avast! It is officially considered an antivirus + antispyware product (certified by CheckMark), as well as incorporating rootkit detection and adding new antivirus self-defense processes to prevent malware from deactivating or uninstalling it.
Release: January 19, 2010.
- This version prompted a complete change of avast!, both at the company level, and at the technical and user interface level, in which it represents the most important change of AVAST Software.
- Shortly before the appearance of avast! 5, the company celebrated its 100 millionth user, a milestone in a computer security company.
The product range consists of:
- Avast! 5 Free: replacing the previous avast! Home. It is still free for domestic use without commercial scope, and it is focused on the user who makes an intensive use of the internet (browsing and email). Avast! Free is also the product chosen by Google for its free application package.
- Avast! 5 Pro: replaces the previous avast! Professional. Intended for companies to protect their jobs and advanced users who do not need additional functions such as firewalls or antispam. It incorporates all the functions of avast! Free plus a shield of scripts and the new avast! Sandbox (for web protection), in addition to more frequent updates.
- Avast! 5 Internet Security: Add an intelligent firewall and an anti-spam module.
New technologies in avast! 5 that were not present in version 4:
- Avast! Sandbox: Allows potentially exploitable programs (such as Internet browsers) or suspicious executables to be executed in a secure virtual environment. This feature of avast! 5 is unique in the world of antivirus and works on both 32-bit and 64-bit systems.
- Code emulator: When avast! Finding a suspicious executable (in the automatic scanner or on demand) is able to emulate the program code in a completely isolated and secure environment. The code emulator is used for two purposes: first, as a generic decompressor, and second as support for the heuristic engine. Technically, this occurs using a process called dynamic translation, which is much faster than the usual emulation techniques.
- Heuristic engine: Since its version 5, avast! It integrates a new heuristic engine designed to proactively protect against malware that is not detected based on the usual virus definitions. This engine is capable of working with executable files and scripts.
- Detection of potentially unwanted programs: Also since version 5, avast! detects potentially unwanted programs, such as remote management programs and commercial keyloggers. The user may apply rules to work voluntarily with these types of programs.
- Wake up to scan: avast! wakes Windows from hibernation or sleep mode to perform a scheduled scan. Once finished, the equipment will return to its idle state.
- Smart scanner: This new system allows you to reduce the number of files to be scanned by 80% through a list of programs that are proven to be harmless. Files that are marked as not harmful will not be scanned until they are changed.
- Behavior shield: Monitors system activity using various sensors (file system, registry and network), warning and blocking if a suspicious activity is found. In addition, these files can be sent to our laboratories to be analyzed in depth and thus contribute to the Collective Intelligence of avast!
- Avast! iTrack: Real-time graphics of the scans and antivirus activity.
- Silent firewall: The firewall allows you to control all incoming and outgoing traffic on your computer. Protection is based on heuristic and behavioral analysis systems, as well as a white list of benign applications.
- Antispam: New and comprehensive antispam system (spam control) with fraudulent message filter. It provides protection against unwanted emails and that can lead to fake pages of banks or other companies such as PayPal. It works as an extension for Outlook and as a generic proxy for other mail clients.
- Integration of Autosandbox even in its free products.
- Behavior shield extension.
- FileRep: This module observes the reputation of the files and sends data to the exchange.
- Remote Assistance: Help a friend remotely by controlling the desktop of your pc.
- Streaming updates: this function takes the data from the cloud and sends it, it is data that stays on the PC. Permanent connection is required.
- Updates in "the cloud".
- Refurbished desktop gadget.
- More efficient and faster analysis.
- Very low consumption of resources.
- More colorful and now rugged interface.
- Shields tab with summary of protection components operation.
- Firewall renewed.
- New protection engine.
- Radical change in the interface, much cleaner, and adapted to Windows 8.
- WebRep and FileRep improvements.
- New product: Avast! Premier Antivirus, between Avast Pro and Avast Internet Security products, including a file destroyer.
- Program Updater, which keeps applications that are widely used on a day-to-day basis and help to avoid vulnerabilities.
- Bar cleaner and browser plugins.
- Engine renewed, certified by the West Coast Checkmark Laboratories, and new effective module for self defense,
- The name is changed to Avast Antivirus, leaving aside the previous name "Avast!" With the exclamation point.
- The Avast logo is changed following the acquisition of AVG.
- The new technologies NITRO and CYBERCAPTURE are incorporated.
- Improved the volume of impact on the system.
- The SafeZone secure browser is offered for free also in Avast Free.
- Ransomware shield (encrypts files and data so that hackers cannot access them).
- Creating an Avast account to manage multiple devices.
- Better detection of Pegasus malware.
- Webcam shield.
Microsoft Windows Products
- Avast Free Antivirus - Free for non-commercial and domestic use. Features of this product include anti-spyware antivirus, Avast passwords, secure HTTPS scanning, streaming updates, hardened mode, DeepScreen, home network security scanner, SiteCorrect, anti-phishing, anti-malware, Smart Scan, rescue disk and software updater (Manual), Ransomware protection. Requires a 1-year registration and includes ads for other Avast products.
- Avast Pro Antivirus - For home use. It includes all the functions of the free version, with the addition of SafeZone Browser, Secure DNS and Sandbox. No registration required, but requires a license or activation code.
- Avast Internet Security - Includes all the features of Pro, with the addition of a silent firewall and antispam. No registration required, but requires a license or activation code.
- Avast Premier - Includes all Internet Security features, with the addition of a data breaker, an "Access Anywhere" service and an automatic software updater. No registration required, but requires a license or activation code.
Not to be confused with Mac OS.
- Avast Free Mac Security - An antivirus solution for Apple Macintosh machines running macOS based on a central virus detection daemon. It offers three shields, on-demand scanning and WebRep clients that are automatically installed (optionally) in Uc, Safari, Chrome and Firefox browsers. Avast Free Mac Security is listed as one of the best Mac antivirus on the market.
Products for companies
- Avast for Companies - Free for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It is a cross-platform solution that includes antivirus protection, web threat scanning and integrated browser protection, and a cloud management console.
- Endpoint Protection/Protection Plus/Protection Suite/Protection Suite Plus.
- Email server security.
- File server security.
- Security Suite for Linux.
- Avast Mobile Security - Free application for use on Android devices. It includes a virus scanner, virus removal, protector, network meter, application manager, application blocking, backup and a firewall on rooted phones.
- Avast Mobile Security Pro - Premium application for use on Android devices. Remove the ads and include the features found in the free application in addition to application blocking, geo-fencing, remote SMS, data recovery, anti-theft and identification and extended backup.
Avast for the Android operating system also offers other security and maintenance options separately:
- Avast Cleanup
- Avast Battery Saver
- Avast SecureLine
- Avast Passwords
- Avast Wi-Fi Finder
According to the report OPSWAT January 2015, with a market share of 21.4% is the free antivirus software most used in the world since 2017.
On August 23, 2010, the US private equity firm Summit Partners invested about $100 million in avast software, AVAST CEO Vince Steckler said: "The pinnacle of investment funds is undoubtedly for us" added... the business model is undoubtedly through the free product with all the functions and the products based on mixed market model fees, this business has the means to break the current market business model traditional antivirus software. Do not have to adopt the advertising of the mode or pre-installed Avast!, only through this way the word of mouth of the user, the business scale also allows avast to achieve sustained and stable growth "and added:". 'freemium' is the mainstream future, and investing next to the summit, we will continue our strategy to provide free and quality antivirus solutions for all customers, we have no plans to adapt to the traditional retail model to change our approach and before this, Vince Steckler had already made it clear that AVAST Software sales as a strategy.
Cooperation with Google
In 2009, AVAST Software as worked with Google to choose to install Google Chrome at the same time when the user is installing the Avast program and Google Chrome is not installed on the computer can choose to install Google Chrome. Although many programs at the time of installation, will provide an option for users to install other programs, so this cannot be said to be an innovation either. But the Avast installer asks if you want to install Google Chrome in a pop-up window where the user can choose and does not do it discreetly as other installation programs do. "Google’s marketing plan with Avast is fancy! The number of Google Chrome users has more than doubled." A Google spokesman said: "We will continue exploring ways to bring more people to Google Chrome, which may include several channels, and one of our ways is to work with Avast."
Also, although AVAST antivirus software does not support Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT and other operating systems, but in terms of Google Pack languages, Avast! Free Antivirus 5.0 can replace the download of Spyware Doctor on these systems.