Monday, February 28, 2011

Avast Introduces Avast 6 Product Line

Internet Security provider Avast! released version 6 of their latest internet security offerings during the last week of February. This includes on the consumer side, their free consumer product, Avast Free Antivirus 6, Avast Pro Antivirus, and Avast Internet Security. Avast is now promoting 149 million product registrations for their solutions (each company seems to define "registration" and "registered user" differently).

What’s New with Avast 6?

• avast! WebRep - Provides website reliability and reputation ratings according to community-provided feedback.
• avast! SafeZone - Opens a new (clean) desktop so that other applications don’t see what’s happening – perfect for banking or secure ordering/shopping – and leaves no traces once it’s closed.
• AutoSandbox - Prompts users to run suspicious applications in the virtual Sandbox environment.

Utilizing virtual desktops has been growing in corporate environments as a means to protect users and the network. This technology appears to be migrating to the consumer marketplace now, as well.

What Avast is promoting in Avast Free Antivirus 6?

• AutoSandbox – Avast says that this is the first automatic virtualization feature in a major antivirus package. AutoSandbox identifies suspicious applications and automatically prompts users to run them in a safe virtual environment
• WebRep – Avast claims that this is first reputation guide for malware and website content incorporated into a free antivirus application.
• The product also includes Web and Script shields, protecting users at the http and browser level, and site blocking

Why Upgrade to Avast Pro Antivirus or Avast Internet Security?

Avast introduces SafeZone, their version of virtual machine technology with their Avast Pro Antivirus and Avast Internet Security Suite 6 solutions. As mentioned above, SafeZone creates a virtual desktop within the computer. According to Avast, it prevents private data from going outside via malware and blocks out applications such as malware.

For safety while shopping or banking online, Avast pushes the upgrade to Avast Pro Antivirus. Safely shop or bank online. Upgrading to Avast Internet Security adds identity and data protection, an advanced firewall and spam protection to the mix.

For a detailed comparison between what is in the paid two consumer products, go to

What are reviewers saying about Avast Free Antivirus 6?

CNET gave Avast Free Antivirus 6 4.5 stars out of 5. Rosenblatt’s conclusion:
“When it comes to your security, Avast Free Antivirus 6 gets a lot right. It's got a usable, uncluttered interface, solid although not stellar benchmarks, and a set of features that keeps it at the forefront of Windows security. Using the Internet safely is no longer just about not getting phished and downloading only known-safe files, and the improvements in Avast 6 address modern security risks comprehensively. Although we'd like to see stronger efficacy benchmarks in the future, Avast remains one of the best free security options around and is well worth downloading.” .

PC Magazine's Neil Rubenking gave Avast Free Antivirus 6 3.5 stars out of 5. His bottom line comment - "Avast! Free has some dandy new features, and it's a great-looking program. However, the new features didn't shine in my testing. It needs to do a better job cleaning up the threats it detects. Since its' free, you can give it a try and make your own decision.",2817,2381362,00.asp

PC World rated Avast Free Antivirus 5 their top free solution in a December article with 4.5 stars out of 5.0. They rated Avast Pro Antivirus 5 3rd to Norton and BitDefender with a score of 4.0 out of 5.0 (tied with G Data).

What are the test organizations saying about Avast 6?

As of March 1, nothing. Interested parties should go to the respective websites, for details on any testing that has been performed. Available test results are using version 5.

Virus Bulletin ( – Archived results for Avast are available at Pay attention to exactly which product was tested. Avast has received VB100 awards for the last 12 tests they've entered.

Avira's free solution was the best performing "free" product in Virus Bulletin's latest RAP test, followed by Avast and AVG Technologies, respectively.

AV-comparatives ( - Any test results performed on prior versions of Avast! products can be viewed at . Pay attention to exactly which product was tested. ( - Any test results performed on prior versions of Avast! can be viewed at . Pay attention to exactly which product was tested.

ICSA Labs ( - Results can be viewed at . Pay attention to exactly which product was tested. ICSA Labs tested Avast's free product (earlier release)[]=4216&tid_1[]=4259&x=34&y=8&=Apply

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