Free Antivirus Help Contact Us  |   FAQ Help  |  Why Free
  Home Download Instructions Antivirus Reviews News

Free Avast 6 Beta Review – Download 2011

30. January 2011

     Avast has just released the highly anticipated version 6 of their free antivirus.   The biggest change for the free version is new sandbox technology, web script protection, and site blocking.  These features were previously only available in the full version.  Even though the Avast 6 is technically in beta, the program performed well without any error messages.  This is a testament to the publisher's quality.  I have included a link to a 3 versions (free, pro, and internet security) for download.  Get them while they are hot!

    The installation went great.  The first thing that the installer did after copying the files was running a quick system scan.  This is a great feature considering that many users have malware that interfere with the functionality of their antivirus even before they can actually get it installed.  Next, the finally quirk was a “welcome to Avast” sound message that all I can say, puts the icing on the cake.  Avast 6 installs a nice desktop widget that lets users drag files to get scanned, update, and maximize the program window.

    Avast 6 stands out because how much it offers for free.  The first thing that is completely different than any competitors, is the update frequency.  The common theme throughout this sites reviews are that all free versions (AVG, Avira etc.) limit the virus definitions update frequency to once daily at a minimum; this severely hampers a computers security against zero day threats.  However, Avast 6 Free lets the user customize this.  The default setting is 240 minutes I simply changed it to 10 minutes!

update frequency

    Virus scanning is very fast with Avast 6.  Within in four minutes, the scanner had already scanned 24 gigabytes of data.  The disconcerting thing is that the scanner reports some amazingly high number of the speed of the scan 300 to 35 megabytes per second (settles around 35) while, resource monitor only indicates that the disk is being accessed at 3 to 6 megabytes per second.  Avast might want to improve its speed metric.   The full system scan didn’t detect any viruses on the test system. 

    I want to report that resource usage by Avast 6 is well below competitors and is highly optimized for low resource usage.  The program only uses two processes AvastUI.exe and AvastSvc.exe.  Even while scanning, one is looking at a maximum of 20 megabytes of RAM being used and CPU usage that frequently doesn’t break 5 percent.   These are the best of any antivirus tested (excluding prevx).  All of this really translates into little or no effect on concurrent tasks.  Forget game (silent) mode, one doesn’t even need to turn it on.  Boot time was maybe extended by about 15 seconds to load the widget.  Finally, the full system scan took under 1 hour to complete (100 gigabytes of data). 

    Avast 6 includes a full set of real time shields.  The IM, mail, web, network, script, p2p, and file system shield.  I just want to say something about the p2p and the IM shield.  They have by far the best program support of any free antivirus tested.  Also, all other shields have customizable settings and great packer protection.

    Finally, Avast 6 includes the auto sandbox feature which executes suspicious files in an isolated environment automatically.  There is also a web rep toolbar similar to WOT which supports firefox and even the IE9. There is also site blocking and password protection (one can specify which areas users have access to).  What more does one want!?