Shankar Ganesh

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AVG vs Avast!

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Norton Antivirus was the first piece of antivirus software that I installed on my system (that’s because a Norton CD accompanied my computer when I purchased it). I was watching it running for a few days, and then I got annoyed. Installation was hectic and after restart, my PC only got slower.

Then, I heard about AVG Free Edition from somewhere and installed it. I’ve been using AVG for years, and I’ve never looked back. It’s one best antivirus solutions for slow computers with less resources. But, it’s good to try alternatives.


Totally protected

A few weeks ago, I read a post on Kyle’s blog talking about Avast Anti-Virus. Upon his recommendation, I decided to give it a try. At first, I thought it’d just be another resource hungry antivirus program. But it wasn’t. Even the real time scanning feature offered by Avast didn’t make my system slower.

AVG vs Avast Antivirus

Avast has some very interesting features and is highly configurable. Avast impressed me, and I think I’m going to stay with it.

Let me summarize a few points here comparing AVG Antivirus (Free Edition) and Avast Home (Free) Edition. Guys, this is neither a rant against AVG nor a sponsored post from Avast. Just my thoughts highlighting the most useful features on Avast. You can, as always, have your say in the comments section.

Boot Time Scanning
Avast can scan files when Windows boots. This gives more control over scanning system files, and infection removal. If a virus is suspected to be inside your computer, and is not into action yet, boot time scanning gets activated automatically.

This is one great plus on Avast’s side, that AVG definitely lacks.

Resident Protection (Real time scanning of files)
AVG does that, I know. But, this one is much better. It’s active by default, and three scanning levels are available for you to adjust. You can set scanning levels individually for P2P, Instant Messaging, Web traffic.

Avast Resident Scanner

For example, I can set the scanning level of files received via IMs to ‘low’ since I know the files I receive are from trusted people. And I can set scanning of P2P files to ‘high’, and HTTP Web traffic scanning to ‘Normal’. I don’t think AVG does that.

This is just automated. Avast checks all incoming emails, POP, IMAP, SMTP, whatever. This so-called On-Access Protection scanning is very configurable on Avast, than on AVG. One reason why you should give it a go.

Scan when Screensaver is running
Yet another cool add on Avast’s side. Avast scanning can take place behind the scenes on your PC when screensavers are active. One little and funky add, I should say.

I’m usually hesitant to fire up Antivirus software, because they take a lot of time to complete scanning (Nothing wrong on their part, though). I guess this option may attract some lazy geese like me :)

Better Automatic Updating
Avast checks servers for updates every 4 hours, or even less than that if you want it to. AVG, on the other hand, has a primitive updating system and checks for viruses only once a day. If you happen to miss an update, you’ll have to wait till the next day to download new definitions. More on this here.

Those were just some noticeable, and innovative options available on Avast. Read more here. You’re more than welcome to post your views in the comments section.


Totally protected

Written by admin

November 7th, 2007 at 10:08 am

Posted in security

  • http://www.whoismadhur.com Madhur Kapoor

    I have used AVG as well as Avast . recently my PC got infected with “Orkut is Banned” virus and only Avast was able to detect it . So i give preference to Avast.

  • http://techmalaya.com Syahid Ali

    been using avast since 2 years ago. it is free and you can renew the license each year. it is lightweight and never give me a problem.

  • http://www.shankarganesh.com/ Shankar Ganesh

    @Madhur: Yep, its engine is really good in detecting viruses.
    @Syahid Ali: Thanks for dropping by to share your thoughts.

  • http://digitalkeyto.info James – DigitalKeyToInfo

    I wish I had seen this before I updated my anti-virus a few days ago.
    Most AV programs are such resource hogs.

  • http://indyankk.blogspot.com Innovations & Interesting Ramblings

    Look to be good…but do update on your avast experience after a period of 3 months…

  • http://debasyslog.blogspot.com debasys

    wow! really yaar shankar i am surprised to know u had never used Avast before! This was the first anti-virus i installed in my PC [not even Norton, as i did not receive a CD with my PC], i came to know about Avast from Digit magazine, even before i bought my computer. And since that i have forgotten how many friends i have advised to use Avast…..none of then reverted-back to their old anti-virus since then.

    Now this might be surprising to you, i have never installed AVG till-date.

    This concludes, u were happy with AVG so that u did not bother to install anything else, and same for Avast for me :)

    One question: do u use Boot time virus-check? I was not opting for it.

  • http://maximillianx.blogspot.com Rob Dunn

    Shankar – glad to see you have made the move to Avast! (remember the exclamation point! – - hehe). I’ve been an advocate of this software for years, mainly for the reasons you specified, in addition to the inclusion of multiple vector defenses, like IM, email, P2P, and web.

    Not to mention I like to crank up the volume when I’m not home and let Avast! scare my wife “VIRUS DATABASE HAS BEEN UPDATED!!!” – pretty intense if you forget to turn the volume back down when you are trying to sleep. :)

    Avast! is in my home computer freeware list, and probably will be for quite awhile!

  • http://enblog.logesh.co.in Logesh

    Hey, First I agree that Norton will slows down the system. I am using Computer for last 8 years and have came across different commercial and free antiviruses. In my experience i have never seen a good Antivirus program like Norton. I am also seeing a lot of my customers using Avast ! since its available for free. One of my friend has also bought a Trend Micro. But all of that systems were got infected. I am using Norton for a long time and havn’t faced any difficulties with it.

    My final word is, If you need a full security means use Norton other wise if you want only the performance means you can switch to the alternates. Thats all !

  • http://www.spywarebiz.com Doug Woodall

    Avast is truly a great product. I too used AVG but switched to Avast as soon as I checked it out and found it features suited my online use.
    Great Article.

  • http://www.brownbaron.com/blog/ Brown Baron

    Now you got me thinking. With all the points you mentioned, I think I just might switch to Avast from AVG hehe. Thanks buddy, that was a great article.

  • http://technixupdate.com abhishek bhatnagar

    Well i have never go beyond Symantic Antivrus Corporate Edition but it looks like avast is really cool…lets see how avast can compete with SACE…will let u knw abt the results.

  • http://maximillianx.blogspot.com Rob Dunn

    @abhishek: In terms of quality of AV protection, there really is no need for you to test it…of course, unless you are talking about your personal usability…!

    Sign up for a free account on virus bulletin and see the test results yourself (once you get registered, hit this link: http://www.virusbtn.com/vb100/archive/results?display=summary)

    You’ll see that Avast! actually beats out Grisoft AVG for Windows XP protection (Symantec and Avast! both rate the same).

  • http://www.teknobites.com ram

    Nice post shankar, i never used these programs. I use Norton (Office Corporate Edition) and it works pretty good. If i have to buy Norton then i might use Avast

  • http://www.teknobites.com ram

    I forgot to mention i used clamwin, it also works well but has some limitations.

  • http://www.unneglectable.com maneesh

    I have been using avast since over 2 years now, and haven’t had any problem at all. The fancy spinning avast world looks cool too to impress my less geeky friends :)

    and the fact that its free makes it even better, they could however improve with the one year re-registration thing.. one has to renew avast (still free) every year.. I don’t know what purpose it really serves…

  • http://space-action-hero.blogspot.com Kenny

    Thanks for this, I think I’m gonna give Avast a shot as well.

  • http://www.shankarganesh.com/ Shankar Ganesh

    Thanks everyone for dropping by to comment.

    @James: Yeah, they are. But Avast! isn’t.

    @Innovations & Interesting Ramblings: Sure, I’ll update you.

    @Debasys: Yeah, the Digit CDs carry Avast! without fail but I wonder why I never really checked it. Yes, the boot time was activated automatically during install, so there was a boot time check up done on my PC.

    @Logesh: I slightly disagree. Based on many research reports and studies, Avast comparatively has a better engine than most other AVs. I’m not telling Norton is the worst, but Avast! is better, IMHO.

    @Doug Woodall: Indeed, it’s a great product.

    @Abhishek: Do tell us about your experiences.

    @Rob Dunn: Haha yes, I shouldn’t miss the !. Avast! has a better virus detecting engine I guess. And yeah, there’s a siren sound that comes when a virus is detected. Scared my young sister lol :D

    @Maneesh: Hehe, even I was a bit disappointed with the registering thing, may be it’s a way to track active users.

    @Ram, Brown, Kenny: Do try Avast!

  • http://www.technicaltricks.blogspot.com luv

    i am also using avast now it has been more than a year and its a good anti virus . nice post .

  • http://blog.ashfame.com Ashfame

    I had tried both of them in the past. No doubt, Avast is better than Avg but for now i am using Nod32 (the second best antivirus).

  • http://www.shankarganesh.com/ Shankar Ganesh

    @Luv: Thanks, I think I’ll be staying with Avast too.
    @Ashfame: Yep, I’ve been hearing about Nod32 here and there. May be, it’s time I try that too ;)

  • http://techyantra.net Beta3

    Of course Avast is much much better than AVG including virus detection and in other security scenarios but I dunno why after using Avast for few weeks it suddenly gets buggy and messes of everything (as if it suddenly gets too paranoid about security). The problem persisted even with newer versions..

    Currently am trying NOD32 :)

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  • http://techmalaya.com Syahid Ali

    @ram: clamwin will only work for me if they can add the real time scanning feature. without it, it is not possible for it to be on par with avast / avg.

  • Brian

    I like my avg cause it does everyting as i wish. Update definition files in the background and doesnt annoy me with popups / or comercial like others do (Antivir Personal edition).

    I actually dont really need any antivirus cause I belong to the more experienced internet users. I download stuff only from serious websites and I dont waste time with filesharing and xxx websites ^^. I cant remember the last time i’ve got a real virus warning.
    BUT who knows ^^ I bet next day I disable my AVG I’ll get one :D ! Just cause u always get such stuff in the most stupid moments :) .

    I study mechatronics at the moment and therefore i need my laptop alot and sometimes theres not always an powersocket near me :) ! Means i really have to watch my batterylife. I already slimmed down my Memory usage by shutting down all unneeded processes and services to minimize my harddrive usage (which definatly sucks most energy…)

    Sooo What i adore about AVG:
    It only uses 4mb of memory! How much does Avast use??? Would be nice if anyone could tell me. May i give it a try then :)

    Greetz from Germany

  • Zac

    @Brian
    As of right now, Avast is using 2.2 MB on my system.

  • http://www.applelens.com/ Sumesh

    You’ve got lots of comments, I see.
    On a personal note, I too switched from Norton to Avast because of the boot times and resources increasing.
    Also, the interface is skinnable, and I currently use Mac OS X skin, which goes well along with FlyAkiteOSX.
    And for virus defenition updates, it has the lightest ones – perfect for even the slowest connections. I usually dont notice there’s an update going on.

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  • http://jalaj.net/ Jalaj

    One thing I liked about AVG was it’s Command prompt version… When users are not too techie and can break AV configuration every now and then… it was best for letting them click a link and have it done without their intervention.. it was when I was using win98… currently I don’t use any anti virus… I have gone too friendly with them…

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  • Bill

    avast is a very good free AV,SHANKAR HAS DONE A WONDERFUL JOB. but for the best protection Nod32 is by far the best as most federal agencies use it

  • http://miraclesdooccur.blogspot.com Pavan Kumar

    Whatever you say sir, I use nod32 for my system, but the most annoying svchost virus – is there any solution? After I got my system infected with that virus, I started searching for a proper solution, you can see that here and I hope this is very useful to anyone here…
    http://miraclesdooccur.blogspot.com/2007/10/getting-rid-of-svchost-virus.html

  • http://www.shankarganesh.com/ Shankar Ganesh

    @Sumesh: You’re right about the updates. They go on unnoticed.
    @Bill, Pavan: Thanks for sharing that info.

  • http://www.andreas-puls.de Andreas

    Using avast since 2 years on my desktop and my windows partition on my notebook. Its realy good. U can disable the stuff u didn’t need. In my case the outlook and p2p stuff. Didn’t use outlook :)

    I suggest Avast to all my friends even if they used avg or the german “anti vir” from avira.

  • http://www.aakashjain.com Aakash

    I’m using AVG for years and have used Nortan also.
    Nortan slows down your system………Agree. But AVG is good. I have never face the problem with it.

    Avast! may be good but can you come up something substantial that override AVG

  • http://www.shankarganesh.com/ Shankar Ganesh

    @Andreas: Yep that’s one good thing on Avast!’s side. You can disable such protections individually.
    @Aakash: Thanks for dropping by to comment.

  • http://maximillianx.blogspot.com Rob Dunn

    @Aakash:

    Avast! has a consistent higher success-rate in terms of virus detection and remediation, according to the major testing centers.

    I’ve used both and I like Avast! for the following reasons:

    Screensaver scan while computer is idle (my personal favorite)
    Granular provider control (web/IM/P2P/email/etc.) – adjust the sensitivity of each provider.
    Avast! has a total of seven providers that it defends vs. AVG’s two.
    Schedule a boot-time scan with Avast! I see no way of doing this with AVG.
    AVG updates daily, Avast! updates itself every 4 hours by default. This can be changed.
    Avast! seems to take about 2Mb less when running it’s interface vs. AVG. While running a full system scan, Avast! took up around 19Mb of memory vs. AVG’s 55Mb (can that be right!? Can someone else verify this?).
    Avast! talks to you, so if you’re lonely, you have a new friend!

    I dunno – I’ve just never liked AVG, it seems someone lackluster considering the configurable options available with Avast!, not to mention the tried-and-true results of the virus testing centers (you will have to Google this). Finally, with the ability of running a screen saver and boot time scan, it makes it a very viable AV solution for mom & pop.

  • http://www.promotrizint.com Ruben

    I have been running the free version of Avast! on all my machines at home for the last two years and have installed it on every new computer that family asks me to look at since then. It works great and can be easily configured. Has anyone used the pay version? I am interested in using it at work.

  • http://www.b-1st.com seo

    good program.

  • http://techcrunch.co.nr techblog

    avg is the best.. avast may slow down your system. for those who have minimal pc performance my suggestion is to use AVG rather than avast.

    http://www.techcrunch.co.nr

  • http://maximillianx.blogspot.com Rob Dunn

    @Techblog:

    AVG took 55mb of memory while running on my system (see my previous comment), while Avast! took only 19Mb. Do you have any other numbers that can support your claim? I’m just curious – I’d like to see a more professional evaluation re: resource impact, but in my experience, Avast! has never slowed down my system…

  • M25

    I have no experience with AVG nor Avast. I’ve been using Kaspersky the last years and I’m pleased with it.
    Now I’m going to put together a PC for my parents, who both are very non-technical. So I wonder which one is more user friendly? I want the AV to be as transparent as possible, no pop-ups or anything. Just running in the background doing its job, updating without any notification or sounds. Which one do you think is better suited for that?
    Is it true that you have to re-register Avast periodically? How often is that and how much trouble is it (for a non-technical person)?

  • ToneDeff

    I have been using AVG for afew months, but i heard about avast! and recently switched. I agree i do like it alot better but AVG and Avast! are both good anti-virus programs imo.

  • AJ

    Hi! I also switched to Avast! from AVG although I had no problems running the AVG Free Edition. However, I do have a question, what free anti spyware do you recommend for home use? Thanks in advance.

  • http://www.killertechtips.com Shankar Ganesh

    @AJ: I recommend using both Ad-Aware and Spybot Search and Destroy

  • http://maximillianx.blogspot.com Rob Dunn

    @AJ/Shankar: I gotta say that I can’t recommend Spybot (too slow, and often will miss a lot of the newer stuff). I’ve been using Spyware Terminator, and it works great! Can’t say either way about Ad-Aware lately, but I think it is still working fine for a lot of people.

  • http://blog.shankarganesh.com Shankar Ganesh

    @Rob: Thanks for the input, I agree that it’s slow, but it’s still one of the most popular programs for spyware removal I guess.
    I’ll sure give a try on Spyware Terminator since you’ve suggested it :)

  • BackwoodsBandit

    In reading all this and searching for info and testing on my own, I have come up with the following as the most secure and complete FREE defense package.

    Avast!
    ZoneAlarm
    Spyware Terminator 2
    Advanced Windows Care 2 (This is a great one-click utility!)

    I also run scans with AdAware and Spybot about once a month, although Spybot has only found one item and Adaware none since I started this config. CCleaner is another utility that I run about monthly. It seems to catch a few registry items and junk files that Advanced Windows Care misses. AVG is a bit more “dummy proof”, but Avast has a higher detection rate and is way more customizable. Suprisingly, it seems to take up less memory too. Combine that with the more frequent updates and I think the debate should be over!

    BTW, all of the following SUCK…IMHO…

    Windows Defender
    Windows Live Care
    CA E-Trust (low detection rates)
    Zero Spyware
    Easy Cleaner

    I spent quite a bit of time reasearching this and trying out programs, as

  • BackwoodsBandit

    Best totally free config. I’ve found, and I’ve researched this alot! I build systems for resale.

    Avast!
    Zone Alarm
    Spyware Terminator 2
    Advanced Windows Care 2

    Periodic (monthly) scans with Spybot SD, AdAware, and CCleaner completes my security suite. Although, Spybot has only found one and Adaware none since I began using SpyTerm2. It offers realtime protection, and an additional integrated AV (Clam AV) for additional protection. It also found an additional 800 or so immunizations that Spybot didn’t have. These are all really good programs.

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  • http://www.bleepsblops.com Aristides

    Shankar, thanks for your thoughtful insights in the world of free antivirus tools.
    I have been using AVG for a while but got a thinkpad X61 recently for on the road work and Avast! seems to be far superior with its realtime protection engine.
    Thank you very much.

  • http://www.ibrahimo.com Ibrahim Hussein

    To be honest I used to think that Norton is the real deal, but although I had a high quality PC it was always slow, so since around 3 years I found AVG.
    Always heard of Avast! but never tried it, I will give it a try on my new notebooka d let you know my take on it. Thanks for the post…

  • http://www.shankarganesh.com/ Shankar Ganesh

    @Aristides: Yeah, the on-access scan is the best thing about Avast!
    @Ibrahim Hussein: Sir, I don’t think Norton is the ‘real deal’. Avast does have an extensive Virus Detection Database and the engine is much better. Norton is just hype, IMHO :)

  • Hannah Grace

    I just recently download avast home edition and remove my expired Norton, and I notice the start up did not take so long as before. Also it detected and removed so many viruses including the Disk Knight in my flashdisk which Norton never detected. I also love the feature that I can change the look (skin) of avast so easily. Best of all it’s free. Yehey.

  • Barling

    Avast is brilliant and rather just slightly above AVG. I’m in IT maintenance and when people come to me looking for advice on splashing out cash on keeping Norton/McAfee (Big names and that’s it!!), I say uninstall these resource clogging apps with all their bells and whistles and install a free app! I’ve cleaned out more PC problems using Avast and Spybot (Search & Destroy)

  • Cal

    I have been using Avast for 4+ years. I use the professional version with script scaning. Its the best I have used vs Norton, Mcafee, ect…
    I tell everyone to use it… Found more viruses after I scanned with Norton..

  • KenWeiLL

    I have been using Avast Home Edition for some time. I use it then after infected with a virus, i use another antivirus.
    Then come back to Avast… Then after some web browsing got infected again with the same virus… I got infected with the same threats 3 times.

    I did use other antivirus for the reason that Avast can’t detect that kind of virus. In particular, the virus detected by NOD32 Trial Edition was “Win32/TrojanDownloader.FakeAlert.C trojan”. Avast doesn’t seem to detect this threat.

    Me, and my cousin and my neighbor was using Avast Home Edition at home and all 3 of us ended being infected with that virus.
    After being infected, theres alot of advertising pup-ups in our windows xp. Can’t remember all the popups. But one of the website that I can remember is “www.protectionways.com”.

    I can’t forget that website since everytime i start my computer, that site always popups with some other websites.

    Right now, we’re using AVG Free Edition. So far, i was not hit by the same virus. Hope AVG can do better than Avast for me. Or maybe, AVG blocked it.

    For now, I would recommend AVG.

  • Mashedpotatoes

    I’ve been using Avast for over 3 years now. It works like a charm. I’ve gone back and tried AVG a few times but I just don’t like how it works nor how it feels. Avast has a better interface and better engine. It’s caught a few viruses on my system, cleaned and deleted them. It’s also blocked browser hijacks as well. The auto-updating is really really slick, that’s definitely my favorite feature. I highly recommend Avast, I’m sold it is the best antivirus program you’ll find.

  • rj

    i dunno but i use both of them. AVG and Avast! is that advisable? or should i only keep one? i prefer using avast! i really like the way it updates. it goes unnoticable + the voice! hahaha, pretty cool when my non-tech friends here it. AVG updates usually bothers me especially when it updates while im playing.

  • Ka Philip

    thank’s for your blog ^_^

    I use this as the source of my term paper.

    Once again, thank’s

    IN my experienced as a computer user I will used Avast! due to the features that AVG don’t have.

  • ross278

    Thanks for the post, this has really helped me. I’v been running zonealarm for the firewall, antivirus and spyware. But after reading this i guess its better to switch of fthe zonealarm av and use avast:)

  • MHR Levite

    Shankar – i stumbled your earlier comments when I was looking for an antivirus to clean kxvo, b.bat and PSW OnlineGamez.z virus. Since then it became my guide and when I installed Avast my PC is now in perfect condition. I kept receiving these virus alerts when i was using AVG but it can not be removed. My PC was earlier using Symantec but these virus can not even be detected by Symantec. Funny experience, when i installed AVG side by side with Symantec (although not recommended) when AVG is able to quarantine a virus, symantec will pop up few seconds after to say that he has also removed the same virus.

    Earlier before installing Avast, I tried to do a reformat C and D drives of the OS but the same virus still appear using AVG. Could it be that the virus crept inside hidden partition where my OS and drivers reside?

    With Avast’s boot scanning it was very successful.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/ccoolstuff bb

    go with AVG and download it then it will take care of viruses and then download windows defender annd that will do spyware below i pasted the links to the programes and trust me i know alot about computers.

    (Copy and paste link)

    windows defender – http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=435bfce7-da2b-4a6a-afa4-f7f14e605a0d&displaylang=en&Hash=vPGZRVEuESj7pLBwKfPRjr%2bivNlSh5lcMxwiJ94RBfU8pTA1s3M5ZAVwbA4Gtl06wF%2fLw6QkfpEam8LKveIvSw%3d%3d

    AVG – http://free.grisoft.com/filedir/inst/avg75free_519a1276.exe

  • ratesh

    hello,
    avast is the most light antivirus.

  • http://www.zialingua.com/ Zia

    Shankar Ganesh said that AVG gets updates only once a day.
    That is true, left in automatic, but i have a piece of advice.
    I used to work for Symantec, yeah the infamous, and i must say that their product is one of the top with the big fault to slow down any pc.
    One thing MUST be kept in mind: as soon as one starts up his/her pc, before opening any application, just connect to the internet and PERFORM A MANUAL UPDATE OF THE ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE.
    This is the only way that any antivirus remains good.
    I used and still use AVG and it saved me from catching some nasty viruses from some P2P (emule, etc.) because since i worked for Symantec i kept in mind this rule, and i always advised customers to do so.
    Reason is: even the most frequent update schedule can come just after a virus and when a virus is in the pc, and the antivirus does not block it because incapable to recognize it, ANY ANTIVIRUS BECOMES A PIECE OF JUNK, from the most expensive to the most praised free software.
    My brother is really into Avast, and we continuously compare the performances, but in the overall it’s really hard to say which is the best.
    I would say AVG is best for some things and Avast for others, but in the end they are pretty much even.

  • http://www.zialingua.com/ Zia

    And for anti spyware/malware protection the lighter and best working seems to be still Spybot S&D http://www.safer-networking.org/

  • Jacob

    I use ClamWin as well as Avast. They both work pretty well but I’ve got a preference towards ClamWin.
    And, btw, Norton is terrible. It slows down the computer terribly and doesn’t detect a single virus or anything. I always had tons of problems with it. I trashed it and got some freeware. The freeware is way better.

  • Jameel

    I’ve been using avast for 2 years and switched to AVG for the last 2 years and was happy with it, but they forced their users of 7.5 to upgrade to V.8, by stopping virus updating, which is not as cool and smooth as the old version specially when they added “web link scanner” which takes more resources and bandwidth from the machine.
    So, going back to avast is option now.
    Thanks for the post.

  • http://harry.cckerala.com musicollector

    Do you remember this antiphishing tool?? I remember seeing a tool that placed 3-D stars to the right of Google search results – green for safe, red for unsafe, etc. However, I cannot remember which software that was.

    Thanks.
    Harry
    http://harry.cckerala.com

  • http://harry.cckerala.com Harry Anchan

    I went from AVG to Avira to Avast in a matter of days! Avira worked for a few days after which the guard feature stopped working. Also, I started seeing a closed umbrella icon in the tray, as opposed to an open one, which is when I started smelling trouble! Then, I right-clicked the icon to see “Guard: Stopped”. Uninstalled several times and tried again – the same thing. I have no patience or time for this kind of stuff, especially when there are SO many other great free software.

    Avast seems to do the job. It also co-exists with the best spyware program I have seen – Threatfire, a behavior-based program, as opposed to definition-based.

    A few Avast! questions – is it safe to turn off “Test memory during application start-up”? Also, I don’t see an option to toggle boot time scanning. Is this an unchangeable feature?

    TIA.
    Harry
    http://harry.cckerala.com

  • babu2001

    I’m working with computers since a decade. Norton and Mcafee always ask too much (in price and ressources). I first used AVG 4.0 (and up) until about 4 years ago when I switched to Avast with a greater user interface and more advanced scanning. That was until today. I’m guilty of downloading A LOT of peer to peer. Everything MUST be scanned before use. Since I download it from a server (Windows 2003), I use the Norton AV Server Edition from it. No result. I transfer the files on my computer and do a check with Avast (you see how much I trust Norton :) . Still clean. I install it and BOUM! No more web, the computer run SLOWLY and services.exe will restart my computer every 60 seconds. From there, I knew that my AV solution wasn’t adequate. I wanted to give a chance to Avast to get rid of these mot$%?& fu$&$ viruses so I programmed a scan at boot time BEFORE they kick in. It only found a trace and 3 corrupted files. The troubles were still there. So I’ve checked again about free AV software (that’s how I found this blog) and I finally decided to try again AVG in its latest edition, 8.0 I download it from my server with its update (remember, my web wasn’t working anymore) and installed it by an USB key. After installation and update, I started a full scan (in slow mode) and it immediately found trojans, trace of others and some more trojan. That’s not all, it also found trojan in some files I’ve downloaded months ago and USED on my computer and Avast never warmed me. I’m writting this while AVG is scanning. 14 trojans were found and many traces. What all this means? Avast is also a good AV program but lacks seriously on the spyware/trojan detection. You have to install another program to complete it (like Spybot or whatever you like) For me, it’s clear. I’m switching back to AVG and will combine it with Spybot from now. Today’s computers are fast enough to handle a couple of protection programs. And it’s not because it’s using 50 megs of a 1 or 2 Gigs of DDR that I will shut them down. And just before I hit Submit, did you noticed that 82.5 millions AVG downloads have been registered on Download.com against 22.8 for Avast. It’s 4-to-1 ratio. All that people can’t be wrong, wright? :) So my point goes to AVG Free Edition.

  • http://www.zialingua.com/ Zia

    I’ve always been a great supporter of AVG but since AVG free 8 i’ve been really disappointed.
    I use Windows XP Home sp2.
    I installed AVG free 8 and set it as my previous AVG free 7.5 with “scan all files” and “empty quarantine after 1 day”.
    Well AVG free 8 quarantined Windows files not corrrupted and then deleted them.
    Results: Windows profiles, Windows installer, and many other programs were completely knackered and unusable.
    I started to fix my Windows installation, but when i saw that it was taking sooo long, i opted to install Windows again.
    Since then (1 month ago) i opted for Avast.
    As i’ve been advised by many people i know, it scans and protects as promised by Alwil (Avast owner) and the Home license is free and complete, not reduced like for AVG free.
    I contacted AVG to report this strange and harming behavior of their latest AVG free 8 and they replied to me with a list of dos and donts from their AVG free policy, which are completely useless for this case.
    Yes up to AVG free 7.5 it was a great software, but this AVG free 8 is crap.
    After 1 month with Avast, i have my laptop protected, and Avast uses even less RAM then AVG free.
    And i still use Spybot as before, and it works great with Avast.

  • Pontus

    Must agree that Avast! 4.8 is truly amazing, and free at that! :) BUT, I have stumbled upon a false positive, or so I hope. I would appriciate if someone could verify this. I tried to download latest FreeRip from http://www.freerip.com and Avast! alerts about a Trojan/worm. Last time I downloaded from there I had Avg Free installed instead…
    Thanks!

  • Gerald Bosworth

    AVG? HELL, no!!! I had only good experiences with AVG all these years. Until version 8 came along. This sucks big time! :( In the past 2 weeks, I spent more than my share of precious time fighting two garbage pieces of software – AVG 8.0 and Firefox 3.0! Both are worth of flushing down the toilet. I am so upset with both these applications that caused my PC to freeze up. Went to Avast! It’s like a dream. Avast! ROCKS!

  • http://www.zialingua.com/ Zia

    Hi Gerald Bosworth,
    AVG free 8 after putting in quarantine some Windows operating system files, it made CRASH my operating system and the quickest way to fix it was reinstall Windows.
    This is why i’m so unhappy of this latest AVG free 8.

    Hi Pontus,
    i read that “FreeRIP is a Windows application that lets you extract audio CD tracks and save them to Wav, MP3, WMA, Ogg Vorbis or FLAC audio files” (from their website).
    Maybe DVDshrink http://www.zialingua.com/?tag17item68 can help you in the same way.
    I also stumbled upon DVDvideosoft Free Video to Flash Converter and Rivavx Free Video converter to Flash http://www.zialingua.com/bbs/tag/flash/ but i havent tried them yet.
    Reviews on these 2 software are good, but i suggest to have antivirus+antispyware always on to protect your pc.

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  • http://www.khamtran.com/ Kham Tran

    I’ve also been a long time user of AVG but decided to try Avast! since the new version of AVG 8.0 slows down my system bad (Pentium M 1.86Ghz, 2 Gb RAM on WinXP SP3).

    So far I’m very impressed with Avast! 4.8. It’s very customisable and it doesn’t seem to lag my system at all.

  • Research done

    huh, its funny that most of the comments here are for avast!
    it’s true that even though shankar ganesh said that he’s not trying to be a sponsored post from avast! but in actuality the post is quite one sided. You should realize that basic psychology would say that this post would encourage all avast! users to post about how good it is which leads to the high number of pro avast!-ians. This also causes people who uses other AV programs to feel discourage on the whole being that shankar ganesh is well respected in this field of human intelligence.
    I do agree on the most part about how avast! is a good AV program, however, i feel that you should have done a more thorough analysis and comparison of BOTH AVG and avast!. There are definitely some good points that AVG haves that avast! doesn’t and i believe that there are certain things you have mentioned that is actually configurable on AVG.
    Another thing is that if you look for articles online about comparisons between avg and avast!, most would actually say that AVG is the best, and i mean overall. And the fact that there were so many problems with AVG 8.0 in the beginning was because like all newly released programs, there are definitely bugs, even strong ones (remember vista? its fine now btw)
    Lastly, it is PROVEN in many places that with its functions, avast! does come with a price, which generally is that it DOES uses more system resources. I can name you many articles and videos, but thats beside the point if you don’t believe me.
    I am not trying to say that you should all get AVG or that avast! sucks. I’m just saying that there is 2 sides to the argument and that no one should flame up or take offense when others say that they have something else for their own personal reasons. Everyone has different needs, computer settings and etc. Choose what best suits you. If you don’t like it, then change when you want to.

  • Greg

    So, then, where are all the AVG aficionados? All sleeping? I installed & reinstalled AVG 8.0 a few times. Screwed up my PC BIG time. Until then, I had been using AVG for the past 3-4 years, I believe, without any problem. So, as you said in the last sentence, PERSONALLY, my PC likes Avast! I have neither the patience nor the time to piddle around with AVG, or any other software, that doesn’t work properly.

  • http://www.articlesandarticles.net Monica

    Thanks man! Needed this advice very badly. Have just changed to AVAST about 10 mins ago.

    Cheers!!

  • ty

    first, i must say that the complaints of how AVG screwed up an install of Windows is kinda sad. been using AVG for 2 years and upgraded to AVG 8.0 as soon as the free version came out, and never had even the tiniest problem with it. still using it right now. i worry that people all too often jump the gun about what program screwed up their system. personally, AVG has given me zero… repeat, ZERO… problems. ever.

    that being said, the good comments about avast! sound nice, so i may give it a shot later.

  • Mohit

    Understood that Kaspersky and Norton than AVG or Avast but remenber they are not free. Even if u use pirated versions u are bound to be blacklisted during updates unlike Avast or AVG. We should respect them as they are working day and night for a free product. And I would definitely go in for a free product that nearly matches the best product, rather than becoming a thief by using pirated anti-viruses. If u are rich enough to buy them, then go ahead else respect AVG or Avast.
    I tried Avast and AVG and found avast to be better. And updating database is also an ease in Avast. Please stop piracy and start using free products and once in while, donate also.

  • Mohit

    Understood that Kaspersky and Norton are better than AVG or Avast but remenber they are not free. Even if u use pirated versions u are bound to be blacklisted during updates unlike Avast or AVG. We should respect AVG and Avast people as they are working day and night for a free product and Kaspersky and Norton pay millions to geeks who work for them for the same work. And I would definitely go in for a free product that nearly matches the best product, rather than becoming a thief by using pirated anti-viruses. If u are rich enough to buy them, then go ahead else respect AVG or Avast.
    I tried Avast and AVG and found avast to be better. And updating database is also an ease in Avast. Please stop piracy and start using free products and once in while, donate also.

  • http://hubpages.com/hub/Total-PC-Security-Protection SecurityExpert

    Avast is one of the very few really antivirus programs that offer real-time protection for home PC security. Czech guys did a great job! AVG and Avira seem to be the only competitors. Finding a full-featured free antivirus is tough these days, most of the so-called “free” programs are either time-limited trials, or simply on-demand scanners without real-time monitoring. To my mind, avast! has the best interface of all free AV’s available for personal PC security.

  • moop

    I been using AVG for the past 2+ years and like other said.. it’s really sad 8.0 is bloat and you can’t even shut down their program cuz it will keep running the background. So after 8.0 lag me to death.. I’m trying Avast. Now I gotta say using ONLY 5~10mb less than 8.0 is not good comparing to the old previous ver. of AVG. I also don’t like avast interface.. their antivirus look like CD PLAYER! WTF? seriously who design this crap, option menu is the eject button and not much of config in SCANNING mode. I don’t know about you guy but I rarely shutdown/boot my comp, so boot scanning thing is useless to me. AVG been scanning at night every day and if I want “boot scan” I could just use safe mode it’s the same thing. I never trust real time protection of any program, full scan is the only way to go epically if you download a lot of stuff from the intraweb. Avast free edition also doesn’t let you schedule scan, screen sever scan is nice trick but guess what… IT START FROM SCRATCH EVERYTIME YOU SCAN. AVG doesn’t do that, it can be cont from the last time. Screen Server suck anyway I never use it. I also read some of these.. task schedule fix but that can only do quick scan.

    Now if someone can tell me how to make full scan(w/o reboot) totally uninterupt, that’s mean everytime Avast found a virus it should automatic try to heal first, then move to chest, NO DEL so I can use it before I go to bed.

  • cathlewis

    I used AVG for years with no problem, until I upgraded to v8. As well as slowing the PC down, I hated the link scanner thing that popped up on every web link in google. Couldnt work out how to turn the bloody thing off – assume you have to pay to get the popups off your screen.

    Anyway a friend recommended Avast and it seems fine so far. Installed pretty much instantly and I like the simple interface (ie lack of bloat). Havent had to test it out with a virus yet, but my friend has used it for a couple of years with no problems.

  • jaynad

    avast may update several times a day but it takes them about 3 days to get a new infection defined in the database. I’ve been running tests with the CNN Video spam email virus sites and the infection exe changes every day and avast always takes three days to catch up. I’ve noted that AVG is more current with the detections always catching the new exe within one day and sometimes immediately.

    just my opinions based upon my observations. your mileage may vary.

  • krishna

    Installed AVG8 Free on my system since a couple of months ago. It had one constant message, ‘reboot the computer for update to take effect’. Rebooting never helped.

    Today I found that one folder was not opening. Suspecting a virus, opened Process explorer to find a couple of exes running with the same folder name guping 50% of CPU time. Google informed that it is regsvr.exe. My collegue informed about AVAST when I was struggling with manual removal.

    Installed AVAST after uninstalling AVG Free and rebooted. It removed a can of worms and viruses including many in leftover AVG itself.

    AVAST did not delete the virus created folders.exe They were over 2GB. I had to delete them manually. I have spent the whole day cleaning up the system.

    While searching for which is better, I landed here and thought of sharing the experience

  • yal yarboro

    Around Christmas, check the ads for Kaspersky Anti-Virus. I bought one from Office Depot last year and with the rebate that came with it, I got it for free.

  • googler

    Try Avira Antivir

  • eternity † cross

    phew…
    i have tried all free antivirus software..
    AVG 8.0 IS SUCKS WHEN YOU INSTALLED THIS ON YOU CANNOT INSTALLED KASPERSKY 2009 EVEN YOU HAVE UNINSTALLED THE AVG TRUST ME…
    BECAUSE AVG LEFT SOME VERY HIDDEN FILE IN OUR PC…
    TRIED IT IF YOU WANT.

    avira??
    hmmm…
    good enough.. but i hate when it is updating there is an advertisement
    and really annoying..

    avast!
    hmm..
    COOL..
    i like dit because when it detects a viruses it will sound
    “A VIRUS HAS BEEN DETECTED!!”
    ahahha..
    but it slowdown my internet speed connection a little bit…

    KASPERSKY IS GOOD BUT ..
    I CAN’T INSTALLED BECAUSE AVG…
    and KASPERSKY doesn’t have any FREE KASPERKY I THINK…
    IT IS JUST TRIAL..
    for 30 days

    BIT DEFENDER…
    pretty GOOD… but
    the free edition is useless i think..
    and I’m bored to download the trial version every month..

    WELL EVERYBODY AVAST IS GOOD I THINK than other antivirus softwares!!!!
    I SUGGEST YOU USE AVAST…

  • eternity † cross

    oh yeah..
    avast has weakness…
    its trojan detector is very weak…
    not like avira…
    ^^

  • http://None Arysthearse

    You are all stupid windows users go grab an ubuntu cd and let windows users go screw themselves with viruses

    LONG LIVE LINUX

  • ty

    what is stupid is to assume that ubuntu can do everything windows can and vice versa. some of us happen to use both you genius.

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  • adi

    avg is the best

  • JohnyV

    I’ve been recommending Avast! for years. Yes on occasion you’ll get a false possitive. Personally I rather have one false alarm than a virus slipping through because the scanner doesn’t catch it. The bootscan option is more than impressive, and I am not aware of any other scanner having this option, commercial or free. From all the freely available scanners, I give Avast! Home Edition a 9.5/10, while AVG gets only a 8/10.

  • Graham

    AVAST! is brilliant software, so many features in the free version. AVG takes more memory, is missing some fundamental features (e.g. boot time scan). I’ve been in the IT game for 20 years, have been around the block with anti virus systems and without a doubt AVAST! wins hands down.

    The first thing I do when looking at client of friends PC’s is get rid of that damn awful Norton Antivirus, any version, I don’t care they’re all as bad as each other… SO MANY problems caused by that flaky Norton beast.

    AVG served me well in the past but since I came across AVAST! I just can’t say enough about it… all my friends and clients have been swayed by me… I sound like a bit of a religious nutter about the whole thing… but with AVAST! and SUPERAntiSpyware (check that one out too, free) the IT world looks like a much better place.

    Yay :-)

  • John L

    Have tried Avast a couple of years ago. Never knew if it was alive or dead so I got rid of it. Have installed AVG on over 60 computers and never had a problem or a virus. Had the Pro version for 4 years but found the free version does enough as it checks links and spyware as well. Did try Kapersky, what a pain in the butt that was. Every spam email it detected and deleted it then sent me one to tell me ! Couldn’t turn this function off and no reply from their support team ensured it got removed. Unfortunately removing Kapersky ensures that Windows never works properly again ensuring a full format and reinstall. Never would I tough this crap again.

  • http://stumbleupon curtis r

    i’ve used avg ,norton,live one care,and other avs,but i am a true believer in avast.works very well for me.also i use threatfire,’superantispyware,malwarebytes,and comodo firewall.these are free programs that work exceptionally well.

  • Mac NumberOne

    Why don’t all you Freakazoids use a MAC computer! You don’t need a freakin anti-virus when you own a MAC computer!! Mac’s RULE!! Use the Windows machine as a door-stop or paper-weight! Bunch of Freakazoids!

  • http://www.kernel.org Linus Torvalds

    Use Linux. Totally virus free. Spyware free. You dont need anti-malware suites to get protected. Just install Linux now. Choose your distributions found in http://www.distrowatch.com

  • ty

    linux and mac are great. but if you are a photoshopper or pc gamer respectively, it’s virtually impossible to jump 100% to either os.

  • http://Spanky.Arg Da_Kaos_Child

    Stupid time changing Math addition Posts.

    not re – writting all that…

    AVG has been out for a very very long time
    and the number of hiccups(human errors) that have caused users probelms have been rather minimal. Avast sounds like another EyE candy thing for people who see there computer as comedy tool will like.

    I’m sticking to AVG and going to try out there Spyware Terminater 2 , program.

    As for Mcafee and Nortons , Mcafee was awsome 15 years ago.
    Nortons has always been useless and always mulched Resources.
    these days you need real time protection and Nortons just doesnt cut it.

    and seen as how AVG is free and most in-experienced computer users can deal with it , it’s polite to use and doesnt explode with sound , it’s great for most users.

    Like i said if you like bangs and whistles and athestic appearance , sounds like you will like avast

  • http://www.zialingua.com/ Zia

    As I said in a previous log, AVG8 quarantined some CLEAN operating system files and deleted them, making the operating system crashes.

    This is why I say that AVG since version 8 is TOTAL CRAP and I reverted to Avast that does not have this bug.

    Furthermore, Avast free home user is the only antivirus fully featured and with priority updates, something that no other free antivirus has.

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  • Michael C.

    eternity † cross i like mr voice too! Avast rocks! Plus it doesn’t consume too much memory, as for a home edition free version, it does have a lot of features. I like the automatic updates too… The best free antivirus ever!!!! Pity KAV and KIS don’t have a free version

  • Michael C.

    Use Avast with Spyware terminator, they are a great combination

  • http://potatomouseproductions.com/ Michael

    I have been using Avast! for over a year now, and I love it. I only just heard of AVG, and a quick Google search comparing the two brought me here. I’m glad you like it, as I have been recommending Avast! to all my friends ever since I got it! I agree that it’s a great program.

  • http://potatomouseproductions.com/ Michael

    @ Da_Kaos_Child

    You say AVG has been around for a long time, which is true, except you apparently don’t know that Avast! has been around for three years longer than that.

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  • Karena

    I have been using Avast! for approxiamately 4 years now. The one feature that is a very big plus is that for zip files (I use zip genius) it can be set up to automatically scan before extraction. Also if you you another web browser such as FireFox, it will scan any executable file, zip files, jpgs, and others prior to being downloaded placed into a folder. This year, what I have notice, is that Avast! began warning me of websites I browse that automatically puts malware or adware into system. I have all of my programs setting on high for the purpose that I don’t trust any applications.
    The only problem I have with it is that I keep my system on 24 hours and sometimes forget to turn the volume down, so the “Virus Database has been updated” will wake me out of my sleep- my bad!!!

  • http://nezman.webs.com Naean

    The main reason why people need to full on STOP using AVG Free is because it has no (And I mean NONE AT ALL.) rootkit scanners/shields/detectors. Rootkits are becoming ever more popular now, and using AVG Free leaves your computer wide open to attack. If a rootkit gets in, well, hopefully an avast! scan or boot-time scan will get rid of it, if it isn’t already embedded in your computer too extensively.

    avast! has anti-spyware, anti-trojan, anti-trojan horse, anti-virus, anti-rootkit, anti-adware, and other anti-malware protection. AVG Free? It doesn’t begin to compare. Plus I tried AVG Free before and it was quite annoying to see a “Warning – get full protection!” advertisement message whenever I had the AVG Free user interface open. It could mislead some people in to thinking that AVG Free isn’t fully protecting them. The irony is, whether AVG intended this or not, is that this is actually TRUE! AVG Free is NOT full protection!

    If you have AVG Free installed on one or more of your computer, please, for the benefit or your computer’s health, get rid of it A.S.A.P. and replace it with avast! Home Edition. I assure you you’ll be doing the right thing. Anti-rootkit and all of the other protection avast! provides is what people need in this day and age, where infections can be found around all sorts of twists and turns on the internet. Rootkits are much more common now than 5 years ago. I should know, just under a quarter of randomly tested files on the LimeWire P2P network were infected with rootkits. Most of them contained trojan horses or adware. Some were viruses and one file included spyware. Anyway, the point is, simply put, avast! is THE best protection you can get. Especially considering its oh-so-large compatibility with operating systems and applications. avast! is also very lightweight. It updates on a regular basis, and the Home Edition has an unbeatable price for unbeatable protection: FREE!

    This blog post is also very good. Thank you for sharing your views on AVG and avast!, too! Lots of interesting comments too.

    If you want help with anything avast! related (Install, setting up etcetera.) OR computers in general, please don’t hesitate to contact me via E.mail at: naean@hotmail.co.uk.

    Stay safe out there! Regards,
    > Naean.

  • George

    I used AVG Free for about three weeks at first because it was the number one downloaded program on Download.com. Then I heard about Avast and switched to it. I’ve been using it ever since. I also use Windows Defender and Spybot.

    Avast hasn’t detected any viruses and Spybot detected spyware. So I assume I’m doing a good job…

    Overall I prefer Avast for number of features and protection.

  • Patrick C

    I have been an Avast! user for quite sometime now since it had been introduced to me through the internet when I was looking for a free anti-virus back then. Before that, I tried Nod32, AVG, and the cash-greedy Kaspersky which you need to re-register yearly with cash to reactivate it.

    Most of them failed, especially Kapsersky and Nod32, abandoning your computer completely to all infections once you don’t pay anything to their money-hungry developers during their expirations.

    Tried Avast! and had been stuck to it. My brother likes Avast! too but never tried to install the professional version of it or even the home edition to his gaming PC since it continuously kept stopping some games popping out its warnings especially with internet online games.

    However, for me who’s not a gamer at all. Avast! is okay. It’s what I have recommended to all my friends.

    I just so happened to land on this blog because I am rethinking for other alternative like switching back to AVG. My door is still open for options and I will hop from several websites and blogs to see if I really need to stick with the Avast! This anti-virus had been in service for me for the past 4 years now. Had minor problems like an adware somehow successfuly penetrated in my system. Still understandable though, all anti-viruses have its limitations and certain weaknesses as well. And choosing the one with the least if such limitations would be the best. So far for me, it’s still Avast! Update you all just in case there’s one better than Avast! soon.