Author Topic: avast! 4.5 review by Security-Ops  (Read 15241 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline RejZoR

  • Polymorphic Sheep
  • Serious Graphoman
  • *****
  • Posts: 9385
  • We are supersheep, resistance is futile!
    • RejZoR's Flock of Sheep
avast! 4.5 review by Security-Ops
« on: December 16, 2004, 05:01:35 PM »
Ok here it is,the first big review from Security-Ops (www.security-ops.tk).
I was like :o when i saw all those funny reviews on the net trying to be helpful. Some specific things might be described in detail or not at all (those very unimportant).

Registration:
avast! works for 60 days without key, so there is really no rush for serial.
You can register it any time within this period to use it beyond those 60 days (for free ofcourse). Key is valid for another 14 months.
Thats 2 months more than 1 year. Getting new key every 1 year cannot be a too big job i guess, especially when it's totaly free.
Alwil Software uses registrations as base for update servers load calculation.
This way they can always calculate how fast and how many servers they need, so thy can meet the user update demands.

Installation:
Installation itself is simple and logical. You can choose which provider to install and you can also select if you want extra skins or not.
No problems here.
Uninstallation is very fast and doesn't leave any garbage behind.
If uninstallation fails through Add-Remove panel you can use simple uninstallation utility to fully remove avast! from your PC.

Interface (Simple):
Skinless interface offers very clean and simple way to operate On-Demand scans. For skinnable interface you can choose from many interesting skins featuring movie/fantasy themed skins or more serious like MacLoverOS X, RejZoR-Sharp or Lite-On skins (they can all be downloaded for free from www.avast.com).
If you don't like any of them, you can create your own using ActiveSkin. Its not too easy, but also not too hard.
Use default skins as template ;)

Tray control is well designed and offers fast access to many components.
However i still miss quick access to Chest.
Upon installation you will get two icons in tray(next to the clock), but they can be merged in one or split in two with just two clicks.
Some users might dislike spinning "a" ball for which there is no GUI based setting to turn spinning off (yet) (only available through tweaking INI file).

On-Access panel is quiet simple to use. Each slider offers 2 levels of pre-defined protection.
Normal is more conservative and makes less disk activity,while High checks all files without any compromise.
Third option is Customize and its very useful for more advanced users that want to tweak avast! to the max.
Each provider is configurable enough so it will really work as user wants.
The only problematic part that i have encountered is exclude option for Standard Shield which doesn't offer browse like exclusion sistem, but you have to type entire file or directory path by yourself.

Warnings:
Warning popup (on virus detection) offers many options on what to do with the file.
It also offers a brief description and recommendation on what to do with detected file.
You can use Silent mode,so you get only a small red&yellow popup above taskbar and infected file is automatically placed inside Chest,but this setting might not be too logic for some users.
I would remove a bit complicated Silent mode settings and replace them with simple checkmark (if checked it would send the file to Chest
without standard virus detected warning).

avast! integrated virus cleaner is automatically recommended on detection of specific common viruses.
It's main job is to fully remove those nasty infections from files, startup and registry.

avast! uses sound warnings which can be turned off.
If you have used Panda before you'll know them :)
Some might dislike this feature, but it might come in handy for users that have accessibility problems (especially vision problems). I like this feature too and i don't have any of the mentioned problems :)

Updating:
Small and fast automatic updates really make avast! a winner, that puts many commercial antiviruses to cold.
Many reliable and very fast update servers always make sure you'll get the definitions on time without any complications.
Servers for free edition are the same as for payable one, so there is no difference in quality of update service (except PUSH style which updates a bit faster in Pro Edition)
Full incrimental system is ideal for users on dial-up connections, because each update takes only few KB (Kilobytes) and program updates around 200 to 500 KB.
Sometimes you can expect even more than 4 updates per day if necessary (on major outbreaks).
I also noticed that in process of updating i get the feeling that avast! update modul is running at High priority and mouse cursor changes into busy. Not a real problem, but might be a bit annoying to some of us.

Scanning:
avast! Home Edition uses around 18MB of memory if you have all providers installed (use VM Size column in Task Manager to check RAM usage of avast! components).

On-Demand scanning is quiet fast (Standard sensitivity,no Archives), while Thorough check with archives might take longer. Still, for regular checking i suggest Standard without Archives.
There are some slowdowns for On-Access scanning on Windows 9x machines, but i haven't noticed any on Windows NT based systems.
Looks like multi-threading and I/O optimisations help alot on performance of avast! on NT systems (Windows 2000/XP).

Mail scanning:
Mail scanning on Windows 2000/XP is fully transparent and doesn't require any configuration.
It's mail scanning heuristics can detect many unknown viruses without any signatures(passive heuristics as i call them).
Mail heuristics are based on specific rules, and if they are matched you'll get warning.
These heuristics check entire mail structure and not only attachement.
Desinfection of mails is nearly the same as desinfection of files on your hard drive (check the Warnings: section of this review).
For MS Outlook (from Office package) you'll have to install MS Outlook\Exchange provider in order to check mail that comes through MS Outlook mail program. You also have to install specific procider for The Bat! mail client.

Tech support:
Now we have come to a thing that is not covered by many reviews. And thats tech support.
With free version you are often limited to a very basic tech support (or even none of it), but thats not the case with avast!.
Alwil offers free mail, forums and telephone support (charged for impulses) to all users.
Forums support is fast and it's offered by Alwil staff and experienced avast! users.
Mail support is often replied within few hours or within the same day if it's not Saturday or Sunday.

Detection:
I haven't used any detection ratio tests,but i can say that avast! is the best of the free ones (based on many trustworthy tests from av-comparatives,VirusBulletin 100%,ICSA Labs and so on) and can even mess with some big names in antivirus industry.

Conclusion:

Pros:
+ free
+ not bloated
+ very good tech support
+ small & fast automatic updates
+ skinnable and skinless interface
+ very configurable
+ very good detection (best of the free ones)

Cons:
- lack of some simple settings (like stop spinning "a" ball)
- lack of Standard Shield heuristics (not a real issue right now,but a small con)

Best regards

RejZoR
Security-Ops
www.security-ops.tk
« Last Edit: December 16, 2004, 05:04:10 PM by RejZoR »
Visit my webpage Angry Sheep Blog

Offline Lisandro

  • Avast team
  • Certainly Bot
  • *
  • Posts: 67247
Re:avast! 4.5 review by Security-Ops
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2004, 06:02:38 PM »
We agree on this (note, I'm just saying against avast: I'm not a fanboy like I was called today in other forum). Only the lack of Standard Shield heuristics could be workaround by the Behavior blocker (in minor extension of course) and could bring false positives (like I saw in other free antivirus). Anyway, just my opinion.
avast need to be improved on this:
  • However i still miss quick access to Chest.
  • The only problematic part that i have encountered is exclude option for Standard Shield which doesn't offer browse like exclusion sistem, but you have to type entire file or directory path by yourself.
  • Infected file is automatically placed inside Chest,but this setting might not be too logic for some users. I would remove a bit complicated Silent mode settings and replace them with simple checkmark (if checked it would send the file to Chest

without standard virus detected warning).
  • I also noticed that in process of updating i get the feeling that avast! update module is running at High priority and mouse cursor changes into busy. Not a real problem, but might be a bit annoying to some of us.
  • Lack of some simple settings (like stop spinning "a" ball)
« Last Edit: December 16, 2004, 06:33:33 PM by Technical »
The best things in life are free.

Offline RejZoR

  • Polymorphic Sheep
  • Serious Graphoman
  • *****
  • Posts: 9385
  • We are supersheep, resistance is futile!
    • RejZoR's Flock of Sheep
Re:avast! 4.5 review by Security-Ops
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2004, 06:10:35 PM »
Yup,thats what avast! curently lacks. Along with standard set of improvements (more signatures,more supported packers and so on).

That blocker will be improved (as pk said in some conversation).
They could also use certain heuristic methods from Internet Mail provider for normal files located on disk drive.
Visit my webpage Angry Sheep Blog

Offline Germanium202

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 77
Re:avast! 4.5 review by Security-Ops
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2004, 10:41:41 PM »
First of all, a security site with nothing but links without any own information is like a google script.

A collection of links presented at a site is nothing that any good search engine could not do, is it?

Second, a REAL security site without so much as ONE link to something that REALLY has anything to do with security like SELinux or OpenBSD? Well, that is not a security site at all.

Third, your little review was pretty much just a promo, you could just as well have linked to the product page.

Imagine me posting this: link the INDD for the conf, use mw port.

Thatt tells you as much as "removing the "a" ball" tells me.

That is not a review, that is a promo for Avast that can only be understood by those who use Avast, IOW, it is completly worthess.

Offline RejZoR

  • Polymorphic Sheep
  • Serious Graphoman
  • *****
  • Posts: 9385
  • We are supersheep, resistance is futile!
    • RejZoR's Flock of Sheep
Re:avast! 4.5 review by Security-Ops
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2004, 10:59:37 PM »
I'm very polite to other users,but sorry to say that,ask idiotic questions elswhere.
Technical and me found what is avast! currently missing.
If you haven't noticed that,then buy yourself new glasses.
Read the text and you'll see that i don't agree with Alwil in many things.
Biased or not,thats what you say,but i can say i tested avast! thorougly that i can make such statements.

I don't need special promo for my site. It has been done long ago and now its visited by thousands of users each month. And if you know to use Google that much you could also be able to find av-comaparatives site for detection ratio statistics. Not to mention the time and resources to build such collection of just links on one site. I doubt you know that many on-line scanners and tests anyway...
Who needs another standard set security site which would be lost among 10k of other ones? This one is unique and very useful.
Visit my webpage Angry Sheep Blog

Offline Lisandro

  • Avast team
  • Certainly Bot
  • *
  • Posts: 67247
Re:avast! 4.5 review by Security-Ops
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2004, 11:34:07 PM »
Germanium, that site is RejZor's one.
Nobody ask your opinion about it.
Please be polite! This is not the pages you're used to visit, this is avast forum  :P

RejZor's page, despite your opinion, is very useful and orientative.
If you don't feel like that, please, post your opinion elsewhere where you're welcome, not here  :P
The best things in life are free.

Offline Germanium202

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 77
Re:avast! 4.5 review by Security-Ops
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2004, 11:41:31 PM »
I'm very polite to other users,but sorry to say that,ask idiotic questions elswhere.
Technical and me found what is avast! currently missing.
If you haven't noticed that,then buy yourself new glasses.
Read the text and you'll see that i don't agree with Alwil in many things.
Biased or not,thats what you say,but i can say i tested avast! thorougly that i can make such statements.

I don't need special promo for my site. It has been done long ago and now its visited by thousands of users each month. And if you know to use Google that much you could also be able to find av-comaparatives site for detection ratio statistics. Not to mention the time and resources to build such collection of just links on one site. I doubt you know that many on-line scanners and tests anyway...
Who needs another standard set security site which would be lost among 10k of other ones? This one is unique and very useful.

Ok, now, English is my fourth language, but i believe if you were to take all my grammar faults and misspellings from the last ten years it would still not be as bad as your post.

Let me se if i can decode what is your intended message though.

You have a security site with ten different security scanners that do the exact same thing and you are proud of it?

Why  on earth would you be proud about that???

Then you have loads of other links for the same things but not even ONE link to a real secure OS or security for anything else than win95+?


Comprehension skills, my friend, is a thing you do not possess, i didn't say a word about promo about your site, i said tha your idiotic review was a basic promo of Avast, did you get it this time?

If i get one more response like this i am going to have to quote Jules on your sorry ass.

Offline Germanium202

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 77
Re:avast! 4.5 review by Security-Ops
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2004, 11:48:04 PM »
Germanium, that site is RejZor's one.
Nobody ask your opinion about it.
Please be polite! This is not the pages you're used to visit, this is avast forum  :P

RejZor's page, despite your opinion, is very useful and orientative.
If you don't feel like that, please, post your opinion elsewhere where you're welcome, not here  :P

It really is you at your current age in that pic, isn't it?

No, it is a collection of a lot of links where most lead to the same thing, it is quantity over quality (though you will never have any idea what i am talking about when i say that).

I am welcome, not here?

WTF does that MEAN??????

I have a daughter that is 9 years old, she is Swedish but she is a helluvalot better at English than you two combined could ever hope to be.

If you are insisting on replying and responding on an english forum, at LEAST learn how to comprehend the posts you are responding to and please, learn how to express yourselves in english, sure, it was fun for a while but you are really just boring now.

conazus

  • Guest
Re:avast! 4.5 review by Security-Ops
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2004, 12:01:53 AM »
enough is enough....    there is no one here at the moment to hold me back so Im going to go against my better judgement..

I will GLADLY take  Technical's way of writing English ANY day over your rudeness.

As for Rejzors site.  It may well be a site with alot of  "links" on it.   But its useful to those who do not know where to look for helpful software and things that can help to keep their system clean and running better...   i.e. novices.      I have to give him credit for taking the time to put it together so that others can use it instead of having to go to Google to search.    

And btw...   we don't use  WTF here...    and we do not put down others..  its called common decency.

Go back to your village....    

Offline Germanium202

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 77
Re:avast! 4.5 review by Security-Ops
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2004, 12:18:14 AM »
enough is enough....    there is no one here at the moment to hold me back so Im going to go against my better judgement..

I will GLADLY take  Technical's way of writing English ANY day over your rudeness.

As for Rejzors site.  It may well be a site with alot of  "links" on it.   But its useful to those who do not know where to look for helpful software and things that can help to keep their system clean and running better...   i.e. novices.      I have to give him credit for taking the time to put it together so that others can use it instead of having to go to Google to search.    

And btw...   we don't use  WTF here...    and we do not put down others..  its called common decency.

Go back to your village....    

In about 15 posts he have not understood anything i have said, it might be ok in this so called "security" forum but according to my standard it isn't, i was polite and kind the first 14 times, even joked about it a couple of times but he keeps insisting on the same BS and honestly, it get's very old very quick.

I am sorry if you dislike my rudeness but i don't understand how else to put it, we have here, a self proclaimed security expert that does not know his port scans from a hole in the ground and his backer who cannot even comprehend plain english.

So basically, you are saying that telling them the truth (COME ON, not even you, no matter how nice you want to be can say that either of them are good enough at the english language, comprehending it and typing it.)

You don't put down others? LMAO, no, unless they disagree of course, then they are fair game?

I made it easy and let them have a few jokes on my account, to lighten things up a bit, but these guys have somesing stuck that won't budge.

What really got to me was the way he presented his site, like it is a "real" security site and that his review woudl be so much better, well, have you read it? did you read the questions i asked? did you read the answers i got? I gave him a few questions and suggestions, NONE OF THEM WERE RUDE at all, but he would not budge and tried to treat me like your average moron, i find it highly rude when someone who cannot even spell and presents a review that is basically just a copy of the product description page with a few strange definitions thrown in acts like i am an idiot for not knowing what an "a" ball is i STILL don't know what an "a" ball is, in fact if i had to guess i would guess that it is probably something similar to the magic 8 ball. Now, explain to me how that review does not stink from the first word typed to the last post he did about it?

You want to trash others and write a better review? FINE, DO IT, but for gods sakes don't feed me idiotic definitions that are impossible to understand and then get angry with me for asking questions about it.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2004, 12:26:56 AM by Germanium202 »

Offline RejZoR

  • Polymorphic Sheep
  • Serious Graphoman
  • *****
  • Posts: 9385
  • We are supersheep, resistance is futile!
    • RejZoR's Flock of Sheep
Re:avast! 4.5 review by Security-Ops
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2004, 07:05:04 AM »
Oh man,where did you came from? Mars maybe? ::)

You are unbelivable.
You're posts never end.
Even if i explaine to you something for the 1000 time you will ask the same stupid question for the already explained thing.

Mode switched to: Ignore Germanium202
« Last Edit: December 17, 2004, 07:13:29 AM by RejZoR »
Visit my webpage Angry Sheep Blog

Offline CharleyO

  • Avast Evangelist
  • Starting Graphoman
  • ***
  • Posts: 7085
  • Be alert for error code - ID 10T
Re:avast! 4.5 review by Security-Ops
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2004, 07:44:20 AM »
*

In about 15 posts? Mine is number 11!   :)  

*
Self-built desktop (8 years old) - AMD64 3200+_Gigabyte GA-K8NS Ultra-939_4 gb RAM_GeForceFX 5800w/256 ram_XP/SP3_Avast 7_MBAM_ZA Free __and__ Toshiba Satellite Laptop_W7-64bit_ 4 gb Ram_Avast 8_MBAM

Offline Lisandro

  • Avast team
  • Certainly Bot
  • *
  • Posts: 67247
Re:avast! 4.5 review by Security-Ops
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2004, 11:43:29 AM »
Mode switched to: Ignore Germanium202

 8)
The best things in life are free.

Offline Germanium202

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 77
Re:avast! 4.5 review by Security-Ops
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2004, 04:27:57 PM »
Oh man,where did you came from? Mars maybe? ::)

You are unbelivable.
You're posts never end.
Even if i explaine to you something for the 1000 time you will ask the same stupid question for the already explained thing.

Mode switched to: Ignore Germanium202

Not really, i am originally from Sweden but i live in Germany.

Is ANYONE going to EVER explain what the "a" ball is or is that some strange cult thing that you have to be invited to know?

I noticed Connie stopped replying, could it be because i am, in fact, right in my assessments?

The only mode you ever switched to RejZor was "ignore differing opinions" and quite frankly, it is sad.

Offline Germanium202

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 77
Re:avast! 4.5 review by Security-Ops
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2004, 04:30:38 PM »
*

In about 15 posts? Mine is number 11!   :)  

*


It was in another thread, it didn't matter what i wrote, i wrote the same thing 15 times "i have never used Avast and i CAN'T use Avast" and his very nice reply was the same every time "it seems avast you used never have" (or something similar, just throw the words around 15 times and you get his 15 different replies).