Author Topic: Slow scanning of email  (Read 2433 times)

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Offline alanrf

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Slow scanning of email
« on: January 27, 2005, 07:33:32 AM »
I have noticed since becoming an Avast user that the downloading of email with the mail scanner active appears to be very much slower than when it is inactive.  While I would certainly expect there to be some delay it does seem (to me) to be excessive. I invite any thoughts from the Alwil  team on how I might alleviate the delays observed below.

Today I conducted a test with email in a standard POP3 account provided though my cable service provider (  The account contained 7 messages, each of which had multiple (base64 encoded) JPG attachments.  The total size of the 7 email messages is approximately 2.4Mbytes.

Rather than just provide raw times saying "it took this long with Avast and this long without it" I did a little more investigating.  I discovered that for each email read that Avast created 2 files in the "defined system temporary files"\_avast_ subdirectory.  The files are created, then
completed, then (presumably) scanning occurs and finally the files are deleted.

These are typical timings for the Avast temporary files and scanning for my 7 messages. 

Message Opened         Completed        Deleted          Scan duration

1             18:03:31       18:03:34         18:03:39         05
2             18:03:39       18:03:40         18:03:46         06
3             18:03:46       18:03:47         18:03:53         06
4             18:04:53       18:03:54         18:04:02         08
5             18:04:02       18:04:03         18:04:11         08
6             18:04:11       18:04:13         18:04:37         24
7             18:04:38       18:04:38         18:04:43         05

Total elapsed time                                                      72

Remember that all the email client processing of the messages takes place between these timings (i.e. it is negligible compared with the time taken by Avast).

So it is perhaps no surprise when after turning off the mail scanner and downloading exactly the same set of messages the total elapsed time for just the mail client is in the range of 10-12 seconds.

These results are very repeatable within 1 or 2 seconds and all tests were conducted with no other applications running on the system. So it would appear that scanning 2.4 MB of email takes about  60 seconds. 

Good thing that the on access and on demand scanners are better than that or else I do not suppose many of us would be here talking about Avast.                           
« Last Edit: January 27, 2005, 10:54:23 AM by alanrf »