Author Topic: Avast! PUPs  (Read 2111 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline uileag

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Avast! PUPs
« on: August 24, 2014, 08:20:29 PM »
I started using Avast! several years ago, at the suggestion of a friend when my AVG subscription was about to expire.  I've been using Avast! since.  But I'm now rethinking what will happen when my current subscription to Avast! Premier is ready to expire.

I think it important that developers get feedback on their products, so here's why I'm considering dropping Avast!

Bloating & MalWare
There seems to be so much in the way of bloating software with something unwanted, and Avast! is not immune to this.  Take, for example, Avast! SafePrice.  It's bloatware.  Avast! already constantly scans the websites I'm on, SafePrice is entirely unnecessary, making it an extra piece of software and rendering it bloat.

I also have no idea whether or not SafePrice is collecting, saving and/or forwarding my information on to third parties for marketing purposes - making me wonder if it's spyware.

But that's not all.  SafePrice installed itself without asking my permission, and without even telling me it was being added.  The word for software that installs itself secretly is "Malware," and that's how I view SafePrice.  I believe it's 100% malware because it doesn't even ask if I want it and installs silently in the background without any notification or asking for permission.

As a result of SafePrice by itself, I've lost a lot of trust in Avast! as a company.  A LOT of trust.

But that's not all.  There's another piece of bloatware.  It's called "Software Updater."

I don't see a single program in Avast!'s Software Updater that doesn't already tell me when it needs to be updated on its own.  So for Avast! to add this tool to the program is redundant and bloaty.

Access Anywhere kind of isn't

I went with Avast! Premier this time because A) I knew Avast! already, having been using it for years and, B) on the strength of AccessAnywhere, which I thought might just replace the monthly fee I pay for LogMeIn.

Now, maybe I missed it before I purchased.  I could be wrong.  I see it there now, but I would think I'd have noticed it when I went with Premier instead of the regular "Internet Security" that I've been using.  I tend to pay attention to what things say about themselves before I bought them.  Maybe I was just tired that night.

Either way, it's not really AccessAnywhere.  It's AccessIfYou'reOnAComputerThatHasOurProductInstalledOnIt.  That's a huge difference.  In fact, you can't access from "Anywhere," so the name by itself is a bit misleading.  But this is more in the way of a niggle than anything else.  It may be entirely my fault that I didn't read closely enough.

But the real problem with AccessAnywhere is the file transfer capability.  Or, more appropriately, file transfer incapability.

I transfer files between four computers at home.  I transfer files between any of the computers at home and any of the computers in my office.  I use LogMeIn, GoToMyPC, Dropbox, and of course good old computer-to-computer networks in the house.

To transfer a single Powerpoint presentation, it takes a few seconds with any of the methods I mentioned above.  To transfer that same Powerpoint presentation from a computer at my desk in my home to a laptop in my bedroom (both wired connections, incidentally) using Avast! AccessAnywhere's file transfer, it took two hours.

After that, I tested with other files, and yes.  I find Avast!'s file transfer through AccessAnywhere to be completely useless and utterly hopeless, even on files just a couple KB in size.  It's deplorable.

Adware
One of the things I expect a suite of security software to do is to protect me from annoying things like popups that my browser doesn't catch.  Unfortunately, Avast! has its own popup ads.

I have seen that GrimeFighter and SecureLine VPN are available from Avast!  If I wanted to buy them, I would have.  Not only does popping up ads for these two things a couple times a day annoy me, it makes me a little angry that a company I'm trusting to keep this kind of thing from happening is actually doing it themselves.

Cleanup what?
When Browser Cleanup first popped up on my screen (ANOTHER popup from Avast!), I thought, "Well, this might be a nice tool."  So I decided to use it.

It instantly told me that I would have to choose a different search provider, and gave me two choices:  Bing or Yahoo.

I was using Chrome.

That's when I opened Avast! and had another look at the "Browser Cleaner" tool. 

According to the latest (June, 2014) data from statcounter, W3Counter, wikimedia and NetApplications, for desktop browsers, usage share shakes out like this:

Chrome:  48.7% of reported users
IE:  23% of reported users
Firefox:  19.6% of reported users
Safari, Opera & other browsers:  Less than 5% each.

Other sources (W3Counter, wikimedia, NetApplications) all report very similar numbers.

According to an article in Forbes Magazine a few days ago, IE still dominates the market, and Chrome is in 2nd place in market share.  And it's completely ignored by Avast!'s Browser Cleaner.

Since an Antivirus company needs to be on top of this kind of thing - and in this case they're not, I've lost a little more faith in Avast! because of this.

So there you go, Avast! developers.  That's why it's extremely likely that I will not choose Avast for my Antivirus solutions at home or in my office when the time comes to renew.  It's certainly why I will not recommend Avast! to friends and colleagues.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2014, 08:23:15 PM by uileag »

Offline Lisandro

  • Avast team
  • Certainly Bot
  • *
  • Posts: 67255
Re: Avast! PUPs
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2014, 09:49:18 PM »
I'm not from marketing, but will try to say my technical point of view.

But that's not all.  There's another piece of bloatware.  It's called "Software Updater."
I don't see a single program in Avast!'s Software Updater that doesn't already tell me when it needs to be updated on its own.  So for Avast! to add this tool to the program is redundant and bloaty.
Sorry to disagree. A lot of infections exploit vulnerabilities in non up-to-date software. Microsoft, Adobe, video players, etc. are the most general target and the common users does not pay the attention and give the importance to keep their software updated. Believe, we know that this is a very used feature among avast! users.

One of the things I expect a suite of security software to do is to protect me from annoying things like popups that my browser doesn't catch.  Unfortunately, Avast! has its own popup ads.
avast! is fully customizable in this point.
You can disable update info in avast! > Settings > Update > Details > Show notification box after automatic updates.

According to an article in Forbes Magazine a few days ago, IE still dominates the market, and Chrome is in 2nd place in market share.  And it's completely ignored by Avast!'s Browser Cleaner.
??? avast! BrowserCleanup acts over Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox... What are you referring to?
The best things in life are free.

Offline NoelC

  • Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 569
Re: Avast! PUPs
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2014, 10:05:56 PM »
During installation you WERE provided a choice.  Perhaps you missed it - it is a choice where you can click a link for a Custom Install instead of the bigger, shinier [Express Install] button just above it.

With the Custom Install, you are presented with two columns of options.  The options on the left are Avast's real claim to fame - its three shields.  I suspect those may have been what you really wanted and expected to be installed.

The center column contains a bunch of optional "tools".  These include things like Browser Protection, Software Updater, SecureLine, GrimeFighter, etc.  You do NOT need to install these to get a substantial level of protection from the product.  But they are put in by default with an [Express Install].

That said, in my opinion Software Updater is the best entry from the optional "tools", and is one I personally do choose to use.  Having it watch for updates for me and let me know when something has been released accomplishes these good things for me:

1.  Because I set it to notify me only, not install anything, it puts me in charge of when things get updated.

2.  I can deconfigure / disable the self-update components of various software packages, and this yields a leaner system overall in which more resources are available for my work.

Even though you may have taken the [Express Install], the optional tools from the center column can be removed by the following process:

A.  Go into your Control Panel.
B.  Right-click on Avast Antivirus.
C.  Choose Change.
D.  In the Avast installer, uncheck the optional tools you don't want, and OK out.

-Noel

Offline Pondus

  • Probably Bot
  • ****
  • Posts: 37033
Re: Avast! PUPs
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2014, 10:08:58 PM »
if there is anything in avast you dont want .... you have the option to remove modules

avast! 2014: Changing, adding, or removing individual program components and features in setup configuration of avast! Antivirus
http://www.avast.com/en-eu/faq.php?article=AVKB96#artTitle