Author Topic: Avast 2015 Free versus 2014 Free - Right Now (24th October 2014)  (Read 2877 times)

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Offline Tarka

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Hi,

There are lots of posts about the various niggles with the new 2015 Avast Free.  Of particular note for me are:

1.    Seems to require a fair bit of oomph for the new VM features etc.  Many of my customers run Vista / 7 with 2Gb RAM and I'm worried it will turn into a memory hog like Avira.
2.    The https scanning appears to be a bit hit and miss
              -  certificate can leave your system vunerable
              - does not work with Rapport (which a lot of my customers have)
              - can quite commonly break your https web browsing

I appreciate there are also many upsides to it but for now - what is the general opinion about keeping on installing 2014 for new customers as opposed to 2015 bearing in mind that if I install it for folk and then they come back to me to complain if everything is not perfect I will have to fix at no extra cost to the customer. All my hard earned profits go out the window and I end up on the street...........

That sounds a bit dramatic but a return visit FOC basically wipes out all my profit on a computer repair job - especially a problem when I recommend Avast and it is that which might be problem.

My thinking is to stick with 2014 for a couple of months and maybe look at deploying 2015 come Jan 1.

Before anyone flames me for not being a reseller or for not putting the Pro version of Avast on to my customers machines - I only put Free Avast on if they have a poor antivirus already and cannot afford at this specific time the Pro version.


Cheers,
Paul

Offline NoelC

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Re: Avast 2015 Free versus 2014 Free - Right Now (24th October 2014)
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2014, 05:08:48 PM »
If the new features take too many resources, you can deconfigure them.  Then you have what 2014 had.

-Noel

Offline Vlk

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Re: Avast 2015 Free versus 2014 Free - Right Now (24th October 2014)
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2014, 05:16:47 PM »
Thank you Tarka. We would like to learn more about your issues with the HTTPS scanner. I don't think we're currently aware of any issues in it so if you have any to report, it would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Vlk
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Offline Tarka

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Re: Avast 2015 Free versus 2014 Free - Right Now (24th October 2014)
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2014, 05:23:15 PM »
NoelC - OK.  Good point.

On the other hand it would be nice to install the latest and greatest from the get-go for them if there is the likelhood of addressing any teething issues quite soon.  If I disable some features then, if I don't see them for a year or more then those features will forever be non functional for them.  On the other hand,  I assume if I stick with 2014 then at some point it will be force/automatically upgraded for them and they will get the new features (by that time I assume all the issues will have been ironed out).

I must read up more on the new features of 2015 versus 2014 too.  Is it mainly the VM and the https scanning or is there some improved Zero day protection / cloud scanning too?

VLK - I am only going by the following threads:  https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=157820.0 and the latter part of https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=157675.45

Trust me - I am an Avast fanboy I just want a pain free life.

Cheers,
Paul

Cheers,
Paul

Offline RejZoR

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Re: Avast 2015 Free versus 2014 Free - Right Now (24th October 2014)
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2014, 05:32:01 PM »
Thank you Tarka. We would like to learn more about your issues with the HTTPS scanner. I don't think we're currently aware of any issues in it so if you have any to report, it would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Vlk

Well, we know HTTPS scanning is causing Firefox to crash. There is a huge ongoing thread about it and as far as i remember i've even mentioned it during beta...
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Offline NoelC

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Re: Avast 2015 Free versus 2014 Free - Right Now (24th October 2014)
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2014, 05:38:43 PM »
I have some suggestions that serve to make Avast something less than the front line of defense - more like a safety net.  This is what I do...

1.  Install the MVPS hosts file.  When you do regular maintenance, update it.  This causes the name resolution for tens of thousands of known parasite web sites to be resolved locally to 0.0.0.0, which keeps the computer from ever reaching the real sites.  This alone can reduce the possibility of infection by a gargantuan amount, and as a bonus it blocks most ads.

2.  Configure the Internet Explorer browser to avoid running ActiveX from sites in the Internet Zone.  This avoids most running of malware and ongoing installation of Add-ons, etc.  The default settings in Internet Explorer are far too permissive.  You can add sites you really do trust (e.g., your bank) to the Trusted Sites list if they require the browser to be more permissive in order to present their information properly.

3.  Teach responsible computing.  Let your users know that when they run something they've downloaded they're taking some risk it will do things to their systems and data that may not be what they want.  Ask them to research the things they run before they run them.

4.  Configure Avast to be as intrusive or unobtrusive as you feel comfortable with, and as you feel the computer can stand.  I'd say the less responsible/technical the user, the more of Avast's features you should configure.  After doing all the above, a responsible, knowledgeable user really only needs the 3 shields and possibly the software updater.

Determine how demanding of resources the latest Avast with all the bells and whistles enabled will require some time and experience.  That's what you're bringing to the party - your expert experience.  So get testing!  There's no way to know everything about how it's going to work ahead of time.

-Noel
« Last Edit: October 24, 2014, 05:40:20 PM by NoelC »

Offline Tarka

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Re: Avast 2015 Free versus 2014 Free - Right Now (24th October 2014)
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2014, 05:51:55 PM »
All True and great advice - most of which I already do.  I do regularly evaluate the other free offerings as well as Avast but I keep coming back to Avast for my customers.  This is mainly because.

1. AVG - I get many customers with malware who have AVG free installed.  I therefore, from my own experinces and observations do not recommend it

2. Avira - The consensus seems to be that Avira does have a better detection rate than Avast (av-comparatives and "The PC Security Channel" on Youtube) BUT Avira's interface is rotten, it does not warn about blocking half the things it blocks, it does not update itself in a timely fashion and you have to use tricks to get it to update properly, it uses soooooo much RAM (310Mb +)

3. BitDefender Free - Again I don't think too many people will argue with its detection rate. Its interface offers no control at all and this makes it fall off my list. 

If the customer is wanting a paid solution then its either Avast or Emsisoft if they are a bit more technical as I believe Emsisoft is the best out there.

In addition to this I install (for the more incident prone type of customer) 2 week trial of MBAM (and advise them to get the Pro version if they are "prone" to not being too careful). I may also install Hitman Pro Alert (free) for the cryptoguard element. I also always install Web of Trust on their browsers and also Adblock.

If their machine is underpowered and they won't pay for upgrades then they just get Avast and none of the rest apart from WoT.

I will look into the MVPS hosts file for sure.  I used to use Spybot S&D and use their immunization function which I guess is a similar thing but I kind of assumed the host files redirects were not really needed anymore.

I don't get many calls about re-infections :-)
« Last Edit: October 24, 2014, 05:54:40 PM by Tarka »

Offline Tarka

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Re: Avast 2015 Free versus 2014 Free - Right Now (24th October 2014)
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2014, 06:02:20 PM »
I do have to caution all of that with the rotten experience one of my customers had with Avast's 3rd party support line though.  This opened up the whole debate in my mind to do another full evaluation. (See my other post). Avast really need to rethink that one imho.

Until Avast 3rd party support change their ways I will also take every opportunity to remind them about it.