Author Topic: So long Avast, and thanks for all the fish!  (Read 16505 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline NoelC

  • Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 569
So long Avast, and thanks for all the fish!
« on: November 20, 2014, 08:32:51 AM »
It seems the time has come when Avast is no longer providing sufficient value for me to put up with the downsides, some of which I'll list here:

  • Fails badly with the latest Windows Update Roll-up
  • No word at all in more than a day from Avast engineering on the above issue
  • Becoming less and less efficient, and slowing my work down a lot lately
  • Too many false positives
  • Lack of an option to override blocking even a [Susp] false positive when it is detected
  • Features not working / obeying UI settings (e.g., scans popping UI open & loss of voice announcements)
  • Heading in directions I don't want or can't use (e.g., NG)
  • Disruption of work (e.g,. processes failing when Avast chooses to do a Deep Scan)
  • Providing more and more unwanted programs (which of course can be deconfigured, but it's the principle)
  • Packaging of unwanted software components in Avast executables/DLLs
  • Predatory / misleading operation (e.g., opt outs, aggressive installer UI choices)
  • Dropping rankings in tests of multiple AV packages
  • Need to uninstall / reinstall the program to keep it working (even once was too many times)

Frankly that list got longer than I expected.  It wasn't until I started writing it up that I realized how much I've been putting up with.  Loyalty only goes so far before an obvious value imbalance can no longer be ignored.  Uninstalling it has simply become necessary, because of the first item, and I'm not regretting it.

You folks please feel free debate the above all you like.  Pick it apart, show that I'm being rash - or whatever you like.  It's not going to change my perceptions or opinions, which are based on MY needs for an AV product.  Perhaps they apply to others or perhaps they don't.  I starting out writing this message thinking I could be tempted into trying the product again once the compatibility issue with the Windows Update is worked out.  Now I'm not so sure about that, but I'll keep my options open.

It's been a long run for me - I've been using Avast continuously since 2005 and have never gotten a malware infection - but honestly the product just appears to be falling out of step with the cutting edge lately.

Thanks, folks, it's been fun.

-Noel

Offline cridgejm

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 56
Re: So long Avast, and thanks for all the fish!
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2014, 09:03:46 AM »
Such a pity.  I had a similar experience with AVG so moved to Avast.  I hope I have not made a mistake but my recent bad experience with Avast Technical Support does suggest that Avast may also be changing.

I have seen problems reported with Grimefighter and many more with Avast Technical Support which is sold as though it is Avast but in fact it's an outside contractor. 
This is just one thread of compalints about AVT  Unable to connect to Avast Quick Connect technical support

The service I had from 'Avast' Technical Support was poor. Despite spending an hour inside my PC the problems were not fully cleared and now I'm in a battle to cancel the purchase and obtain a refund which these Avast-but-not-Avast characters immediately refused. Fortunately my credit card company is now on the case.

The other bad thing is that I've just paid for 2 years of Avast Internet Security and now I read resports like yours NoelC.

Offline avaster78

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 96
Re: So long Avast, and thanks for all the fish!
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2014, 09:55:04 AM »
Yes, i need to agree. First of all need to say that i have been using Avast for over ten years now. I think Avast has become more advanced user AV. I mean with all of it's problems lately, you really need to be a tech savy user to deal with them. I have patient and some skills to deal with them, but for people who just want a good AV running without any complications, it can be very problematic. Also think Avast is trying too hard with all those new features, which then failes to work correctly. Also all those version selections and bundled sofware options  (when you update the program) are very annoying, and again confusing to some users. Things seems to be behind so many steps. Keep it simple and make free version more user friendly.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2014, 09:56:36 AM by avaster78 »
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit. Avast Free Latest. Opera (Chromium). SpywareBlaster 5.5. Windows 10 Firewall Control Free 64-bit (together w/ Windows Firewall). HW: HP G5139sc - Athlon II X2 220 2.8 GHz - 4 GB (Dual-channel). VDSL2 Modem Router w/ Firewall. Internet 50Mbs.

Offline RejZoR

  • Polymorphic Sheep
  • Serious Graphoman
  • *****
  • Posts: 9384
  • We are supersheep, resistance is futile!
    • RejZoR's Flock of Sheep
Re: So long Avast, and thanks for all the fish!
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2014, 10:06:56 AM »
It seems the time has come when Avast is no longer providing sufficient value for me to put up with the downsides, some of which I'll list here:

  • Fails badly with the latest Windows Update Roll-up
  • No word at all in more than a day from Avast engineering on the above issue
  • Becoming less and less efficient, and slowing my work down a lot lately
  • Too many false positives
  • Lack of an option to override blocking even a [Susp] false positive when it is detected
  • Features not working / obeying UI settings (e.g., scans popping UI open & loss of voice announcements)
  • Heading in directions I don't want or can't use (e.g., NG)
  • Disruption of work (e.g,. processes failing when Avast chooses to do a Deep Scan)
  • Providing more and more unwanted programs (which of course can be deconfigured, but it's the principle)
  • Packaging of unwanted software components in Avast executables/DLLs
  • Predatory / misleading operation (e.g., opt outs, aggressive installer UI choices)
  • Dropping rankings in tests of multiple AV packages
  • Need to uninstall / reinstall the program to keep it working (even once was too many times)

- I've updated both updates that were supposedly problematic and my system works just the same. And it has been this way pretty much every single time users complained about things like this. The issue usually lies in something other than avast! (often wrecked system itself).
- Performance tests and my experience says otherwise. avast! has been the lightest compared to other products.
- Too many false positives only in AV-C on-demand test which was plain ridiculous. Where in reality, i've had like 5 false psoitives in 10 years.
- The lack of adding stuff to exclusions in detection popups is by design, because people tend to exclude anything and everything when they desperately want to run something. When they have to dig up settings through menus, they kinda sober up and give up. Which is good. Those who really know what they are dpoing will still do it. It's really by design and i understand why it is done so. I've seen way too many people just excluding stuff because they wanted it to run regardless of anything. Which is not smart and defeats the purpose of using antivirus in the first place.
- I've never ever had GUI to popup by itself. Voice announcements for virus updates were removed because the popup has also been removed (because it has become obsolete with streaming updates). The rest should still be functional the way it was all the years before...
- Don't have any problems with DeepScreen, in fact they managed to improve it the way that LockNote now functions with it properly which used t be problematic since it always generates a new container which confused the old Auto Sandbox and DeepScreen...

However i do agree with you last points of too much "crap" being intorduced into the installer, too many things getting re-checked when program update is done, i've seen too many systems get Chrome and Dropbox installed on systems where users were using other browsers and had no intention to ever use Dropbox or similar stuff. Just because it was pre-checked in update popup. I understand that they need to make profit from free somehow as well but you really have to draw a line somehwere and they are standing on it...

The dropped rankings in tests are also annoying, yes. Despite countless promisses that this and that will dramatically improve things, i always get disappointed. I know tests aren't the exact indicator, but how can you spread the word if the product you're recommending always ends up at bottom half of pretty much every single test? And considering how avast! used to be right below top payable players, i find that troublesome as well.

The need to re-install product to fix it is also annoying. I didn't had to do it myself more than once but i've seen users do that to fix things. I've proposed a self-diagnostic system which would check up avast! operation on daily basis and if something was indicated as broken and non functional, it should performa a sort of self repair/re-install of avast!. But that never really happened.

I kinda just have a feeling sometimes that the days of users having some word at development are now long gone and avast! is way too focused on satisfying their shareholders and nothing else. And shareholders always just want profit, profit and profit and making things bigger and bigger. Which is not necessarely always a good thing.
Visit my webpage Angry Sheep Blog

Offline mziskandar

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: So long Avast, and thanks for all the fish!
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2014, 11:46:01 AM »
What I dont like about Avast nowadays.
  • Avast is like an engine in my car. Keep it hidden inside. I will open up the hood to show-off o people who can appreciate (friends and pros). That engine don't have to be outside my car - its going to be ugly.
  • Avast got fat.
  • An engine should be functional, high performance, compact, minimal consumption, enclosed/hidden.
  • Having cartoonish dolls inside the hood is a waste of space and weird and not pros.
  • Fixed width window is beautiful at first - vs functionality, accessibility in a long run.
  • Get online only when I said so. Show me ads when I want to see ads. Avast is not malware right?
  • Don't have to spend much on advertising. If the engine is good, satisfied user will advertise / recommend / propose it for free.
I was an Avast user at home (free version). I supported Avast by doing translation (for free). I advertised Avast and educate what Avast can do in my blog (for free) (http://digitalspine.blogspot.com). I recommended Avast to corporations and my clients (for free) (nearly 200 licenses bought last year).

Offline Giraffe

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 241
  • I'm not a Lama!
Re: So long Avast, and thanks for all the fish!
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2014, 11:57:39 AM »
These points are valid - I just put up with Avast because I've found that Avira, Comodo and AVG are worse in other ways and are less acceptable.
What might force me to change, eventually, is that I'm stuck on 2014. 2015 causes AvastSvc.exe to use about 50% CPU, without NG or anything but 3 shields and Rescue Disk installed.
There's also the long-standing problem of Reputation Services adding 2 - 10 seconds to every action, so that's off.

Avast for now, mainly due to lack of a reasonable alternative.
W7 Pro SP1 32 bit
Intel Core i5 5675C; 4GB DDR3 1600 RAM
Avast!: 2328; Comodo Firewall

Offline count

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: So long Avast, and thanks for all the fish!
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2014, 01:15:35 PM »
Same here' NO MORE AVAST !!!. Now have to go and uninstall Avast from many computers, Many are calling and demanding something else to be installed since I personally vouched for it and installed it there.
P.S
 That verification for posting here is Sooo annoying !!!

Offline NoelC

  • Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 569
Re: So long Avast, and thanks for all the fish!
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2014, 02:10:47 PM »
The issue usually lies in something other than avast! (often wrecked system itself).
It might just boil down to what OS you are running, Rejzor.  I'm on Win 8.1 x64.  You?

If on 8.1 you say things aren't a problem, I ask:  Have you rebooted after the Avast install?

I tested in a clean, perfectly functioning virtual machine configured similarly to my host system.  It was borked badly right after a successful install of OPTIONAL update KB3000850.  Uninstalling Avast cleared it up, leaving no more problems.  I executed a suite of tests to be sure.  Then, because don't like to leave stones unturned, I installed 10.0.2208.712 via the offline installer and it seemed to work, and even did a successful scan.  But all the symptoms returned after a reboot.  Removal again left the system working, and rebootable.

Removal of Avast from my host workstation prior to installation of KB3000850 has left me with a perfectly functioning system.  I am not willing to gamble the health of the workstation on an attempt to reinstall after the VM testing went so badly.

By the way, though Avast may have improved it, AvastClear still does not get everything.  In my case I had to remove the Outlook 365 add-on via regedit.

Edit:  Oh, and by the way, using real work (Visual Studio system build time of a medium sized project) as a benchmark, I was seeing build times of 51 to 54 seconds EVEN AFTER excluding some Avast File Shield checks in my development area.  Same activity after removing Avast and just using Windows Defender:  30 to 33 seconds.  With Avast (months ago) I once saw times in the 28 to 30 second range, and that was without having excluded anything yet.  Something's definitely going wrong at Avast.

-Noel
« Last Edit: November 20, 2014, 03:54:03 PM by NoelC »

Offline drtweak

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • Dr Tweak
Re: So long Avast, and thanks for all the fish!
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2014, 05:13:12 PM »
The complaints here are mostly user generated problems. If you install Avast properly (without the added junk) it is very light on your system with excellent detection rates and no issues. When I read these posts here and other places I wonder how you set things up, I have installed Avast on countless computers and have never seen any of the issues that are being described. I think people need to start posting like the old HijackThis logs so it can be seen what is running on the computers in question, I would bet the vast majority of time it's not Avast causing the problems.

 ;)

Offline Pondus

  • Probably Bot
  • ****
  • Posts: 37106
Re: So long Avast, and thanks for all the fish!
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2014, 05:32:18 PM »
Quote
I think people need to start posting like the old HijackThis logs     
HijackThis is obsolete ..... now it is Farbar recovery scan tool or OTL


Offline drtweak

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • Dr Tweak
Re: So long Avast, and thanks for all the fish!
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2014, 06:16:36 PM »
Quote
I think people need to start posting like the old HijackThis logs     
HijackThis is obsolete ..... now it is Farbar recovery scan tool or OTL

I know it is, that why I said "like" the old HijackThis logs. I haven't used Farbar, looking at it now, thanks.

Offline polonus

  • Avast √úberevangelist
  • Probably Bot
  • *****
  • Posts: 33335
  • malware fighter
Re: So long Avast, and thanks for all the fish!
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2014, 07:28:54 PM »
Like to say this again and again. Tweak avast as it may suit you fine, so evryone should do a custom install.
I would not like to install Grimefighter, considered as "marketing nagware" to lure users to switch to the paid version.
I would like to use the Software Updater, it is much better as what competitors have put in the market.
Shields OK, NG closed down my Wifi router as being on a plane working a smartphone. No not yet.
Avast browser plug-in works fine after it had CPU problems.

polonus
Cybersecurity is more of an attitude than anything else. Avast Evangelists.

Use NoScript, a limited user account and a virtual machine and be safe(r)!

Offline Uncle Scrooge

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 58
Re: So long Avast, and thanks for all the fish!
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2014, 08:17:12 PM »
I am also skipping Avast after many years. I use an old version on my pc's except 1. On this pc I try the new versions, and all of them have been deleted after testing,
I don't believe in Avast anymore after all the mess they make on their users pc's. Avast just gets worse and worse, and v2015 is top of the cream with direct virus behaviour.
I perfectly agree with NoelC but have some additional comments.
1) Stop bundling all the crab with Avast. An AV should help keeping the users pc's clean, not sneak crabware into them.
2) Stop adding new fancy "features" like the HTTPS scanner, and concentrate on getting the core AV part to work.
3) Stop making anything "option out" during installation. This goes for all the "goodies" as well for the options.
4) Do not take ownership of my pc, by not giving me a real "ask" and "ignore" option. I will decide what to do with an eventually detection, and my AV must fully respect this.
I know that all the fanboys here will shout "unsafe" and all that stuff, so don't bother writing it. I don't want a babysitter, I want an AV that works, and don't screw up my pc.
If Avast feel that it is necessary to treat all the clients as baby's because of the AV detection tests, they must make 2 versions. One version for the "facebook level"
user and one for the professional users.
5) Do not release buggy beta versions anymore. Do heavy testing before releasing a new version. An AV program gets system rights on the users pc's, that no other program gets.
It is therefore totally unacceptable to release versions; with kernel driver memory leaks, that puts Windows core files in the chest, that deletes the users browser add-ons, that
cribbles the users word documents, that renders the users pc's unbootable, ect. ect.
6) If the Avast team is unable to make an updater that works 100%, this feature should be removed, and replaced by a total installation/uninstallation tool.
7) Make a thorough search for incompatible software before installation, and skip if anything is found.

Well, bye-bye Avast and thanks for the old versions. I will of course check back next autumn to see if Avast by some miracle have come back on the track.
But this very rarely happens, when a company have been derailed for some time.     

Offline Para-Noid

  • Avast Evangelist
  • Starting Graphoman
  • ***
  • Posts: 6711
  • Trust only what you test yourself!
Re: So long Avast, and thanks for all the fish!
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2014, 08:34:33 PM »
1) Use the "custom install to ensure you get what you want. More and more you will see bundling on almost all software.
2) HTTPS scanning is something many of us have been asking for. Most a/v's don't do this.
3) Get use to "opt outs" that's the way things are now. Use Unchecky.
4) There are some people who would have problems with making such decisions. It's better to err on the side of safety.
5) Beta testing does come with risks. If you do not want to beta test, then don't.
6) The "updater" works fine for the huge majority of users. Very few users have had issues.
7) So you want the install file to be extremely huge. If there is a conflict in most cases it's easily resolved.

It is impossible to have everything work perfectly for everyone. Avast is used by more than 220,000,000 people.
It is beyond logical thought to believe that any software vendor can replicate each and every set-up.

If you are going to complain...make it rational...please!
Dell Inspiron, Win10x64--HP Envy Win10x64--Both systems Avast Free v17.9.2322, Comodo Firewall v8.2 w/D+, MalwareBytes v3.0, OpenDNS, Super Anti-Spyware, Spyware Blaster, MCShield, Unchecky, Vivaldi Browser and, various browser security tools.

"Look before you leap!" Use online scanners before you click on any link.

Offline avaster78

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 96
Re: So long Avast, and thanks for all the fish!
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2014, 10:19:03 PM »
3) Get use to "opt outs" that's the way things are now. Use Unchecky.

Does Unchecky work with bundled software, after using the program updater to update Avast?
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit. Avast Free Latest. Opera (Chromium). SpywareBlaster 5.5. Windows 10 Firewall Control Free 64-bit (together w/ Windows Firewall). HW: HP G5139sc - Athlon II X2 220 2.8 GHz - 4 GB (Dual-channel). VDSL2 Modem Router w/ Firewall. Internet 50Mbs.