My PC’s config:
Win XP Home SP 3(fully patched).
Intel Pentium Dual Core 2.40 GHz
2 GB RAM and 350gb SATA HDD
I am currently using Avast! Free Antivirus 5.0.594and Comodo FW 4.1.150349.920 on my PC without any conflicts or slowdowns in boot-time, regular performance or network speed. Avast! Free Antivirus comes with a ton of features that are not even available in commercial anti-virus products.
I am quoting the features of Avast from avast! Free Antivirus – Download Software for Virus Protection. Visit the above link if you want to know more details about each feature.
Wake-up for scan
avast! Intelligent Scanner
File System Shield
Smart virus definition updates
Fast application of updates
Multi-threaded scanning optimization
Graphical user interface
What more could you want from an Antivirus, and trust me all this comes for FREE. Visit this link to download Avast! Free Antivirus (English version) Download Avast! Free Antivirus 5.0.594. Avast supports many languages, if you want other languages than English, visit this link avast! Free Antivirus – Download Software for Virus Protection
You can also install additinal languages from Avast interface. Go to Settings>Languages and check the languages you want to install
Screenshots of Avast that I took from my PC:
File system shield:
This shield scans files that are currently in use (active files)
I use ThunderBird and Avast gave me a warning to disable SSL/TLS security in Thunderbird. After I disabled this in ThunderBird, Avast was able to scan all my mails for infections.
Whenever a new mail is received, Avast Mail shield will automatically check it for infections
This shield protects your PC from infections/scripts from the webpages you visit. (Does not slow your browsing speed)
This shield protects your PC from potentially dangerous websites. It will automatically block your browser from loading such websites. An automated voice message alert will be played after a malicious url/threat has been blocked.
Comparison of Avast free and commercial versions, surely the free version is outstanding and provides perfectly good security even for a new user.
Besides these shields, there is
1. IM Shield: protects you from threats distributed via Instant Messengers
2. P2P Shield: Protects your PC while using p2p file sharing programs like Utorrent, bittorrent, etc.
Updates are regularly available, automatically downloaded and fast. An automated voice message alert will be played after an update is performed.
Quick scan: Scans the memory and system volume
Full system scan: Scans the entire Harddisk
Removable media scan: Scans removable media like CD/DVD, USB flash drives (pen drive or memory stick), memory cards.
Custom folder scan: Scans any folder of your choice. Besides this, there is also a Context Menu item which allows you to scan any folder via windows explorer.
Boot time scan: A very useful feature, it scans the PC before Windows is loaded, helps remove stubborn malware.
Avast has a couple of special scans available if you enable them in Settings>Basic Settings>Special scans
Here is a screenshot showing Avast with the scans available by default
Now to open Avast’s Settings
Enable the Special scans by ticking the checkbox as shown in the screenshot below
Now the New scans are available as shown below
Important Tip to make to speed up Avast scans :
To make the Full System Scan even faster, configure it to actually take advantage of the persistent cache. To do this, open the Full System Scan details, click the Settings button and check the box “Speed up scanning by using the persistent cache” on the Performance page.
Avast! Free Antivirus requires free registration after 30 days of usage.
Avast can be registered in two ways, 1. From their website and 2. through the Avast interface
Registration through the interface is easier and faster.
You need to provide your name, email id, choose your age group and answer an optional question to register for a free 1 year license.
I find Avast! Free Antivirus to be very light on resources, scans are blazing fast and reliable.
Besides Avast and Comodo, I also use SuperAntispyware, Malwarebytes antimalware, Winpatrol and Spybot to keep my PC free from infections. (All four have free versions available)
I recommend you to try Avast! Free Antivirus before buying any commercial AV.
PS:- This review was originally posted at Avinashtech Forum.