- Antivirus 2017 free download - Avast Free Antivirus, FIFA 17, USB-AV Antivirus 2017, and many more programs.
- Mar 07, 2016.
- Avast 2017 free download - Avast Free Antivirus, Avast Free Mac Security, Avast Pro Antivirus, and many more programs.
- Avast Antivirus Free Download 2017 Full Version For Pc Windows 7
- Download Avast Free Antivirus 2018
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Fully loaded and refreshingly simple Our free antivirus software just got even better. It now includes real-time security updates, scans for both malware and performance issues, and even catches malicious downloads before they reach your PC. It’s also got an all-new, refreshingly simple design that shows you exactly how you’re protected.
Avast Free Antivirus 2017
- Antivirus lab test results plentiful and positive.
- Excellent scores in our hands-on tests.
- Network security inspector.
- Password manager.
- Extensive collection of useful, security-related bonus features.
- Password manager features limited.
- Poor antiphishing score.
- Some bonus features require separate purchase.
Bottom LineAvast Free Antivirus 2017 combines a great free antivirus with a surprisingly extensive collection of bonus features.
It seems only logical that a free antivirus company should offer basic protection for free, but reserve advanced bonus features for the paid edition. However, in the real world, many of the most widespread free antivirus tools actually pack a ton of extra features. Avast Free Antivirus 2017 in particular gives you more than many competing commercial products. On top of excellent antivirus protection, it adds a network security scanner, a password manager, a secure browser, and more.
You may have heard that Avast acquired rival free antivirus company AVG last year. Fans of both tools can rest easy; there's no plan to merge them into a single product. Both have many thousands of users worldwide, but each is strong in geographical areas where the other isn't. High-end security technologies continue to show up in both product lines.
The current product's main window could hardly look more different from the 2016 edition. That edition featured a mostly white main window with some orange shapes lurking in the corners and a menu of icons across the top. The current product's main window is dark grey, with a menu down the left side. In addition to the main Status page, you can use the menu to select Protection, Privacy, or Performance. These pages include icons for all the features found in Avast's product line, with a padlock icon for those not available in the free antivirus.
During installation, Avast offers to install Google Chrome and to install the Google Toolbar in your other browsers. Unless you opt out, the toolbar makes Google your default search engine, but it doesn't take over your home page. The installer also presents a full page devoted to explaining how Avast uses your nonpersonal data, and how you can opt out if you wish.
One of this edition's new features needs special mention, because it's virtually invisible. If you install another antivirus with Avast already on the system, it automatically goes into Passive Mode. To avoid conflicts, it disables all real-time scanning and other active protection. You can still launch scans manually. There's precedent for this behavior—Microsoft Windows Defender does something similar.
Good Lab Results
All of the independent testing labs that I follow include Avast in their testing and reporting. In addition, Avast received checkmark certification from West Coast Labs. I don't give as much weight to certifications, because part of the service an antivirus vendor pays for is help with any problems that prevented certification. Even so, having a certification is a plus. Avast also earned an above-average score in the RAP (Reactive and Proactive) test by Virus Bulletin.
The analysts at AV-Comparatives perform a variety of security tests, of which I follow four. Products that achieve the necessary minimum scores receive a Standard rating, while those that show advanced features and capabilities can rate Advanced or Advanced+.
Out of the four tests, Avast received two Advanced+ and two Advanced ratings. That's quite good, but Bitdefender, Avira Antivirus, and Kaspersky took Advanced+ in all four tests.
AV-Test Institute rates antivirus products on three criteria: protection, performance, and usability (where usability means few false positives). A product can earn six points for each. Avast earned that six points in protection and usability, but it fell down in the performance category, earning just 3.5 points. Its total score of 15.5 isn't terrible, but many have done better. Kaspersky earned a perfect 18 points, while Bitdefender and Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security took 17.5.
Trying to come as close as possible to real-world conditions, the experts at SE Labs capture drive-by downloads and other web-based attacks and use a replay system to hit each tested product with the exact same attack. The very best products receive AAA certification; others may be certified at the AA, A, B, or C level. Like AVG, Avast received AA certification.
MRG-Effitas works a bit differently from the other labs. Products that don't manage perfect or near-perfect protection simply fail. Avast passed one of this lab's tests and failed the other. Due to the pass/fail nature of these tests, I give them less weight when calculating an aggregate lab score.
Of the antivirus products I track, only Avast, AVG, ESET NOD32 Antivirus 10, and Kaspersky Anti-Virus appear in the results from all five labs. Avast's aggregate score of 8.7 points (from a possible 10) is quite good, even better than AVG's 8.4 points. Kaspersky leads the pack, with an aggregate score of 9.8 points, with Norton just a tenth of a point behind. Third place, at 9.5 points, belongs to Avira.
Very Good Malware Blocking
To get a feel for each product's handling of actual malware, I use a collection of malware samples that I gather myself. Some products start wiping out samples the moment I open the folder that contains them. Others wait until I select the sample. Like AVG, McAfee AntiVirus Plus, and a few others, Avast doesn't run its real-time scan until just before a process is about to launch.
I should point out one change I made to Avast's default configuration. My samples include a range of malware, from vicious ransomware to merely annoying Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs). By default, Avast doesn't scan for PUPs. I enabled PUP scanning before starting my tests, and I encourage all Avast users to do the same.
Like Norton, AVG AntiVirus Free, and several others, Avast detected 97 percent of my samples, almost all of them at the moment of execution. Its overall score of 9.7 points is quite good, and slightly better than AVG's 9.5 points. However, Comodo, PC Matic, and Webroot all earned a perfect 10 points in this test.
Each time it detected a malware sample trying to launch, Avast recommended a boot-time scan for thorough cleanup. That's smart; scanning before Windows has fully booted up means no interference from malware.
The samples I use for the malware blocking test stay the same for months. To check each product's ability to deal with the very latest malware, I start with a feed of malware-hosting URLs supplied by MRG-Effitas. I try to launch each one, recording whether the antivirus blocked access to the URL, vaporized the malware download, or totally missed the boat.
Avast blocked 87 percent of the samples, split almost equally between blocking the URL and deleting the download. I did have to look closely. Most antivirus products handle blocking access to malware-hosting URLs by diverting the browser to a warning page. Avast just displays the same popup warning that it uses for malware files, leaving the browser to display an error message.
Both AVG and Avast have a new feature called CyberCapture. The antivirus company maintains a huge database of good and bad files based on telemetry from countless users around the world. If a file shows up that's never been seen before, the antivirus blocks it from launching. The only clue you get that this blockage wasn't a Windows error is a little flag on the error message with the word CyberCapture. I managed to trigger this feature during my review of AVG, but after that review the sample that did the job was no longer a total unknown, just another piece of malware.
Another feature shared by the two programs looks for suspicious behaviors in programs that aren't clearly malware. A popup window explains that Avast is running a 15-second scan, and exhorts the user to 'Hang on.' All of my hand-coded test utilities triggered this warning, and with good reason; their behaviors really are suspicious.
Excellent Phishing Protection
Phishing websites are, in a way, trickier than websites that launch malware attacks. All they do is create a really, really good replica of a sensitive site, perhaps a bank, or PayPal, and strew links to that fake site around the Web. Any user who logs in, not realizing it's a fake, has just given account access to the fraudsters. If a thousand netizens spot the fraud and just one doesn't, that's a win for the bad guys.
I test antiphishing using the very newest phishing sites, preferably ones that haven't yet been fully analyzed and blacklisted. Because the actual URLs are different every time, I report a product's detection rate relative to that of Symantec Norton AntiVirus Basic, long-time antiphishing champ, and to built-in protection in the three top browsers.
Very few products can match Norton in this test. Bitdefender, Kaspersky, and Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus are the only recent products to do better. However, Avast's 2016 edition came very close, just one percentage point behind Norton. When I first tested the current version, I thought that the phishing detection system had changed, because accuracy took a nosedive.
After some serious brainstorming with Avast's CTO, I discovered that the main phishing protection component was not being invoked, due to a timing problem with my testing tool. For each possible phishing URL, this tool launches an instance of the browser, putting the URL on the command line, something a normal user just wouldn't do. When I reran the test and simply copied each URL into an already-open browser instance, Avast's score soared.
In most cases, Avast blocked fraudulent sites by covering up the page with a warning. I like the fact that the warning is semi-transparent, so you can see what the fake site was imitating. In some cases, a popup alert appeared, as in the malicious URL blocking test, but with the infection type identified as phishing. Avast's detection rate lagged just 2 percentage points behind Norton's, and it soundly beat all three browsers.
This impressive component does even more than its name suggests. Sure, it checks your Wi-Fi network for security problems, but it can just as easily inspect a wired network. In either case, it reports on security status for all the devices it detects on your network.
When I ran the inspector on a virtual machine, it had nothing to report. All the identified devices came up problem-free. You can click on any device for a geeky list of its identifiers, interfaces, and services. Most users should only dig into those details if directed by tech support.
I do have one test system that's deliberately configured for danger—the one I use for firewall testing. It connects through the router's DMZ port, effectively making a direct connection to the internet. Avast spotted that problem, flagged it as trouble, and offered advice on just how to fix the security hole.
Simple Password Manager
Password management is an unexpected feature for a free antivirus. Avast's handles all the basic functions, and does them well, but that's as far as it goes.
To get started, you create a master password that will protect all your website passwords. Avast offers advice on the construction of a strong password, with a color-coded line representing the strength of what you've typed. Getting to green is tough! Note, though, that Avast will accept a password that's less than super-strong.
In either supported browser, Avast offers to save the login credentials you enter for secure sites. When you revisit a website, it fills in your saved credentials. If you have multiple accounts on the site, you can click a little key icon in the username field to get a menu of all your choices. And it does handle Gmail and other two-page logins.
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With many password managers, clicking the toolbar icon gets a menu of logins. Avast works differently. Clicking menu choices for Passwords, Secure Notes, or Settings just takes you to the corresponding page within the main Avast program. However, from the Password page in the main program you can click to visit and log in to any saved site.
Those Secure Notes I mentioned are simple, unformatted text. The main use for these is to share non-password information across multiple Avast installations. To do that, you'll have to set up syncing, which is a simple task. With syncing set up, you can access your passwords using Avast's iOS or Android app as well.
There's no on-demand access to the password generator. It appears when Avast thinks you need it. It always generates a 15-character password using all character types. That's a good length, but it'd be nice to have some control, for example, for sites that don't allow punctuation in passwords.
Avast doesn't offer a fully actionable password strength report like you get with LastPass 4.0 or LogMeOnce. However, you can click a button to analyze your passwords and report any weak or duplicate passwords. You must handle updating any problematic passwords yourself, but Avast does capture the new passwords and update its records. Last year's edition used this analysis to put a security score on the browser extension's info panel, but Avast removed the score because it confused some users.
The extra features available to paying customers aren't all that much. You get a notification if Avast determines your password has leaked. You can log into Android with a touch. And you get 24/7 support. Those aren't what I'd consider premium features. Truly advanced features like two-factor authentication and secure password sharing just aren't here. If you find that you want more, without paying more, consider adding a separate free password manager.
Some types of malware work subtly in the background, stealing your information, or enlisting your computer in a zombie army. Others are more blatant, fighting against your antivirus or even making it impossible to boot in to Windows. For those pugnacious types, booting into a non-Windows antivirus environment can be the only way to recover.
Many antivirus utilities offer some kind of rescue disk functionality, but the implementation strategies are all over the map. TrustPort Antivirus Sphere offers two ways to create a bootable rescue disk, both too complex for the average user. Kaspersky fully automates the process of creating a rescue disk. And with Bitdefender, you can boot into a separate antivirus environment without the need to create a disk.
Avast's implementation is somewhere in the middle. If you choose a rescue CD, it downloads the necessary ISO file, but that's all. You have figure out how to burn it to disk yourself. It also offers to create a bootable USB drive. However, I couldn't make this feature work, even when I used a physical test system rather than a virtual machine. It simply reported that the process failed.
Software is created by humans, and hence imperfect. Researchers are constantly finding security holes, and companies strive to patch them as soon as possible. If you fail to apply security updates, you leave your computer open to attacks that exploit those holes. Avast's Software Updater scans your computer and reports any out-of-date software it finds. You can click a link to find out what changed in each product, or click a button to install the update. If you try to turn on automatic updates, you learn that this is a feature of the paid edition.
Avast's Online Security installs in your browsers and offers several useful features. To start, it marks up safe and unsafe websites in search results. When you visit a website, it checks for ad trackers, web analytics, and other types of tracking tools, displaying the number found on its toolbar icon. You can choose to block any or all of the trackers. And the SiteCorrect feature catches your typos and makes sure you reach the site you intended.
Another add-on, SafePrice, helps you find the best prices when you're shopping online. Just click its toolbar icon to see what details it found. The Dragon browser that comes with Comodo Antivirus 10 includes a similar deal-finding tool.
The SafeZone browser promises a faster, safer internet connection. It's faster because the browser strips out ads, and safer because it kicks into Bank Mode automatically when you visit a financial site. Bank Mode is similar to SafePay in Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2017, or Comodo's Secure Shopping desktop. The browser opens in a separate desktop that's isolated from processes running on the regular desktop, and protected against keyloggers and other spy tactics. As with Bitdefender and Comodo, you can switch back and forth between the secure and regular desktops.
SafePrice works in SafeZone, as does the password manager. In addition, it includes a video downloader tool, something also found in Comodo Dragon. Here's a nice surprise; the web form filling feature that vanished from the password manager has reappeared as a component of SafeZone.
Some features that seem to be present in this product turn out to be teasers for additional Avast commercial products. Using a virtual private network, or VPN, is a great way to secure your connection when using a public network. You can let Avast's SecureLine VPN choose the optimal server for you, or choose from servers in 21 countries. But when you try to connect, you discover that it's a paid service.
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The system tune-up utility gives a clue in its name, Cleanup Premium. You can scan your system for things like junk files, obsolete Registry entries, and inefficient settings. But if you want it to fix the found problems, you must pay up. AVG also offers a premium system tune-up service, but gives you a one-day trial at no cost.
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An Excellent Choice
Avast Free Antivirus 2017 offers antivirus protection that earns top scores in my hands-on tests and very good scores from the independent testing labs. As for bonus features, it offers much more than many competing commercial products. Yes, some of the bonus features require a separate purchase, but that's a relatively minor point. Avast remains an Editors' Choice product for free antivirus.
Avast isn't the only top choice, of course. You may want to check out its sibling, AVG AntiVirus Free, as well. Since they're free, you're free to try both of these Editors' Choice utilities, or other free antivirus tools, and pick the one you like best.