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December 3rd, 2009

Avast and Google Chrome

As we get close to our launch date for our new Avast! Free Antivirus, version 5 we have an exciting new agreement with Google to announce. Starting in mid-November, we will be giving our new users an option to install Google Chrome when installing Avast. And to be clear here since I think some readers were reading too much into this entry.  We are not forcing Chrome on users.  It is entirely up to the user–to download/install is entirely up to the user and nothing is hidden.

Personally, I think Google Chrome is an exciting new browser. As you can see below it is very clean—a single menu bar and a combined search/url entry window.  It also launches very fast, its source code is open source, and most important for Avast users, it has some real neat features that complement the Avast security. You can read more about it here: http://www.google.com/chrome?hl=en.

As you can imagine software companies approach us all the time wanting us to bundle their products with ours. We have always said no to these arrangements. However, with Chrome we feel that it is a nice complement to our product. And Google’s Google philosophy is similar to ours—Chrome are both full-featured excellent products that happen to be free.

  1. December 3rd, 2009 at 11:41 | #1

    Hi Vince,

    Is it stabilize to use as web browser?

  2. December 3rd, 2009 at 11:56 | #3

    I use most browsers today for test, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Chrome, IE were all in my system. I would like to say Chrome is greatly nice for new incoming browser, but still I prefer Firefox. Just a personal opinion.

  3. quesar
    December 3rd, 2009 at 12:03 | #4

    Two great products. Am using both, but I just hope that there’ll be an option to download Avast installer without the included Chrome and that the option will be ‘opt-in like’ so Firefox and other browser fans wont start to complain that it was forced on them.

    • December 3rd, 2009 at 19:07 | #5

      Quesar, at new Avast installation time, we ask users if they want to download and install Chrome. If they say yes, we do so. If they say no, we don’t. It is not an opt-out and it is definitely not hidden.

  4. December 3rd, 2009 at 12:36 | #6

    I just try google chrome, but i still more prefer to use Firefox.

  5. Vaska
    December 3rd, 2009 at 14:53 | #7

    It is the best browser

  6. Kronos
    December 3rd, 2009 at 16:02 | #8

    I’m afraid I cannot regard any kind of deal with Google as a good idea, whether it is presented as an “opt-in” OR an opt-out during download. Since its launch, privacy issues with Google Chrome have been the subject of much debate in reviews and forums, and the famous Google Toolbar has long been regarded as malware, or at the very least, a PUA by many people. I regret that Alwil has felt the need to follow other ( inferior ) anti-virus vendors in their craze for dubious partnership deals and I, for one, would prefer Avast! to remain independent and proud as it as always been up to now. We have an old English saying: ” If you eat with the Devil, be sure to use a very long spoon “.

    • December 3rd, 2009 at 19:05 | #9

      Hi Kronos. We do agree with your belief about not offering toolbars, etc. We have turned down more tool bar offers than we can count. This is not an opt-in nor opt-out. It is a question that a user has to answer yes or no to.

  7. December 3rd, 2009 at 16:21 | #10

    I too have tried Chrome, I found it to be OK as a browser, but it does not work with roboform, that means I will not use it as my browser. I too am a firefox user and will continue to be one. I have been a happy user of avast but, will now take another look at others.

    • December 3rd, 2009 at 19:04 | #11

      John,

      Why leave Avast if you are happy with it? Maybe you read too much into the posting. We are not installing Chrome or opt’ing people into it. We ask a question if they want to try it. If they say no, that is it. There is nothing hidden. Just one question.

  8. December 3rd, 2009 at 16:50 | #12

    I hate this kind of agreement. :/
    Chrome is a #X※%!

    • December 3rd, 2009 at 19:03 | #13

      Rafael,

      I am not sure this is the type of agreement you hate. All we do is ask a question if the user wants to download and try Chrome. If they say yes, it gets downloaded. If they say no, it does not. This is not an opt-out or hidden approach.

  9. Neil
    December 3rd, 2009 at 17:26 | #14

    I will choose my own browser, thank you. I do use Chrome for some things.

    The question before the house right now is, what are you doing to fix all those false alsrms in the Dec 3 database?

    Neil, please do use whatever you prefer. We do believe in choice. And to clear the air, we are not installing Chrome. A user has to explicitly approve it. And so sorry about the false alarms. As you know, it is all fixed now.

  10. Russell Golden
    December 3rd, 2009 at 17:29 | #15

    “It also launches very fast, its source code is open source, and most important for Avast users, it has some real neat features that complement the Avast security.”

    Which features complement Avast, and how?

    THere is a neat tab sandboxing feature. Try it out.

  11. Neil
    December 3rd, 2009 at 17:36 | #16

    Neil :
    The question before the house right now is, what are you doing to fix all those false alsrms in the Dec 3 database?

    Sorry–I didn’t realize you have already released the fix.

  12. Neil
    December 3rd, 2009 at 17:53 | #17

    I use Firefox for most of my web browsing, but Chrome has one very nice feature that FF doesn’t.

    Chrome can transform any web page into its own window, with its own desktop and/or Quick Launch shortcut (user’s choice). I use that feature for quickly launchimg some online radio stations that I listen to often, for a webmail application, and for a couple of other sites that lend themselves to being accessed that way.

    Mozilla does offer a similar feature via Prism, available as a standalone beta product or a Firefox extension. The problem with Prism is that for each web page you apply it to, it creates another copy of its profile on your disk, thereby wasting lots of disk space on redundant files. Chrome’s implementation does not seem to do that.

  13. December 3rd, 2009 at 18:28 | #18

    Russell Golden :
    “It also launches very fast, its source code is open source, and most important for Avast users, it has some real neat features that complement the Avast security.”
    Which features complement Avast, and how?

    I have the answer: the money Avast received from Google. =D
    If a web browser complete with an anti-virus software it should be Opera, the safer one.

    • December 3rd, 2009 at 19:00 | #19

      Rafael, if it was a matter of money there are many things we could do. That is not the issue. Personally my browser days go back way before Opera to the Mosaic days. But, for the vast majority of users they need a browser from a company that can support it. Like it or not these days, that is Firefox, IM, and now Chrome. And of course Safari if one uses a Mac.

  14. Kronos
    December 3rd, 2009 at 19:42 | #20

    I agree with Rafael; I suspect that most deals of this kind are motivated by money.

    Mr Steckler is correct in saying that Google Chrome is based on the free Chromium open source code, but so is the SRWare Iron browser, which has a reputation for having none of the security and privacy issues attributed to Google Chrome. We must not forget that Google will have added features to their version to suit their own needs.

    It’s a shame that Alwil didn’t consult the opinions of loyal Avast! users before launching version 5 in this way.

    • December 3rd, 2009 at 19:46 | #21

      Actually Kronos and Rafael. This is not motivated by money alone. If that were the motivation, we would do a toolbar like everyone else. Or we would be doing daily pop ups asking for money. Or constant nags for upgrades. You know we don’t do that. And we did actually consult our users. We do have a section of our forum where we discuss these issues with thousands of users. This was posted there and discussed.

  15. John Guarino
    December 3rd, 2009 at 19:59 | #22

    Is everyone having a MAJOR issue with the 12/3 update. I had over 30 files that stated that my computer was infected with the Win32:Delf-MZG (Trj) virus. Looking on the web, there is a bug in this update causing this issue and this is a faulse positive.

    It would not repair the files and but would put them all in the chest. I had to uninstall Avast because it kept finding more files.

  16. Kronos
    December 3rd, 2009 at 20:30 | #23

    @Vincent Steckler
    Thank you, Mr Steckler, for your reassurance in this matter. Having used Avast! for many years I have no reason to doubt the integrity of either you or Alwil. I confess that I’m usually too busy to view the forum but I will try and visit more often in future.

    I agree that the original wording of the posting may have sparked the adverse reactions listed above but since your clarification, I think those concerns will be avoided.

  17. December 3rd, 2009 at 21:05 | #24

    Google Chrome is screaming fast compared to all the other browsers. Do this as a test:

    Try opening both IE and Chrome at the same time. Click on IE FIRST to give it a head start. I guarantee Chrome will open first….seconds on your day add up fast over the course of a year.

  18. wonder
    December 3rd, 2009 at 21:05 | #25

    @Kronos

    I agree…alwil don’t want to force anyone to try chrome, this is clear enought..but i’m quite curious about the security improvement that this merger could cause. I’ll give a look at the forum, an then, once i’ll have the necessary details, i’ll decide.
    I think this is the right way to face the matter…

  19. Lisa
    December 3rd, 2009 at 22:19 | #26

    But Google Chrome is sorely lacking in one area: Cookie Management. It’s either BLOCK ALL or ALLOW ALL basically. It’s ridiculous! So if you want to do anything online basically you end up bombarded w/a zillion cookies. They have no way to whitelist sites, nothing. They claim the middle setting “restricts how third-parties” use the data but no details, and I get a million adware cookies daily.

    Very suspicious as Google probably likes cookies b/c they are so big to their business. In their blog they say their “working on it” but please. We’re talking about Google. If they can’t figure it out then how did they get to be so big in the first place?

  20. Lisa
    December 3rd, 2009 at 22:21 | #27

    I meant “they are” working on it. I hate when people use “their” wrong. lol

  21. Rich
    December 3rd, 2009 at 23:18 | #28

    Good to hear. Chrome is indeed a great browser and is ahead of IE and Firefox in terms of speed and multithreaded applications. Having the option to kill a single tab and not the entire program is a feature WAY ahead of other browsers.

  22. December 4th, 2009 at 00:02 | #29

    @Vincent Steckler
    If there is only asking ‘yes’ or ‘no’, I would agree with you. Google just like Avast, I use more features on Google than other providers like Yahoo or MSN, because I love their spirit.

    But it was a very shocking news here for non-google chrome users who are avast users too.

  23. December 4th, 2009 at 00:04 | #30

    Yanto Chiang :
    I just try google chrome, but i still more prefer to use Firefox.

    Yup, so do I

  24. bob cesareo
    December 4th, 2009 at 00:07 | #31

    Have used Avast Antivirus Home Edition for years also recommending it to friends and family. Recently, two or three days ago the program downloaded updates automatically as usual, but since then it views any application as a virus, what gives??? This same thing happened about a year ago after an auto update.
    Would not let me run any scans other than a boot scan that deleted files that required me to reload any affected program after Googleing the virus string and finding out that the Avast update caused the problem.
    Still believe in the Avast product, but also think you guys should offer LOYAL customers free Pro upgrades when your product causes this much trouble. Thank God, once I got online ON MY PHONE that is where I found the internet was abuzz with people saying to disable Avast to stop the problem. At that time my computer was already on an Avast Boot Scan deleting stated viruses.

  25. Bryan
    December 4th, 2009 at 01:41 | #32

    I agree with Bob. I’ve put so many files in the chest because of this false positive that my PC is hung. No way can I get the offered fix to work. I’m about to try Safe Mode again (haven’t been able to get into it yet!). Otherwise I’m heading for a re-install of Windows. Pathetic when your anti-virus program causes you to do that! An upgrade would console me a little. Just

  26. Skip
    December 4th, 2009 at 02:26 | #33

    I have to share Bob and Bryan’s concern about the latest false positive issue (I’m not looking for a free upgrade, however), but a couple of things came out of it (I run a small home network of five machines with Raid and USB clone drives doing backup duties, and attached NAS devices… (Getting a hint of what trouble a massive false positive creates…?) One machine was “apparently” so badly infected (in memory, no less), that it recommended a boot scan prior to load, which I did. The only problem is the only working option in a boot scan is a file delete… I now have an XP box (that is 24/7 web updater) that has holes all over its dlls due to deletes on boot scan. Worse, some of the “affected” files were restore file in the system backup. I have restored what I can and the machine will boot and run the key software, but I know there will be issues down the road. Fortunately I suspected a problem shortly after I saw the scope of the “infection”, and halted scanning of the rest of the network servers, but had I processed the backups as well as the working drives, I would have been looking at 100s of hours of rebuild time. This is not trivial. Please test before release, test before release, and make the boot scan routine more robust – have some way to archive the files so they can be recovered in the event this happens again.

  27. Che
    December 4th, 2009 at 05:23 | #34

    Off Topic:

    Public Relations 101: When you have a problem that affects many users, address it promptly and directly. The SNAFU from early yesterday has not been addressed on this blog, and it should be. Your users (including myself) want an assurance that this will never happen again. Such an issue should have been caught with rudimentary testing, and it leaves many of us wondering.

    Thanks,
    Che

  28. clocks
    December 4th, 2009 at 05:40 | #35

    I like Chrome, but probably not as much as Firefox at this point. And I still have not figured out how to get a sidebar with my bookmarks. Is that not an option?

  29. Lhanz
    December 4th, 2009 at 12:18 | #36

    I’ve been using Google Chrome & IE in my system,i preferred Google Chrome as a personal choice coz of its simplicity & speed…As for Avast,its a great anti-virus coz it can detect even mobile viruses.

  30. December 4th, 2009 at 13:38 | #37

    @Vincent Steckler Ok, it’s going to be yes or no. I suppose yes will be ticked by default in the installation, am I right?

    PS: I know you don’t send us pop-ups asking for money, many thanks for that! *——*

  31. sirnh1
    December 4th, 2009 at 14:17 | #38

    Vincent Steckler :
    Personally my browser days go back way before Opera to the Mosaic days. But, for the vast majority of users they need a browser from a company that can support it. Like it or not these days, that is Firefox, IM, and now Chrome. And of course Safari if one uses a Mac.

    So you’re saying opera doesn’t support their browser? Then why do they bring out security fixes? On what grounds did you claim that? If there is a security leak, they always patch it.
    Chrome isn’t even worth calling a browser, it has privacy issues from the start. It’s now at it’s 3th version and still it doesn’t recognize rss feeds. They don’t even have a optional menubar (menubar can be turned off in opera), or a good cookie management system and far from customziable (how would I put my tabs on the bottom?). Anyway, the only reason I see (for bundling) chrome, is that avast is getting money for each install. You say “neat features that complement the Avast security”. About what features (that have something to do with security) are you talking about?

  32. December 4th, 2009 at 16:58 | #39

    @sirnh1
    Sirnh1, you missed the point. The layman (such as my mother) would not use Opera. They want a name they have heard of and trust.

  33. December 4th, 2009 at 16:58 | #40

    @Rafael
    Actually not Rafael. Try the install and see what you think.

  34. vlk
    December 4th, 2009 at 17:55 | #41

    Anyway, the only reason I see (for bundling) chrome, is that avast is getting money for each install. You say “neat features that complement the Avast security”. About what features (that have something to do with security) are you talking about?

    What Vince is talking about is mainly related to the tab sandboxing feature. The foundations of this technology are based on GreenBorder – a product that Google acquired a few years back and then used the people behind on the Chrome team.

  35. December 4th, 2009 at 18:51 | #42

    over protektiv vyrus-suspekshun kittle gives it a paw up!!

  36. December 4th, 2009 at 18:59 | #43

    @Che
    You are right Che. There is a blog entry now….and a much more detailed explanation in our forums (linked to from the blog).

  37. December 4th, 2009 at 19:42 | #44

    @Vincent Steckler I’ve installed Avast 5 beta 3, nothing about Chrome, then I unnistalled it and tried 4.8 and still seeing nothing about Chrome..

    What are the exactly point in the installation that I should see the browser recommendation? I tried to reboot after finishing it but still don’t see anything about Chrome.. :S

    PS: Chrome isn’t installed in my computer. (just to you know that Avast can’t detect Chrome is already installed or something like this)

  38. vlk
    December 4th, 2009 at 20:54 | #45

    Rafael, what language version of avast 4.8 did you download, and from where?

  39. December 5th, 2009 at 00:15 | #46

    @vlk Brazilian Portuguese, from Avast server.

  40. Jaikrishna
    December 5th, 2009 at 04:37 | #47

    I totally agree that Chrome is the best browser around, but bundling it with avast will increase its download size and install time.
    It would be better to ask for the installation of chrome after the computer restarts(after installing avast), because chrome is only an online installer which would take some time to download.

  41. December 5th, 2009 at 09:43 | #48

    John Quigley :I too have tried Chrome, I found it to be OK as a browser, but it does not work with roboform, that means I will not use it as my browser. I too am a firefox user and will continue to be one. I have been a happy user of avast but, will now take another look at others.

    I too use RoboForm and just noticed that they have their own version of Chrome…infact they recomend uninstalling the regular version if you already have it. Has anyone tried it and what do you think?

  42. December 5th, 2009 at 12:37 | #49

    hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

  43. Tom.B
    December 5th, 2009 at 17:07 | #50

    I am typing this from Google Chrome and I certainly like the speed at which it renders pages. I did not think anything could be faster than Firefox before I saw Chrome. Chrome is for the user who likes their speed. Firefox is for the guy who likes his add-ons. Well I like both, so I use both :)

  44. Anna
    December 5th, 2009 at 19:18 | #51

    Does “Chrome” work OK with dial up?

  45. divilex
    December 5th, 2009 at 22:10 | #52

    @Anna..yes Google Chrome works great with dial up. Also, new features to chrome like Bookmark Sync (access bookmarks from other computers etc), EXTESNSION/ADD-ONS like ROBOFORM AND ADBLOCK PLUS plus, and many other new features will be available in Google Chrome 4 which will be launched in a few weeks. Google Chrome is already the fastest and safest browser on the market and already has many great features.

  46. December 5th, 2009 at 23:18 | #53

    Yup. I use Google Chrome. It is several light years away from IE8 when it comes to being a secure browser. Well… Who still wants to use IE8? No offense intended to those who love IE. I use Chrome alongside Avast. :)

  47. Enna
    December 6th, 2009 at 01:43 | #54

    From an average pc-user point of view.

    I loved Firefox when it came out and I went crazy with all the add-ons until the novelty wore off. I know it offers a lot of add-ons that are very useful for those who know how to use them, but for people like me, I just needed a fast and no-fuss browser. Chrome is and since the day I downloaded it (back when it was all the rage and I didn’t really expect anything from it), I’ve never used, or have in my computer, any other browser.

    I only have Chrome, OpenDNS, CCleaner and Avast! (all free) and my computer is still running, while my mom and my sister now share the family desktop after their laptops crashed.

  48. December 6th, 2009 at 04:14 | #55

    ilved google chrome with avast antivirus.

  49. DarkLegend
    December 6th, 2009 at 07:27 | #56

    How does Google Chrome (Newest version possible) stack up against FireFox (newest version possible) as far as security wise?

    Chrome offers no add-ons, Yet FF with NoScript and Request Policy is pretty secure as far as being exploited and what have you.

    Does Chrome offer REALLY good security for FF users to swap? And if so,Can you provide details please?

  50. Frank Arnold
    December 6th, 2009 at 09:00 | #57

    I have used fire fox and still do on my Linux desk top, But I have used Chrome since it came out on my Lap top. I love it. I love G-mail and that I type an email send it and remember OH I forgot to say Happy Birthday and I have 45 seconds to undo my send. I love that when my browser opens my 6 most used web pages are there on my home page so I can click and go. I love that when I do a search I don’t have to use a search engine I just type in the address bar hit enter and wallah I get my options, I love that if I want a page left open I can just click on the tab and a new page opens with my home page cause most likely I will want one of the most pages I go to. I have had no security issues with Google as I have with IE, Firefox, and Safari. If Google Chrome Times out it asks you do you want to wait or close the page If you click wait it will continue working and try and open the page. Most the time it will. Firefox, IE, Safari and all the other browsers just give to a can’t open page screen. If you go to settings in the little wrench on the right side of Chrome you can customize it and do all kinds of things.

    Try it you may like it! AND SPEED it opens fast I Mean FAST like GREASE LIGHTING FAST. OK sorry for shouting but had to get my point across.

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