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May 3rd, 2010

An interview about avast! 5 and its future

Softpedia recently asked me a few questions about avast and its future, which resulted in this article: http://news.softpedia.com/news/Softpedia-Exclusive-Interview-avast-5-140693.shtml

In case you have some additional questions about our technologies, or our strategy moving forward, I’ll try to answer these in the Comments section below.

Categories: General Tags:
  1. May 3rd, 2010 at 10:32 | #1

    Unfortunate internet system in my country blocked Softpedia by unknown reason. :(

  2. May 3rd, 2010 at 15:34 | #2

    Changing dns you should solve the problem.
    You can try:
    Open DNS – http://www.opendns.com/
    Google DNS – http://code.google.com/intl/it/speed/public-dns/
    Comodo DNS – http://www.comodo.com/secure-dns/

  3. Aethec
    May 3rd, 2010 at 17:14 | #3

    Are there any plans for a full x64 version, and if not, why?
    I’ve read a lot of opinions on 64-bit software, some say it is useless, others say it improves performance, and I’d love to hear what you think about it.

  4. May 3rd, 2010 at 17:41 | #4

    @Aethec
    Right now 64 bit is useless, you are right. I upgraded Windows 7 Home Premium to 64 bit to prepare my PC for the future and being a freeware tester, I have to see how it performs with 64 bit OS. Right now 32 bit rules.

  5. Clint Chapman
    May 3rd, 2010 at 20:35 | #5

    Any plans to upgrade the network version to 5?

  6. May 3rd, 2010 at 22:57 | #6

    Aethec :
    Are there any plans for a full x64 version, and if not, why?
    I’ve read a lot of opinions on 64-bit software, some say it is useless, others say it improves performance, and I’d love to hear what you think about it.

    The advantages of the full 64-bit version are indeed questionable. It seems that Intel/AMD engineers did a very good job at making the 32-bit mode of 64-bit processors very fast… so, there not too many actual advantages of the native 64-bit build (e.g. we don’t really see any performance edge, for example). One notable advantage is the large address space (ability to memory-map files of pretty much arbitrary size) – but this is not that important in avast v5 as we don’t map scanned files anymore.

    So in avast 5.1, instead of coming up with a native 64-bit build, we are focusing on adding the components that were missing/malfunctioning in 64-bit Windows so far – mainly the Boot-time scanner and the Script Shield.

  7. May 3rd, 2010 at 22:59 | #7

    Clint Chapman :
    Any plans to upgrade the network version to 5?

    Absolutely. The business edition of avast v5, together with a brand-new web-based management console, is coming this Summer.

    You can read a bit more about the new console here: http://blog.avast.com/2010/02/11/avast-5-sbc-part-1

  8. Aethec
    May 4th, 2010 at 07:42 | #8

    @vlk
    Thanks for your reply.
    Is the Behavior Shield one of the malfunctioning components in x64 ? It never scans anything on my system.

  9. May 4th, 2010 at 08:50 | #9

    Aethec :
    @vlk
    Is the Behavior Shield one of the malfunctioning components in x64 ? It never scans anything on my system.

    With Behavior Shield, it’s a bit more complicated. But it’s true that in v5.1, it will exhibit much more activity even on x64 systems.

  10. Laperuz
    May 5th, 2010 at 05:40 | #10

    When do you plan to release beta\stable v5.1?

  11. May 5th, 2010 at 08:48 | #11

    Laperuz :
    When do you plan to release beta\stable v5.1?

    This summer.

  12. May 6th, 2010 at 09:18 | #12

    how did i get product key of avast 5.0 antivirus ?

  13. May 6th, 2010 at 12:13 | #13

    pramod karna :
    how did i get product key of avast 5.0 antivirus ?

    Not sure about the question, but if you already have a v4.x license key and you need to convert it to the v5 license file, you can use this online form to do so: http://www.avast.com/resend-license.php

  14. I can’t wait for 5.1!
    May 6th, 2010 at 21:42 | #14

    Good thing in the 5.1 version the behavior shield will function.

  15. Elijah ulrich
    May 6th, 2010 at 21:44 | #15

    Will the next version have something new? Or just the same

  16. May 7th, 2010 at 05:55 | #16

    Thank you for the great story.

  17. May 7th, 2010 at 13:11 | #17

    @Elijah ulrich

    We’re definitely not the type of company that keeps releasing new products all the time, so yes, definitely, there’ll be a bunch of new features in the next version.

  18. Evangelist Kevin
    May 7th, 2010 at 18:11 | #18

    I had a power outage yesterday, and when I restarted my computer today my Avast didnot startup, I right clicked on the icon and the avast program came up and said that I was not connected and to push fix. I did that and nothing happened. Then I pushed restart Avast button, and still nothing happened and it still is not running. What can I do to restart my Avast program? Can some one help me with this ASAP?

  19. spg SCOTT
    May 7th, 2010 at 19:18 | #19

    @Evangelist Kevin
    Hi Kevin,

    You’re best bet would be to visit the forum, as the blog is not the best place for ALWIL to provide help…it will probably be quicker as well :)

    forum.avast.com

    -Scott-

  20. May 8th, 2010 at 02:19 | #20

    The forum is the best place but they get so big. They should reset and start over at the beginning of the year. Save only the best replies to real problems. I have my own stats on my website showing Avast not be the best. Still, I like the best and has the best and fastest virus definition updates. Has native 64 bit support.

  21. Mobeen Iqbal
    May 8th, 2010 at 21:42 | #21

    Hello. I currently am still running avast 4.8. I am completely blind, and i find this product works best with my screen reading package. After i wrote to
    you, In the latest version 5.0.507, you claimed you had made improvements for screen reader users, but in this case, the jaws for windows screen reader
    as well as a free alternative called NVDA still didn’t work. My question is, with accessibility becoming more and more paramount for consideration by software
    developers these days, can you assure Visually Impaired users of your products that you will continue to take us in to account in future versions? I personally
    have recommended you to many people, but many visually impaired users are still using version 4.8. If so, are you taking any steps to insure that the next
    version of avast will at least be useable by everyone, not just people that are sited? Many thanks

  22. randhir
    May 8th, 2010 at 23:39 | #22

    it is very powerful antivirus

  23. randhir
    May 8th, 2010 at 23:47 | #23

    avast5 is the best antivirus in the world

  24. ramjade
    May 9th, 2010 at 07:45 | #24

    What is the difference between avast webshield and network shield?

    I would also like to ask avast team to give behavior shield more firepower in version 5.1. Right now, I have never seen the behavior shield shield in action.

    Allow the users to change the skin of avast 5.1. That way, more people may like avast.

    Increase the scanning speed of avast 5.1 Take avira for example, even without any persistence cache, their scan is faster. But avast scan beats avira scan speed once persistence cache is enable. I scan the same 256mb pendrive, avira speed was faster.

    Allow users to send suspicious files to avast like what Eset’s threatsense does after every scan. I know a user can send the file through the virus chest, but not many people know of it. That way, avast detection can increase.

    Please allow user to select how sensitive the heuristics level is for full scan and quick scan. Currently, v5 do not have the option to select heuristics level for full scan. It only have that option for its shield and explorer scan. I didn’t explore the other scans.

    Thank you.

  25. May 9th, 2010 at 08:03 | #25

    Mobeen Iqbal :
    Hello. I currently am still running avast 4.8. I am completely blind, and i find this product works best with my screen reading package. After i wrote to
    you, In the latest version 5.0.507, you claimed you had made improvements for screen reader users, but in this case, the jaws for windows screen reader
    as well as a free alternative called NVDA still didn’t work. My question is, with accessibility becoming more and more paramount for consideration by software
    developers these days, can you assure Visually Impaired users of your products that you will continue to take us in to account in future versions? I personally
    have recommended you to many people, but many visually impaired users are still using version 4.8. If so, are you taking any steps to insure that the next
    version of avast will at least be useable by everyone, not just people that are sited? Many thanks

    Mobeen, have you tried the latest version (5.0.545), released just a few days ago? This version is supposed to work with Jaws as well as other screen readers. We have spent a lot of time testing this (we even had some visually-impaired people do the testing for us), so I assume it should be working fine.

    On the other hand, you’re right that the previous version (5.0.507) did NOT work with screenreaders, even though some of the “revision history” pages suggested it should have. Sorry for that.

  26. May 9th, 2010 at 08:15 | #26

    ramjade :
    What is the difference between avast webshield and network shield?

    WebShield is basically a HTTP proxy that is scanning all incoming web traffic.
    Network Shield currently has two purposes: scanning for eploits on the packet level (like an IDS) – useful for handling Internet Worm such as the Blaster – and a site blacklist. The blacklist works even for DNS queries, for example.

    ramjade :
    I would also like to ask avast team to give behavior shield more firepower in version 5.1. Right now, I have never seen the behavior shield shield in action.

    Absolutely. As I already suggested in the interview, the v5.1 will have more features/capabilities than the current version.

    ramjade :
    Allow the users to change the skin of avast 5.1. That way, more people may like avast.

    I’d disagree on this one. After ~8 years with [skinnable] avast v4.x, I think that skins are unnecessary for a security software…

    ramjade :
    Increase the scanning speed of avast 5.1 Take avira for example, even without any persistence cache, their scan is faster. But avast scan beats avira scan speed once persistence cache is enable. I scan the same 256mb pendrive, avira speed was faster.

    That’s what we’ve been trying to do, for a long time. BTW I don’t think you can do a direct comparison between two scanners unless you ensure that exactly the same settings are used, which is almost impossible as there are usually no corresponding settings in the individual products.

    ramjade :
    Allow users to send suspicious files to avast like what Eset’s threatsense does after every scan. I know a user can send the file through the virus chest, but not many people know of it. That way, avast detection can increase.

    If you have opted in to the “avast Community”, this may actually already be taking place. Suspicious files (namely, binaries [PE files]) can be submitted automatically. Please also see here: http://www.avast.com/privacy-policy-community

    ramjade :
    Please allow user to select how sensitive the heuristics level is for full scan and quick scan. Currently, v5 do not have the option to select heuristics level for full scan. It only have that option for its shield and explorer scan. I didn’t explore the other scans.

    This is just an artificial limitation in the GUI. It doesn’t allow the user to customize the default scans so that if someone writes “Full Scan did this and that” we know what’s going on.

    If you want to do these customizations, please create a custom scan (there’s a button for that on the bottom of the Scan Now page).

    ramjade :
    Thank you.

    If you have any additional questions/suggestions, please head to our forum http://forum.avast.com. We even have a “wishlist” thread there where you can post your suggestions for the next versions.

    Thanks.

  27. ramjade
    May 9th, 2010 at 15:26 | #27

    @vlk

    Does avast free blocks phishing sites? I know it blocks malicious sites.

  28. ebrowe626
    May 9th, 2010 at 18:00 | #28

    I know avast! has dropped using VRDB in the new v5, but is there going to be a similar program in future versions of avast! or has it just been dropped completely?

  29. May 10th, 2010 at 18:46 | #29

    ramjade :
    @vlk
    Does avast free blocks phishing sites? I know it blocks malicious sites.

    No, not specifically.
    The paid version (Internet Security) blocks the phishing emails (as part of the spam filter) though.

  30. May 10th, 2010 at 18:49 | #30

    ebrowe626 :
    I know avast! has dropped using VRDB in the new v5, but is there going to be a similar program in future versions of avast! or has it just been dropped completely?

    Yes, it was dropped completely, and the reason for that was that it wasn’t working for the new file infectors anyway… the infectors are now considerably more complex, and it’s not possible to anticipate which parts of the file will become modified. The only reliable “VRDB” is a full backup, I’m afraid… (that said, you have to realize that file infectors only make up a few % of all malware these days, so chances of getting one aren’t too big).

  31. May 11th, 2010 at 02:54 | #31

    Avast is a great real-time protector and is pretty low on resources. I personally use Hitman Pro as my scanner, but it uses 6 engines ((including the 2 from Gdata, which includes Avast)). Ive had this computer for about a year, and I haven’t had a single virus on this computer. BTW, based on public opinion, is the avast firewall in the internet security version basically just for looks or is it actually a pretty decent firewall?

  32. ramjade
    May 11th, 2010 at 08:30 | #32

    @vlk

    If that is the case, I hope then avast 5.1 have anti-phishing features in its web shield or an anti-phisphing shield by its own.

    But I am impress with avast v5.

  33. May 11th, 2010 at 11:10 | #33

    how to update avast AV v5 beta 2,,, i can’t ..please help me….
    avast is the best

  34. Waleed
    May 11th, 2010 at 15:22 | #34

    joko :how to update avast AV v5 beta 2,,, i can’t ..please help me….avast is the best

    you will found help here
    http://forum.avast.com/index.php?board=2.0

  35. May 12th, 2010 at 09:58 | #35

    joko :
    how to update avast AV v5 beta 2,,, i can’t ..please help me….
    avast is the best

    Hello,
    or create ticket on http://support.avast.com and give us some more details. Setup.log and exact error message.

  36. Mario
    May 12th, 2010 at 14:45 | #36

    Is Virtual World 1.0 safe to download does it have any viruses? please tell me. virtual world 1.0 is on wareseeker so tell me please :-)

  37. Appel
    May 12th, 2010 at 17:34 | #37

    When I had used Avast! Antivirus Home Edition (up to its last version – 4.8.1368), one of the things that had prevented me from switching to Avira’s free antivirus was that the web shield of Avast! Antivirus Home Edition had a “URL Blocking” feature. I found it useful enough that when I encountered a problem/bug it possesed, I wrote to the Avast! Support Center detailing the problem (see Ticket ID: MQA-788105). Once that was done I had asked if Avast 5 would still be able to block specified URLs. I was told by Zdenek Rosulek of the Support Center: “Yes, this feature should be still part of the avast!”
    Thus, I was quite dismayed that upon installing the new version of Avast! on my home computer (not my laptop yet), now renamed “Avast! Free antivirus” (version 5.0.545), the URL blocking feature has been removed from the free version and isn’t even in the $39.95 Pro version, but only in the $59.95 internet security version [it is part of its antispam filter, even thought it has little to do with spam, if anything]. I was very disappointed to find that upgrading to version 5 of Avast would be a step down.
    In the past I had tried uninstalling Avast and switching to Avira’s free antivirus, but I quickly came back to Avast for its URL blocking feature (which Avira lacks) .I would greatly appreciate it if in the next version of Avast (for example: Avast! Free antivirus version 5.1) the URL blocking feature would be brought back to the free version – as it was before. I’m sure that no Avast user wants to “downgrade” to the newest version only to find it stripped of its former feature, as I had.

    Thank You.

  38. A CHN User
    May 13th, 2010 at 06:45 | #38

    Hello, Is the Behavior Shield effective?
    I haven’t seen any actions on it.
    Will it be implemented in the next version?

  39. May 13th, 2010 at 14:39 | #39

    Mario :

    Is Virtual World 1.0 safe to download does it have any viruses? please tell me. virtual world 1.0 is on wareseeker so tell me please :-)

    Hello,

    Behavior shield – monitors all activity on your computer and detects and blocks any
    unusual activity that might indicate the presence of malware. It does this by
    continuously monitoring your computer’s entry points using special sensors to
    identify anything suspicious.

  40. Guitarboy00cp
    May 13th, 2010 at 14:47 | #40

    Hi if there is a infected file on my computer that avast doesnt detect how do i put the infected file in the avast chest manually?

  41. ramjade
    May 13th, 2010 at 15:18 | #41

    Why doesn’t avast detect malware on malwaredomainlist?

    avast virus team should source malwaredomainlist as one of their for addition of malware database.

  42. Frederick Ellis
    May 14th, 2010 at 03:19 | #42

    @Evangelist Kevin
    This sounds like what happened to me. I had it installed for about 3 weeks before I got messages that the system was not secured. At first I could manually correct it but the FIX IT button never worked on mine either. Eventually I uninstalled it, sort of in a panic after reading they had several fraudelent copies floating on the net. Now I want the antivirus function back but it seems they won’t let me get it.

  43. Mario
    May 14th, 2010 at 14:24 | #43

    Hi will avast! slow my windows 7 computer down some when it is updating the virus database. and you avast! people rock =D

  44. Mehrdad
    May 17th, 2010 at 13:37 | #44

    Avast is the best.
    thank u for ur free edition…
    unfortunately Avast has no partner in my country, that why i use ur free edition.
    but thanks anyway…. its very nice…. special the new design is so beautiful.

  45. Mario
    May 18th, 2010 at 12:10 | #45

    Hey Avast! people i love avast it is protecting my computer very well i think that my computer has gotten faster since i downloaded avast! Thanks for the free edition antivirus =D

  46. Guitarboy00cp
    May 18th, 2010 at 12:19 | #46

    Hello why isnt avast! pro and avast! internet security not sold at wal-mart or places?

  47. May 18th, 2010 at 18:50 | #47

    I am a Gold level partner for AVG and am considering Avast as a replacement for my customers. Is Avast planning on adding or incorporating a toolbar for internet browsers like AVG does? My suggestion is no, as I and my customers find AVGs focus of adding every function under the sun into their swiss army knife toolbar to be intrusive and annoying.

  48. Eddie Pelkey
    May 19th, 2010 at 17:17 | #48

    I was just thinking about how Avast has changed my initial opinion about all anti virus programs. I can only say that you guys rock. I also wanted to see what some of you thought about adding a feature to the site that allows a user to do a full scan on their system. It will be a little like Trend Micro’s OLD site since they no longer do that. But it would also show people that their old played out anti virus system is not holding up its promise to keep the users very expensive machine Virus Free the way it is supposed to be. Just a thought I had. EP

  49. spg SCOTT
    May 19th, 2010 at 19:35 | #49

    @Joe
    No ;)

    blog.avast.com/2010/04/25/how-to-make-the-full-system-scan-6x-faster-in-10-days/comment-page-1/#comment-3995

    -Scott-

  50. kartO_on
    May 19th, 2010 at 20:18 | #50

    Hi, first of all, thank you so much, you do such a nice job!
    My question is if you are planing to do a Catalan lenguage pack.
    Thank you once again! ;)

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