Avast Pro Antivirus is good antivirus software. Avast Pro has a striking interface and many practical features such as:

  • WebRep - provides proactive link scanning with color-coded security reputation ratings on search results
  • SafeZone - an inside-out virtual desktop (sandbox) tool for discreet online shopping or banking
  • AutoSandbox - automatically opens suspicious applications in the protected virtual sandbox
  • Security Gadget - a small desktop widget for Windows 7 or Vista to help you stay up to date on your security status

Avast Pro Antivirus uses several layers of protection, keeping your PC and resources safe from several angles. With built-in protection from spyware, rootkits and Trojans, the software is equipped for all major security threats. The application includes protection from malware spread through email (by scanning both inbound and outbound messages), and it also has an integrated IM shield. Avast also includes specific protection for several popular P2P file-sharing applications.

Avast Pro Antivirus has an advanced heuristic scanning engine to proactively detect malware that tries to bypass traditional virus scanners. While the files may look harmless, if they show malware-like behavior, the heuristic scanning engine can stop them. With a combination of features, tools and technologies, Avast Pro Antivirus is equipped to effectively protect your computer. The antivirus software is able to keep your personal files and information safe while keeping any intruders at bay. The security application is equipped to locate and remove existing threats, as well as detect, deter and defend against any new threats.

Virus Bulletin has certified Avast Pro Antivirus software with a VB100% (meaning that it caught 100% of in-the-wild viruses). AV Comparatives reports a high virus-detection rate, one of the best in the industry. AV Comparatives deems the software as one of the best solutions. Actual malware removal is still above average. Avast Pro Antivirus has also made a good showing in speed and performance tests. The antivirus software has only a light impact on startup and shutdown times. Smart scanning and multi-core optimization further speed up system scans and keep Avast Pro Antivirus light and unobtrusive.

Avast Pro Antivirus software is easy to install and set up. Before installation, the software creates a restore point. After the application is installed, you are encouraged to run a preemptive scan that will help locate and remove any deep-rooted viruses that could interfere with set up. Installation is straightforward. The sidebar widget shows your current security status and provides quick access to the full application, SafeZone virtual desktop and immediate updates. Avast has one of the most effective antivirus scanning engines, but that doesn’t mean it’s the slowest. In fact, the antivirus software is remarkably efficient with resources and is a speedy program. The Intelligent Scanner significantly reduces scan times by only scanning files that have changed, so you don’t waste time rescanning safe files.

The antivirus software works behind the scenes, keeping your computer protected without requiring much interaction. Files are scanned in real time, on access (every time they’re opened), and you won’t even notice it. Everything is effectively organized and easy to get to. Avast includes an automatic gaming mode. If you’re running a full-screen game, the silent gaming mode will disable alerts and pop-ups from interrupting you. This comes in handy for other full-screen applications like watching movies or viewing presentations. The software works on all the common Windows operating systems, and it is optimized to run efficiently with computers using the newest processors. It also uses multi-core processors to its advantage for speed and effective resource management. Avast Pro Antivirus works with 64-bit operating systems.

Two outstanding features are the AutoSandbox and the code emulator. The sandbox works with both 32- and 64-bit systems, and it essentially lets your web browser run in a virtual environment where the software can keep tabs on file behavior. You can also run any software or application you think might be risky in the virtualized environment, and no damage will transfer from the secure sandbox to your actual computer. The Avast sandbox is automatic, and it will prompt you run certain suspicious applications in the virtual environment. The code emulator is used on risky executable files and runs them in a test environment. If the suspicious application behaves like malware, the software can detect it and block it accordingly.

Another tool worth highlighting is the Avast WebRep browser plugin. Color-coded reputation ratings are displayed on search results and can help you avoid clicking on risky sites. The WebRep rating for individual websites is determined by combining anonymous visitor data collected by Avast users (CommunityIQ) with the opinion ratings provided by the other WebRep users. As part of the huge Avast community, you can vote with your opinion of any given website. New virus signature updates are delivered on a regular basis and installed automatically (or you can check for them). Avast antivirus software actually has a special format for virus definition files, specifically designed for faster, more efficient updates that will keep you more protected without sacrificing computer power.

Avast has good product support in-program and online. Online you can find answers to questions with the user guide, knowledgebase, tutorials or support forum. Specific questions can be directed to the support department via email, but only after registering. There are several devoted Avast users, so the forum is a great place to start. The company now also offers toll-free phone support provided by iYogi to help you with installing or trouble-shooting.

Avast! Pro Antivirus Summary:
7.7/10

Avast Pro Antivirus is a great choice and one of the best antivirus software applications although it does not do as well as some competitors in performance testing at AV Test. It doesn't slow down your system unduly. And according to AV Test, Avast does not make errors with regard to false positives, which is the mislabeling of a safe file as dangerous.

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Avast! Pro Antivirus 8

Pros
Avast Pro Antivirus offers reputation-based link scanning, a virtual desktop and automatic sandbox browsing.

Cons
This particular Avast product does not include antiphishing.

The Verdict
: 7.68/10

Avast has made a name for itself with free antivirus software, and the Pro version is even better.