Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Stop Viruses for Free

Avira AntiVir PersonalEdition Classic 7

I am not going to hide myself from the truth, but plainly admit it: Avira AntiVir is my favorite, but that doesn't mean it's the best one here. After all, everything is a matter of personal taste...and despite the large number of computer magazines and sites, there's no 100% fair test; basically, that's the reason I won't have a winner today.

Before getting to know Avira AntiVirus, I used to close my antivirus each time I needed my computer to work as fast as it could, but now things have changed. There's not much to say about this program, but there are three things that should be mentioned for each one here today - interface, features and limitations, because each of these antiviruses has a commercial version too.

AntiVir has a nice tabbed interface that contains six tabs, each one being dedicated to a certain task. These areas are Status, Scanner, Guard, Quarantine, Scheduler and Reports. The Configuration screen has two possible layouts, the basic default one and an Expert mode that allows you to play with the advanced program options.

This antivirus is very easy to use and it won't tie a cannonball to your computer's foot when real time monitoring is enabled. The PersonalEdition Classic doesn't have the MailGuard module that can protect you from malitious emails and each day a window that suggests purchasing the Premium edition opens. Even more, the Premium edition gives you access to an exclusive updates server, being also able to detect adware and spyware, besides viruses. Anyway, the free version is a good choice, and I advise you to give it a try!

Avast! Home Edition 4.7

My last client today is Avast! Home Edition, this one being slightly different from its companions. The differences can be found only using each one of them to face your computer's hardware, software and your personal preferences, but I can only hope that I am helpful enough to give you at least a first glance on these programs.

Perhaps the greatest difference between Avast AntiVirus and most antiviruses around is its interface. While most antiviruses look good or very good, in the best cases, this one is a true eye candy. Avast! Home Edition has a skinnable interface, but you'll probably wonder as much as I did what's the catch with the "Enhanced User Interface"...and unfortunately there's only one way to find out the answer: buy the commercial version. Anyway, what we have here is good enough to get us started, so let's dig in deeper, using the szc-kde interface.

On the features side, this program also comes with useful and special tools that we didn't see here today, like the Network Shield that can protect you from worms attacks, and the Web Shield, designed to keep away any evil lurking in Web pages from your computer. At last, we have protection from threats hidden inside email messages, to offer complete protection.

This is only the top of the Avast! pyramid, and I can guarantee you it's a pleasure to visit it. I don't know about you, but I won't get to Egypt anytime soon, so Avast! Home Edition can be an excellent way to entertain yourselves while staying safe. Enjoy it!
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