From ALWIL Software
avast! Free Antivirus is perfect for people who send e-mails and surf popular websites.
Antivirus and anti-spyware engine
State of the art scanning engine provides reliable protection against viruses, spyware and other forms of malicious software.
Real time anti-rootkit protection
Unique "on access" technology checks all kernel-mode drivers that the operating system is loading for signs of rootkit behavior. This enables even unknown rootkits to be detected and stopped before they can do any damage.
avast! Community IQ
Most samples we process come from sensors deployed throughout the avast! community in the Behavior shield and anti-rootkit modules. This is a unique source of data made possible only thanks to our huge user base. Most of the collected samples are analysed by a number of automated processes and only a small fraction of the samples need to be processed manually by our virus analysts.
New Code emulator
When a suspicious executable is encountered (during both on-demand and on-access scanning), avast! is able to emulate the programs code in an isolated environment. The code emulator is used for two purposes. First, it is used for generic unpacking. Secondly, it is used in the heuristics engine. Technically, this is done using dynamic translation, a method much faster than traditional emulation techniques.
New Heuristics engine
Starting with version 5.0, avast! features a new heuristics engine designed to proactively detect malware undetectable with normal definitions. The heuristics engine is able to cover both binary (executable) and script malware.
Potentially unwanted programs detection
New in version 5.0, avast! now detects potentially unwanted programs, such as remote admin tools and commercial key loggers. Custom rules can be set for dealing with these types of programs.
Allows you to scan your computer for infections before the operating system has started and before a virus can be activated (32-bit operating systems only).
Enables you to run a scan directly from the command line.
Wake-up for scan
Microsoft Windows is woken from sleep or hibernation mode, performs a scheduled scan, then returns back to sleep mode.
Allows users to define the scan time and files to be scanned.
New avast! Intelligent Scanner
Can reduce the number of required file scans by up to 80% through a white list of proven safe applications. Files identified as safe are not rescanned unless they change.
New Behavior Shield
Monitors activity on your computer using a number of sensors (file system, registry and network based) and reports/blocks any suspicious behavior.
avast! sensors identify and monitor suspicious file activity on selected computers, automatically submitting files to the Virus Lab for additional
# New Script Shield - now scanning deeper and supporting more host processes
# Web Shield now scanning all processes by default
# Stability improvements in aswSP.sys
# Better tracking of file sources
# WebRep now working in new versions of Firefox
# Under-the-hood improvements in the Behavior Shield and Sandbox modules
# Solved a compatibility problem with certain Steam-based games
# Minor improvements in the product UI
# Various other security and stability related fixes
plus 32 MB RAM