Avast! free version 8 getting too complicated.

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by ~misfit~, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    The free version of the Avast! anti-virus programme seems to be getting more
    and more complicated each update. Awhile back it was the 'Auto-sandbox" that
    was really annoying and I had to keep turning off (and was a bear to find
    the settings to do so - requiring a re-boot just to add insult to injury).
    Then it was the "Web-Rep" doodad that integrated into every browser
    installed. I turned that off on all of my machines and foolishly thought
    that an upgrade would honour previous settings.

    However it seems that this new 'major verion' (8.0.1482 - all of 105MB [clue
    there I guess] downloaded on 2013-03-01) ignores previous preferences as two
    of my browsers threw up warning windows that a 3rd party (Avast) was trying
    to install an add-on (Web-Rep).

    *Now* it's an auto-updater that scans your software and either informs you
    which of your programmes are out-of-date and have updates available or
    (worryingly) tries to update them automatically 'silently, in the
    background'. (I just un-ticked *that* box, hidden deep in the new and
    unfamiliar Avast! interface.) WTF? So now it's likely accessing any/all of
    my registration details for every programme that I have installed and
    submitting them to what seems like teh whole webz?

    I haven't worked out how to turn it off yet - like most of the previous
    unwanted add-ons to Avast! it's difficult to find how to nullify them. That
    seems to be a deliberate policy on their part - I guess that, as in the
    past, Google will tell me how.

    It just irks me. Why, when I installed the recent 'major update' didn't they
    give me a screen explaining the new 'feature" (creep) and giving me the
    option of turning it off? I guess that I'll not be picking 'express install'
    for any programmes in future. As it is I've had to get into the habit of
    scanning every one of the plethora of install screens (on most programmes)
    for tiny unobtrusive check-boxes that, if overlooked, will install some
    other programme - who's owners likely have a reciprocal
    'semi-stealth-install' arrangement.

    (I thought computing was supposed to be getting easier? I suppose that they
    think that having a software updater addition to the AV proggy *does* make
    like easier. <shrug> It just creates headaches for me when either I've not
    updated for a particular reason or some of my programmes are many years old
    and no longer supported - all the while Avast! is scanning first my HDD,
    then teh webs trying to find updates. Grrr! I wondered why my laptop was
    unusually sluggish for half-a-day after installing this new version. The
    gods alone know what personal info my mine has been submitted to 3rd parties
    requesting updates.)

    Was a time when Avast! was the best free AV. Small update files, good 'catch
    rate' and largely invisible. It might be time to start looking for some
    write-ups comparing the various free AV offerings and see what the
    conclusions are these days. It worries me a bit that I've put this programme
    on most every computer that I've had anything to do with in the past five
    years.

    Anyone here care to offer any info? Experience with a different programme?
    Viable alternative options? Pointers to current reading on the subject?

    Cheers gang.
    --
    /Shaun.

    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    ~misfit~, Mar 4, 2013
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. ~misfit~

    Dave Doe Guest

    In article <kh3bam$hl2$>, ,
    ~misfit~ says...
    >
    > The free version of the Avast! anti-virus programme seems to be getting more
    > and more complicated each update. Awhile back it was the 'Auto-sandbox" that
    > was really annoying and I had to keep turning off (and was a bear to find
    > the settings to do so - requiring a re-boot just to add insult to injury).
    > Then it was the "Web-Rep" doodad that integrated into every browser
    > installed. I turned that off on all of my machines and foolishly thought
    > that an upgrade would honour previous settings.
    >
    > However it seems that this new 'major verion' (8.0.1482 - all of 105MB [clue
    > there I guess] downloaded on 2013-03-01) ignores previous preferences as two
    > of my browsers threw up warning windows that a 3rd party (Avast) was trying
    > to install an add-on (Web-Rep).
    >
    > *Now* it's an auto-updater that scans your software and either informs you
    > which of your programmes are out-of-date and have updates available or
    > (worryingly) tries to update them automatically 'silently, in the
    > background'. (I just un-ticked *that* box, hidden deep in the new and
    > unfamiliar Avast! interface.) WTF? So now it's likely accessing any/all of
    > my registration details for every programme that I have installed and
    > submitting them to what seems like teh whole webz?
    >
    > I haven't worked out how to turn it off yet - like most of the previous
    > unwanted add-ons to Avast! it's difficult to find how to nullify them. That
    > seems to be a deliberate policy on their part - I guess that, as in the
    > past, Google will tell me how.
    >
    > It just irks me. Why, when I installed the recent 'major update' didn't they
    > give me a screen explaining the new 'feature" (creep) and giving me the
    > option of turning it off? I guess that I'll not be picking 'express install'
    > for any programmes in future. As it is I've had to get into the habit of
    > scanning every one of the plethora of install screens (on most programmes)
    > for tiny unobtrusive check-boxes that, if overlooked, will install some
    > other programme - who's owners likely have a reciprocal
    > 'semi-stealth-install' arrangement.
    >
    > (I thought computing was supposed to be getting easier? I suppose that they
    > think that having a software updater addition to the AV proggy *does* make
    > like easier. <shrug> It just creates headaches for me when either I've not
    > updated for a particular reason or some of my programmes are many years old
    > and no longer supported - all the while Avast! is scanning first my HDD,
    > then teh webs trying to find updates. Grrr! I wondered why my laptop was
    > unusually sluggish for half-a-day after installing this new version. The
    > gods alone know what personal info my mine has been submitted to 3rd parties
    > requesting updates.)
    >
    > Was a time when Avast! was the best free AV. Small update files, good 'catch
    > rate' and largely invisible. It might be time to start looking for some
    > write-ups comparing the various free AV offerings and see what the
    > conclusions are these days. It worries me a bit that I've put this programme
    > on most every computer that I've had anything to do with in the past five
    > years.
    >
    > Anyone here care to offer any info? Experience with a different programme?
    > Viable alternative options? Pointers to current reading on the subject?
    >
    > Cheers gang.


    It doesn't get much simpler or easier than MSE. The protetion's
    adequate, IMO. And I'm quite happy with MS's response to the AV-Test
    "certification" failings. Do you have a problem with MSE?

    --
    Duncan.
    Dave Doe, Mar 5, 2013
    #2
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  3. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Somewhere on teh intarwebs Dave Doe wrote:
    > In article <kh3bam$hl2$>, ,
    > ~misfit~ says...
    >> The free version of the Avast! anti-virus programme seems to be
    >> getting more and more complicated each update.

    [snip]
    > It doesn't get much simpler or easier than MSE. The protetion's
    > adequate, IMO. And I'm quite happy with MS's response to the AV-Test
    > "certification" failings. Do you have a problem with MSE?


    Ummm, yeah but it's likely not relevant now. Back when it was quite new
    (before it was even given such bad ratings by various AV 'watchdogs') I
    installed it on all of my computers. (I have a few, mostly older....) My
    main machine was a dual-core thing, quite powerful for it's time and I
    noticed that it seemed a bit 'laggy', had done for quite a while actually.

    On investigation I found that one core was pegged at 100% - which I finally
    tracked down to MSE. Looking on line, at MS's forums I found that lots of
    folks were having the same issue and that there was no fix yet... Not only
    was it annoying but I realised there was a fairly quiet (I had music going)
    high-pitched squeal that had been there for a while and was getting
    louder.....

    Long story short my dedicated music laptop, which was also running MSE,
    suffered a cooler failure. It had a single-core CPU and it seems that it had
    been at 100% most of the previous day and all that day. It's fan had been
    asked to do more than it was designed to do and, despite my best efforts
    wasn't 'fixable' ('blued' shaft, 'pick-up' at the bushes so that once it was
    turned off it wouldn't start again). It took three months on Trademe and
    cost likely more than half of what the thing was worth to get a replacement
    fan.

    Also, as even the next day there was no fix forthcoming (MS claimed it only
    affected a small number of PCs but the forums were clogged and all of my
    machines were at 100% unless I disabled it). So I had to go around the few
    folks who I'd supplied second-hand PCs to as I'd installed it on all of them
    (bloody early-adopter!). I disable and deleted it and replaced it with
    Avast!, having already given up on AVG.

    So is it alright now? Reasonably configurable? (I have a folder with files
    in it that I like to exclude from scans etc. as I get a lot of flase
    positives.)

    This new Avast is annoying me more. I just went to use ly laptop after being
    away for a couple minutes and it took a long time to respond - that's when I
    noticed the HDD light on solid. (Nothing else's changed in the last few
    days.)

    Cheers,
    --
    /Shaun.

    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    ~misfit~, Mar 5, 2013
    #3
  4. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Somewhere on teh intarwebs ~misfit~ wrote:
    > The free version of the Avast! anti-virus programme seems to be
    > getting more and more complicated each update. Awhile back it was the
    > 'Auto-sandbox" that was really annoying and I had to keep turning off
    > (and was a bear to find the settings to do so - requiring a re-boot
    > just to add insult to injury). Then it was the "Web-Rep" doodad that
    > integrated into every browser installed. I turned that off on all of
    > my machines and foolishly thought that an upgrade would honour
    > previous settings.
    > However it seems that this new 'major verion' (8.0.1482 - all of
    > 105MB [clue there I guess] downloaded on 2013-03-01) ignores previous
    > preferences as two of my browsers threw up warning windows that a 3rd
    > party (Avast) was trying to install an add-on (Web-Rep).
    >
    > *Now* it's an auto-updater that scans your software and either
    > informs you which of your programmes are out-of-date and have updates
    > available or (worryingly) tries to update them automatically
    > 'silently, in the background'. (I just un-ticked *that* box, hidden
    > deep in the new and unfamiliar Avast! interface.) WTF? So now it's
    > likely accessing any/all of my registration details for every
    > programme that I have installed and submitting them to what seems
    > like teh whole webz?
    > I haven't worked out how to turn it off yet - like most of the
    > previous unwanted add-ons to Avast! it's difficult to find how to
    > nullify them. That seems to be a deliberate policy on their part - I
    > guess that, as in the past, Google will tell me how.

    [snip]

    Yep, Google to the rescue. Search term 'Turn off Avast software updater?',
    first hit was from Avasts forums;
    http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=116445.0
    Answer: "Control Panel>Programs and Features>Uninstall>double click
    "avast">click "change">select>reboot"
    (In XP Control Panel>Add or Remove Programs>Avast>......)

    At least it's better than previous versions when the auto-sandbox was new.
    The only option then was to completely uninstall and then re-install using
    the 'custom install' option and un-checking it. Apparently the same applies
    to this thing. I should have learned then.....
    --
    /Shaun.

    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    ~misfit~, Mar 5, 2013
    #4
  5. ~misfit~

    Dave Doe Guest

    In article <kh3ful$58k$>, ,
    ~misfit~ says...
    >
    > Somewhere on teh intarwebs Dave Doe wrote:
    > > In article <kh3bam$hl2$>, ,
    > > ~misfit~ says...
    > >> The free version of the Avast! anti-virus programme seems to be
    > >> getting more and more complicated each update.

    > [snip]
    > > It doesn't get much simpler or easier than MSE. The protetion's
    > > adequate, IMO. And I'm quite happy with MS's response to the AV-Test
    > > "certification" failings. Do you have a problem with MSE?

    >
    > Ummm, yeah but it's likely not relevant now. Back when it was quite new
    > (before it was even given such bad ratings by various AV 'watchdogs') I
    > installed it on all of my computers. (I have a few, mostly older....) My
    > main machine was a dual-core thing, quite powerful for it's time and I
    > noticed that it seemed a bit 'laggy', had done for quite a while actually.
    >
    > On investigation I found that one core was pegged at 100% - which I finally
    > tracked down to MSE. Looking on line, at MS's forums I found that lots of
    > folks were having the same issue and that there was no fix yet... Not only
    > was it annoying but I realised there was a fairly quiet (I had music going)
    > high-pitched squeal that had been there for a while and was getting
    > louder.....
    >
    > Long story short my dedicated music laptop, which was also running MSE,
    > suffered a cooler failure. It had a single-core CPU and it seems that it had
    > been at 100% most of the previous day and all that day. It's fan had been
    > asked to do more than it was designed to do and, despite my best efforts
    > wasn't 'fixable' ('blued' shaft, 'pick-up' at the bushes so that once it was
    > turned off it wouldn't start again). It took three months on Trademe and
    > cost likely more than half of what the thing was worth to get a replacement
    > fan.
    >
    > Also, as even the next day there was no fix forthcoming (MS claimed it only
    > affected a small number of PCs but the forums were clogged and all of my
    > machines were at 100% unless I disabled it). So I had to go around the few
    > folks who I'd supplied second-hand PCs to as I'd installed it on all of them
    > (bloody early-adopter!). I disable and deleted it and replaced it with
    > Avast!, having already given up on AVG.
    >
    > So is it alright now? Reasonably configurable? (I have a folder with files
    > in it that I like to exclude from scans etc. as I get a lot of flase
    > positives.)


    I've never seen that problem. It is certainly less CPU hungry than when
    it first came out though, yep. Why not try out the new version -
    several new engines have been released - last one was only a few weeks
    ago.

    --
    Duncan.
    Dave Doe, Mar 5, 2013
    #5
  6. ~misfit~

    Dave Taylor Guest

    Dave Doe <> wrote in
    news:-september.org:

    > I've never seen that problem. It is certainly less CPU hungry than when
    > it first came out though, yep. Why not try out the new version -
    > several new engines have been released - last one was only a few weeks
    > ago.



    I waited until their forums not going on about XP freezes and then tried
    the beta. It works. I like the autoupdate feature like Secunia PSI. I
    want something free for my mom. This works.

    --
    Ciao, Dave
    Dave Taylor, Mar 6, 2013
    #6
  7. On Wed, 6 Mar 2013 09:41:45 +0000 (UTC), Dave Taylor
    <> wrote:

    >Dave Doe <> wrote in
    >news:-september.org:
    >
    >> I've never seen that problem. It is certainly less CPU hungry than when
    >> it first came out though, yep. Why not try out the new version -
    >> several new engines have been released - last one was only a few weeks
    >> ago.

    >
    >
    >I waited until their forums not going on about XP freezes and then tried
    >the beta. It works. I like the autoupdate feature like Secunia PSI. I
    >want something free for my mom. This works.



    Biggest piece of CRAP OUT, Slows down my computer some 15-20% cased XP
    to give blues screens.

    I now just use the Basic MS Windows one and the Free Comodo firewall
    Frank Williams, Mar 7, 2013
    #7
  8. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Somewhere on teh intarwebs Dave Doe wrote:
    > In article <kh3ful$58k$>, ,
    > ~misfit~ says...
    >>
    >> Somewhere on teh intarwebs Dave Doe wrote:
    >>> In article <kh3bam$hl2$>,
    >>> , ~misfit~ says...
    >>>> The free version of the Avast! anti-virus programme seems to be
    >>>> getting more and more complicated each update.

    >> [snip]
    >>> It doesn't get much simpler or easier than MSE. The protetion's
    >>> adequate, IMO. And I'm quite happy with MS's response to the
    >>> AV-Test "certification" failings. Do you have a problem with MSE?

    >>
    >> Ummm, yeah but it's likely not relevant now. Back when it was quite
    >> new (before it was even given such bad ratings by various AV
    >> 'watchdogs') I installed it on all of my computers. (I have a few,
    >> mostly older....) My main machine was a dual-core thing, quite
    >> powerful for it's time and I noticed that it seemed a bit 'laggy',
    >> had done for quite a while actually.
    >>
    >> On investigation I found that one core was pegged at 100% - which I
    >> finally tracked down to MSE. Looking on line, at MS's forums I found
    >> that lots of folks were having the same issue and that there was no
    >> fix yet... Not only was it annoying but I realised there was a
    >> fairly quiet (I had music going) high-pitched squeal that had been
    >> there for a while and was getting louder.....
    >>
    >> Long story short my dedicated music laptop, which was also running
    >> MSE, suffered a cooler failure. It had a single-core CPU and it
    >> seems that it had been at 100% most of the previous day and all that
    >> day. It's fan had been asked to do more than it was designed to do
    >> and, despite my best efforts wasn't 'fixable' ('blued' shaft,
    >> 'pick-up' at the bushes so that once it was turned off it wouldn't
    >> start again). It took three months on Trademe and cost likely more
    >> than half of what the thing was worth to get a replacement fan.
    >>
    >> Also, as even the next day there was no fix forthcoming (MS claimed
    >> it only affected a small number of PCs but the forums were clogged
    >> and all of my machines were at 100% unless I disabled it). So I had
    >> to go around the few folks who I'd supplied second-hand PCs to as
    >> I'd installed it on all of them (bloody early-adopter!). I disable
    >> and deleted it and replaced it with Avast!, having already given up
    >> on AVG.
    >>
    >> So is it alright now? Reasonably configurable? (I have a folder with
    >> files in it that I like to exclude from scans etc. as I get a lot of
    >> flase positives.)

    >
    > I've never seen that problem.


    It was pretty early on, it might even have been in beta.

    > It is certainly less CPU hungry than
    > when it first came out though, yep. Why not try out the new version -
    > several new engines have been released - last one was only a few weeks
    > ago.


    Ok, thanks for the info. Avasts! is back to it's old self (almost). So, for
    now at least I'll stay with it as I have it installed on all of my machines.

    However I'll keep MSE in mind in case I have any future issues, cheers.
    --
    /Shaun.

    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    ~misfit~, Mar 7, 2013
    #8
  9. ~misfit~

    John Little Guest

    Avast managed to kill off win 7 on my daughter's laptop, forcing a reinstall
    from scratch. She'd been downloading codecs to try and open something.
    Kinda put me off Avast.
    --
    Regards, John Little
    John Little, Mar 7, 2013
    #9
  10. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Somewhere on teh intarwebs John Little wrote:
    > Avast managed to kill off win 7 on my daughter's laptop, forcing a
    > reinstall from scratch. She'd been downloading codecs to try and
    > open something. Kinda put me off Avast.


    Interesting John. I'd hazard a guess that one of the codec packages that she
    opened had some pretty heinous malware embedded in it - and perhaps blaming
    Avast is a case of shooting the messenger?

    Unless there are some details I'm unaware of? I've seen an inordinate amout
    of malware in codec packages. They seem to be targetted as people download
    lots of 'iffy' video / audio files. But, as they're not executables they're
    not a good vehicle for malware. However a lot of codec packages *are*
    executables so it doesn't raise eyebrows when you get the UAE asking for
    permission to execute it. <shrug> I could be wrong.......
    --
    /Shaun.

    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    ~misfit~, Mar 8, 2013
    #10
  11. ~misfit~

    John Little Guest

    ~misfit~ wrote:

    > Interesting John. I'd hazard a guess that one of the codec packages that
    > she opened had some pretty heinous malware embedded in it - and perhaps
    > blaming Avast is a case of shooting the messenger?


    Yes, it's clear something attempted to install itself, but then Avast's
    efforts to combat it crippled windows, without any diagnostics to give a
    clue what happened. Safe mode was ok, but non-safe was unusable. Some
    Avast process kept trying to run maxing out IO, but not living long enough
    to identify it. Kapersky and online scanners found nothing. I persevered
    long past the point I should have given up, in that the reinstall took much
    less time than I'd wasted trying to fix things.
    --
    Regards, John Little
    John Little, Mar 8, 2013
    #11
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