Re: Configuring Avast 4

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by VanguardLH, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. VanguardLH

    VanguardLH Guest

    Smirnoff wrote:

    > XP Pro, SP3
    > I'm running the free version of Avast 4 (with 7 providers).
    > I want to configure it so that I do not have unnecessary providers
    > running.
    > Lots of posts on different forums suggest that you do not need to run an
    > e-mail scanner as your ISP should catch any viruses (although NOT in
    > attachments). However, attachment viruses SHOULD be picked up by Avast
    > anyway, shouldn't they? So I have disabled Internet Mail.
    > I am not connected to any local network but do use P2P occasionally.
    > As I do not use Outlook/Exchange or Instant Messaging, I have also
    > disabled these.
    > That leaves:
    > Network Shield
    > P2P Shield
    > Standard Shield
    > Web Shield
    > I think I understand Standard Shield (although what is "standard"?) and
    > P2P Shield but what are the other two for?
    > Is Web Shield some type of anti-phishing/Link Scanner?
    > Network Shield? Some protection for a LAN or Intranet network?
    > Would be grateful for a breakdown/explanation of what each one does or
    > advice on the best set up. Have also posted on the Avast forum.
    > Thanks

    You have the same set of "providers" as I except:

    - I don't use (and have disabled) the P2P provider as I don't share my
    host with unknown users for unknown content. I'm not interested in
    participating in software piracy or spreading around malware.

    - I have left the Internet Mail shield enabled but disabled its option
    to check my e-mails. This is superfluous scanning. It changes when a
    pest is detected (earlier by interrogating the e-mail traffic), not if a
    pest is detected (because the same on-access scanner is used when you
    open the e-mail or save an attachment). Due to the timing delay
    involved, it invariably causes timeouts and e-mail problems at some
    point, usually after some automatic or manual program update that
    changes the operation of the anti-virus program, hosts between you and
    the mail host are a bit slower, network traffic is busier in the route
    between you and the mail host, something on your host sucks up CPU
    cycles so less are available to your e-mail client and it times out
    waiting for e-mail traffic or is to slow to deliver it. I only use the
    Internet Mail shield for its NNTP interrogation. I don't visit binary
    newsgroups but occasionally someone asking for help will attach a file.
    Again, I'm only moving forward when the pest is detected, not if the
    pest gets detected. I also set its heuristics to high to guard against
    mail trojans spewing crap out from my host.

    - I still have the Network shield enabled but it is of little value. It
    only checks a specific subset of ports for specific activity typical of

    - In the Standard shield, I enabled the option to block formatting.
    Nothing gets formatted without an intervening prompt to me about it.

    - I very much like the URL blocking feature in the Web shield. Although
    this shield does suck up a lot of memory, it has warned me when a site
    contains some malicious code. It does an on-the-fly check of the page
    content rather than rely on community voting schemes, like SiteAdvisor
    or Web Of Trust.

    While I only use the Standard, Network, and Web shields (and, to a
    limited extent the Internet Mail shield but only for NNTP), I still
    installed the other shields but just deactivated them. If later I want
    them, they can simply be activated rather than having to install them.

    One of the nuisances of Avast is that finding how to look at their Chest
    (for where quarantined files are listed) is difficult. To make it a lot
    easier to look at the Chest, add a shortcut to the Avast start menu
    group for:

    "C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\ashChest.exe"
    VanguardLH, Feb 26, 2009
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