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    which of your programmes are out-of-date and have updates available or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

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

    Cheers gang.

    "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
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  2. ~misfit~

    Dave Doe Guest

    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?
    Dave Doe, Mar 5, 2013
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  3. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    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

    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

    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

    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


    "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. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest


    Yep, Google to the rescue. Search term 'Turn off Avast software updater?',
    first hit was from Avasts forums;
    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.....

    "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
  5. ~misfit~

    Dave Doe Guest

    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
    Dave Doe, Mar 5, 2013
  6. ~misfit~

    Dave Taylor Guest

    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.
    Dave Taylor, Mar 6, 2013

  7. 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
  8. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

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

    "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
  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.
    John Little, Mar 7, 2013
  10. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    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.......

    "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
  11. ~misfit~

    John Little Guest

    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.
    John Little, Mar 8, 2013
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