Avast! Internet Security 7 makes an impression right away with an interesting new installation routine. As well as the usual "Express" install which just gives you everything, it's also possible to run a Compatible Install which essentially means you can choose precisely what you want: which core components, which real-time shields, even which language. Which could be ideal if you want to install a minimum version of the program to run alongside another antivirus tool.
The program's new interface is clean and simple. Your system status is just a click away, and the real-time protection you get here - File System, Mail, Web filtering, P2P and Instant Message scanning, Network checks, Scripts and Behavioural Monitoring, as well as the firewall - can also be checked and reconfigured (if appropriate) in a moment. (Although the Spam filter seems different, for some reason, and on our test PC we had to access it directly from our copy of Outlook 2010.)
Avast! 7 introduces new cloud-based services, too. Reputation Services connect to the cloud to establish the safety of websites and individual files, while new streaming updates help you stay more quickly protected against the latest threats.
One of the more unusual additions here is a Remote Assistance option, which allows you to connect to and share the desktop of another avast! user.
And of course avast! reports many general improvements, in particular with the program's sandbox and browsing protection.
This is avast! 7's internet security suite. The program also comes in a Free and Pro antivirus edition, and even the most basic of these delivers plenty of power, including a lot of real-time and browsing protection. So if you're looking to save money then the Free edition may be the best place to start.
Program update 1474 brings these changes:
• Win8 BSOD fixed (but still investigating some issues)
• Crashes, freezes on WinXp 64b fixed
• WebRep issues fixed
• Sandbox stability improved
We like the new installer and interface and avast! 7 includes useful new layers of protection, too.