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ky331
6 Indium

Avast 2016

The following has been copied/pasted from https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=178580.0

Hi all,

I am proud to announce new version AVAST 2016 (build number 2016.11.1.2241). It introduces a brand new feature for managing your passwords and sensitive data, called Passwords. You can also sync your passwords to your mobile phones running Android or iOS. We also completely redone the SafeZone, now called SafeZone browser and running as a standalone browser with extra security features. The user interface got a fresh look to work better even on touch and high resolution displays.

What's new:

NEW: Passwords - Avast can now manage your passwords and generate strong passwords for you. Just one password to remember.
 - checks your passwords security
 - stores your passwords securely
 - includes browser extensions for easier logging in and form filling
 - generates strong passwords

Android app:  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.avast.android.passwordmanager
iOS app:        https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/avast-passwords/id1037779526?mt=8



NEW: SafeZone browser - Replaced the SafeZone for safer shopping and banking in Pro, Internet Security and Premier versions
 - Pay Mode: It isolates the session and protects it from possible keyloggers or other malicious software secretly lurking on your computer. With Pay Mode you can perform all your financial transactions in peace, without fear of your password or other personal details being stolen. Pay Mode runs automatically on banking site, but it can be also turned on manually.
 - Shielded Window: To open there suspicious websites and to ensure full anonymity
 - Ad Blocking: includes built in ad blocker extension
 - Video downloading for offline viewing
 - Easy setup: Automatically imports your bookmarks, history and cookies from your current default browser


NEW: User interface - More space for content, easy control

NEW: Feedback possible directly from program - report bugs, feature requests and other suggestions easier

IMPROVED: Home network security now detects more router vulnerabilites and shows more details

IMPROVED: Installation - it should be now faster and less obtrusive.

IMPROVED: WebShield HTTPS Scanning - We introduced a new method of HTTPs scanning. It is used in Firefox, Chrome and Opera. It works without changing the certificates and the security parameters and certificates are verified by the browser itself, including checks for untrusted or revoked certificates.

+ Many other minor tweaks and bug fixes



How to install:

1. Update from existing Avast version via Settings -> Update -> Update program

2. Or you can download and install from here:

http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_free_antivirus_setup.exe

http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_pro_antivirus_setup.exe

http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_internet_security_setup.exe

http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_premier_antivirus_setup.exe



We hope you enjoy the new version!
AVAST Team

Free Internet Security - WOT Web of Trust       Use OpenDNS       MalwareBytes Anti-Malware


Windows 7 Pro SP1 (64-bit), avast! v17 Free, MBAM3 Pro, Windows Firewall, OpenDNS Family Shield, SpywareBlaster, MVPS HOSTS file, MBAE Premium, MCShield, WinPatrol PLUS, SAS (on-demand scanner), Zemana AntiLogger Free, IE11 & Firefox (both using WOT [IE set to WARN, FF set to BLOCK]), uBlock Origin, CryptoPrevent.


[I believe computer-users who sandbox (Sandboxie) are acting prudently.]

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17 Replies
ky331
6 Indium

RE: Avast 2016

Well, having lots of time on my hands New Year's Eve, I'm gonna go ahead and install avast 2016 on one of my older XP systems.

First, I backed-up all my customized settings:  Avast / Settings / General / Back Up Settings.

I downloaded avast 11.1.2245 (153.73 MB) from http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/avast_free_edition.html

As always, be sure to watch out for, and UNcheck, the pre-checked offers to install Google Chrome and make it your default browser.

I clicked on Customize, to perform a CUSTOM installation.   I was presented with a list of the various modules avast had available:

On this system, I decided NOT to accept Secure Line, Cleanup, and Passwords.   NOTE:   Since this system was XP, it did NOT offer me NG/Vitual Machine technology (which, if offered, I would have rejected as well).

I then allowed the installation to proceed.  There was a popup from WinPatrol about a Run-Once program (Avast Emergency Updater) that would run upon reboot... but that was it:   no formal request for a reboot.   The old 2015 program/interface was still there and running.   But in Control Panel, under Add/Remove Programs, it indicated I had Avast 2016.   So I decided it was time to reboot, and see what happens...

Sure enough, avast 2016 was now installed/running.   Surprisingly, it appeared to have kept all my customized settings from 2015.   Regardless, I decided to IMPORT/RESTORE those settings just to be sure.   And then I rebooted again.

When I opened Firefox, it opened to a tab/page indicating that avast SafePrice was seeking permission as an Add-On.  I did NOT allow it, and so FF DISabled that add-on (extension).   It further seems that the Avast Online Security Add-On was NOT updated from the 2015 version.

The first (and obvious) difference is in the User Interface.   The Old (2015) one:

and here's the new (2016) one:

So it's gonna take a bit of getting-used to, to learn where everything is...

Finally, it's time to run a FULL System Scan.   I'll only report back if something UNusual happens.

P.S.   Sorry about all the white/blank space after each screenshot.

Free Internet Security - WOT Web of Trust       Use OpenDNS       MalwareBytes Anti-Malware


Windows 7 Pro SP1 (64-bit), avast! v17 Free, MBAM3 Pro, Windows Firewall, OpenDNS Family Shield, SpywareBlaster, MVPS HOSTS file, MBAE Premium, MCShield, WinPatrol PLUS, SAS (on-demand scanner), Zemana AntiLogger Free, IE11 & Firefox (both using WOT [IE set to WARN, FF set to BLOCK]), uBlock Origin, CryptoPrevent.


[I believe computer-users who sandbox (Sandboxie) are acting prudently.]

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ky331
6 Indium

RE: Avast 2016

Since I had not already documented the changes in the current version, here goes:

The following was copied/pasted from https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=179855.0

 

AVAST 2016 (build number 2016.11.1.2245).  This version is focused on bug fixing.

What's new:

+ Added option to disable the email signature to Setttings-> General ( https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=179178.0 )
+ SafeZone browser now automatically imports bookmarks and passwords from old SafeZone
+ Added shortcut for SafeZone browser to systray menu
+ Passwords extension for Firefox is now signed
+ Added icons for scans
+ HTTPS scanning now supports SPDY protocol
+ Fixed problems with browsing on Windows XP
+ Fixed issues with expired certificates needed for HTTPS scanning
+ Update popup not shown when just checking for latest version ( https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=179633.0 )
+ Fixed missing option to delete custom scan
+ Fixed wrong displayed text in menu
+ Fixed problems with SecureDNS
+ Fixed missing Spanish language in Home network security

Free Internet Security - WOT Web of Trust       Use OpenDNS       MalwareBytes Anti-Malware


Windows 7 Pro SP1 (64-bit), avast! v17 Free, MBAM3 Pro, Windows Firewall, OpenDNS Family Shield, SpywareBlaster, MVPS HOSTS file, MBAE Premium, MCShield, WinPatrol PLUS, SAS (on-demand scanner), Zemana AntiLogger Free, IE11 & Firefox (both using WOT [IE set to WARN, FF set to BLOCK]), uBlock Origin, CryptoPrevent.


[I believe computer-users who sandbox (Sandboxie) are acting prudently.]

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ky331
6 Indium

RE: Avast 2016

Seeing no problems on a [tertiary] XP computer, I'm going to install avast 2016 on my primary Win7 system.

I disabled and exited MBAM PRO first, as a precaution against any potential interference.   Can't say for sure that it was necessary, but I seem to recall running into major installation problems with previous versions of avast when I had MBAM running in real-time.

The procedure went the same as with XP... except that there were some additional modules offered [e.g., Avast Gadget] which I declined.   I was NOT offered NG/Virtual Machine (not that I wanted it).  The installation was much faster and smoother than in the past!   Nice improvement there.   Surprisingly, as with XP, there was no prompt to force a reboot, which really is necessary to complete the new installation.


As with XP, Firefox offered me the avast Safe Price add-on, which I declined again.

As for avast's Online Security add-ons, it appears that I still have the 2015 versions installed in IE and FF... I wonder if that means they didn't make a change for the new version?   Also, no avast add-ons were installed into PaleMoon.

That aside, so far, so good.

I'm running a COMPLETE system scan (while surfing).... 43 minutes for 409,500 files in 35,500 folders [126 Gig of data].

Free Internet Security - WOT Web of Trust       Use OpenDNS       MalwareBytes Anti-Malware


Windows 7 Pro SP1 (64-bit), avast! v17 Free, MBAM3 Pro, Windows Firewall, OpenDNS Family Shield, SpywareBlaster, MVPS HOSTS file, MBAE Premium, MCShield, WinPatrol PLUS, SAS (on-demand scanner), Zemana AntiLogger Free, IE11 & Firefox (both using WOT [IE set to WARN, FF set to BLOCK]), uBlock Origin, CryptoPrevent.


[I believe computer-users who sandbox (Sandboxie) are acting prudently.]

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joe53
5 Osmium

RE: Avast 2016

Excellent review, ky.

Avast! has come a long ways from its origins, when it was simple (and its GUI resembled a media player, or a UFO). Like most free AVs, it has expanded its complexity.  I've been partial to Panda Free AV and MSE in recent years, but will have to re-examine my options for a free AV for my latest Win 10 system.

_________________________________________


Dell Forum Member since 2,000


 Use OpenDNS   MalwareBytes' Anti-Malware Free


Windows 7/sp1 (64- Bit): Malwarebytes 3.x Premium, Windows Firewall, WinPatrol PLUS, Emsisoft Emergency Kit Free and HitmanPro Free (on-demand scanners), OpenDNS, MVPS Hosts file, SpywareBlaster, Pale Moon web browser, Sandboxie, CCleaner Free.


Windows 10 Pro (64- Bit): Same protection plus Windows Defender AV.


"In the future, everyone will be anonymous for 15 minutes" - Banksy

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ky331
6 Indium

RE: Avast 2016

Keep in mind my testing/implementation of Avast 2016 has been solely on 32-bit WinXP/SP3 and Win7x64SP1.   I have NOT tested it --- nor do I plan to test it --- on Win8.1/10.

The nice thing about avast is the custom installation, which allows you to choose only those modules that you want/need.   For example, everyone should choose the FILE shield and WEB shield.   And those who access their e-mail through a compatible e-mail client [Outlook, LiveMail, &etc] can use the MAIL shield.

Browser Cleanup [as opposed to the separate "Cleanup" module] offers a simple way to remove most browser addons/toolbars... so it couldn't hurt anything to have it around just in case.

Home Network Security scans your router for various vulnerabilities... probably a reasonable choice to include.

Remote Assistance can be great --- if you have out-of-town family/friends with avast... you can (with their permission) remotely take care of their systems, analyzing/fixing things for them while staying in the convenience of your home.

Rescue Disk has the potential to save you, in the event of a major crash that renders your O/S unbootable.   But I have never tested it to see if it really works.

As for the rest, they're debatable.  Browser Protection (Avast Online Security) is probably less effective than WOT --- but it does offer anti-phishing.   Software Updater is potentially useful --- but I much prefer Secunia's PSI.   My understanding is that Secure Line is a PAID feature... so I don't know why it's even listed in the FREE installer.   I believe Cleanup is the current name of what used to be called "Grime Fighter" --- either way, I wouldn't get near it.  

Finally, I have mixed feelings about their new Passwords module.   On the one hand, it supposedly offers a simple way to create and use very STRONG and DISTINCT passwords at each protected site you visit.   In theory, that's fantastic.   But what scares me is the thought of the catastrophe that could ensue if this module ever crashed, and wound-up locking me out of all those sites... unless I had a separate copy/listing of all those passwords --- which, if stored elsewhere on my PC, would potentially defeat the security/purpose of having the avast password module.

------------------------------------

But the main reason I continue to keep avast --- besides very high ratings in the independent AV testing --- is the plethora of customized settings it allows.   Granted, some are harder to find now, with the newer GUI.   But I relish the ability to tweak its various settings, in particular, to allow ME decide how I want it to proceed whenever it finds a suspicious file --- I accept the responsibility to research and distinguish between a legitimate threat and a F/P.

--------------------------------------

Having praised avast, I can't say that it's been a complete love-fest.   On numerous occasions, the avast service hasn't started.   Often, a reboot will fix that.    But sometimes, I've had to do a "repair" from the Control Panel.    Often, such a reboot/repair has resulted in a total loss of my customized settings :-(   Fortunately, I'm careful to back them up periodically, and have been successful in restoring them.   But I freely concede it can be quite aggravating.    I also have other strange issues that sometimes occur on my system, and suspect that avast might be the contributing factor, but have not been able to establish that definitively.


---------------------------------------

As for Panda 2015, I use it (and have been using it) on several systems [XP / 7 / 8.1].   Many are computers I've set-up for other people... and of course, I have no control over what sites they surf.   Which is a strong indication to me that Panda [and/or perhaps some of the other security tools I opted to install] must be doing a good job of protecting them.  [I have NOT upgraded to Panda 2016 on any of these.]

Free Internet Security - WOT Web of Trust       Use OpenDNS       MalwareBytes Anti-Malware


Windows 7 Pro SP1 (64-bit), avast! v17 Free, MBAM3 Pro, Windows Firewall, OpenDNS Family Shield, SpywareBlaster, MVPS HOSTS file, MBAE Premium, MCShield, WinPatrol PLUS, SAS (on-demand scanner), Zemana AntiLogger Free, IE11 & Firefox (both using WOT [IE set to WARN, FF set to BLOCK]), uBlock Origin, CryptoPrevent.


[I believe computer-users who sandbox (Sandboxie) are acting prudently.]

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ky331
6 Indium

RE: Avast 2016

Here's a good reference to the various avast "supplemental" modules... should give you a good idea what to look for, and what they do.

Caveat:   The article is about 6-months old, and is using the 2015 version.   But the ideas are still relevant.

https://www.winhelp.us/avast-free-antivirus-additional-protections.html

Free Internet Security - WOT Web of Trust       Use OpenDNS       MalwareBytes Anti-Malware


Windows 7 Pro SP1 (64-bit), avast! v17 Free, MBAM3 Pro, Windows Firewall, OpenDNS Family Shield, SpywareBlaster, MVPS HOSTS file, MBAE Premium, MCShield, WinPatrol PLUS, SAS (on-demand scanner), Zemana AntiLogger Free, IE11 & Firefox (both using WOT [IE set to WARN, FF set to BLOCK]), uBlock Origin, CryptoPrevent.


[I believe computer-users who sandbox (Sandboxie) are acting prudently.]

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ky331
6 Indium

RE: Avast 2016

The following was copied/pasted from https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=182468.0

Avast is happy to announce new version AVAST 2016 (build number 2016.11.1.2253).
This version is focused on minor improvements and bug fixing.

What's new:
+ New firewall driver for Win8/10 - fixes issues with non working firewall

+ SecureLine start is faster - new OpenVPN method

+ Easier turning off email signatures

+ Faster loading of passwords list

+ Fixed installation of SafeZone browser

+ Extensions are now Firefox 64-bit compatible

+ SafeZone browser: Added security extension (phishing protection)

+ SafeZone browser: Fixed Pay mode crashes

+ SafeZone browser: Settings and bookmarks now synced to Pay mode (after browser restart)

+ Security fixes

How to install:

1. Update from existing Avast version via Settings -> Update -> Update program

2. Or you can download and install [the free version] from here:

http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_free_antivirus_setup.exe

Free Internet Security - WOT Web of Trust       Use OpenDNS       MalwareBytes Anti-Malware


Windows 7 Pro SP1 (64-bit), avast! v17 Free, MBAM3 Pro, Windows Firewall, OpenDNS Family Shield, SpywareBlaster, MVPS HOSTS file, MBAE Premium, MCShield, WinPatrol PLUS, SAS (on-demand scanner), Zemana AntiLogger Free, IE11 & Firefox (both using WOT [IE set to WARN, FF set to BLOCK]), uBlock Origin, CryptoPrevent.


[I believe computer-users who sandbox (Sandboxie) are acting prudently.]

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ky331
6 Indium

RE: Avast 2016

The following was copied/pasted from https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=184616.0

Hi everyone,

It is my pleasure to inform you that SafeZone Browser is now available for all Avast users. It has been one of the key features of the premium (paid) versions of Avast for many years, and we've now made it available to our free users as well.

SafeZone is designed to be a fully fledged web browser. It can be used for everyday browsing and contains great features, including:

Pay Mode - SafeZone Browser takes the worry out of online banking and shopping. When SafeZone detects that a user has visited a banking website, it will automatically open the web page in an isolated session. This provides a secure connection where a user can proceed with financial transactions without the fear of his/her password or personal financial information being stolen. To further increase security, the browser provides an encrypted connection through Avast’s own DNS servers, protecting users who connect using an unsecured Wi-Fi network.

Ad Blocker - SafeZone Browser includes a built-in Ad Blocker that stops annoying ads using lists established by the community, and therefore improves the browsing experience by enabling faster website loading. Thus, the user can browse on websites or read online articles without viewing pages packed with banners, pop-ups and other bothersome ads.

Video downloader - This feature allows YouTube, Vimeo and other streaming websites’ fans to quickly and easily download videos to watch later, even when they are not connected to the Internet.

SafeZone is also designed to provide the ultimate online protection and protects users against potential attacks, malware and phishing schemes. Unwanted toolbars and add-ons have no chance to get into SafeZone and spy on you.

===========================================================================

Remark:   Many avast users were surprised... and often unhappy... to suddenly find the SafeZone browser had been automatically installed/added on their system:
https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=184577.0

Free Internet Security - WOT Web of Trust       Use OpenDNS       MalwareBytes Anti-Malware


Windows 7 Pro SP1 (64-bit), avast! v17 Free, MBAM3 Pro, Windows Firewall, OpenDNS Family Shield, SpywareBlaster, MVPS HOSTS file, MBAE Premium, MCShield, WinPatrol PLUS, SAS (on-demand scanner), Zemana AntiLogger Free, IE11 & Firefox (both using WOT [IE set to WARN, FF set to BLOCK]), uBlock Origin, CryptoPrevent.


[I believe computer-users who sandbox (Sandboxie) are acting prudently.]

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ky331
6 Indium

RE: Avast 2016

The following was copied/pasted from https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=185199.0

[We are] happy to announce new version AVAST 2016 (build number 2016.11.2.2260).
This update brings originally premium feature - SafeZone browser also to all free users.

What's new:

+ SafeZone browser is now included also in free version

+ Avast program updates are now automatic and silent by default - can be changed via Settings->Update

+ Faster computer startup

+ Fixed issues with Firewall on Windows 7

+ Fixed postpone function on restart dialog

+ Fixed starting Pay mode in SafeZone browser

+ Better notification about email signatures

============================================

Remarks:   1) There appears to be some (a lot of) confusion here:   While the new avast program/build is "advertised" here as  2016.11.2.2260, the installation program [and several modules it installs] is/are identified as 11.2.2279 ... go figure!

2)  As usual, the avast -forum thread cited above is LOADED with people complaining about problems they have encountered with the latest update.   Be advised that I have not yet updated my avast (still using x.2245), so I cannot offer any first-hand comments.   But it's certainly scary to read everything alleged there... that avast seems to be pushing quantity (new modules/features) without certifying quality of neither the new nor the already-existing modules.

Free Internet Security - WOT Web of Trust       Use OpenDNS       MalwareBytes Anti-Malware


Windows 7 Pro SP1 (64-bit), avast! v17 Free, MBAM3 Pro, Windows Firewall, OpenDNS Family Shield, SpywareBlaster, MVPS HOSTS file, MBAE Premium, MCShield, WinPatrol PLUS, SAS (on-demand scanner), Zemana AntiLogger Free, IE11 & Firefox (both using WOT [IE set to WARN, FF set to BLOCK]), uBlock Origin, CryptoPrevent.


[I believe computer-users who sandbox (Sandboxie) are acting prudently.]

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