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Old 02-26-2011, 09:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Avast 6 leaves beta, adds new features

Leading Czech antivirus vendor Avast! has updated its free antivirus tool to version 6. Avast! Free AntiVirus 6 claims to deliver even better protection against malware thanks to two new features previously only found in paid-for antivirus programs.

The first feature is AutoSandbox, which automatically identifies suspicious applications and prompts the user to run them in an isolated environment, preventing them from interacting with, and potentially infecting, the computer. Second, WebRep provides reputation-based ratings for websites and search engine results, although this functionality is already available for free in standalone browser add-ons like MyWOT, it's the first time it's been made available as part of a free antivirus product.

WebRep has been joined by a number of other features aimed at protecting the user from the most common source of infections: the Internet. Web and Script Shields, previously only present in paid-for Avast! products, are now included as standard in Avast! Free alongside Site Blocking, which allows users to block any website. Also present is an improved Behavior Shield, designed to provide protection against unknown "zero-hour" threats that haven't yet been identified and nullified.

Version 6.0 also introduces genuine 64-bit support for Windows 7 and Vista (but not XP, which remains 32-bit only).

Those wishing for even greater protection can take a look at Avast! 6.0 Pro, which includes SafeZone technology. This allows the user to open a "clean desktop" that's completely isolated from the rest of the computer (including any malware lurking in the background), which makes it particularly suitable for performing sensitive online transactions such as credit card purchasing or online banking.

Despite these additional layers of protection, Avast! claims its new product is even quicker than the previous release, which will be no mean feat if true, seeing how fast its immediate predecessor was.

Avast! 6.0 requires Windows XP (with SP2 or SP3) or later to run. Avast! 6.0 Pro costs $34.99 for a single year's protection covering one PC.

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