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Antivirus products available in free and premium versions

Avast Software : 21 January, 2010  (New Product)
Avast! anti virus software goes to version 5.0 with more functions and new premium versions available to suit any requirements
ALWIL Software, makers of the world's most popular free avast! antivirus program with over 100 million users, has launched new versions of its popular free and premium software.

The new 5.0 furthers the company's objective of offering full-fledged antivirus and anti-malware protection that is modern, sophisticated - and free. Together with the free version, avast! is also introducing the new premium Internet Security suite and an update of its commercial Antivirus Pro product.

"With avast! 5.0, we are defining a new direction in antivirus," explains Vince Steckler, CEO of ALWIL Software. "Our free and paid versions are identical in terms of the level of malware protection. The Free version is designed for ordinary internet use while avast! Internet Security 5.0, our new top product, is best for internet users doing security sensitive activities such as on-line shopping and banking." The new Internet Security includes an automatic Silent Firewall and anti-spam service with ongoing updates to help users deal with unwanted email.

The new avast! Pro Antivirus 5.0 uses the same core detection engine with more customization options. "It offers a few extra functions aimed at more advanced users, small businesses or technical experts who want to integrate avast! into an existing, best of breed, security solution," says Mr. Steckler. 'These advanced features include real-time script inspection, a command line scanner and the new sandboxing technology for safely examining suspicious file activity.

The new avast! 5.0 products are already getting kudos and "seals of approval":

1 AV Comparatives gave the beta avast! Free Antivirus 5.0 its "advanced" rating in its Whole Produce Dynamic Test (December 2009). [Link to AV Comparatives]
2 VB Magazine, one of the industry's leading security magazines, calls the new avast! Free "nothing short of a miracle". [Link to VB Magazine]
3 Google is bundling the new 5.0 in select European versions of its Google Pack.

"If you look at the results for the last version of avast! Free Antivirus at leading independent testing labs, we outperformed paid solutions in detection rates and performance," comments Ondrej Vlcek, Chief Technology Officer at ALWIL Software. AV-Comparatives in November awarded avast! the highest "advanced+" rating for its ability to proactively detect viruses and malware without a fresh virus update.

avast! 5.0 goes even further to set a performance benchmark that paid antivirus will have a hard job to match. "The product outperforms a number of competitor products we've struggled with in our tests in recent years. That it manages to look pretty fabulous too is pure gravy," writes John Hawes, Technical Consultant & Test Team Director of VirusBulletin, the UK-based independent computer security testing agency, in its January 2010 issue. "The new suite version has some fun and useful extras, and the free version being available to all without charge is nothing short of a miracle."

Improvements in avast! software architecture and performance optimization taking advantage of multiple PC processor cores will make life easier for users. Tests conducted on the Intel's latest notebook platform based on Intel Core i5 mobile processor demonstrate that the new avast! 5.0 is 40% faster than the previous versions.

"Intel delivers new processors with great performance headroom for today's demanding customers. We are glad to have been able to aid avast! in optimising its security solution to take full advantage of our latest technologies with the clear benefit for end users," said Wolfgang Petersen, EMEA Director of Intel Software & Services Group.

The faster scanning speed does not require greater computer resources. To the contrary, the new 5.0 is lighter on system resources as shown by the reduced energy consumption. Each full scan requires 10.6 Wh less electric energy. With 100 million avast! users, this translates to a potential 50 GWh energy saving per year. So, there is something for the environment as well.

Free is where the action is, and it is profitable space for avast! as Steckler explains, "Our free version is for non-commercial organizations such as home users, charities and educators. We believe that by showing these communities the full potential of our software, these groups will continue to advocate our brand into the wider commercial market." Considering that two out of every three avast! users discovered the software through a friend's recommendation, the focus on the free version is a proven market building strategy. "If you look at the antivirus market, many vendors use light or stripped down versions of commercial antivirus software to lure new customers," comments Steckler. "This model is flawed because users need complete security and not tease-ware or advertising-ware. Computer users demand full functionality for free and avast! Antivirus 5.0 gives them just that."

Technical overview:

avast! Free Antivirus 5.0:

avast! Free Antivirus 5.0 replaces the old avast! Home Edition. It uses the same malware detection capability as both premium versions and is not a stripped down or impaired version. It is the best solution for all users who use the Internet for e-mailing, chatting or web browsing. Since its introduction in 2004, avast! Free Antivirus has become one of the world's most popular applications. Its growing pool of over 100 million users consistently give the software high approval ratings.

avast! Internet Security 5.0

avast! Internet Security provides comprehensive security for on-line shopping and banking. It provides protection against threats from infected web sites and the growing risk of identity theft. As the premium avast! product, it contains an intelligent firewall and a comprehensive anti-spam/phishing module in addition to the antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-rootkit, scriptblocker and other real-time shields. avast! Internet Security can be licensed for 3, 5 or 10 computers starting at $59.95 for 1 year protection.

avast! Pro Antivirus 5.0

avast! Pro Antivirus replaces avast! Professional Edition and is primarily designed for small businesses and computer specialists who want the ability to customize their security protection alongside their own firewall and anti-spam filter. avast! Pro Antivirus includes sandbox virtualization and protection against both remotely and locally executed scripts. Licenses for avast! Pro Antivirus can be purchased for 1, 3, 5 and 10 PCs. A single year license for 1 PC is $39.95.

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