Although I normally recommend Avira Antivir and Microsoft Security Essentials to anyone looking for a free antivirus, Avast is another option worth considering. In fact, it is one of the most popular free antivirus utilities available in the market, and with good reason. Avast performed quite well in all of Av-comparative’s on-demand and performance tests carried out over the past year.
A couple of days back, Avast Software released the first beta of Avast 6. The biggest draws of the new version are:
- AutoSandbox: Avast Pro already features a sandboxing option that enables users to surf the web and run applications in an isolated environment that can’t affect the rest of the system. In the new version, Avast has gone a step further and added auto-sandboxing, which can automatically run suspicious programs in a sandbox.
- WebRep: WebRep’ is a browser toolbar, which is largely similar to WOT (Web of Trust). It is plugin for Internet Explorer and Firefox that displays the reputation score of the website you are currently browsing based on the feedback collected from the community as well as the expertise of Avast’s researchers.
Avast 6 also adds a SafeZone’ to the premium version, which offers a special virtualized area for sensitive transactions. Script Shield’ and Site Blocking’, which were previously available only in the Pro version, are now included even in Avast Free.
Head over to the forums to download the beta version. However, don’t forget to uninstall any previous version or other antivirus products before installing it. Also keep in mind that unexpected stability and performance issues might be present, since this is the first public beta build.