The all-new Avast *8* has arrived!

avastI have to admit, the recent release of Avast 8 has taken me somewhat by surprise. I hadn’t heard anything about an impending new major version. As a dedicated Avast Free Anti-Virus user however, it turned out to be a rather pleasant surprise.

Existing Avast Free users can install this latest version from within the program; simply right click on Avast’s system tray icon, select Update and then Program. New users can download here:

Avast 8 includes some nice new features and enhancements, all of which are displayed in a list at completion of installation (I’ve highlighted those which apply to the Free edition):

Avast 8 new features

The main interface has been revamped in an obvious attempt to give it a more minimalistic and Windows 8-friendly look. However, the large icons and clearly labeled menu items do make it easy to navigate to key features:

Avast 8 main interface

Two new features included in the freeware version which should be well received and have elicited most discussion are…

  • Software Updater: checks for and identifies out-of-date software installations. Simply click the associated Fix now button to download and apply the latest update (automatic silent updates is available only in commercial versions)

Avast 8 software updater

  • Browser Cleanup Tool: scans for and offers to remove installed toolbars – supports Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome (I know of quite a few people who could put this one to good use :))

Avast 8 browser cleanup tool

Avast’s historical commitment to providing ‘free’ users with the vast majority of its features remains unchanged, all the popular “Shields” are still there:

avast 8_shields

You can read more about Avast 8, including details of new technologies for proactive detection here:

About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

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