My Personal Review of Avast! v5 Beta II


I am so busy with life recently that I could not spend much time writing articles, even when I had lots to write about. I still play around with software, though. Recently I downloaded and installed the second test version of Avast! V5 on a virtual machine with Windows XP SP2 installed. I read about feedbacks on the first test version which is quite ok, except that the virus database is not complete.  So when the second release go all-out, I decided to try it myself.

It was a pretty experience. Avast! has not release anything new  for some years but it’s worth the wait, because Avast! v5 is way better than the current 4.8 version on market. Overall, Avast! v5 had improved in these areas:

1.    User Interface (Appearance)


Avast! v5’s main page GUI. Second beta’s GUI is updated to work smoothly even under high resource usage.

Users who used Avast! before know that Avast! has a pretty ridiculous interface. It feels as though you’re using a media player rather than an antivirus but then it’s official: Avast! ditched the old interface in favour of a more professional one. Even if it’s professional looking now, it doesn’t sacrifice usability. It doesn’t take long for me to learn how to configure the antivirus at all…shall I say, perhaps just 3 to 5 minutes, seriously!
Avast! had also redesigned its logos and icons for v5. Although it feels a bit strange to have that usual blue tray icon gone, the new, orange-crimson one still looks pretty nice (it still spins like the old version!).

The new settings option panel, very unique in design and oh yeah, the function all works correctly so far.

There you are: the new tray icon of Avast! v5. The virus shield outbreak tray icon available in Avast! v4 has been taken out to reduce tray clutter.

2.    Resources Usage

I installed Avast! on a virtual machine. As so, I expect lags and hangs on the virtual machine, as my past experience with antivirus-testing normally end up that way. Surprising though, after installing Avast! v5, it felt as though no antivirus had been installed. I opened task manager to check out its resource usage and I got this incredible result:

Less than 10K of memory used on idle! I allocated 600MB memory for my virtual Windows XP and guess what? There are no lags at all. It’s even better than the current Avast! v4! Norton thought they had hit the performance jackpot with their 2010 version, but apparently Avast! did way better, because Norton 2010 still show signs of lags on the virtual machine while Avast v5 had nearly NONE.

3.    Additional Features (…That Are Working, By The Way!)

Avast! was known for its rather limited security features, since it comes as an all-round security suite even for the free version. But in v5, they added some interesting features which I immediately spotted: customizable right-click context menu scan, screensaver scan, game mode/silent mode, shield traffic graphs and finally, an independent behavioural scanner. Along with the usual shields protection, virus, spyware, heuristic and rootkits scanning, Avast! is now an even more complete security solution.

The many scan options in Avast! v5. Users can now customize their right-click context menu scan option plus the option of letting Avast! scan your PC in screensaver mode.


Avast! v5 gives advanced users the freedom of checking Avast!’s activities with graphed traffics for all shield monitors. Previous versions of Avast!’s shield protection did not have an independent GUI where users can learn how the shields are doing.

I was a bit disappointed to discover that Avast!’s scanning speed was a bit slow (considering that its running on a virtual machine with nothing much to scan), but there’s nothing much to complain when it is still in beta testing stage. Also, i would like a chance to test out the PRO version of Avast! v5, since it comes with an inbuilt firewall and file-virtualization module, which makes things interesting even more.

Those with a passion for beta-testing can definitely try out Avast! v5 beta II.  Download the free version of Avast! v5 beta now by clicking on this link.


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