From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Avast)
Jump to: navigation, search
"Avast" redirects here. For other uses, see Avast (disambiguation).
Avast Free Antivirus
Developer(s) AVAST Software s.r.o. (formerly ALWIL Software a.s. and AVAST Software a.s.)
Stable release 2014.9.0.2021 / 26 June 2014; 3 months ago (2014-06-26)[1]
Preview release 2015 Release Candidate 3 (10.0.2204) / 17 October 2014; 5 days ago (2014-10-17)[2]
Operating system Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/Windows 8 (32/64-bit), Linux, Macintosh, Palm OS, Windows Server Edition, Android
Type Desktop antivirus software, Mobile security application
License Freemium
Website www.avast.com

Avast (styled "avast!" before 10/2014) is an antivirus computer program available for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Android and Linux users, with a user interface available in 45 languages. The name Avast came from "Anti-virus – Advanced Set," a program developed by the company's founders.[3]

Founded in 1991, the company was officially established under the newly free market of then-Czechoslovakia. The developer, AVAST Software s.r.o. (formerly known as ALWIL Software a.s. and AVAST Software a.s.), is headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic, with offices in Friedrichshafen, Munich - Germany, Austin, Texas, Redwood Shores - California, Hong Kong and Beijing - China [4]

AVAST Software s.r.o. currently produces security freeware and shareware programs for personal and commercial uses on PCs, Macs, and Android devices; as of 2013, more than 200 million devices worldwide used Avast products. In June 2012, Avast had 17.4% of the worldwide security vendor market share.[5]

The software has received a number of awards from Virus Bulletin for close to 100% detection of "in-the-wild" viruses[6] and won the Secure Computing Readers' Trust Award.[7] The central scanning engine has been certified by ICSA Labs[8] and West Coast Labs' Checkmark process.[9]


After coming across the Vienna virus in 1988, researcher Pavel Baudiš of Prague’s Mathematical Machines Research Institute set to writing a program that would be able to successfully remove it. He then shared the program with his colleague, Eduard Kučera, and later that year the pair started ALWIL Software, which released the first avast! antivirus. Because of restrictions on forming a company in then-Czechoslovakia, ALWIL Software was founded as a cooperative. The Velvet Revolution, however, brought with it the introduction of the free market. In 1991 Baudiš and Kučera were able to register ALWIL Software as a joint-partnership company.

Current COO and former CTO Ondrej Vlček joined ALWIL in 1995, he had joined the company when he was a student and wrote the company’s first antivirus program for Windows 95. The following year, Avast! antivirus was one of the first three antivirus programs worldwide to win Virus Bulletin’s VB100 awards in all testing categories.

In 1997, ALWIL Software licensed the Avast! antivirus engine to McAfee for use in its own line of McAfee VirusScan antivirus products. Within the next seven years, the company reached the 1 million user mark for its Avast! product, following the launch of a free antivirus solution for home (non-commercial) use in 2001.

ALWIL partnered with SanDisk in 2005, leading to language localization for all of SanDisk’s markets. In 2006, Avast! reached 10 million users by the beginning and ended the year with 20 million; it also swept the SC Awards categories of Best Antivirus, Anti-Malware (European) and Readers’ Choice (USA). The following year, ALWIL Software became a joint-stock company, and the number of registered Avast! users reached to 40 million, despite the company having just 38 employees. By 2009, there were more than 100 million users and 100 employees; Vincent Steckler, formerly of Symantec, also joined ALWIL as CEO that year.

ALWIL Software changed its name to AVAST Software in 2010, and Summit Partners invested $100 million for a minority share of the company. Over the next two years, AVAST launched its Business Protection line and Avast! Free Mobile Security, which became the best-rated security app on Google Play. In 2012, Avast! Free Antivirus became the most-downloaded software on Download.com.

As of 2013, more than 200 million PCs, Macs and Android device users were protected with Avast programs. AVAST acquired the German company Secure.Me and the U.S.-based start-up Jumpshot that same year and was awarded "Best Employer 2013" for the Czech Republic in the category of large companies. This was also the year that the Avast 2014 series, Avast SecureLine VPN, and Avast GrimeFighter were launched. In February 2014, CVC Capital Partners signed a binding agreement for a large-scale investment in AVAST. Valuing the company at $1 billion, the investment was set to position CVC alongside Summit Partners and founders Baudiš and Kučera as AVAST's shareholders.

In July 2014, Avast released data about the study carried out on 20 used Android smartphones in regards to data security, it was discovered that Android's factory reset functionality did not delete all the data from a user's phone after Avast retrieved 40,000 photos from the used smartphones it had purchased, this necessitated the creation of a new Avast product called Avast! Anti-Theft which has the ability to wipe out all the data from a phone and overwrite it.

Also, in July 2014, Avast acquired a Czech-based mobile app company called Inmite, which has developed apps for mobile banking, mobile television, some applications for Google Glass, and a car buying app for Škoda Auto.[10]


Avast products work by utilising the 200 million protected devices to act as sensors, finding and reporting threats from anywhere in the world. The threats are then automatically analysed in the cloud, and SMS-sized updates are issued approximately every 6 minutes; the protected devices are thus kept up-to-date. Avast programs are only available online and are available in 43 languages. The latest stable Windows version is 10.0, released on 21 October 2014. Apart from business-grade security solutions, the Avast! product range includes the following:[11]

Avast Free Antivirus 2015 — freeware for personal, non-commercial use only

Avast Pro Antivirus 2015 — for both personal and commercial use

Avast Internet Security 2015 — for both personal and commercial use

Avast Premier 2015 — for both personal and commercial use

A comparison of the four products can be found below.[12]

  Free Antivirus Pro Antivirus Internet Security Premier
Intelligent Antivirus Yes Yes Yes Yes
Anti-malware Protection Yes Yes Yes Yes
SafeZone No Yes Yes Yes
Silent Firewall No No Yes Yes
Anti-spam No No Yes Yes
Automatic Software Updater No No No Yes
AccessAnywhere No No No Yes
Data Shredder No No No Yes

Other versions[edit]

Avast Mac Edition — An antivirus solution for Apple Macintosh machines running Mac OS X based on a central virus-scanning daemon; it includes a mail scanner, an on-demand scanner and an on-access scanner controlled through a simple user interface. The Mac+PC Edition is for Mac users who have both the Mac operating system and MS Windows installed on the same machine. It comprises both the Mac Edition and Professional Edition.

Avast Server Edition — Shareware for businesses running Windows Server - may be extended by additional modules for MS Exchange Server 2000/2003/2007, MS Proxy/ISA Server, SMTP Server, MS Sharepoint Server (Portal Server 2001/2003, Windows Sharepoint Services 2003 and MS Office Sharepoint Server 2007)

Avast Distributed Network Manager — Allows network administrators to manage the Avast! antivirus product line across the whole enterprise.

Avast Small Business Server Edition — Shareware for Windows Small Business Servers, including an Exchange server or ISA server

Avast for Linux/Unix Servers — Shareware designed to run on Linux and BSD servers running x86 kernels only. Packages are available as RPM, Debian or in Tarball form.

Avast Mobile Security — Freeware for use on Android devices.[14]

Avast Anti-Theft - Locates and Tracks your lost phone, Controls your cell phone remotely, Remotely locks or wipes the phone memory, to keep your data safe.

Awards and certifications[edit]

  • In 2006, Avast! Antivirus won SC Magazine’s Readers Trust Award for best antivirus.[7]
  • In 2010, Avast! was the second most-downloaded software on CNET Downloads.[13]
  • In 2010, Brothersoft.com named Avast! Free Antivirus among its 10 "Editors Pick" selections.[14]
  • In April 2010, Avast! Server Edition won the Readers' Choice award from WindowSecurity.com.[15]
  • In April 2011, TechDeville.com gave Avast! its "Best Antivirus 2011" award.[16]
  • In July 2011, Filecluster.com gave Avast! its full five-star "Excellent" rating.[17]
  • In March 2012, CNET Download.com gave its Editors' Choice Award for that month to Avast! Free Antivirus version 7.[18]
  • In July 2012, AV-Test.org reviewed and certified Avast! Free Antivirus 7.0 for Windows 7 (SP1, 64 bit).[19]
  • In March 2013, AV-Test.org reviewed and certified Avast! Free Antivirus 7.0 for Windows 8 (RTM, 64 bit).[20]
  • In November 2013, AVAST Software was selected as the Czech Republic's Best Employer of 2013, in the category of large-sized company.[21]

Softpedia.com has reviewed Avast and given its highest 5-star "Excellent" rating in several reviews:

  • Avast! Home Edition (August 2006)[22]
  • Avast! Free Antivirus 6.0 (February 2011)[23]
  • Avast! Free Antivirus 7.0 (March 2012)[24]

Independent testing AV-Comparatives has multiple times awarded Avast! its highest "Advanced +" rating in various categories:

  • Performance Test (October 2008)[25]
  • On Demand Detection Test (August 2009)[26]
  • Retrospective / Proactive Test (November 2009)[27]
  • Performance Test (December 2009)[28]
  • On Demand Detection Test (February 2010)[29]
  • Performance Test (Suite Products) (July 2010)[30]
  • On Demand Detection Test (August 2010)[31]
  • On Demand Detection Test (August 2011)[32]
  • On Demand Detection Test (March 2012)[33]

Related products[edit]

Avast also offers anti-spyware technology, also certified by West Coast Labs' Checkmark process,[34] as well as anti-rootkit and self-protection capabilities.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "avast! - Release History". 
  2. ^ "Avast webforum - Avast support forums - Avast Free/Pro/Suite - Beta". 
  3. ^ "Avast Software is the new company name". Archived from the original on 24 December 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  4. ^ "Contact Us". AVAST Software. Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  5. ^ OPSWAT. "Market Share Report June 2012". Retrieved 30 July.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  6. ^ "Virus Bulletin VB100 Awards". Archived from the original on 24 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-23. 
  7. ^ a b "Secure Computing Readers Trust Awards". Retrieved 2009-02-23. 
  8. ^ "ICSA Labs Certification". Retrieved 2009-02-23. 
  9. ^ "Avast! AntiVirus - Anti-Virus Desktop". Checkmark Certification. West Coast Labs. Retrieved 2012-03-17. 
  10. ^ By Ruth Reader, Venture Beat. “Malware buster Avast buys up mobile app maker in move to be mobile friendly.” July 24, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  11. ^ "avast! antivirus Downloads". 
  12. ^ "avast! 9 - Editions Comparison Table". 
  13. ^ "Top 10 Windows downloads of 2010". CNET.com. Retrieved 9 April 2011. 
  14. ^ "Brothersoft Winners 2010: List of Editors Pick Windows Software". Retrieved 2012-07-13. 
  15. ^ "avast! Server edition - Voted WindowSecurity.com Readers’ Choice Award Winner - Anti Virus". Retrieved 2012-07-13. 
  16. ^ "Best Antivirus 2011 – Avast Antivirus 6". Techdeville.com. Retrieved 2012-07-13. [dead link]
  17. ^ "Avast!: The silver bullet against viruses and other threats". Filecluster.com. Retrieved 2012-07-13. 
  18. ^ "Avast Free Antivirus". CNET.com. Retrieved 2012-07-13. 
  19. ^ "Avast! Free Antivirus Product Review and Certification Report – May-Jun/2012". AV-Test.org. Retrieved 2013-12-11. 
  20. ^ "Avast! Free Antivirus Product Review and Certification Report – Jan-Feb/2013". AV-Test.org. Retrieved 2013-12-11. 
  21. ^ "Best Employers Study: Czech Republic". Retrieved 2013-12-11. 
  22. ^ "Avast! Home Edition". Softpedia.com. 
  23. ^ "Avast! Free Antivirus 6.0". Softpedia.com. 
  24. ^ "Avast! Free Antivirus 7.0". Softpedia.com. 
  25. ^ "Performance Test (October 2008)". AV-Comaratives.org. Retrieved 2012-07-13. 
  26. ^ "On Demand Detection Test (August 2009)". AV-Comaratives.org. Retrieved 2012-07-13. 
  27. ^ "Retrospective / Proactive Test (November 2009)". AV-Comaratives.org. Retrieved 2012-07-13. 
  28. ^ "Performance Test (December 2009)". AV-Comaratives.org. Retrieved 2012-07-13. 
  29. ^ "On Demand Detection Test (February 2010)". AV-Comaratives.org. Retrieved 2012-07-13. 
  30. ^ "Performance Test (Suite Products) (July 2010)". AV-Comaratives.org. Retrieved 2012-07-13. 
  31. ^ "On Demand Detection Test (August 2010)". AV-Comaratives.org. Retrieved 2012-07-13. 
  32. ^ "On Demand Detection Test (August 2011)". AV-Comaratives.org. Retrieved 2012-07-13. 
  33. ^ "On Demand Detection Test (March 2012)". AV-Comaratives.org. Retrieved 2012-07-13. 
  34. ^ "Avast! AntiVirus - Anti-Spyware Desktop". Checkmark Certification. West Coast Labs. Retrieved 2012-03-17. 

External links[edit]