Major avast! version 17 released!

AVAST Software launched their brand new, major release of their flagship product avast!, this time with version number 17 (skipping 5 versions because of AVG acquisition). It’s probably one of the greatest and most complex releases of them all in a very long avast! history.

avast! v17 (example of Premier Edition)

avast17

New branding with trademark orange amoeba, new grey, white, green and purple color scheme. This is the new face of avast! 🙂

What’s new in version 17

  • Improved user interface – simplified navigation, new brand colors, notification center
  • Behavior Shield – better protects you against ransomware by monitoring running programs for suspicious behavior
  • Game mode – helps reduce distractions and lag times by automatically prioritizing your game’s performance and suspending all unnecessary background notifications and processes while you play
  • Free version no longer requires email registration
  • Performance improvements – faster webpage loading and app launching thanks to optimized hashing algorithms
  • Wi-Fi Inspector – previously called Home Network Security, this feature now detects even more problems and vulnerabilities on both home and public networks
  • Passwords – faster UI and improved browser integration
  • Real Site – our new name for SecureDNS, which prevents DNS hijacking to help you avoid visiting fake websites
  • SafeZone browser – common settings for all modes, faster startup of bank mode, currency converter

Under the hood changes and features

I’m not going to bore you with really technical details, all I can say is this new version will provide SIGNIFICANTLY enhanced protection. DeepScreen has been moved to CyberCapture system, removing (for some) annoying “DeepScreen scanning…” popup, scan engine gained many cool features from AVG creating a hybrid engine of best features from both scan engines and lastly, the biggest addition, Behavior Shield. A feature I’ve been waiting for since version 5 and now it has finally made a debut in v17 in all its full glory. It’s a behavior based analysis system which continuously monitors execution process of each and every program on the system. Malware writers can use most sophisticated packers and crypters, but Behavior Shield doesn’t care about any of it. All it cares about is how program behaves on a higher level. If it’s doing suspicious or malicious things to your files or system, it’ll terminate the offensive program and reverse the changes. I’ve made an early test during BETA testing phase and it detected pretty much everything I’ve thrown at it. I’ve also seen internal operation of Behavior Shield during my visit of avast! HQ and it constantly feeds detection and sensors data back into their cloud, processing all the data in near real-time and feeding it back to users and into other avast! systems, progressively increasing protection with every sample processed. It’s already outstanding against ransomware, as well as all sorts of other malware types like file infectors (viruses), trojans, backdoors and worms. It’s gonna catch ’em all! 😉

Plans for the future

I can’t go into exact details due to NDA, but I can tell you avast! team is already working on additional anti-ransomware measures that will proactively protect whole system and personal user files from ransomware. One involves proactive measures and another one generic whitelist based protection where only programs on extensive avast! whitelist are allowed to modify user documents. This gives outstanding generic protection with nearly perfect user experience since users will still be able to edit their personal files using safe tools like image and text editors.

Phishing protection will also be moved from browser extension into Web Shield module, providing extended protection against phishing websites without the need to use browser extensions.

There are also extensive plans on interface upgrade. First stage is the main interface which you can already see in screenshot above. Next stages through March, April and later will evolve certain deeper menus even further, making them look nicer, more consistent with the new design theme and also more user friendly.

There are also many other smaller changes that I’m not covering here which will be included in upcoming monthly releases.

It’s a bright future ahead for avast! and I can’t wait to see how it will do in AV-Comparatives and AV-Test with the new Behavior Shield as well as all the other protection goodies. 🙂

DOWNLOADS:

Home page:
https://www.avast.com

My referral link (you get a download, I get a referral point):
https://www.avast.com/get/PylIx3WC

Online installers (recommended, always up to date install):

http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_free_antivirus_setup.exe
http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_pro_antivirus_setup.exe
http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_internet_security_setup.exe
http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_premier_antivirus_setup.exe

Offline installers (only use if no connection on destination PC during installation):

http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_free_antivirus_setup_offline.exe
http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_pro_antivirus_setup_offline.exe
http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_internet_security_setup_offline.exe
http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_premier_antivirus_setup_offline.exe

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5 thoughts on “Major avast! version 17 released!

  1. With new version, did they stop pushing Pro version and Grime Fighter to free users? Because that was my reason for leaving Avast. Popups about Pro version were frequent and while Grime Fighter ones weren’t as often, they got annoying too. What I am looking for in antivirus is silence when it does not find anything and obedience when it finds false positive. Avast tends to corrupt infected file before asking if it is ok and after you tell Avast to leave this file, it of course is not working anymore.

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    1. Grime Fighter is long gone. It’s now called Cleanup and if you don’t want it, you can uncheck it during installation or later in the Components panel. As for the “corrupted” files, I don’t think that’s entirely accurate. If you decide to do nothing with the file, avast! will still default to “Deny access”. File is not corrupted, you’re just not allowed to execute it, but it’ll remain where it was. You can exclude it to regain access to it.

      You can still expect some promotional popups here and there, after all, Free version is free for a reason. Although it wasn’t so bad if I look at it on my system. It’s maybe 1 popup a week and even that usually just statistics about malware and not directly an upselling of their other products/services.

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  2. RejZoR, do you have a current configuration file that can be used for the latest free version? If so, do you have a download link?

    Like

    1. I have, but there is a tiny glitch which is preventing importing of such config file at the moment. I’m still waiting for avast! team to fix it, which is why I’m still postponing the release. As soon as it’s fixed, I’ll release it.

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      1. Thank you, RejZoR, I appreciate the info, as well as your quick reply. I’ll keep peeking in for an update.

        Good day!

        Like

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