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Tue 29th April 2008

Why I shall be switching to avast! antivirus

Filed under: Internet and Technology

OK, well my experience with avast! Antivirus started quite some time ago.  A friend of mine called me and asked me to come and sort their computer out before they smashed the 'effing thing to bits.  I duly obliged and found the machine to be crawling with Adware/Spyware etc. 

So, I installed my trusted Spybot Search and Destroy and did a full scan - as usual loads of stuff was found and removed.  I rebooted the PC and did another scan, a previously removed piece of Spyware had returned and the machine was still seriously sluggish.  So, it became obvious that what I needed was a decent free virus scanner to eradicate this.  I'd heard a lot of good things about avast! so downloaded it and ran the boot-time scan.  It found and removed loads more stuff and the machine was running sweet as a nut once it had fully booted.

I hadn't really given avast! another thought until this week when it has proven itself two more times.

I decided to upgrade my niece and nephew's PC because it was too slow running The Sims 2.  It was then I noticed loads of pop-ups appearing every time I went online.  The machine was running AVG 7.5 so I decided it must be a Spyware infection.  Out came my trusty copy of Spybot Search and Destroy which duly removed a load of Spyware but the pop ups remained.  It was then I remembered avast! and my previous success with it.  I downloaded it, ran the boot-time scan and it found 10 (10 count-em!) viruses.  The machine booted and again ran sweet as a nut.

Then, last night I get a call about a laptop with a problem.  I get there and find it infected with a CoolWWWSearch (CWS) Trojan.  Spybot Search and Destroy successfully identified and removed it, but upon reboot it came back.  The machine was running a corporate edition of Symantec Client Security so I didn't want to install another virus scanner if at all possible for fear of messing the Symantec one up.  I did some Googling and found that Trend Micro offer a tool called CWShredder which claims to eradicate the CWS Trojan and all it's variants for good.  This, however, fared no better.  It identified and removed the virus, but upon rebooting the machine the virus returned.  I downloaded and installed SuperAntiSpyware which I had heard was reasonably good - this didn't even identify the infection!  I tried a few other removal tools also which all identified the infection but none successfully removed it.

Eventually, I admitted defeat and installed avast! 4.8 Home Edition.  Again I did the boot-time scan and immediately it identified and removed:

CWS-AboutBlank (Hijack)
Search-Space (Hijack)

Once the machine booted, all was running sweeter than a nut covered in sweet stuff.

So, in summary, if you are looking for a decent Antivirus/Malware/Rootkit solution, you can't do much better than heading over to


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