Avast 2015: Frequently Asked Questions - New Features

A list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding new features and improvements available in the Avast 2015 software line for Microsoft Windows.

Avast 2015 - New Features FAQ
What are key new features in Avast 2015 ?

Avast 2015 introduces the following key features:

  • Avast Home Network Security scans your home network for vulnerabilities (wifi status, connected devices, router settings, weak passwords). This is quite a new approach as we are trying to discover potential problems not isolated on the particular device only, but in the entire network of devices you use or connect to the Internet.
     
  • Avast Secure DNS protects against DNS Hijacking. We are introducing a new provider which guards against unprotected DNS/DNS hijack on a router/client (including unsecured networks, public ones, etc.). It is supported for Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 users and included with all paid editions of Avast antivirus.
     
  • Avast Smart Scan integrates all on-demand scans into one (Antivirus, Software Updater, Home Network Security, GrimeFighter). One scan, different results and recommendations.
     
  • Avast NG is a hardware based virtualization solution to provide more isolated test space. It is capable of running each Windows process in standalone safe virtualized environment (VM) and fully integrated to your desktop. Each process is executed in its own instance of VM, which means totally isolated from your other applications. This feature now powers Avast DeepScreen to improve better scanning of unknown programs (better detections).


What is improved in Avast 2015 ?

Avast 2015 comes with these major improvements:

  • Avast NG is a hardware based virtualization solution to provide more isolated test space. It is capable of running each Windows process in standalone safe virtualized environment (VM) and fully integrated to your desktop. Each process is executed in its own instance of VM, which means totally isolated from your other applications. This feature now powers Avast DeepScreen to improve better scanning of unknown programs (better detections).
     
  • Avast Web Shield now features HTTPS-encrypted scanning. Now, we are able to detect and decrypt TLS/SSL protected traffic in our Web-content filtering component. We are using our own generated certificates that are added into the Root Certificate store in Windows and also into major browsers. This feature will protect you against viruses coming through HTTPs traffic as well as adding compatibility for SPDY+HTTPS/ HTTP 2.0 traffic. You can tune/disable this feature in the settings section.
     
  • Avast GrimeFighter is now partially integrated with Avast Antivirus, and included in Smart Scan. GrimeFighter 'lite' now offers free cleaning of junk files and tuning of system settings. These tasks are performed by our Zilch and Torque minions. Other minion functions still require a separate license for the full version of GrimeFighter.
     
  • Avast Online Security includes better browser compatibility and optimized appearance.
     
  • Avast Help documentation is now web-based for quicker updates and more dynamic user feedback. Paid users can easily contact support directly from the Avast GUI.


I want to install Avast 2015 but there are two setup files for the same antivirus software available for download on your website. Which one should I use?

Starting from Avast 2015 two setup files for each antivirus product are available for download:

  • Online installer (avast_product_name_setup_online.exe) is a compact setup program with a file size of about 5 MB, which will download and install only the actual program components you need. The installation speed strongly depends on the Internet connection type and parameters. Online installer is recommended for one time installation.
     
  • Standard installer (avast_product_name_setup.exe) contains all files needed to quickly install all program components, and its file size is about 100 MB. Because some data, like the virus definitions database, can be outdated in this setup package, Avast 2015 will automatically download the latest updates once the installation is finished. Standard installer is recommended for multiple installations.


Is it necessary to uninstall a previous version of Avast antivirus before installing Avast 2015 ?

If you have Avast 7.x, Avast 8.x or Avast 2014 you don't actually need to do anything to uninstall your previous version of Avast, because the Avast 2015 installation program is able to detect and automatically upgrade the existing installation.

If you still have Avast 6.x or older, you should uninstall it first by using the Avast Uninstall Utility, and then you can install Avast 2015 by following these instructions:

How can I create and use the Avast Rescue Disk feature in Avast 2015 ?

For detailed step-by-step instructions on how to create and use the Avast Rescue Disk shipped with Avast 2015 please read the following:

What is the USB flash drive storage capacity required to be able to create an Avast Rescue Disk?

An empty 500 MB (or higher) USB flash drive is recommended for Avast Rescue Disk creation.


My computer is infected with some malware which prevents Avast 2015 from being installed. How can I install Avast 2015 on my computer?

When a computer is infected with malware, like some kind of lockscreen ransomware which uses a full-screen image or webpage to stop you from accessing anything on your computer, or a file infector which prevents Avast 2015 from being installed, you can try to remove infected files from your computer by using the Avast Rescue Disk that is available in Avast 2015. In order to be able to create an Avast Rescue Disk, you'll need another (uninfected) Windows computer with an Internet connection, where you can install Avast 2015, and an empty USB flash drive (or blank recordable CD when the computer has CD/DVD-writer capability).

  • Once you have installed Avast 2015 on another (uninfected) Windows computer with an Internet connection, insert USB flash drive to its USB port, open the Avast user interface, click 'Tools', select 'Rescue Disk', and then click the 'USB' button to create a bootable Avast Rescue Disk.
     
  • When it's done, make sure that the infected computer is turned off, insert USB flash drive with Avast Rescue Disk to its USB port, turn the infected computer on, and as soon as it's powered up, invoke the Boot menu from the BIOS initialization screen to start your computer from the USB flash drive.
     
  • As soon as your computer boots from the external USB flash drive, a message telling you to "Press any key to boot from CD or DVD..." will be shown for a while. Press any key as soon as the message disappears, and the Avast Rescue Disk wizard will guide you through the rest of the malware removal process.
     
  • When the malware has been removed from the computer, you can try to install Avast 2015 once again.
     

For detailed step-by-step instructions on how to create and use Avast Rescue Disk please read the following:

Where I can find real-time shields settings in Avast 2015 ?

Real-time shields were moved to the Settings in Avast 2015. In order to configure real-time shields, go to the Avast user interface, click 'Settings', then select 'Active Protection', and now you can click the wheel icon next to the real-time shield you need to configure, or the switch symbol next to the real-time shield you need to turn off/on.


What real-time shields are included in Avast 2015 ?

The number of real-time shields in Avast 2015 is reduced by merging some of them to another. The P2P Shield, IM Shield and Behavior Shield are now a part of the File System Shield, while the Network Shield with Script Shield are a part of the Web Shield.


How can I manage the firewall settings in Avast Premier 2015 and Avast Internet Security 2015 to increase security level when I connect to a public network?

When using your computer to connect to a public network, open the Avast user interface, click 'Tools', select 'Firewall' and switch the firewall from "Private" mode to "Public" mode to ensure the maximum level of security. This is the most secure setting, and if selected, no incoming communication will be allowed effectively making your computer invisible to others.


Everytime I try to run a specific program, I get a message that Avast Hardened Mode has prevented a program from starting. How can I override this?

The Avast Hardened Mode is disabled by default. If you prefer to have it turned on, you can add such a program to the exclusions by clicking 'Add an exclusion...' on the displayed message, or you can go to the Avast user interface, click 'Settings', select 'Antivirus', scroll down to the "Exclusions" section, then click the 'Hardened Mode' tab, browse your computer for the executable file of the program you want to add to the exclusion list, and then click 'OK'.

If you want to completely disable the Avast Hardened Mode, go to the Avast user interface, click 'Settings', then select 'Antivirus', scroll down to the "Hardened Mode" section, and uncheck the box 'Enable Hardened Mode'.


How can I enable Avast DeepScreen in Avast 2015 ?

Avast DeepScreen is enabled by default. In case you need to know if Avast DeepScreen is enabled or not, go to the Avast user interface, click 'Settings', select 'Antivirus', then scroll down to the "DeepScreen" section, and look whether the 'Enable DeepScreen' option is checked or not.


I'm using Internet Explorer, but there are no "Do Not Track" features available in the Avast Online Security browser protection plugin. How can I fix it?

Unfortunately, "Do Not Track" features have not yet been implemented in Avast Online Security for Internet Explorer, but they should be available in a future revision of Avast 2015. Until then, you can use this feature only on Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari.


What is the "Do not Track" feature in the Avast Online Security browser protection plugin and how does it work?

It helps prevent analytics, social media, and other third-party sites tracking your web browsing activity, a number is displayed under the plugin icon in the top right corner of your web browser. When you click on it, the user sees a list of all the analytics tools and tracking software on that site. The user can then choose which to allow or deny.

How can I turn on/off Secure DNS protection?

Secure DNS is part of Active protection in Avast 2015. To enable or disable this feature, go to SettingsActive protection. Next to Secure DNS, click on the ON/OFF switch. If you are turning it off, you can choose whether to do so temporarily or permanently in the menu which appears.


How can I run a Home Security Network scan?

Home Network Security can be found in ScanScan for network threats. Click the Scan network button on the right to run the scan. If any issues are found, click More information and follow the suggestions to resolve the issues. Home Network Security is also included when you run Smart scan in Avast 2015. You can find more information in this article:

Avast 2015: Running Smart scan on computers with Windows operating system.
 

Conditions

Avast Premier 2015
Avast Internet Security 2015
Avast Pro Antivirus 2015
Avast Free Antivirus 2015

Operating systems:


Microsoft Windows 8.1 / Pro / Enterprise
Microsoft Windows 8 / Pro / Enterprise
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic / Home Premium / Professional / Enterprise / Ultimate
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic / Home Premium / Business / Enterprise / Ultimate
Microsoft Windows XP Home / Professional / Media Center Edition

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