avast! 2014: Frequently Asked Questions - General

avast! 2014 FAQ - General

System Requirements

Download, Installation and Upgrade

License and Registration

Features and Settings

Other questions

What are the supported operating systems for avast! 2014 ?

The supported operating systems for avast! Premier 2014, avast! Internet Security 2014, avast! Pro Antivirus 2014 and avast! Free Antivirus 2014 are Microsoft Windows 8.1 (any Edition, 32-bit or 64-bit), Microsoft Windows 8 (any Edition, 32-bit or 64-bit), Microsoft Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or higher (any Edition, 32-bit or 64-bit), Microsoft Windows Vista Service Pack 2 or higher (any Edition excl. Starter Edition, 32-bit or 64-bit) or Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 3 (any Edition, 32-bit or 64-bit).

Note:
The information above means that avast! 2014 isn't supported (isn't compatible, can't be installed and won't run) on DOS, Microsoft Windows 3.x, Microsoft Windows NT 3.x, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows ME, Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows Server operating systems, or any others which aren't specified as supported.

Using Microsoft Windows operating systems without the latest Service Pack might be no longer supported. For details please refer to the documentation on Microsoft's website:

How to download avast! 2014 ?

To download the latest multi-lingual version of avast! 2014 use the following direct download links:

How to install avast! 2014 ?

For detailed step-by-step instructions how to install avast! 2014 please read the following articles:

How to upgrade from avast! 8.x to avast! 2014 ?

For detailed step-by-step instructions how to upgrade from avast! 8.x to avast! 2014 please read the following articles:

Is it necessary to uninstall a previous version of avast! antivirus before installing avast! 2014 ?

If you have avast! 7.x or 8.x you don't actually need to do anything to uninstall your previous version of avast!, because the avast! 2014 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! 2014 by following these instructions:

How to insert the license file into avast! Premier 2014, avast! Internet Security 2014 or avast! Pro Antivirus 2014 ?

Licenses for avast! Premier 2014, avast! Internet Security 2014 and avast! Pro Antivirus 2014 can be purchased via our website, www.avast.com.

After receiving your license file, you just need to double-click to open it and your license will be inserted into your program automatically.

Alternatively, save the license file on your computer, open the avast! Premier 2014, avast! Internet Security 2014 or avast! Pro Antivirus 2014 interface, from the main menu select 'Settings', then 'Subscription' and click 'Insert license file'. A dialog window will open where you can browse your computer to locate your license file. Once you have located it, double click on it and it will be automatically inserted into the program.

avast! Premier 2014, avast! Internet Security 2014 or avast! Pro Antivirus 2014 can now continue to be used for 12, 24, or 36 months, depending on the purchased license, and you will continue to receive automatic updates to both the program and your virus definitions. At the end of that time, it will be necessary simply to purchase and insert a new license key.

For detailed step-by-step instructions please read the following articles:

How do I register avast! Free Antivirus 2014 ?

Open the avast! Free Antivirus 2014 interface from the main menu select 'Settings', then 'Registration' and click 'Register now'. A new window with the registration form will open. Enter the required details into the form fields and then click 'Register for free license'.

avast! Free Antivirus 2014 can now continue to be used for 12 months and you will continue to receive automatic updates to both the program and your virus definitions. At the end of that time, it will be necessary simply to register for a new free license.

For detailed step-by-step instructions please read the following article:

What should I do if avast! 2014 rejects purchased license as invalid?

If the avast! 2014 rejects purchased license as invalid please proceed as follows:

  1. Submit a request to resend the license to the e-mail address provided when avast! 2014 was purchased and try to insert this license into the program.

  2. If the license insertion fails, uninstall avast! 2014 using the avast! Uninstall Utility and restart your computer.

  3. Download and install the appropriate product version of avast! 2014 related to the purchased license.

  4. Once again try to insert the license into the avast! 2014.


I've just purchased an avast! product but I have not received the license. What can I do to get the license?

If you did not receive your purchased license, you can request it via this webform using the e-mail address provided during the avast! product purchase.


I have three licenses of avast! 2014. Can I transfer one license to another computer after disposing the old one? Even though it technically is a fourth computer?

Yes, you can.


I have inserted a valid license in to avast! 2014, but avast! SecureLine tells me that the license is expired. What can I do?

avast! SecureLine is integrated in avast! 2014 as an extra service and requires a separate license. Please ensure, that you have also purchased the license for avast! SecureLine.


What is avast! Software Updater?

Patch management systems are widely in use in medium and large scale enterprise environments. These environments are mostly controlled by an administrator with appropriate knowledge. However, in small office and home office environments patch management is virtually unknown. Most home and small office users simply do not care about patching and updating their computer, because they are usually not aware of the risks. As shown e.g. in Microsoft Security Analysis Report 1H201, the vast majority of malware does not spread via 0-day exploits but via social engineering or already fixed issues in 3rd party software. This means if the users would regularly update their software base most malware would be unable to spread. In short, users have a strong need for patch management also in home and small office environments.

avast! Software Updater is a completely new feature in avast! 2014 which monitors version status of 3rd party applications you are running and assists you to keep them up-to date. While all other avast! 2014 products only informs you whenever any of your 3rd party applications is out of date and you need to maintain all updates manually by clicking the 'Fix now' button next to each conflicting application, avast! Premier 2014 can be configured to perform these updates automatically.

Global status indication in avast! Software Updater is determined by potential vulnerability risk level of each application in the list. For easy understanding the following states are used:

  • GOOD (from 100% to 91%) - Your computer is fully protected or is at low-risk against vulnerabilities. But you can still check the list and update remaining applications, if any exists.

  • BAD (from 90% to 51%) - Your computer is not fully protected against vulnerabilities, because you still have some medium-risk applications outdated. It's recommended to check the list and update remaining applications, like viewers for some not so often used Internet file types, photo editors, etc.

  • CRITICAL (from 50% to 0%) - Your computer is at high-risk, because some critically vulnerable applications are outdated. It's strongly recommended to check the list and immediately update all applications directly connected to the Internet content, like Internet browsers, e-mail clients, news readers, etc.

  • DISABLED - avast! Software Updater is disabled. Please click 'Start' to turn it on, and 'Rescan' your applications to check their current status.

Note:
Please be advised, that the number of 3rd party applications supported by avast! Software Updater is limited and they might not be supported in all languages. We cover basically only products which are essential for computer security, and it might change over time. The list of currently supported product may be found here.


What is avast! Browser Cleanup?

Nowadays almost any free software for Windows comes with some more or less unwanted add-ons which are mostly the cash cow for the product vendor. In most cases a Internet Browser add-on (a so called a Toolbar) is installed. Some of these toolbars claim to be somehow useful. However, in general they are used to analyze the user preferences and behavior and send this data to other vendors where it’s used to present user specific ads. A lot of these toolbars are annoying for the user:

  • Tracking data is being sent to some backend servers.

  • Annoying ads are displayed, search results are manipulated.

  • The Browsers homepage is changed.

  • Multiple toolbars get ‘normal’ and require a lot of space inside the Internet Browser.

  • Users mostly don’t know how to get rid of the toolbars.

  • Some of these toolbars prevent the user from uninstalling them.

avast! Browser Cleanup lists all these add-ons for the 3 major Internet Browsers (Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome) and allows to disable or to remove them. An automatic rating system allows the user to immediately see how other users like an add-on. Using avast! Browser Cleanup will allow the user to get rid of these toolbars with a single click.


What is avast! Data Shredder?

avast! Data Shredder is a completely new feature which comes in avast! Premier 2014 and allows you to irreversibly erase hard drive partitions or individual files with sensitive data (user data, licensed software, etc.), when you want to be sure that there is no way how to restore data back in case of e.g. selling/donating your computers or hard drives.

When you format a hard drive partition, or delete a file using standard tools, only a reference to its data is removed from system allocation tables and the file's clusters are marked as unused, but no actual erasing is performed until another file overwrites the area on the disk where the original file resided. There are utilities capable of tracing and restoring deleted files, therefore you should never delete files containing sensitive information in a regular way.

The proper solution is to overwrite such hard drive partition or the file with meaningless data before deleting it, which is exactly what avast! Data Shredder does. It allows you to Shred partitions/files in such a way that it is impossible to recover them by software or hardware means. There are several methods available, varying in speed and reliability:

  • Gutmann algorithm is a very slow but most secure method. The two methods below make it impossible to recover shredded data with software tools, but may fail when an attacker is equipped with specialized disk restoration hardware, which can uncover even several layers of data previously written to any disk track. The Gutmann method uses 26 overwriting passes, each of which addresses different disk encoding scheme (MFM, RLL, etc.). There are also a few random passes. It should be impossible to recover the original data after shredding a file with this method.

  • DOD (Department of Defense) 5220.22M-algorithm is a less secure but faster method comparing to Gutmann algorithm. The file is overwritten with zero bytes, then with bytes 0xFF (255) and finally with random data.

  • Random overwrite is the simplest but least secure method. It merely overwrites the file one or more times with pseudo-random bytes. The number of passes (overwrites) can be specified.

Even if you delete sensitive data by standard means, avast! Data Shredder can still prevent file recovery by cleaning disk free space. If you Shred free space, it will be done by allocating a temporary file as large as possible with one of the methods mentioned above. However, not all free space can be reached by allocating a large file. Since files are stored in clusters and rarely the size of a file is a multiple of the cluster size, there often is unused space in the last cluster of each file. This is called the cluster tip and can contain sensitive information. Although it can be lengthy, avast! Data Shredder can securely overwrite these areas too:

  • On NTFS partitions, files small enough (up to around one kilobyte) are stored directly in the Master File Table (MFT), which is another place impossible to overwrite by the large file. The unused records are therefore overwritten by creating many zero-sized files with a very long filename.

  • On FAT partitions, it can even prevent restoring the names of deleted files by directly overwriting all deleted entries in the entire directory structure. Unfortunately, this is not possible on NTFS, where it would be risky to access the directory clusters directly.


What is avast! SecureLine?

While antivirus software protects you from malware, firewall your data on your computer, and computer itself, avast! SecureLine is a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which allows you to connect to the Internet via encrypted tunnel in order to protect your online identity, downloaded and uploaded data from eavesdropping. Only a VPN provides security and privacy once your data leaves your computer and anonymize your Internet activity. Therefore, main advantages of avast! SecureLine are the following:

  • Protection on unsecure Wi-Fi connections. With other people connected to the same public network, attackers are able to capture each and every packet and impersonate another user, for example by stealing his logon cookies. Since VPN connection is encrypted, it provides an efficient protection against these types of attacks.

  • Anonymization. With broadband connections, many people have fixed IP addresses and are afraid to browse some sensitive sites because of the possibility of being tracked back. With a VPN connection, the browsing session is effectively anonymized as the IP address the remote server sees is the address of the VPN server, not the user.

  • Unrestricted access to the Internet from countries with censorship, like China, Saudi Arabia, Korea etc.

avast! SecureLine is integrated in avast! 2014 as an extra service and requires a separate license.


What is the avast! SafeZone?

The avast! SafeZone is an additional security feature in avast! Premier 2014, avast! Internet Security 2014 and avast! Pro Antivirus 2014, which allows you to browse the web in a private, secure environment, invisible to the rest of your system.

If you do your banking or shopping on-line, or other security-sensitive transactions, you can be sure that your personal data cannot be monitored by spyware or key-logging software. Unlike the Sandbox, which is intended to keep everything contained inside so that it cannot harm the rest of your system, the SafeZone is designed to keep everything else out.


What is the avast! Sandbox (avast! Process Virtualization)?

This is a feature in avast! Premier 2014, avast! Internet Security 2014 and avast! Pro Antivirus 2014 which allows you to browse the web or run another application in a completely safe environment. This is especially useful when visiting high-risk web sites, whether accidentally or deliberately, as the Web browser will be completely contained within the avast! Sandbox, preventing any damage to your computer.

The avast! Sandbox can also be used to run any other applications which you think may be suspect - you can run the program inside the sandbox to determine whether or not it is safe while remaining completely protected against any malicious actions that it may try to carry out.

To run an application or to browse the web using the avast! Sandbox, just browse the files on your computer to find the required application e.g. Internet Explorer. The Web browser or other application will then open in a special window with a red border, indicating that it is being run inside the sandbox.

Also you can further define applications that should always be run in virtualized mode, and trusted applications that should never be virtualized.


What is the avast! Firewall?

avast! Premier 2014 and avast! Internet Security 2014 include a fully integrated firewall which can be controlled directly from the avast! user interface.

The avast! Firewall monitors all communication between your computer and the outside world and blocks unauthorized communication based on a number of 'Allow' and 'Deny' rules. In this way, the firewall can prevent sensitive data from leaving your computer and can also block attempted intrusions by external hackers.

You can also set the application rules governing the network and Internet communication for specific software applications. The firewall will then follow these rules whenever a particular application tries to establish a connection to the Internet or with another network.


What is the avast! Antispam?

avast! Premier 2014 and avast! Internet Security 2014 include a fully integrated antispam module to detect unwanted e-mail.

Spam delivered to your mailbox can result in your mailbox quickly becoming full, and as a result legitimate e-mails may not be received. It can also unnecessarily increase the load on the Mail Server, internet connection, local networks etc.

The avast! Antispam module analyses every incoming e-mail based on various criteria to determine whether is it legitimate. This analysis is based partly on a 'Blacklist' containing the addresses of senders from whom e-mails should always be marked as spam, and a 'Whitelist' which contains the addresses of known and trusted senders. These lists can be found in the antispam settings. For e-mails from senders that are not on either list, a content analysis is also carried out based on the specified scan sensitivity to identify e-mails that should be treated as spam.

In the antispam settings you can also specify how spam e-mails should be marked. This can then be used to create a new rule in your Mail Client, for example to automatically move the marked e-mails to another folder. The avast! Antispam module is effective for messages delivered to e-mail accounts in combination with the Mail Client installed on your computer such as Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express etc. but not for web based e-mail accounts such as Yahoo!, Gmail etc. which usually have their own antispam options.


What is the avast! Silent/Gaming Mode?

At various times while your computer is running, messages may be displayed on your screen e.g. when the virus definitions have been updated, when an incoming e-mail is being scanned etc. This can result in full-screen applications (e.g. games) being interrupted as Windows switches from full-screen mode to normal mode when the message appears. You can specify that messages will never be displayed, or will not be displayed if a full-screen application is running.


Why avast! Software Updater doesn't update my applications automatically?

Please check your avast! 2014 product version, because only avast! Premier 2014 allows you to configure avast! Software Updater in order to perform automatic updates. All other avast! 2014 products only informs you whenever any of your 3rd party applications is out of date and you need to maintain all updates manually by clicking the 'Fix now' button next to each conflicting application.

Note:
Please be advised, that the number of 3rd party applications supported by avast! Software Updater is limited and they might not be supported in all languages. We cover basically only products which are essential for computer security, and it might change over time.


What is the difference between the buttons “Remove” and “Disable” in avast! Browser Cleanup?

avast! Browser Cleanup allows you to remove well-known annoying toolbars or to disable them in the Browser specific tabs on the list. “Remove” means here uninstall and remove the toolbar and all its components completely from your computer. This action cannot be undone. However, removing an add-on sometimes might not be desired always as you might not be sure what’s really behind this add-on. For this reason avast! Browser Cleanup also offers a button “Disable”. Disable just switches off the functionality of the add-ons. The add-on itself persists on disk. You can undo this action just by clicking “Enable”. This will re-enable the add-on and all functionality is back. Probably you need to restart your Internet Browser, however.


What is avast! AccessAnywhere and what is the difference comparing to avast! Remote Assistance?

avast! AccessAnywhere is a remote control alternative to existing avast! Remote Assistance, mainly for users who manage several devices for friends or family. In avast! Premier 2014 you can configure it in a way, that you can establish a remote session always when your computer is turned on and connected to the Internet with no time limitation, and comparing to avast! Remote Assistance you don't have to exchange a new security code between computers every time you need to establish a remote session. While the "controlling" computers can have any avast! 2014 product version installed, the "controlled" computers must have avast! Premier 2014 configured to accept remote sessions.

Note:
Please be advised, that avast! AccessAnywhere users will need to have an avast! Account and to be logged in.


Why I cannot configure avast! AccessAnywhere to have my computer remotely accessible?

Please check your avast! 2014 product version, because only avast! Premier 2014 allows you to configure avast! AccessAnywhere in a way, that you can establish a remote session. While the "controlling" computers can have any avast! 2014 product version installed, the "controlled" computers must have avast! Premier 2014 configured to accept remote sessions.

Note:
Please be advised, that avast! AccessAnywhere users will need to have an avast! Account and to be logged in.


I have 3rd party firewall and I cannot establish remote desktop session in avast! 2014. Which network ports are being used by avast! Remote Assistance and avast! AccessAnywhere?

The avast! Remote Assistance and avast! AccessAnywhere work as a network client/server architecture. Remote desktop connection between "controlling" and "controlled" computers is negotiated through our intermediary server, and therefore you have to enable only outgoing ports on "controlling" as well as "controlled" computer if any 3rd party firewall is used:

  • Outgoing TCP connection on port 8010 for SSL Control Connections.

  • Outgoing TCP connection on port 8011 for Data connections


Why should I use avast! SecureLine?

avast! SecureLine can be used any time you want to connect to the Internet with extra security and privacy.


Can I use avast! SecureLine with any type of Internet connection?

Yes, avast! SecureLine should connect over any wired or wireless Internet connection.


Why does my system performance slow down during a computer scan?

avast! 2014 comes with a number of pre-defined scans installed by default, but you can also create your own custom defined scans. All these scans can be performed simultaneously. But, if you execute too many pre-defined and/or custom defined scans at the same time, depending on your computer configuration you can observe some system performance degradation.


How does avast! 2014 secure web based e-mail services such as Yahoo!, Gmail, etc.?

Web based e-mail services such as Yahoo!, Gmail etc. usually have their own security options, because e-mails are received and stored on the remote Mail Server and users access their e-mail accounts remotely via their Web browser. In other words, web based e-mail services are like any other website, and if you try to save, download or run a suspicious file from a web based e-mail account, it will be detected by the web shield built into avast! 2014.

As a result you should not expect to see any scan history in the Mail Shield screen if using a web-based email services. If you have any doubts about the security of your web based e-mail service provider, you can alternatively launch your Web browser within the avast! Sandbox and then access your web based e-mail account within this secure virtualized environment.


Why are many "clean" messages being sent to my spam folder?

This situation may be resolved by reducing the heuristic sensitivity. In the antispam settings it is possible to set the scan sensitivity as 'Low', 'Medium' or 'High'. avast! will perform a heuristic analysis of all incoming e-mails to identify potential spam - the heuristic analysis comprises a large number of tests based on typical spam content or behavior and the sensitivity level will determine how many tests would have to be failed for a message to be considered spam. The higher the sensitivity, the higher the "pass mark", therefore the higher the number of e-mails that will fail the heuristic test and will be treated as spam. Reducing the heuristic sensitivity may reduce the number of emails being send to your spam folder, but a result of this may be an increase in the number of spam emails in your inbox.


Is the Firewall built in avast! Premier 2014 or avast! Internet Security 2014 able to protect your computer, even if the Microsoft Windows Firewall is turned off?

avast! Premier 2014 and avast! Internet Security 2014 include a full-featured Firewall and together with the other Real-Time Shields is able to completely protect your computer (i.e. avast! Premier 2014 and avast! Internet Security 2014 must have everything turned on for reliable computer protection).


Conditions

avast! Premier 2014
avast! Internet Security 2014
avast! Pro Antivirus 2014
avast! Free Antivirus 2014

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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Uw browser is verouderd.

1. Op 8 april 2014 zet Microsoft de ondersteuning voor Internet Explorer in Windows XP stop. Dat betekent dat uw computer en gegevens, zoals creditcard- en onlinerekeninggegevens, een groter gevaar lopen door hackers en malware te worden aangevallen.

2. U kunt diverse andere browsers gebruiken, maar AVAST adviseert Chrome. We gebruiken het zelf ook, want volgens ons is het een van de veiligste browsers die er op dit moment zijn.