Avast 6 Antivirus Software With AutoSandbox, Web Rep

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 24, 2011
Updated • Mar 27, 2012
Security, Software, Windows, Windows software

Avast has just released the final version of their antivirus software Avast 6 which has been available as a beta version for some time. Avast Free Antivirus 6.0 is a free for personal and non-commercial use. It offers antivirus and anti-spyware protection for Windows PCs.

The developers have added several new features to Avast Free Antivirus among them a new sandboxing feature and shields for specific programs or situations. A custom install option is available during setup to remove modules that are not needed from the program. A user without desktop email client could for instance disable the mail shield, a user who is not making use of P2P the P2P shield.

avast free antivirus installation

Avast 6 Antivirus scans the PC during the installation, a restart to finalize the setup is not required. Some modules like the new autosandbox are however only available after a restart of the Windows PC.

avast free antivirus

Free users have to live with advertisement in the application. They also need to register the application to stay protected after the initial 30 days. Registration is completed in the application, it is not necessary to open a web browser to register externally.

The main new features are the following in Avast Free Antivirus 6:

  • AutoSandbox – suspicious programs will be optionally run sandboxed
  • avast! WebRep – browser plugin for website reputation rating; a combination of data from our virus lab and community voting
  • Script Shield now even in the Free AV
  • Site Blocking now even in the Free AV
  • SafeZone – a special virtualized area for sensitive transactions (e.g. secure online banking) (paid products only)
  • Restore factory settings command (Settings -> Troubleshooting)
  • Automatic actions in the boot-time scan
  • New compression method in the installer makes the setup packages about 20% smaller.
  • Script Shield now functional even with IE8/IE9 Protected Mode
  • Sidebar gadget
  • Improved stability/compatibility of the Behavior Shield
  • Improvements in the avast! sandbox

Lets take a closer look at some of the features. Avast 6 uses the new AutoSandbox feature for instance to run suspicious programs automatically in a sandbox to avoid damage to the operating system and files.

WebRep, another new addition adds itself as a plugin to Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. It can be used to view reputation ratings for websites that are visited or displayed in search engines in the supported browsers. Uninstallation options are provided in the Avast Antivirus interface which is handy in case those plugins are not needed anymore.

web reputation

The new sidebar gadget for Vista and Windows 7 displays the current system state (e.g. secured) and offers to open the Avast Free Antivirus interface and to update the software with new virus definitions.

avast gadget

The Real-Time Shields menu offers interesting information about the shields that are currently running and protecting the system. The shields have their own Shield Traffic graph that displays information about scanned and infected files or events.

web shield

Expert settings for each module are very extensive. The settings for the web scanning module for instance are divided on seven pages with options to exclude urls and mime types from the scan, change the scan from all files to only select files and mime types, select packer formats that should be extracted while scanning, configure actions if a virus, potentially unwanted program or suspicious files is discovered and to define the heuristic sensitivity.

Similar expert settings are available for all shields. Some settings are identical while others differ. Another interesting feature is the ability to access the free antivirus software even if it is currently scanning the computer. It is for instance possible to take a look at the real-time shields during a full system scan.

Avast Free Antivirus 6 offers several interesting features and usability improvements. AutoSandboxing, the ability to uninstall the web reputation plugin, extensive shield configuration options and real-time and traffic history information make it a solid choice for Windows users who are looking for a program that can protect their computer effectively.

Avast Free Antivirus 6.0 is available for download at the developer website.

Update: Avast Free Antivirus 7.0 has just been released by Avast. The free version adds new several new features to the free antivirus software. This includes cloud based virus definition updates that speed up the distribution of new virus definitions, a new file reputation service that uses the cloud to make better decisions about files, and a new remote assistance option.


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  1. protohunter said on July 26, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    Well avast really sucks balls now I don’t even want it if its free . The friggin sandbox. Totally screwed it up .. I even reformatted and cant get it off my PC its in a folder marked users name is unavailable . I cant delete it or take ownership of it nothing I even uninstalled avast but it left that folder Nothing i cant even share it for me the administer to see it. I am a novice PC user the only thing i did was changed it so nobody could use it Please help what can i do to get that folder off my PC Thank YOU!

  2. Monster said on July 26, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    OK i have always used avast, but this new version with the( sand box) what is that i open it up to let it run and then i had to reformat because my PC was running so crappy Didn’t think twice about it having to do with avast but once I reformatted i was still having problems so i opened the c drive and the folder with Avast Sandbox is there .I even delete all of my old window files I need help getting rid of that folder I am the administer owner etc.. but sandbox will not let me delete the file or take ownership of it. the only thing it let me do is change is make it were nobody can use it Please help

  3. chromebandit said on March 10, 2012 at 2:14 am

    Check out here and see how other people and developer think about avast 7


  4. ajax said on February 2, 2012 at 3:50 am

    I wish they gave us a simple installer switch to automatically disable sandboxing or at least disable it by default, i install avast for general users who almost all think it’s annoying and complain about it, i can’t even find a registry entry to modify so i have to manually edit the preferences for every install even after going threw the trouble of making a silent install for all my apps…which is annoying and makes me think about moving to another anti-virus program.

    1. chromebandit said on March 10, 2012 at 2:16 am

      i used it many years no i replaced it avast makes the same mistake like symantec people will look for other solutions


  5. parc rosewood said on January 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm

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  6. Shelby said on October 7, 2011 at 3:07 am

    How do I restart the avast shields if they are not working?

  7. RD said on June 10, 2011 at 12:09 am

    I personally hate this WebRep and Overall rating thing and if I can’t figure out how to get it off my computer I am dumping the software entirely. I use GMail and now I some threads have a full foot of crap at the bottom, adding a new pile of code on every time I respond to an email This is my BUSINESS email, and I can’t have code tacked on or waste all this space.

    Another thing that is driving me nuts (and I do research so you can imagine how frustrating this is) is half the sites I try to visit now need an exception and then still come up as just text and links. I can’t find half the stuff I am looking for. I am using the free version and can’t find how to stop this.

    As far as I am concerned they’ve ruined perfectly functional software.

    1. pt said on July 9, 2011 at 4:59 am

      So… using free version for your “BUSINESS email”? From the Avast web site, “* avast! Free Antivirus is free only for personal and non-commercial use.” Feel free to stop using it. You shouldn’t anyway.

  8. Damian Varyanaddy said on April 20, 2011 at 2:57 am

    i’m so like this feature avast sandbox because it’s really help me opening an unwanted program in my pc. really great feature

  9. tryztan said on April 12, 2011 at 12:55 am

    I just use update facility to upgrade my avast 5 to avast 6. No need to download avast 6 installation file

  10. Subrata Majumder said on March 12, 2011 at 8:22 am

    I am using The Avast of V5.0. But I have downloaded The Avast of V6.0 (Avast, WebRep).
    1. Should I install it?
    2. Which will be better for me as an average user?
    3. If I install it, then will the previous version run properly?
    4. If I uninstall it (If once installed), will the previous version5.0 appear as past?

  11. jfjb said on February 25, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    WepRep is not a feature, it is an opinion gathering-displaying, pretty much as worthless as WOT since it represents dudes and dudettes’ opinions, not an expert advice nor any real-world objective data.
    This is a free country, you decide.

  12. Jojo said on February 25, 2011 at 6:56 am

    How does AVast free compare to AVG free?

    1. FreebieHound said on July 4, 2011 at 10:09 am

      “How does AVast free compare to AVG free?”
      It does not compare.
      avast! free appears light and nimble although this stupid “avast! WebRep” is very annoying and pointless in my opinion.
      The huge popups rating the links when I unwttingly hover over the bars symbol distract me, and the extra hight of the menu bar takes away screen space.
      I’m looking for a way to remove this.

      Now, I just removed AVG free from my computer, although not the conventional way. Their uninstaller does not work at all, and I couldn’t remove it via Add-Remove.
      Once it plants itself on your computer is there for good.
      In my case as with many others, it freezes the computer during their insanely frequent updates.
      I use ZoneAlarm, and their “support” suggested I turn off my firewall so AVG can get the update. Those guys are insane! Turn off my firewall for the time it takes AVG to get updates? Yeah, right.
      Then they want me to download one of their program to remove AVG. Yeah, right!
      Then they ask me to attach a copy of some log file so they can “analyze it”.
      There is one catch … LOL!!! Their forum did not accept any attachments.
      So, in a few words, AVG free was very “heavy” and slowing down my computer, and I had to turn off and restart my computer everytime AVG updated itself because it got frozen.

      Just Google “AVG freezes my computer” to see what I mean.

      Good luck!

  13. kalmly said on February 24, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Is there a way to get rid of or hide that ugly sidebar gadget?

    1. Martin said on February 24, 2011 at 5:11 pm

      You can close it, or uncheck it if you do a custom installation so that it is not installed at all.

  14. pitman said on February 24, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    No matter how good avast is, demanding free users to get a cd-key/register is a big no-no in my book. The main reason why I don’t recommend it to anyone .

    1. JB said on March 29, 2011 at 6:17 pm

      They don’t do that anymore. R U drunk or using the old old Avast?

    2. Thomas said on February 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm

      I don’t see any problem with the registration process. I got no mails or anything else to the address I registered with. Just provide my first name and a hotmail address, done.

  15. milithruldur said on February 24, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Awesome. Thanks for the heads-up Martin. Avast, at least for me, is an epitome of “the best things in life are free.”


  16. Thomas said on February 24, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Cool, used the beta since about 2 weeks.

    The behaviour shield interferes with outpost firewall/security suite, so I uninstalled the behaviour shield.

    Although I got the 64bit install, it runs as 32bit app. I can take a closer look at home later. First I will get the final.

    I also uninstalled the webrep plugin, since I’m already a WOT participiant. I don’t like to click for every service around the world. The plugin showed up still in Firefox, so I had to delete it in the registry.

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