Avast acquired Piriform, the maker of CCleaner and other popular programs in July 2017. The Czech security company is known for its line of free and commercial security products for Windows and other operating system, and for acquiring the security company AVG in a billion Dollar deal.
Piriform released CCleaner more than a decade ago, and the program grew quickly to become one of the most popular cleaning programs for Windows. The company's infrastructure was compromised in September, and a malicious version of CCleaner was distributed from company servers for about a month as a consequence.
Avast and Piriform were quick to point out that Piriform would continue to develop CCleaner and other products, and that Piriform products would be maintained separately from Avast's own software catalog.
Avast did hint at synergies however in the acquisition announcement but did not reveal more than that back then.
If you have downloaded and installed CCleaner on Windows recently -- the free version of the program that comes with an installer will do -- you may have identified one of the synergies already.
The CCleaner installer comes with adware offers. This has been the case for years, and many experienced users avoided this by using the portable version of the application instead.
The installer download is placed prominently on the site however, and most users probably download and use it. The most recent installer comes with Avast Free Antivirus. It is offered on the first page of the installer, and enabled by default.
Users who don't pay attention will install CCleaner and Avast Free Antivirus on their systems. While one could argue that offering Avast is better than many other products that are usually offered in adware installers, it is still the case that making these offers opt-out is not user friendly.
CCleaner users who don't want Avast installed on the device they run the installer on need to uncheck the "Get Avast Free Antivirus now" box in the installer, or, and that is the highly suggested option, download the portable version of CCleaner instead as it ships without adware.
CCleaner is used by over 150 million users worldwide. Bundling Avast Free Antivirus with CCleaner will push the antivirus software on user systems. While that may look good on paper, it remains to be seen how thrilled users are when they notice that another software program was installed on their device during the installation of CCleaner.
Side note: This would make for an interesting study: User perception of adware installed software. In this case, whether Avast Free Antivirus' reputation takes a hit when it is linked to adware offers especially since the program is designed to protect systems against adware.
Avast is not the only reputable company that pushes its programs through adware offers. Google does the same with its Chrome browser, and so do plenty of other companies that are held in high regard by most computer users. (via Teechdows)
Now You: Does your perception of products that are pushed via adware offers change?
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.