AVAST, ME HARDIES

There are lots of good anti-virus programs out there, but if you’re not satisfied with yours, the new Avast! 7 Pro just hit the tarmac and looks great. And, it comes in a free version.

A “sandbox” feature in Avast 7 Pro makes Web browsing anonymous, and a “SafeZone” makes it unlikely that you’ll get hacked while doing financial transactions online. “Sandbox” is a programmer’s term for a special section of code that isolates actions in a box that’s not connected to the rest of the program. When it needs to get connected again, you the user, give it permission.

Avast 7 Pro has a “Remote Assistance” feature that allows someone else to take remote control of your computer from a remote location. You may think that’s not exactly a good thing, but it’s often necessary when you need technical help; house calls are rare among technicians, and expensive. To start “Remote Assistance,” you open Avast and click on the “Allow Remote Control” button. This generates a unique code which allows the other person to have control of your computer. The session can be ended at any time by either person. The only requirement is for both computers to be turned on and have Internet connections.

You can get the free or $40 version of Avast at Avast.com. They have a comparison chart that shows the difference between three versions of the program. If you already have a good anti-virus program, and are only interested in the remote assistance feature, there are several programs that allow remote control. Our current favorite is the free TeamViewer.com.

Update: Previously, we have written that you can’t install more than one anti-virus at a time. But the new Avast takes care of this.  If it detects another anti-virus program, it lets you choose to disable some functions of Avast to avoid conflict.

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