Bloated Avast turns into a hog

Monday 25 March 2013 @ 11:25 pm

As is the case with most software packages that start off lean and mean and then slowly begin to bloat, Avast antivirus is the latest to heave its blubber onto the groaning bandwagon under the guise of “improvements”.

I’ve used the free version of Avast antivirus for years and it always served its purpose well. Fast to load, minimal impact on system resources, comprehensive protection without impeding usability and capable of working on older hardware.

Last years’ version 7 started the inevitable decline to crapulence when toaster ads started appearing with virus updates and the journey to the hog factory is complete with the latest release, version 8 that proudly boasts an interface straight from the Windows 8 bumper book of Offensive GUI’s. Version 7 was just about palatable but this new version 8 is rude, obnoxious, full of hidden software updates without prompting the user and worst of all, leaves behind a venerable sewer of software flotsam and shit if you try to remove the app. If there’s one thing I hate on a PC, it’s an arrogant software package that refuses to cleanly uninstall.

Upgrading your existing version 7 of Avast to version 8 promptly installs the auto software updater and tries to slip in some Google crapware without user interaction. Then, when you fire it up, you’re presented with the new Avast GUI that wastes no time in punting a feeble collection of rubbish Avast software that nobody will ever need along with ads, social media junk and other crap designed to annoy and slow down your PC.

Then there’s the actual bloat itself. Running on both XP and Windows 7, boot times have vastly inflated and the whole system just feels far more sluggish. Open up the GUI and it’s not difficult to see why; despite your current version 7 custom installation, Avast 8 will see fit to install all the shields whether you want them or not.

Now you might say well it’s a free app so some degree of advertising is acceptable and that for a free package it’s pretty damn good. I disagree. I’d argue for a free app, it’s far too aggressive in shoving ads in your face and given that there are far more agreeable alternatives available, it’s time to get rid of Avast for good and kick it into the bin marked “sod off”.

As for replacements, I’m going with the freeware Panda Cloud Anti Virus version 2. It’s lightweight, unobtrusive, has a panda face for an icon, doesn’t bombard you with ads and offers a nice tidy single interface with no fuss or annoying toaster ads. I’ve used this on a few PC’s over the last year and it’s time to move over for good.

Avast can stay in the pig farm and continue wallowing in its own slurry of lame ass advertising.