Beware! Avast is at it again


S

Stan Brown

I'm ready to uninstall Avast, because once again it has pulled the
sleazy trick of installing unwanted and unrelated software without my
permission.

Tonight when I logged on it notified me of program updates, which I
accepted. I watched like a hawk, through a vvvveeerrryyyy long
process, and there was no mention of any ride-along programs.

Yet after I rebooted, as instructed, and Avast said it was
configuring my updates, I started Task Manager and saw a Google
Update process running. After several minutes, Avast gave a message
that updates were complete and "Sorry, the Google Chrome installation
was unsuccessful."

I bloody well hope it was unsuccessful, because I didn't ask for it
and didn't give permission for it. Avast played this same game two
updates ago, though in the next update (the one before this one) it
didn't. To install a *browser* under the name of updating security
software is sleazy in the extreme. "Fool me once, shame on you; fool
me twice, shame on me."

Anybody care to mention a trustworthy antivirus program that doesn't
play these shenanigans and also doesn't eat up my system resources?
In Windows XP I would probably have turned to Microsoft Security
Essentials, but I haven't seen any mention of that program in years.
 
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B

Bruce Hagen

Stan Brown said:
I'm ready to uninstall Avast, because once again it has pulled the
sleazy trick of installing unwanted and unrelated software without my
permission.

Tonight when I logged on it notified me of program updates, which I
accepted. I watched like a hawk, through a vvvveeerrryyyy long
process, and there was no mention of any ride-along programs.

Yet after I rebooted, as instructed, and Avast said it was
configuring my updates, I started Task Manager and saw a Google
Update process running. After several minutes, Avast gave a message
that updates were complete and "Sorry, the Google Chrome installation
was unsuccessful."

I bloody well hope it was unsuccessful, because I didn't ask for it
and didn't give permission for it. Avast played this same game two
updates ago, though in the next update (the one before this one) it
didn't. To install a *browser* under the name of updating security
software is sleazy in the extreme. "Fool me once, shame on you; fool
me twice, shame on me."

Anybody care to mention a trustworthy antivirus program that doesn't
play these shenanigans and also doesn't eat up my system resources?
In Windows XP I would probably have turned to Microsoft Security
Essentials, but I haven't seen any mention of that program in years.



I've been using MSE for three + years with no problem in XP and Win7.

Microsoft Security Essentials
http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/default.aspx

Alwil (Avast) Software Removal Utility
http://files.avast.com/files/eng/aswclear.exe


P.S. Even "good" programs want to download toolbars, browsers and such.
The days of blindly clicking OK, OK, OK without paying attention are long
gone.
 
G

Good Guy

I've been using MSE for three + years with no problem in XP and Win7.

Microsoft Security Essentials
http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/default.aspx

Alwil (Avast) Software Removal Utility
http://files.avast.com/files/eng/aswclear.exe


P.S. Even "good" programs want to download toolbars, browsers and such.
The days of blindly clicking OK, OK, OK without paying attention are
long gone.
I agree. MSE is the best free anti-virus / anti-malware software around
these days. Avast or AVG are completely useless for modern systems.

I have been using MSE since the beta days on Windows XP and now I am on
Win7 64 bit and it is still the best around for my needs.

I also use the DNS servers of Norton/Symantec so any dodgy sites or porn
sites are blocked before reaching me. There is no software to install
in using their DNS servers and that is what I like about them.

--
Good Guy
Website: http://mytaxsite.co.uk
Website: http://html-css.co.uk
Forums: http://mytaxsite.boardhost.com
Email: http://mytaxsite.co.uk/contact-us
 
S

Stan Brown

I'm ready to uninstall Avast, because once again it has pulled the
sleazy trick of installing unwanted and unrelated software without my
permission.
....

Anybody care to mention a trustworthy antivirus program that doesn't
play these shenanigans and also doesn't eat up my system resources?
In Windows XP I would probably have turned to Microsoft Security
Essentials, but I haven't seen any mention of that program in years.
I found an April 2012 review of MSE, and apparently it's not terribly
effective at cleanup. I tend to trust Neil Rubenking of PC Magazine
(ever since the days I subscribed to it in print), and here is his
review of free antivirus:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2372369,00.asp

Surprisingly, his current Editor's Choice is AVG. I used to have
that, but it got slower and slower and several years ago I gave it up
for Avast. I guess the oral of this story is that I have to re-
evaluate my virus programs at least once a year because one that's
good in year X may not be so good in year X+1.
 
S

Stan Brown

P.S. Even "good" programs want to download toolbars, browsers and such.
The days of blindly clicking OK, OK, OK without paying attention are long
gone.
Indeed so -- but as I say, I watched the screens like a hawk, and
there was no mention of this unwanted install. I didn't click OK,
OK, OK, or Next, Next, Next: I clicked "update" *one* time, after
carefully reading the screen.

It's not a big loss -- according to the review I just posted, Avast
isn't all that great anyway.

An d that sandbox feature that's supposed to be so terrific? I had to
turn it off because it kept flagging programs like Irfanview and
TCC/LE!
 
G

Good Guy

Surprisingly, his current Editor's Choice is AVG. I used to have
that, but it got slower and slower and several years ago I gave it up
for Avast. I guess the oral of this story is that I have to re-
evaluate my virus programs at least once a year because one that's
good in year X may not be so good in year X+1.
These editors are paid by companies like AVG and AVAST to write "good"
reviews. It is all part of advertisement contract and so they are not
worth the paper they are written on.

I have stopped making decisions purely on these reviews. I read them
but that is it. My decision is always based on experience of "ordinary"
people in forums or newsgroups like these ones.

--
Good Guy
Website: http://mytaxsite.co.uk
Website: http://html-css.co.uk
Forums: http://mytaxsite.boardhost.com
Email: http://mytaxsite.co.uk/contact-us
 
G

Good Guy

B

Bruce Hagen

Stan Brown said:
I found an April 2012 review of MSE, and apparently it's not terribly
effective at cleanup. I tend to trust Neil Rubenking of PC Magazine
(ever since the days I subscribed to it in print), and here is his
review of free antivirus:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2372369,00.asp

Surprisingly, his current Editor's Choice is AVG. I used to have
that, but it got slower and slower and several years ago I gave it up
for Avast. I guess the oral of this story is that I have to re-
evaluate my virus programs at least once a year because one that's
good in year X may not be so good in year X+1.


Those people that write these reviews don't spend time in newsgroups and
forums listening to what the "people" have to say. AVG, Norton and McAfee
are all resource hogs at best.

Keep in mind that even the best, (whatever you want to call that),
security program can let a Trojan slip by occasionally. Perhaps because
new Malware is developed faster than the fixes. No matter what you use, I
always suggest you have Malwarebytes (free) on your machine ready to go if
needed.
 
P

Paul in Houston TX

Stan said:
I'm ready to uninstall Avast, because once again it has pulled the
sleazy trick of installing unwanted and unrelated software without my
permission.

Tonight when I logged on it notified me of program updates, which I
accepted. I watched like a hawk, through a vvvveeerrryyyy long
process, and there was no mention of any ride-along programs.

Yet after I rebooted, as instructed, and Avast said it was
configuring my updates, I started Task Manager and saw a Google
Update process running. After several minutes, Avast gave a message
that updates were complete and "Sorry, the Google Chrome installation
was unsuccessful."

I bloody well hope it was unsuccessful, because I didn't ask for it
and didn't give permission for it. Avast played this same game two
updates ago, though in the next update (the one before this one) it
didn't. To install a *browser* under the name of updating security
software is sleazy in the extreme. "Fool me once, shame on you; fool
me twice, shame on me."

Anybody care to mention a trustworthy antivirus program that doesn't
play these shenanigans and also doesn't eat up my system resources?
In Windows XP I would probably have turned to Microsoft Security
Essentials, but I haven't seen any mention of that program in years.
I use MSE on the xp and 7 machines.
There is very little, if any, slowdown.
I also use an Avira unix boot cd periodically for a scan
by another mfg. Norton, McA, Avast, AVG, and the other
commercial bloat wares are not allowed on my machines.
 
P

Paul

Stan said:
I'm ready to uninstall Avast, because once again it has pulled the
sleazy trick of installing unwanted and unrelated software without my
permission.

Tonight when I logged on it notified me of program updates, which I
accepted. I watched like a hawk, through a vvvveeerrryyyy long
process, and there was no mention of any ride-along programs.

Yet after I rebooted, as instructed, and Avast said it was
configuring my updates, I started Task Manager and saw a Google
Update process running. After several minutes, Avast gave a message
that updates were complete and "Sorry, the Google Chrome installation
was unsuccessful."

I bloody well hope it was unsuccessful, because I didn't ask for it
and didn't give permission for it. Avast played this same game two
updates ago, though in the next update (the one before this one) it
didn't. To install a *browser* under the name of updating security
software is sleazy in the extreme. "Fool me once, shame on you; fool
me twice, shame on me."

Anybody care to mention a trustworthy antivirus program that doesn't
play these shenanigans and also doesn't eat up my system resources?
In Windows XP I would probably have turned to Microsoft Security
Essentials, but I haven't seen any mention of that program in years.
There's a good thread going over in the Avast forum.

http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=100380.60

Seems not everyone is happy about the Chrome thing.

"Just letting you know. I received the automatic upgrade today and
after a reboot I did see the dialog box appear with the options to
uncheck the installation of Chrome. Unfortunately the dialog disappeared
in about 1 and a half seconds and the upgrade started installing itself
automatically. I did not have enough time to deselect the optional install."

So that's how they sneak it in.

You'd think they could trim down that time constant a bit, and put up
the dialog for 1.5 microseconds, just to test your "gamer reflexes" :)

Paul
 
P

P.O.

I use Norton Internet Security- its worth the money and always works
with no problems
 
V

VanguardLH

Stan said:
I'm ready to uninstall Avast, because once again it has pulled the
sleazy trick of installing unwanted and unrelated software without my
permission.

Tonight when I logged on it notified me of program updates, which I
accepted. I watched like a hawk, through a vvvveeerrryyyy long
process, and there was no mention of any ride-along programs.

Yet after I rebooted, as instructed, and Avast said it was
configuring my updates, I started Task Manager and saw a Google
Update process running. After several minutes, Avast gave a message
that updates were complete and "Sorry, the Google Chrome installation
was unsuccessful."

I bloody well hope it was unsuccessful, because I didn't ask for it
and didn't give permission for it. Avast played this same game two
updates ago, though in the next update (the one before this one) it
didn't. To install a *browser* under the name of updating security
software is sleazy in the extreme. "Fool me once, shame on you; fool
me twice, shame on me."

Anybody care to mention a trustworthy antivirus program that doesn't
play these shenanigans and also doesn't eat up my system resources?
In Windows XP I would probably have turned to Microsoft Security
Essentials, but I haven't seen any mention of that program in years.
I saved a snapshot (backup) of my computer before applying the Avast
program update.

When I started the program update (by using the program's own
Maintenance tab and selecting Program Update), I got the promo window
shown at:

http://tinypic.com/r/14scxdw/6

I only want the free version so I clicked the Essential link. I then
got prompted with:

http://tinypic.com/r/afc1er/6

Right there in that prompt dialog were the options for Google crap. I
simply unchecked those options and continued the update. After the
Avast program update had completed (which required a reboot), there was
no evidence that Google-anything got installed on my host.

Did you not see the 2nd dialog which gives you the option of NOT
including the bundleware included in the installer?

The free version of Avast has ALWAYS been classified as adware for two
reasons: (1) Their program installer includes bundleware that is enabled
by default for inclusion in the installation; and, (2) They have their
own ads in their program to lure you to their payware version. Even if
the bundleware was not enabled by default during the install, their
installer would no longer be adware but Avast itself is still adware.
Luckily (for now) Avast has decided to keep their ads within their
config UI so you don't often see the ads; however, I have experienced
the infrequent popup window from Avast to lure you to their payware that
others have also reported (I've seen it maybe once in 6-12 months). I
did see it twice within one subscription period (so that was under a
year) and have seen it once again in another subscription period but
that's over a period of several years of using Avast. Still, it is a
nuisance and rude to get interrupted during your work with a popup ad.

If you didn't see the 2nd dialog asking for your permission to include
the bundleware (the Google crap) then perhaps something resulted in the
equivalent of an enter key since that's the default object in that
dialog that has focus (i.e., hitting Enter accepts the defaults). The
result would be the dialog does appear but you might not see much more
than a flash of it on the screen (so you wouldn't know what the flash
was for or that there even was a flash of something).
 
D

Dave \Crash\ Dummy

Stan said:
I don't mean to be argumentative, but on what basis do you call MSE
"best"? Neil Rubenking ran tests and it seems to fall down on the
job:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2403986,00.asp
The bottom line of the review:

"Microsoft Security Essentials 4.0 does a decent job protecting a clean
PC, but in testing, its cleanup of already-infested systems wasn't
thorough."

I don't usually wait for my system to become infected before I install
AV/AT software. I installed MSE during my initial Windows 7 setup.
 
Y

Yousuf Khan

Anybody care to mention a trustworthy antivirus program that doesn't
play these shenanigans and also doesn't eat up my system resources?
In Windows XP I would probably have turned to Microsoft Security
Essentials, but I haven't seen any mention of that program in years.
I'm not sure why you haven't heard of it in years, since it's been
around and quite popular. I'm using it here. I would recommend it, both
for XP and Windows 7.

Yousuf Khan
 
E

Ed Cryer

Stan said:
I found an April 2012 review of MSE, and apparently it's not terribly
effective at cleanup. I tend to trust Neil Rubenking of PC Magazine
(ever since the days I subscribed to it in print), and here is his
review of free antivirus:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2372369,00.asp

Surprisingly, his current Editor's Choice is AVG. I used to have
that, but it got slower and slower and several years ago I gave it up
for Avast. I guess the oral of this story is that I have to re-
evaluate my virus programs at least once a year because one that's
good in year X may not be so good in year X+1.
I've stuck with AVG on my Win7 machines. These days it is most
definitely nothing like the bloated resources-hog it was a few years
ago. I also have their Safe Search add-on on my Firefox.

For the old XP machine I stick with MSE.

I never meet any trouble at all with the AVG; weekly full scans,
updates, vetting downloads, they all go very smoothly.
I recently had to reinstall the XP MSE, and it grabbed everything it
could get its hands on until I scoured the settings (without any good
guidance; purely using my own experience) to slow it down.

I'd recommend AVG.

Ed
 
Y

Yousuf Khan

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2372369,00.asp

Surprisingly, his current Editor's Choice is AVG. I used to have
that, but it got slower and slower and several years ago I gave it up
for Avast. I guess the oral of this story is that I have to re-
evaluate my virus programs at least once a year because one that's
good in year X may not be so good in year X+1.
I don't bother with these reviews much. My main objective is small
footprint, low annoyance, as most antiviruses are usually good enough
these days. Even if they let a couple of viruses or trojans slip by, you
still have to practice your own safe computing rules and avoid
downloading stuff from unknown websites, etc., etc.

When it comes to small footprint, I'd say Avira is the best, followed by
MSE.

Then when it comes to low annoyance, then MSE is the hands-down winner,
as it has so far not advertised itself at startup, asking for an upgrade
to a paid-version. Nor has it tried to install unwanted unrelated
software, even Microsoft's own. So far it has stayed very basic, and I
like it that way. It's very un-Microsoft-like in that way.

Yousuf Khan
 
P

(PeteCresswell)

Per Yousuf Khan:
as it has so far not advertised itself at startup, asking for an upgrade
to a paid-version.
I wonder if Avast has a new marketing VP or something.

Seems like it was pretty innocuous years back when I started
using it, but somewhere along the line it started getting in my
face.

Also, the freebie version got progressively harder to find on the
Avast download page... Recently it's recovered some of it's
visibility, but for awhile you really had to dig for it.

The Chrome install report has nudged me closer to bailing out on
Avast in favor of MSE. It's one thing to offer up pre-selected
checkboxes, but just doing an install under cover of an "Upgrade"
seems tb a whole new level of something-or-other.
 
P

(PeteCresswell)

Per Paul:
automatically. I did not have enough time to deselect the optional install."

So that's how they sneak it in.

"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained
by incompetence."

(supposedly by Napoleon Bonaparte)


Maybe they just had a release where the install was buggy?
 
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A

Ann Watson

There's a good thread going over in the Avast forum.

http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=100380.60

Seems not everyone is happy about the Chrome thing.

"Just letting you know. I received the automatic upgrade
today and
after a reboot I did see the dialog box appear with the
options to
uncheck the installation of Chrome. Unfortunately the
dialog disappeared
in about 1 and a half seconds and the upgrade started
installing itself
automatically. I did not have enough time to deselect the
optional install."

So that's how they sneak it in.

You'd think they could trim down that time constant a bit, and
put up
the dialog for 1.5 microseconds, just to test your "gamer
reflexes" :)

Paul
I had lots of time to de-select the Chrome installation. Perhaps
some people have overly-sensitive mice.

AW
 

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