While technology has gotten more robust and more intelligent over the years in terms of its design and functionality, that isn’t necessarily always a good thing.
Though most users enjoy improvements in technology in the form of faster internet, more responsive hardware devices, and improved user interfaces in software, there’s a dark side to technology as well – namely, the viruses, Trojans, malware, and other assorted malicious software that can derail your device.
These malicious tools can be used to lock up your computer, steal your personal information, and cause you a lot of stress.
Luckily, there are many tools out there designed to remedy these problems. But as the good side of technology evolves, the same can be said for the other side.
Malicious software creators have gotten craftier over the years, and they’re still getting better at being a pain. Those people behind viruses and spyware know how standard security scanners work – therefore they’ll often try to work their malicious software into your system in a way that bypasses the protections.
In some instances, a virus may activate when your computer boots up. If this is the case, you may not be able to activate your standard virus protection and deal with it the normal way.
What is the answer?
Avast Software claims to have one. Avast Boot Scan is a tool you can use to scan your computer on startup, effectively giving you a chance to target and handle malicious software before it has a chance to change your computer’s startup behavior.
Windows and other popular operating systems have gotten wise to malicious software creators’ habits, further demonstrating the constant trend of good vs. evil, one-upping each other in the technological world.
While optimized systems using modern architecture won’t load something before they load the OS, there are still some cases where a virus or Trojan could take control. We’ll explore those instances, and review Avast Boot Scan. This will help you understand whether this tool could help you or whether it’s something you should avoid.
What is Avast? What Makes Them Unique?
There’s no shortage of antivirus makers on the market, as software protection is in high demand.
With more people putting more personal information online and relying more heavily on their computers than ever before, more dangers are developing.
The creators of malicious software have a great incentive to infect devices, and users have a great incentive to stop them.
Avast is a company that offers many different security products to help users guard their privacy and their personal information This includes VPN security to hide online activity from your internet provider, free day-to-day antivirus protection, and even tools to stop tricky people from spying on you through your webcam.
Now that’s thorough!
About Avast Boost Scan
While Avast may not be as well-known as some other security companies like Norton or AVG, they still have a lot of popular products and a solid reputation. We’ll delve into more on that later, but for now we want to take a look at the specific product in question – Avast Boot Scan.
As the name suggests, this tool is design to scan a device for malicious software. Like standard virus scanners, it works using antivirus definitions and looks throughout all storage drives to detect the presence of problems.
But what makes this tool different than a standard security scanner?
As the name suggests, it’s designed to perform the task on the boot up. This is a phase where many users think they’re safe. After all, they’re just turning their computer on – how could they possibly fall victim to a virus when all they’re doing is powering up the device and loading the OS?
Computers have boot lists, and they automatically load these files first. This is important to the system’s integrity, because crucial files like those that offer the foundation of the system need to be loaded in first.
But crafty creators of malicious software can sometimes sneak a trojan into this list – meaning before your standard antivirus tool has a chance to load up, you’re already at risk for dealing with a problem.
Avast Boot Scan is designed to check for these problems during the boot process. This means if a piece of malicious software is trying to get the jump on you, this tool aims to help you get the jump on it first.
So, how exactly does this tool work?
And is it a reliable one that you can depend on to catch boot-list viruses 100 percent of the time?
How to Use Avast Boot Scan: Basics and Fundamentals
The Avast Boot Scan tool is a downloadable program you’ll need to install on your computer. It’s not the same as a subscription service that renews, though it does have evolving virus definitions to catch newer threats as they develop. This means its advised to use modern versions of the tool, especially if your problem only started recently.
Downloading the Program
Once you’ve downloaded the program, you’ll open it up and see the Avast user interface. On the left-hand side, you’ll see the following four options: Status, Protection, Privacy, and Performance. These are standard with most virus scanners.
Status will show you how your device is doing according to the software. Privacy will help you protect your information with a variety of options. Performance will gauge processor and memory usage in relation to active tasks.
But for the boot scan, we’ll click on the Protection button. This will bring up four options, including full or targeted virus scanning and even custom options. These are the standard choices you’d see on most subscription virus protection tools. But you’ll also see the boot-time scan button. Once you click it, you’ll be given the option to install specialized definitions to ensure you get the most thorough scan the tool can offer.
Rebooting Your PC
After you do that, click the button below it to run the scan on the next PC reboot. This is similar to scheduling a set of updates to install or scheduling a system restore. Rather than booting up as normal, your computer will automatically know to run the boot scan based on the downloaded virus definitions.
It’s worth noting that you don’t have to install specialized definitions to make the scan work. You can simply do the scan based on the definitions Avast already has. However, there’s a chance you won’t be able to catch some of the sneakier malicious software options out there.
Next, you’ll restart your PC. As Windows loads up, you’ll see a boot screen with Avast Antivirus at the top. The scan could take several minutes to complete, and you’ll get an option on what action to take with every piece of malicious software the tool finds.
It’s also possible to adjust your settings. Back on the interface right below the option to schedule a boot scan under the Protection tab, you’ll find the settings option. This lets you scan select areas, certain programs, and even change the heuristics sensitivity of your scan. If you want a more thorough scan that targets even those software finds that could have malicious intent, turn this setting up.
In many ways, this software can be a life saver if your standard tools can’t catch a virus when the system has already been booted up. But what kind of reputation does Avast have? And more importantly, how is their boot-scan tool perceived by those who have used it?
How Do Users Rate Avast and Its Boot Scan Tool?
Avast is a popular company that’s been awarded with many commendations for their security tools. From being the most downloaded software on CNET to racking up the most sales on Amazon, their tools have gotten a good reputation in many regards.
AV Comparatives has said Avast’s tools have the lowest impact on performance.
The company is also partnered with Softpedia, showing just how trusted they are among the well-known analysts in the software industry.
While the company has high ratings, what about their boot-scan tool specifically? According to PC Mag, the tool has a score of 3/5, putting it in their “good” category. It’s reliable for cleaning up malware from Windows boots, stopping malicious URLs and downloads from causing problems during boot up, and even halting suspicious programs in their track before they have the chance to cause harm.
The boot scan isn’t without criticism – it does require user interaction, meaning it’s not the type of tool you can give a batch approach to.
While you’ll need to be there to make decisions about how to handle flagged files, some users may actually prefer this approach just to make sure an overly protective tool doesn’t blacklist a file they need.
Consumer Affairs rates Avast as a 2.5/5, which is satisfactory, but not as high as some other companies in the same field. Of course, all these ratings aren’t indicative of a user’s experience with the boot scan, but the rating should still be considered by anyone who wants to try it out.
How Does Avast Compare to the Competition?
It’s hard to rate Avast in terms of price, because their main product is free. This means there isn’t a lot to lose in trying it out, other than a time investment.
It is possible that an improper action taken with a boot file could cause technical problems, though this is true with any type of virus software.
Though companies like Norton and AVG may have more thorough protection in some regards, Avast is still a viable option for their free tools.
Even tools like Windows Defender, which come packaged with standard operating systems, may not be able to catch some problems on boot up.
If you’re having this type of problem, Avast’s tool could be your best bet.
Every person has had different experiences with their virus protection, even if they’re using the same software on the same type of system.
Using the boot scanner in conjunction with other more standard tools can provide holistic protection, allowing a user to stay protected from malicious software in the traditional sense and those trickier troublemakers that find their way into the boot order of a computer.
While some people have claimed that boot viruses are trickier than say, a fake URL or a trojan packaged in a download, there is a reason for this. A piece of malicious software that has been on a computer for a long period of time has had a chance to dig in, and to integrate itself within the core files to make removal difficult.
Even with a tool like Avast Boot Scan, this could be hard to remove in the sense that it will take time to find. But it’s better to have a removal tool that takes time than be unable to remove the problem altogether.
So, what is final verdict about this tool?
When you consider its primary function and how it has performed according to reviews, is it worth trying out?
Final Verdict on Avast Boot Scan: Is It Worth Your Time?
Malicious software is always a pain to deal with, even if it is contained immediately. Just knowing that your computer is under attack can be frustrating, and make you think twice about how you use the device.
But when a Trojan or virus messes with your computers bootup properties, it’s an entirely different problem.
Avast Boot Scan is a handy feature integrated with the company’s standard virus protection tool.
What makes it so great?
Its ability to target bootup viruses specifically is the main factor.
But combine the fact that it is free as well as customizable, and you have a great tool that can be used to protect a computer from even the trickiest malicious software out there.
Avast is a great company in the security industry, and their boot scan feature is another testament to their commitment toward holistic computer protection. With more viruses looking to sneak into a computer’s boot files, having a tool like this as an option is something everyone should consider.
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