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Andavari

Avast Free Antivirus: Disable Cloud Services

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This is an excerpt from an email conversation I had with a friend I was helping who had an Avast Free Antivirus problem, and for whatever reasons I thought I'd share it here just in case anyone else has been having problems with Avast Free Antivirus' Cloud Services.

 

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Avast Free Antivirus v7 and newer: How To Disable Cloud Services

 

 

Question:

Avast's Cloud Services provides better real-time protection, so why would I ever want to disable it?

 

 

Answer:

You're absolutely correct it does provide far better real-time protection than just the installed signature files alone and can catch malware that the installed signature files can't detect yet however I have personally witnessed on several occassions a fatal flaw or bug in Avast's Cloud Services as explained below.

 

If you're like me and have adopted the layered security approach and scan with secondary anti-virus and anti-malware products that should only be scanning the system without a real-time anti-virus running, and do all video encoding while disconnected from the Internet you'll quickly find out in a very harsh way that Avast Free Antivirus can make your computer almost unusable when you disconnect from the Internet.

 

It can cause your computer to become hopelessly slow and non-responsive to the point where you'll have to either restart, or force a bad shutdown and bad shutdowns can possibly cause filesystem damage by corrupting files or worse Windows itself.

 

Avast Free Antivirus causes all this havoc because its Cloud Services is in constant communication with the Avast Cloud Server (if that's what it's called), and when that connection is severed it causes serious problems, hence the reason to disable it either temporarily while you need to disconnect from the Internet, or more drastic by disabling it permanently.

 

Note that disabling Cloud Services permanently will lower Avast's detection/protection rate as it will have to rely solely upon the signature files installed locally on your computer.

 

 

Here's How To Disable Cloud Services:

1. Open Avast Free Antivirus.

2. Click Summary at the upper-left.

3. In Summary click Cloud Services.

4. In Cloud Services click the Settings button at the lower-right.

5. In Cloud Services Settings untick/disable these features:

· Enable reputation services.

· Enable streaming updates.

6. All done! Now when you disconnect from the Internet Avast Free Antivirus won't cause havoc on your computer anymore.

 

Note:

If you only wanted to disable it temporarily you'll have to remember to re-enable it, but only after you've already re-connected to the Internet.

 

 

Edit:

If you're thinking of following the above instructions also please read post #3 located here.

Edited by Andavari
Important link added with additional info

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Thanks, Andavari. Thats news to me, good to know.

 

Edit: The other day, Avast popped up a strange warning that some file or other is rarely downloaded. That cloud service may be why it did that, you think?

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Maybe it was the Cloud Service, I have no ideal though.

 

I'm going to try something in a bit by setting the Updates settings to Dial-Up (although I have always-on DSL broadband) and see if that curbs the Cloud Services when disconnected, I hope it works as that would mean not having to disable it at all. I may have to report this to AVAST Software as a bug though!

 

Edit:

Ok I've just tested setting the Avast Updates settings to Dial-Up while still having the Avast Cloud Services fully active/enabled, and shockingly after restarting Windows it did stop the full blown behaviour of Avast causing complete system-wide havoc when disconnected from the Internet to be much elleviated, i.e.; the computer was actually usable! Although I also noticed without an active Internet connection that opening some programs was very slow, so Cloud Services was still wanting to phone home or whatever it does.

 

So I've come to the final conclusion that I'll leave the Avast Updates settings on Dial-Up, just in case I forget to disable Cloud Services first.

Edited by Andavari
Important test info added

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Pretty creative solution. I don't notice much difference with cloud services on or off, but the only other things that run actively here are SpywareBlaster and SpywareGuard. I'll start watching that, running it both ways every day for a while, see what happens.

 

Must say I like Avast, it has stopped a few things, although Powershadow "had its back" if it hiccupped.

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One important thing though my partial solution I posted can only be tested when you do not have an active Internet connection, i.e.; you must disconnect from the Internet first to test it. Personally I wouldn't recommend anyone disconnecting from the Internet to test it though as I've had to do countless bad shutdowns.

 

I've sent a bug report to Avast!

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How many cores do you have ?

 

I found that when Comodo updated its A.V. signature database :-

My Single Core Laptop lost 90% of its CPU cycles to Comodo and drastically affected what I could do at the same time ;

My Quad Core Desktop lost only 24% of its cycles to Comodo - only 1 core devoted to Comodo and the remaining 3 cores never broke a sweat on anything I was doing,

in fact I would not have know Comodo was updating had I not opened Window Task Manager to see what happened during an update.

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How many cores do you have ?

 

This is an old 2003 PC it is:

* Intel Pentium 4 with Multi-Threading @ 3.20Ghz

* 1 GB RAM

 

I don't necessarily think it has anything to do with updating because Avast has auto-updated and then I've logged off the Internet and it has happened.

 

I got so fed up with it though so since this morning I've switched back to Microsoft Security Essentials, and hope it also doesn't have some annoyance like the last time I used it. I'm really starting to hate antivirus software!!!

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I got so fed up with it though so since this morning I've switched back to Microsoft Security Essentials, and hope it also doesn't have some annoyance like the last time I used it. I'm really starting to hate antivirus software!!!

 

There's always Avast 6, which as you know I'm sticking with. It performs perfectly, and with the "Sandboxing" feature disabled is a straightforward set it and forget it.

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I could never use Avast 5 or 6 because they both would randomly cause a BSOD. So essentially Avast 4.8 was the last stable version I was able to use. At least there's other free antivirus software available, not that I'm in love with any of them though.

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