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  • FIRST POST
    • PhylPho
    • By PhylPho 11th Apr 18, 12:36 PM
    • 1,287Posts
    • 2,791Thanks
    PhylPho
    Avoiding Avast . . .
    • #1
    • 11th Apr 18, 12:36 PM
    Avoiding Avast . . . 11th Apr 18 at 12:36 PM
    Although I was aware of the sale of Piriform's much-loved CCleaner to antivirus specialist Avast, I must admit, I wasn't aware of the way the new owner would attempt to integrate its products on my desktop PC without having the courtesy to inform me of it.

    I've been running CCleaner Free version 64-bit 5.13 since January, 2016. It's my go-to for junk cleaning: safe, fast, reliable. (I only use it for that purpose: I never have, nor ever would, "clean" this computer's registry.)

    CCleaner Free v5.13 worked perfectly until a couple of days ago, when its analysis (scanning) markedly slowed up and its cleaning, even more so. I wondered if, somehow, the settings had changed from default to the slower erase method(s) but no: no change. So why the sudden performance loss??

    Ah. Well. There was a change after all. My CCleaner version is now -- mysteriously -- version 5.41. The current version. Yet I had not updated it: no reason to, no desire to. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    Having now checked with both its user forum (formerly, Piriform's) and Avast's, what has emerged is that Avast's antivirus has updated what is now Avast's CCleaner without my knowledge or consent.

    This is flatly denied by Avast. It says only the Avast AV paid-for version will seek to update Avast's Cleaner -- and then only if the user has asked it to in the paid-for AV's settings.

    Rubbish. There's now growing evidence from Avast AV Free users that yes, their copies of CCleaner have, just like mine, been updated without their knowledge or consent.

    Coincidentally to these Avast shenanigans on my PC, I've also run my wife's Dell laptop for the first time in a couple of months. It has both Malwarebytes Free and Avast AV Free. (I have Malwarebytes Premium).

    Turning on her laptop, I was initially greeted with (yet another) update alert from Firefox, but also an alert that Avast AV Free was trying to install something called "Avast SafePrice" as a browser add-on.

    Checking into that, I discover from Avast that: "SafePrice is a part of the Avast Online Security browser extension. The purpose of this feature is to help you find the best offers among participating trusted shops and to notify you about cheaper offers by displaying a small bar on the top of your browser. This ensures that you do business with trusted vendor sites, and save time by having better offers on products presented to you, rather than searching for them manually."

    What drivel. I have no objection to any developer seeking to monetise its freeware -- but trying it on with such arrogant contempt for a computer user's intelligence is one con trick too much: "best offers amongst participating trusted shops" indeed. If Avast wanted to interfere with my internet browser, it should have had the balls to ask me first, rather than the browser having to notify me of the underhanded attempt.

    Outcome of this is that all those who bewailed the sale of Piriform's luvvly CCleaner to Avast would appear to have been fully justified.

    I've now gone through the laborious uninstall of Avast Free from my wife's laptop (do NOT go that route with anything other than Avast's own 'AvastClear' app -- downloadable from Avast's website -- and use it ONLY with the computer in Safe Mode) and done likewise with my desktop.

    Funnily enough, I've been meaning to dump Avast AV Free for ages but never gotten around to it: Malwarebytes Premium really doesn't need any AV to run alongside it, and so my Avast AV's "shields" have been permanently disabled until I had the time to commit to the AvastClear uninstall.

    Interestingly, both uninstalls of Avast AV Free ended with an Avast splash screen which said Malwarebytes had been detected as an incompatible program: "we strongly recommend you uninstall Malwarebytes".

    Well, uh, yeah. What's actually incompatible with my legitimate expectations as a computer user is a mega software publisher arrogant (and deceitful) enough to believe it can make changes to my computer without telling me about it first (and then denying everything, afterwards.)

    As to whether Avast is telling the truth that Malwarebytes should be removed from any computer running Avast AV, I've no idea; it makes sense to me where Malwarebytes Premium is concerned, but urging users of Malwarebytes Free to abandon it seems more about trying to screw a commercial competitor than anything else.

    Anyway. I've now uninstalled Avast's unwanted CCleaner Free v5.41 and replaced it with my earlier Pirifom CCleaner Free v5.13. And surprise, surprise: CCleaner is working as quickly as it ever did. . .
Page 1
    • JJ Egan
    • By JJ Egan 11th Apr 18, 1:19 PM
    • 10,376 Posts
    • 4,341 Thanks
    JJ Egan
    • #2
    • 11th Apr 18, 1:19 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Apr 18, 1:19 PM
    CCleaner free 5.41 works the same for me as previous versions . No loss of speed .
    I have always updated the product as and when updates are notified.

    Difference well i don't use Avast AV .
    • UncleZen
    • By UncleZen 11th Apr 18, 1:32 PM
    • 584 Posts
    • 208 Thanks
    UncleZen
    • #3
    • 11th Apr 18, 1:32 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Apr 18, 1:32 PM
    I uninstalled Avast because of its constant nagging and its sneaky approach to upgrading but hiding the "free" feature.
    I'm now using the default windows defender, seems to do the same thing without all the shennaigans.
    Im also still using the pre-avast CCleaner!
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 11th Apr 18, 1:43 PM
    • 8,074 Posts
    • 5,840 Thanks
    esuhl
    • #4
    • 11th Apr 18, 1:43 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Apr 18, 1:43 PM
    Avast is slow and bloated, which is why I uninstalled it... although it's malware detection/removal is very effective. And like you, I've been impressed with MalwareBytes Premium.

    I actually liked the "Software Updater" component of Avast, which makes it quick & easy to see if any of the popular programs on your PC need updating. I've never seen it update anything automatically, though.
    • Frozen_up_north
    • By Frozen_up_north 11th Apr 18, 2:05 PM
    • 1,447 Posts
    • 697 Thanks
    Frozen_up_north
    • #5
    • 11th Apr 18, 2:05 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Apr 18, 2:05 PM
    I ditched CCleaner after their malware intrusion and now delete the usual junk files with Bleachbit.
    • AndyPix
    • By AndyPix 11th Apr 18, 4:51 PM
    • 3,412 Posts
    • 2,584 Thanks
    AndyPix
    • #6
    • 11th Apr 18, 4:51 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Apr 18, 4:51 PM
    Jesus is there no end to the depths these scumbags will stoop to.


    Yet another (if one was needed) reason to avoid this crap
    Running with scissors since 1978
    • PhylPho
    • By PhylPho 11th Apr 18, 6:24 PM
    • 1,287 Posts
    • 2,791 Thanks
    PhylPho
    • #7
    • 11th Apr 18, 6:24 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Apr 18, 6:24 PM
    Checking around (which I haven't done where AVs are concerned for a long time) it seems that Avast AV does have -- as pointed out here -- a very good 'core' but is, sadly, wrapped up in bloat, up to and including the appalling browser add-on to steer you to Avast's partners. That latter has nothing to do with security, still less with supplier integrity, so I'm glad I've washed my hands of Avast and won't ever touch it again.

    Were my re-installed Piriform, as distinct from Avasts', CCleaner not to work, I think Bleachbit would've been excellent for my needs. It has very good reviews and an army of users, all of whom are happy that it does what it says on the tin . . . and doesn't "offer" to update other apps / programs on your computer without your knowledge or your consent, or stuff your browser with add-ons intended to monetize you. Avast really is a shoddy outfit.
    • Terry98
    • By Terry98 12th Apr 18, 6:11 AM
    • 908 Posts
    • 2,496 Thanks
    Terry98
    • #8
    • 12th Apr 18, 6:11 AM
    • #8
    • 12th Apr 18, 6:11 AM
    I have Win10 and am thinking of ditching Avast and just using Windows Defender and Malwarebytes

    I cannot remember the last virus I had and the last pup has grown up!
    • PhylPho
    • By PhylPho 12th Apr 18, 11:21 AM
    • 1,287 Posts
    • 2,791 Thanks
    PhylPho
    • #9
    • 12th Apr 18, 11:21 AM
    • #9
    • 12th Apr 18, 11:21 AM
    I have Win10 and am thinking of ditching Avast and just using Windows Defender and Malwarebytes

    I cannot remember the last virus I had and the last pup has grown up!
    Originally posted by Terry98
    Although I was too flippin' lazy to actually remove Avast AV Free from my desktop PC until now, it hasn't been operational for many a month: all 'shields' turned off. Malwarebytes Premium - I purchased a lifetime license before the change to a recurring payment -- has therefore been the only functioning anti-virus / anti-malware counter measure on the PC. During that time, there've been no disturbances of any kind. I think the days of the so-called 'anti-virus' are pretty much over anyway, because a virus is just a part of the malware category.

    The PC does, however, also run WinPatrol PRO (again, a lifetime licence purchased.) I can't imagine computing life without little Scottie and I've lost track of the 100s if not 1,000s of times over the years it has alerted me to changes intended / unintended / attempted-malicious.

    Avast seems to me to have lost all claim to be a reputable software company. Good riddance.
    • pineapple
    • By pineapple 12th Apr 18, 11:54 AM
    • 6,159 Posts
    • 29,553 Thanks
    pineapple
    I recently updated C Cleaner and found it had installed Avast in the process! I'm normally pretty careful about extra programmes being sneaked onto the PC but I didn't see the tick box - if there was one.
    I used to have free Avast but it slowed things and I didn't like the upgrade nags. Plus the only time I got a drive by attempt on my system, it didn't help.
    Anyway I immediately uninstalled and removed every trace of Avast from the computer.

    I use the following combo of protection - which works for me
    Free Superantispyware - for on demand scanning
    Free Panda Protection for real time protection and Panda Cloud for on demand
    Free version of Sandboxie


    I will look into Bleachbit. It's just that I have used C Cleaner for years with no issues till recently.
    Last edited by pineapple; 12-04-2018 at 12:03 PM.
    • PhylPho
    • By PhylPho 12th Apr 18, 1:47 PM
    • 1,287 Posts
    • 2,791 Thanks
    PhylPho
    I recently updated C Cleaner and found it had installed Avast in the process! I'm normally pretty careful about extra programmes being sneaked onto the PC but I didn't see the tick box - if there was one.
    I used to have free Avast but it slowed things and I didn't like the upgrade nags. Plus the only time I got a drive by attempt on my system, it didn't help.
    Anyway I immediately uninstalled and removed every trace of Avast from the computer.

    I use the following combo of protection - which works for me
    Free Superantispyware - for on demand scanning
    Free Panda Protection for real time protection and Panda Cloud for on demand
    Free version of Sandboxie


    I will look into Bleachbit. It's just that I have used C Cleaner for years with no issues till recently.
    Originally posted by pineapple
    I'm about to install Bleachbit on my wife's laptop, just to see how it fares. As to Sandboxie: it's surprising, the number of computer users (amongst my family and friends) who seem to think it's too arcane for them, when actually, it isn't. I have the free version, too.

    AVs and their publishers do seem an odd lot. The least trouble I ever had was with Panda. . . up until the time it diagnosed itself as a threat. Ho-hum. I went back to it in due course but tired of the constant nag screens about "20% off next 24 hours only", which turned out not to be 'next' bu every 24 hours. AVG turned into a nightmare and reputationally damaged itself with its browser add on. A family member has the British-based Bullguard AV, and pays for it. I can't think why; its detection rate seems poor. Ah well . . .
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