The first public beta of Avast! anti virus program version 6 has just been made available. Version 6 includes an array of new technologies including a new AutoSandbox feature based on virtualization technology that can automatically detect a suspicious program as it’s launched, and execute it in the sandbox, an isolated environment where it can’t infect or damage your PC.
When AutoSandbox identifies a suspicious applications, it prompts the user to run it in a safe virtual environment. Users are provided with three options: execute the file within the virtual AutoSandbox, run it outside the sandbox, or cancel running the application entirely.
The package also includes a WebRep browser plugin, which displays the reputation of the sites in search results page using a combination of data from our virus lab and community voting, helping you to identify dangerous website. Currently the plugin works only with Firefox and Internet Explorer, but Avast! says a Chrome extension will be available soon.
Avast! 6 Free users are also treated with Script Shield and Site Blocking which were previously available only for paid users. Script Shield intercepts and scans any scripts executed on your system, and Site Blocking allows you to block access to the sites or URLs that you specify. The Script Shield module is updated to make it functional even with IE8/IE9 Protected Mode.
Early adopters who wish to jump into the beta, be aware that it’s an unfinished work and reportedly have issues.