Avast Software has launched Avast 2017, the latest free version of its consumer antivirus software, with new protection for users such as preventing “zero-second malware.” For gamers, Avast now has a “game mode” that prioritizes game traffic during gameplay.

The Redwood City, Calif. company said it has added a stronger security engine and cloud-based advanced analysis, faster detection times, and additional layers of protection between users and cybercriminals.

New features and enhancements are now available across every Avast 2017 product and work to prevent zero-second malware attacks, monitor for cyber spying on user accounts and financial data, facilitate securing multiple passwords, and uninterrupted PC gaming.

This is the first Avast desktop product release following the acquisition of AVG in September 2016 and includes combined threat detection technologies from both products, allowing Avast to deliver better defense against cybercrime.

Every product in the Avast 2017 free and premium consumer security product line — Avast Free Antivirus, Avast Pro Antivirus, Avast Internet Security, and Avast Premier — includes the following new features and enhancements:

CyberCapture: Avast’s proprietary, cloud-based smart file scanner now has faster detection times to identify, isolate and determine whether unknown files are harmful and analyze these in real-time.

CyberCapture isolates unknown files in a safe, cloud environment for a deeper level of analysis and automatically establishes a two-way communication channel with Avast Threat Labs to speed detection. CyberCapture is currently analyzing an estimated 10,000 new files each day with decisions made for more than half of the files within five minutes or less.

Behavior Shield: This new feature continuously monitors suspicious behavior of any software running on computers and automatically protects users against zero-second threats, malicious programs, and cyber spying on passwords and bank account details that would normally not be possible using traditional detection methods. Behavior Shield is especially powerful against the emerging threat of ransomware.

Uninterrupted Game Play, Faster Speed: Avast’s Game Mode now automatically detects game play and prioritizes it to ensure zero interruptions to maximize the speed and performance needed for gaming. When Avast 2017 switches into Game Mode, it not only halts all Avast notifications and background processes, it also suspends other notifications and pauses Windows Updates.

Password Management: Avast Passwords is now redesigned for PCs and Macs, making passwords even easier to manage and keeping users secure. Users’ passwords are securely kept in one convenient location, locked behind a master password and when unlocked, Avast Passwords auto-fills the information every time users log into their online accounts. A premium feature automatically notifies users whenever any of their account credentials are found to be leaked on the Internet and also allows users to unlock their desktop passwords from their phones.

Wi-Fi Inspector: Avast Wi-Fi Inspector, first introduced in 2014 as Avast Home Network Security, is now enhanced and rebranded for the Avast 2017 consumer security products. Wi-Fi Inspector automatically scans users’ home networks for vulnerable devices and allows users to address any security issues by providing step-by-step remediation instructions. This is especially important now that large-scale botnets, like the recent Mirai botnet, are successfully targeting IoT devices and home routers, leaving people’s home networks vulnerable even if the PCs and Macs connected to these are secured.

Passive Mode: This new mode allows users to run two security products at the same time, choosing features they prefer from either solution, without decreasing PC performance or requiring uninstalling or re-installing solutions. This allows users to run Avast alongside any other antivirus application.

This latest version of Avast 2017 follows the release of the company’s AVG consumer security and tune-up products launched in early January. Avast’s threat detection network now has 400 million endpoints that act as sensors to detect and neutralize threats. AVG’s behavioral analysis technology is now integrated into the Avast 2017 consumer product line for stronger threat detection.

“Bringing the new Avast and AVG consumer security products to market so quickly and smoothly after combining our teams, operations and technologies is a milestone for us,” said Vince Steckler, CEO at Avast, in a statement. “Each product now represents the best aspects of Avast and AVG — providing the strongest detection to date and enhancing the experience our customers have come to expect. This not only requires a high level of teamwork but demonstrates our continued commitment to delivering security solutions that address the evolving IoT threat landscape. Our combined excellence in machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies means we now identify and mitigate threats on an unprecedented scale to protect more than 400 million customers worldwide.”

Avast is backed by leading global private equity firms CVC Capital Partners and Summit Partners.

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