Owing to its flexible and modular architecture, avast! Mac Edition is a low-overhead, stable antivirus solution which can be used on nearly all Mac models. It is distributed as a universal binary and therefore delivers optimal performance on both PowerPC and Intel architectures. avast! Mac Edition offers on-demand antivirus scanning, as well as background on-access protection, with easy review of the results via a well designed graphic interface. An integrated virus chest is also built in for safe storage of infected or suspicious files.
The underlying central daemon can serve a number of scanning tasks in parallel. This feature is accessible via TCP or UNIX socket interfaces, and is used by default by the on-demand, on-access and mail scanning clients. The interface can also be used for remote scanning, background local scanning, or for integration with other products that require antivirus protection.
The central scanning daemon uses the same virus database format as other avast! products and benefits from the same high frequency of updates. As a result, avast! Mac Edition delivers performance and detection ability as high as can be found in other avast! products, including the ability to detect the full range of Windows/PC malware. You can expect 100% detection of In-the-Wild viruses (viruses already spreading between users) and excellent detection of Trojan horses.
The scanning engine itself is certified by ICSA Labs. It frequently takes part in Virus Bulletin tests and is a multiple recipient of the VB100 award. avast! antivirus Mac Edition features outstanding archive support and can scan inside of the following types of archives: ARJ, MIME, EXEC, ZIP, RAR, TAR, GZ, BZIP2, ARC, ZOO, WINEXEC, LHARC, CHM, CPIO, RPM, ISO, TNEF, DBX, SIS, OLE and INSTALL. The archive unpackers that should be used during scanning can be specified in the Preferences pane, to ensure optimal scanning speed.
The user interface serves as a front-end for the user’s on-demand requests, and is also used to control other parts of the program. The main window can be used to set the scanning preferences, to access the virus chest, and to check for the availability of updates. When a scan is performed, the results are displayed in a list, together with additional options for processing the results. The mail and on-access scanner results are communicated to the user via specific alert-windows. These windows contain cumulative information to minimize the number of pop-ups.
The results can then be transferred to the main window for additional processing, or logged in a report. Mail scanning results are displayed in the Inbox using different colors for infected, clean or unscanned (e.g. password-protected) attachments. Scanning is triggered automatically for each incoming mail, but can also be triggered manually for any other sets of messages.