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Antimalware, firewall, and other security programs for Windows XP working in 2023 and hopefully beyond


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On 5/5/2023 at 6:47 PM, AstroSkipper said:

Avast Free Antivirus

The most used and very often recommended antivirus program for Windows XP is probably Avast Free Antivirus, and that for years. It is supposed to use advanced algorithms for detecting viruses, malware, spyware and other threats in real-time. The Core Shields are: File Shield, Behavior ShieldWeb Shield and Email Shield (only Outlook and Thunderbird are supported). Furthermore, it is supposed to protect against rootkits, and it offers additionally a Software Updater and Wi-Fi Inspector. Avast Free Antivirus still protects Windows XP owners with regular virus definition updates. But Avast no longer provides program updates, new features, bug fixes, or support for Windows XP. It was tested by AV-TEST and achieved a detection rate of almost 100% in November and December 2018 (see below).

Key Features:

  • Real-time protection against malware and online threats.
  • Automatic analysis of suspicious files with CyberCapture.
  • Network scanning and Wi-Fi security with Wi-Fi Inspector.
  • Behavioral monitoring with Behavior Shield.
  • Comprehensive scanning with Smart Scan.
  • Creating a Rescue Disk for emergency use.
  • Browser cleanup to improve online security.
  • Password management with autofill feature.
  • Game Mode to optimize computer performance during gameplay.




Version number: 18.8.4084.0 (18.8.2356)

Date of release: 15.11.2018

System Requirements:

A PC with 256 MB+ RAM and 1.5 GB of hard disk space. Avast Antivirus is compatible with Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP SP3.

Version history and release notes:

Review: https://www.expertreviews.co.uk/software/1406757/avast-free-antivirus-2018-review-the-best-free-security-suite


Avast in general:



Screenshot with the final test results from AV-TEST:


Screenshot with the Product of the Year 2018 award from AV-Comparatives:


Avast Free Antivirus 18.7 & 18.8 in detail: https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/home-windows/windows-10/december-2018/avast-free-antivirus-18.7--18.8-184902/

Download links:

Online installer: https://install.avcdn.net/av/avast/iavs9x/avast_free_antivirus_setup_online.exe

Offline installer: https://install.avcdn.net/iavs9x-xp/avast_free_antivirus_setup_offline.exe

Avast VPS update for versions 12+: https://install.avcdn.net/vpsnitro/vpsupd.exe 

Avast Uninstall Utility (Avast Clear) in the correct version of 18.8.4084.0: https://web.archive.org/web/20181116091922if_/http://iavs9x.avg.u.avcdn.net/iavs9x/avastclear.exe

How to uninstall Avast using Avast Clear:

Sometimes it's not possible to uninstall Avast the standard way using the Add/Remove Programs in control panel. In this case, you can use the uninstallation utility Avast Clear:

  • Download avastclear.exe on your desktop.
  • Start Windows in Safe Mode.
  • Execute the avastclear.exe.
  • If you installed Avast in a different folder than the default, browse for it. (Note: Be careful! The content of any folder you choose will be deleted!).
  • Click REMOVE.
  • Restart your computer.







I only used Avast Free Antivirus for a very short time. The version of Avast I had installed for years was Avast Premier. Unfortunately, I have a split opinion about Avast. On the one hand, it's great that Avast offers such a program for Windows XP at all, although this operating system was abandoned by Microsoft in 2014. And then also free of charge and with real-time protection. That is rather rare. Avast continues to roll out definition updates for this old version on a regular base. Furthermore, it has an excellent detection rate of almost 100%. On the other hand, I had various problems with Avast. Exceptions that were set for alarms of the background guard were simply ignored. Avast partly operates according to its own standards and does not always respect the user's settings, which I rather consider as disenfranchisement of the user. I don't like that, and it's simply a no go. :realmad: Another bad habit of Avast, and unfortunately that of many other manufacturers, is to offer features that are apparently free. For example, SecureLine VPN. In fact, you have to pay for it. I find something like this to be more of a cost trap. argent1.gif That's why I didn't list this feature above. And I had serious problems to uninstall Avast completely. That was actually another no go. :realmad: Furthermore, I don't like the disk space consumption of Avast products which is always very highsnegatif.gif One main reason for that is probably the implementing of (unnecessary) features or those which only can be used if you pay for them. More details about problems in terms of Avast, you will find here:

Despite all points of criticism, Avast Free Antivius is a program offering a very good protection and definitely an option for Windows XP, but I personally can't and won't recommend it here due to my reservations and experiences from the past. smilie_denk_24.gif

Kind regards, AstroSkipper matrix.gif


On 5/16/2024 at 9:30 AM, Asp said:

I just did this, as Avast no longer works at all on XP, or at least my registration expired and seemed impossible to renew it.

Here is a link to an official website of Avast where is clearly stated that a key for more recent Avast Free Antivirus (including the version 18) is no longer needed: https://www.avast.com/registration-free-antivirus#windows
Additionally, a screenshot of this website:


Kind regards, AstroSkipper matrix.gif

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