avast: loyalty in spite of problems

Last night, avast suffered a rather large issue. All of a sudden, it started blocking seemingly every http web page. I still had email access (over https), but even attempts to Google what the problem had the results blocked.

avast’s blog post of yesterday indicated that this was a result of a false positive issue with one of their virus definitions updates. By the time I’d read this, I’d already downloaded AVG’s free offering just to get me up and running again. avast’s mistake here was not to advertise the issue clearly on their website, particularly given its crippling impact. (I’ve just watched a Guy Kawasaki video in which one of his messages is: Deliver Bad News Early.)

As a paying avast customer, I will go back to them. Not *because* I’m a paying customer, but because the product is all kinds of awesome.

I’ve been burnt by horrendous anti-virus software in the past. Namely: Norton. Norton is a horrendous application, a virus in and of itself. It sucks the life out of users. It announces and advertises its presence at every opportunity. And it makes you want to throw your laptop through the next available window.

avast is the opposite of Norton. Its spinning disc sits innocently in the tray at the bottom of the screen, there purely to inspire confidence. On occasions, it tells me that the virus definitions have been updated. But beyond that, I know not of its existence.

I’ve been an avast customer since 31 May 2006. And I will continue to be their customer long after our fifth anniversary.

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