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  1. #1
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    Avast: Engine vs. program

    Hi - In Avast there's a choice to update engine or program. What does each do, and do they both need to be updated simultaneously (we do this manually)? Thank you.

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    I haven't used Avast, but generally speaking, AV programs tend to be divided into multiple components: a rarely updated program file, a routinely updated scan engine, and a very frequently updated signature or pattern file.

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    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Avast normally updates the signature database on Windows start. I have seen it update signatures twice daily at times. It also auto checks for engine updates, and informs the user via a popup that an engine update is available, similar to the popup advising that the signature update download has just concluded.

    Engine updates are vital to enhancing Avast's effectiveness in detecting malware.

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    Thank you both. Am still confused about which/when to update, the engine or the program--or both? And, where is the signature in all this? What IS a signature? Thank you again.

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    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    My apologies if my first post was a little obscure and confusing.

    A "signature" is a profile revealing the structure and characteristics of a specific piece of malware (this is only a simplistic definition). Thus, the Avast signature database provides Avast with the means to compare a detected piece of malware against the signatures in the database for a probable match. When a match occurs, a warning is generated, and usually the suspect code is quarantined.

    As to which to update, whether the program or the engine, or both, I always give permission when I am aware of a program update. For instance, Avast is in version 6 at this time. Throughout the life of Avast 6, there will be notifications of updates Avast will make available. Hypothetically, if the current version is Avast 6.1, (I do not remember exactly what the current update is), then a new update would be identified as Avast 6.2.

    However, when Avast 5.xx was mainstream, and Avast 6 became available, there were certain concerns expressed in some circles about certain problems in Avast 6. Therefore when an entirely new version of the program is released, it is better to hold back while checking reviews of the new version, and to look at what some of the industry watchers have to say about the program. It is prudent to move to the newest version after an "all clear" is sounded.

    I believe that an updated "engine" (the engine is related to scanning and detecting of malware) can be included in a program update or in a brand new program version, such as when Avast 6 was released.

    As posted earlier, I have found Avast to be very good at updating the signature database automatically, and providing notification of program updates, as well as new program versions (as in moving from Avast 5 to Avast 6). While the latter two are not installed automatically, Avast has always informed me of their availability.

    Hope this helps
    Last edited by Deadeye81; 2011-05-08 at 19:24.

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    Thank you very much for your concise post!

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    Lightbulb Avast Support Forums

    Hi Acer : For future and possibly current considerations, ALL questions are best asked on the Online Avast Support Forums and questions of the nature you asked should be searched specifically at http://forum.avast.com/index.php?board=2.0
    For the BEST in what counts in Life :

    http://www.ctftoronto.com

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