First Beta for next major version of Avast 2014 has been released and available to download for testing purposes. Avast 2014 Beta brings new UI, DeepScreen technology, hardened mode and other new features (like DNT) and improvements to the table.
Avast 2014 Beta Review
User interface has been completely redesigned for simpler navigation and usage. Avast says it’s the biggest change since version 5.0. You can perform Quick Scan from Home screen of UI and you can access Browser Cleanup to get rid of toolbars in browsers and reset their search preferences to defaults, FYI Avast Browser Cleanup is also available as standalone app.
Avast DeepScreen Technology
Avast 9 Beta has introduced DeepScreen technology which is successor of Auto Sandbox and is still in development. This technology is also available in Free AV and allows Avast to take better real-time decisions when unknown files are executed. When compared to AutoSandbox, DeepScreen contains additional technologies such as dynamic binary translation and dyna-gen.
Enabling Hardened Mode: Avast is offering Hardened mode for inexperienced users which can be turned on from Antivirus Section in Settings that further locks down security of computer.
Hardened mode “automatically blocks execution of binaries that would normally be deepscreened (Moderate level) or even allows only execution of programs that are well-known to FileRep (Aggressive level). In a way, it brings the whitelisting concept to the consumer AV space”.
Do Not Track Feature in Avast
Avast 2014 has included Do Not Track functionality in browser plugins which for instance in Avast Online Security Plugin for Chrome is in form of PrivacyShield which blocks Social networks, ad tracking, web analytics, and others by default.
Avast says “DNT functionality doesn’t rely on the DNT HTTP headers; instead, it uses a proprietary technology that cannot be overridden by the servers”.
Software Updater introduced in Avast 8 exists in this beta, makes sure you’re using latest version for important applications installed on your computer like and prompts you to update them to latest version if they are out-of-date.
Avast has integrated SecureLine VPN (paid feature) into desktop AV, you can remove it if you don’t want after install (if you’ve unchecked it during its custom setup).
Avast Online Security Plugin for Chrome and IE and Avast Online Scanner for Firefox have been improved.
Full details and direct download links for Avast 2014 Beta can be found here.