avast! Internet Security is a comprehensive security suite that delivers strong all-round protection for your PC.

The core antivirus engine has been enhanced with several new technologies. A code emulator examines suspect programs in an isolated environment, to help figure out what they're doing; a new heuristics engine detects brand new, previously undiscovered malware; and a Behaviour Shield monitors file system, Registry and network activity, alerting you to any dubious behaviour.

Better still, a new Intelligent Scanner uses a white list of known safe applications to greatly improve performance. Files that are recognised as trusted won't be rescanned unless they change, and avast! say that could cut the number of required scans by as much as 80%. The scanning process of large individual files may now be split between CPU cores, too, further improving speeds.

Elsewhere, a firewall keeps hackers at bay, while the suite's spam filter works with just about any email client to free your Inbox from junk. And a series of real-time shields monitor the web pages you visit, your P2P and instant messaging traffic, network activities and scripts that might be hidden in web pages, blocking and removing any threats they might uncover.

All this activity doesn't get in your way, though, not any more - avast! Internet Security now includes a Silent/ Gaming Mode that detects full-screen apps, disabling annoying pop-up alerts without degrading security.

Verdict

avast! Internet Security has a little more impact on your PC's performance than some security suites, but great scanning performance and excellent range of features are more than adequate compensation. Give it a try!