McMick posted this on the Technical Froum. I thought I would put it into this thread as well so that players could find it easy. Many of us gamers love and use this as our virus protection as it is one of the best with respect to high performance games. A big thanks to McMick for taking the time write this information down for us.
There seems to be a lot of confusion about avast! Home Edition, so here's a guide on how to get it installed and registered. Let me state up front, however, that the free Home Edition is made for PERSONAL USE ONLY, so don't go putting it on your business computers or you will be a software pirate.
I can't speak for their website and how clear or unclear it is to people, but I think most who are confused are accidentally trying to get the avast! Professional Edition, which is for commercial PCs and costs $39 for a single license.
I have been a big fan of avast! since version 4 came out, and I believe it is the best anti-virus for Windows. Others will talk about AVG, or NOD32, or Kaspersky, and while all of those programs are excellent, they are either not as easy to use as Avast!, or take up more resources, or don't have a free home version. We needn't talk about McAfee or Norton/Symantec, for reasons that must be clear to anyone who's used them since around the year 2002.
OK, here goes:
1. DOWNLOAD THE INSTALLER
So the first thing you need to do is get the Avast! Free Home Edition installer on your PC. The easiest way to accomplish that is to download it from their website:http://www.avast.com/
Once there, look at the top of the page and you will see a menu bar just below their grey banner with the "avast!" logo on it. The menu bar has various drop-down links that appear when you point at the toolbar buttons (products, download, purchase, support, viruses, company). If you have a slow connection, these may take a moment to appear, so be patient. Point at "download" and click on "Programs" in the drop-down menu. You will be taken to a page entitled "Download Programs" which will have a list of products available for download. The list font color is orange, so it should be pretty obvious. Click on the second link in the list, "avast! 4 Home Edition FREE Download". Be sure to click on that one, not the one above it, which is for Professional Edition.
Now you are finally on the right page to downlaod the software. The page is titled "avast! 4 Home Edition - FREE antivirus software - Download" so you know you're at the right place. Scroll down and you will see a list of links to download the program in various languages. To the left of each link is a Download button. The first link is for the English version, which most of you will probably want. When you click the Download button to the left, you will be asked if you want to save the file. Save it to a convenient location (the Desktop would be fine). In Firefox, the default behaviour in Vista is to download everything to a "Downloads" folder in your user folder. DO NOT CLOSE YOUR BROWSER YET. Now it's time to get a key.
2. GET A REGISTRATION KEY
While we're still on the avast.com webpage, go back up to the top and point at Support in the menu bar, then click on "FREE avast! Home Registration" and you will be taken to a page titled "Registration of avast! 4 Home Edition". Just below the title, there is a list of links with the heading "Please choose the right option..." and three links to choose from. The first one is for first-time users, "I'm a new user and I need a registration key for avast! Home Edition". For the purposes of keeping this article at least somewhat short, that's all we'll look at. Click on that link and you will be taken to the registration form at the bottom of the page.
Now choose your registration language (already set to English by default), then provide a valid e-mail address in the grey box. Note that you have to enter the same address two times. Then fill in a name in the Name box below that. A few boxes below this, pick your country (default is United States). YOU DO NOT NEED TO FILL IN ANY MORE THAN THIS UNLESS YOU WANT TO VOLUNTEER EXTRA INFORMATION. Check the box next to the statement "I understand that I have the right to use this program for non-commercial home use only, both conditions must be met as part of the EULA." The section below that is for leaving comments to the software team. Below this box is a "captcha" that must be filled out to start the download. Enter the 3 letters that you see in the box "letters above:". Finally, hit the Register button at the bottom. You will be taken to a page titled "Registration of avast! 4 Home Edition" which informs you that the registration was sent to ALWIL Software and that they will send a key to the email address you provided within 24 hours. In reality it is almost instant or at most five minutes.
3. INSTALL AVAST! FREE HOME EDITION
Open the folder that you saved the Avast! Installer to and run the installer (The name for the English version is setupeng.exe). Agree to the license, then in the Configuration window choose the installation option on that you want. I highly recommend MINIMAL installation, as the interface isn't skinned to look like a car stereo or whatever. Unless you use TheBat for your email, Minimal is the best choice. Click Next. When the installation is almost finished, you will be given a choice to have avast scan your computer for viruses on restart. That's up to you. If you accidentally forget to uncheck that option, you can just hit the ESC key when the scan starts to abort it. You should reboot your PC at this time.
4. FINISH UP AND REGISTER
When Windows restarts, you'll see two new icons in your tray, both little blue spheres. Both have letters in lower case and white, one has an "a" and the other an "i". You can right-click on the "i" and choose "Merge with main avast! icon" to hide it. It pertains to the VRDB generator which usually runs when your PC is idle or on screensaver. It takes "snapshots" of all your files so it can more easily clean them if they get infected.
Now is the time to check your email for the key. It will be sent from email@example.com
. After you open the mail, you will see the key in between two lines of dashes, like this:
Your license key is:
---------- cut here ----------
W38441609H6000A1106-JDMSW011 <--NOTE: THIS IS NOT A REAL KEY SO DON'T BOTHER
---------- cut here ----------
With your mouse, highlight ONLY THE PART BETWEEN THE DOTTED LINES, right-click it, and click "copy".
After that, right-click on the avast "a" icon in your system tray and click on "About avast!" and a window will come up with a tree of information on it. At the bottom of the window is a button titled "License key...". Click on that and another window titled "Registration" will appear. Right-click in the box and click "paste", then click the OK button. Congratulations, you are registered for 14 months!
Alwil put together a video explaining the registration process a bit more visually:http://www.avast.com/files/tutorials/insert_key.htm
It requires Flash Player 9 to view.
I hope this clears up the confusion for some of you. Alwil has NEVER sent me any unrequested email and to the best of my knowledge has never shared my email address with anyone.
I may attempt to make this shorter and more concise later on. It ran a bit longer than I thought it would. Seriously, this isn't hard to do, though it may look like it from the length of my post