by Anura Guruge
>> Avast 2014.9.0.2016 & GrimeFighter
>> — Apr. 6, 2014.
>> Forced to Update — Dec. 3, 2013.
>> Renewed with trepidation — Dec. 1, 2013.
>> Careful updating to 9.0.1500 —
>> Oct. 22, 2013.
>> Not happy with Avast 8 — Mar. 16, 2013.
For the last few days I have been getting these ADDITIONAL, very annoying notifications from (paid) Avast Internet Security (2014 …) telling me that Avast could make my Web browsing totally anonymous by making me invisible.
Of course I did NOT take up their intrusive offer.
Even a quick glance at the notification informs you that they provide this via a ‘Virtual Private Network’ (VPN). That means that you first have a VPN connection with an Avast server, somewhere East of the Iron Curtain, and then your browsing is done using that server as a proxy (or surrogate). Yes, it will work and it will work well. Yes, there will be a small performance hit. The VPN connection itself will be encrypted end-to-end, which has performance implications, and you have now added ANOTHER intermediate server into your Internet access path. I can live with all of that.
As I have always maintained antivirus programs like Avast are the epitome of legitimized Trojan Horses. They know and report back on EVERYTHING you do on your PC! You have no privacy. That I know and I accept as a fait accompli of contemporary PC culture. But to do all my browsing through an Avast server just seems tacky. Makes me cringe. It is really is letting ‘Little Brother’ watch EVERYTHING you do.
Also when it comes to my Internet habits I am like Pope John XXIII and his impromptu walks in the Vatican Gardens. I really don’t do anything scandalous and as such have nothing that I really want hidden. So my advice on using Avast’s invisible browsing. Unless you routinely do dastardly deeds on the Internet, that you don’t want folks to know, I would stay well clear of it. With the Avast option, Avast will know everything you do — and maybe even have a legal right to that information BECAUSE YOU explicitly or implicitly agreed to use THEIR server.