What is Real Site?
Real Site is a feature included in all paid versions of Avast Antivirus that protects you against DNS (Domain Name System) hijacking to ensure you get to the actual website you want to visit. This feature is designed to require minimal input from you. To ensure you are protected, all you need to do is keep Real Site enabled.
How does Real Site work?
Every time you enter the URL (address) of a website, such as www.example.com, into the address bar of your browser, the URL is translated to the IP address (Internet Protocol address) of the web server where the web page that you want to access is stored. Real Site provides an encrypted connection between your web browser and Avast's own DNS server to prevent hijacking. In other words, Real Site ensures that the displayed website is the authentic one.
What is DNS hijacking?
DNS hijacking (or DNS redirection) is a type of malicious attack that redirects you from the site you want to visit to one that may look just like it. The most common method of DNS hijacking is to install malware that redirects you from an authentic website URL (web address) to a fake website that can steal information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details.
This type of attack is especially dangerous when used with banking and shopping websites. In some cases, DNS hijacking may be recognized only after your sensitive data has been compromised.
How can I turn Real Site off?
To ensure your full security, Real Site is enabled by default. We recommended you keep Real Site turned on at all times, unless you need to temporarily disable it for troubleshooting purposes. To disable Real Site, go to Protection ▸ Real Site, click the green (ON) slider, and select a listed time duration, then click OK, Stop. The slider then switches to red (OFF). We do not recommend you turn this feature off permanently by selecting the Stop indefinitely option.
For more details, refer to the the following article:
Does Real Site affect the speed of my web browsing?
Avast Real Site routes your connection using an IP address that is known and secure, even if the route may be slightly slower. This slight decrease in speed can be caused by one or more of the following:
- There are some countries where Avast does not have a DNS server and accessing DNS servers from an external country can be noticeably slower compared to using the default DNS.
- The Avast IP may have a longer route to the same server than the default DNS IP address.
- Some providers, including corporate networks, have their own DNS servers that sort and handle DNS requests. These servers may have different, locally based IP addresses that differ from the global IP address and may load web sites faster.
- Some providers, including corporate networks, block or filter encrypted DNS requests, which may slow down, or stop connections to Avast Real Site if the request waits for a timeout.
Why does my Real Site status say 'Not available'?
Certain network configurations or policies may not allow you to control DNS settings and use Real Site. If your Real Site status says Not available, we recommend the following:
- Ensure that your network firewall allows UDP port 443, and that UDP port 53 allows DNS with encryption. If your firewall blocks these ports, Real Site tries to connect to them by TCP protocol.
By default, Firewall in Avast Premium Security is configured to work with Real Site. If you use a third party firewall, contact the relevant vendor or refer to the product’s documentation and support pages.
- Consult your network administrator or internet service provider (ISP) to ensure your DNS settings are protected.
How do I set an exclusion for Real Site?
To exclude a website url from Real Site, you need to set the exclusion in Web Shield. Follow these steps:
- Open Avast Antivirus and go to
☰Menu ▸ Settings.
- Select General ▸ Exceptions.
- Click Add Exception.
- Type the website URL into the text box using the example below as a reference:
- Click Add Exception to save your setting.
- Avast Premium Security 20.x
- Microsoft Windows 10 Home / Pro / Enterprise / Education - 32 / 64-bit
- Microsoft Windows 8.1 / Pro / Enterprise - 32 / 64-bit
- Microsoft Windows 8 / Pro / Enterprise - 32 / 64-bit
- Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic / Home Premium / Professional / Enterprise / Ultimate - Service Pack 1, 32 / 64-bit