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Avast Review

The Bottom Line: Avast is renowned for its robust computer protection against viruses and malware, offering a comprehensive security solution with options for both free and premium users. It currently has over 435 million active users worldwide and blocks around 1.5 billion threats per month. Its advanced malware-scanning engine identifies threats in real-time, while its antivirus database is regularly updated to detect new threats and vulnerabilities. Furthermore, Avast offers additional security tools such as password protection, data shredder, webcam shield, home network security, SafeZone browser, sandbox, Wi-Fi intruder alerts, among others. Check out our detailed review to see if Avast antivirus is right for you.
  • Comprehensive protection
  • Real-time scanning
  • Outstanding malware detection
  • Robust free version
  • Tons of extra features
  • Unlimited VPN for premium users
  • Customizable protection
  • Great privacy and performance tools
  • Easy to install and use
  • Well-designed user interface
  • Excellent scores in independent lab tests
  • 30+ years of cybersecurity experience
  • Works with Windows PC, Mac, Android, and iOS devices
  • Trusted by 425+ million users worldwide
  • Many features come at an additional cost
  • Protection isn't as strong on Android as it is on iOS
Security Features

Avast antivirus provides a wide range of comprehensive security features designed to protect against various online threats. Its powerful malware scanning engine operates in real-time and can detect and remove different types of malware, including viruses, worms, Trojans, ransomware, and spyware. Avast also maintains a regularly updated antivirus database that helps identify and block new and emerging threats quickly. In our tests, Avast's malware scanner and real-time protection proved to be highly effective, successfully detecting all the malware samples we tested on our device. Furthermore, Avast's web protections are top-notch, outperforming the default protections of popular browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Edge by a significant margin.

Here are a few more notable features:

  • Anti-malware Engine - A core component of Avast antivirus software that provides real-time protection against malware, viruses, ransomware, spyware, and other types of cyber threats. It constantly scans your system and checks all running processes, files, and applications to detect and block any suspicious activity. The anti-malware engine uses advanced algorithms and heuristics to identify and analyze potential threats, and it is regularly updated to keep up with the latest security threats. Additionally, the anti-malware engine also provides options for scheduling automatic scans, customizing scanning settings, and creating exclusion lists for trusted files and directories.

  • Web Protection - This feature automatically scans all websites for potential security threats, such as malware, viruses, spyware, and phishing scams. It uses advanced algorithms to analyze the behavior of websites and their contents to detect and block any suspicious activity. Additionally, the web protection feature also includes features like Anti-Tracking and AdBlocker, which help to protect your privacy online and remove unwanted advertisements, respectively.

  • Firewall - This feature monitors all network traffic between your computer and the outside world. It provides an additional layer of protection against unauthorized remote access and controls incoming and outgoing programs to prevent potential security breaches. Avast firewall is designed to prevent malware attacks, block unwanted traffic, and protect your personal data by identifying suspicious activity and blocking it before it can cause harm to your system.

  • Data Shredder - This allows you to permanently delete sensitive files, making it impossible for anyone to restore them, even with data recovery software. This feature uses advanced data shredding algorithms to overwrite the file multiple times with random data, making it impossible to recover any of the original data. This is especially useful when you want to dispose of old hardware or sell it, as there may be sensitive information on the hard drive that you do not want to fall into the wrong hands. Additionally, data shredding can be useful when you need to delete confidential data such as your bank or credit card information. With Avast Data Shredder, you can be sure that your data has been fully destroyed.

  • Home Network Security - Scans your home Wi-Fi network for vulnerabilities and potential security threats. It identifies devices connected to your network and detects any possible weaknesses to help prevent cyber attacks on your system. Additionally, Avast home network security notifies users when any unknown or unauthorized device connects to the network and provides smart recommendations to improve home network security.

  • Device Optimization - Avast offers various tools and features for device optimization, depending on which Avast antivirus package you choose. Some of these tools include disk cleanup, registry cleanup, software updates, and device performance monitoring. For example, Avast Cleanup Premium is an optimization tool that scans your PC to identify unnecessary items and performance issues, freeing up disk space and improving your device's performance. Additionally, some packages may include features like Game Mode, which prioritizes system resources for gaming and other resource-intensive tasks, and Sleep Mode, which temporarily disables resource-heavy background processes to conserve battery life.

  • CyberCapture - Detects and analyzes rare and suspicious files that may be potentially harmful to your system. When a file is executed or downloaded, CyberCapture automatically sends a copy to the Avast threat lab for analysis to determine whether it is safe or not. CyberCapture can help uncover new malware and prevent zero-day attacks, that is, when a vulnerability is exploited before a patch is available.

  • Data Breach Monitoring - This feature allows you to monitor your email addresses and other personal information for potential data breaches. It constantly scans online sources, including the dark web, for any information associated with your email address, phone number, credit card numbers, and other personal data that may have been leaked or compromised in a data breach. If it detects any suspicious activity, it immediately alerts you and provides guidance on how to take action to protect your personal information. This feature helps you to stay proactive in protecting your personal data and reduces the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft or other cybercrime. Note that this feature may not be available in all Avast antivirus packages, so you may want to check with the specific package you have installed to see if it's included.

  • Smart Scan - You can use Avast Smart Scan, a feature included in Avast antivirus, to quickly scan your computer for potential security threats, performance issues, and privacy risks. The feature checks for outdated software, weak passwords, insecure browser settings, and other potential vulnerabilities that can compromise your system's security or performance. Avast Smart Scan also scans for malware (viruses, worms, Trojans, and spyware), unwanted toolbars and extensions, performance issues such as junk files and unnecessary apps draining memory or processing power.

  • Sandbox - A virtualization tool that allows you to run potentially suspicious applications or browse the web in an isolated virtual environment. This helps to protect your system by preventing any malicious code from infecting it. The Sandbox feature can be useful in many scenarios for tight security, including testing applications, opening unknown files, and browsing potentially unsafe websites. By running applications in the Sandbox environment, Avast can detect any malicious behavior and block it before it can harm your system.

  • Secure DNS - Protects your system against DNS-based attacks such as phishing, man-in-the-middle attacks, and DNS hijacking. It works by using Avast's own secure DNS servers to replace your computer's default DNS servers, which can be compromised and potentially lead to attacks. By using Avast Secure DNS, you can ensure that your online activities are always safe, as it blocks any malicious websites or online content before it can harm your system.

  • Remote Access Shield - Remote Access Shield is a feature that protects your system from Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) vulnerabilities by monitoring and blocking any suspicious RDP activity. This feature can prevent unauthorized access to your computer by hackers or malware, which may try to exploit RDP connections to gain access to your system. Avast Remote Access Shield also allows you to configure custom settings, such as whitelisting trusted IP addresses for legitimate RDP connections. This feature is available in some Avast antivirus packages and can provide an extra layer of security for remote workers or those who frequently use RDP to access other systems.

  • Bank Mode - Avast provides a virtual desktop for safer online banking and financial transactions. When you enable Bank Mode, your browser opens in a virtual environment that acts as a clean, safe PC within your actual PC. This virtual environment isolates your online banking activity from the rest of your system, protecting you from potential cybersecurity threats like malware or phishing attacks. Additionally, Bank Mode also prevents web trackers and online advertisements from accessing your sensitive data, and it clears your browsing history and cookies each time you close the window. This feature helps to provide an extra layer of security when you're making financial transactions or accessing your sensitive financial information online.

  • These are only a handful of Avast Antivirus's security highlights. Keep in mind that these capabilities vary by plan, but rest assured that even the free version and the paid plans provide top-notch malware protection.

    User Interface and Performance

    Avast antivirus is well-known for its user-friendly interface, which makes it simple to use even for inexperienced users. You'll have no trouble installing or updating the software nor will you have any difficulty removing the software on your own. It also includes a centralized console where you track actions and monitor activities on devices where Avast is installed.The console also provides a quick overview of your devices' and networks' current security status, with automated alerts to keep you informed of any significant changes or updates.

    Avast's tools are neatly categorized into three tabs (Protection, Privacy, and Performance) on the left side of the app, making them easily accessible with just a few clicks. The Protection tab allows you to run virus scans, enable or disable real-time protections, manage quarantined files, scan your network, adjust firewall settings, enable or disable email protections, launch Avast Secure Browser, manage remote access attempts, enable or disable DNS hijacking protection, and run apps in the sandbox. In the Privacy tab, you can check for data breaches, enable or disable password protection for browsers, manage webcam protections, scan for sensitive files that need protection, and shred files for permanent deletion. The Performance tab allows you to activate or deactivate Do Not Disturb Mode and check for software updates on installed apps.

    One thing we like about Avast is that it provides brief explanations attached to all of its basic features, ensuring that you understand what each feature does. More so, there is a quick access link to the tool's advanced settings on each individual tool page. If you still can't find the option you're looking for, Avast has a search feature that will help you zero in on it.

    We're also pleased to report that when Avast was running in the background, it had almost no effect on the performance of our device. Antivirus software has the potential to degrade device performance by slowing processing speed and interfering with daily activities. This is not the case with Avast. It used less than 1% of our CPU's processing capacity even when running in the background, and this number rose to around 15% during a Quick Scan. The Smart Scan, which took only a few minutes to complete, had no discernible effect on the performance of our device. Even the typically resource-intensive Deep Scan consumed only about 20% of our CPU's processing power. This had no effect on our ability to browse the web, edit documents, play games, or watch videos in high definition.

    All in all, working with Avast is a pleasure. Despite the software's extensive feature set, we were never confused or lost. Using Avast, even as a first-time antivirus software user, is a breeze.

    Licenses and Packages

    Avast offers several packages or editions of its antivirus software, each with different features and capabilities. Here are some of Avast's current offerings:

  • Avast Free Antivirus - This is the basic version of Avast antivirus and is available for free. It provides essential protection against malware, including viruses and spyware. It includes features such as real-time scanning, web browsing protection, and automatic updates.

  • Avast Premium Security ($4.19/month) - Offers robust protection against various online threats such as viruses, ransomware, and scams. This package includes a firewall, secure deletion, tracking protection, and webcam and malicious website protection, among other features that can be tailored to suit individual needs.

  • Avast One Individual ($4.19/month)- This is a comprehensive cybersecurity solution that includes features such as antivirus, VPN, and system optimization. This plan is intended to safeguard your devices and online activities against threats such as viruses, malware, phishing, and identity theft. It protects up to five devices, sends real-time password leak alerts, and employs artificial intelligence to detect and block emerging threats. It also includes a VPN, which encrypts your internet traffic and allows you to access websites and content that are otherwise blocked. You'll also get system optimization features such as junk files and unwanted application cleanup.

  • Avast One Family ($5.79/month) - Same inclusion as the Individual plan but offers protection for up to 6 family members and 30 devices.

  • Avast One Platinum ($9.99/month) - This is the premium version of Avast's cybersecurity solution that offers features beyond those included in the Avast One Family plan. In addition to antivirus, VPN, password manager, and system optimization, Avast One Platinum also provides identity restoration services and unlimited 24/7 tech support. It also offers up to $2 million in reimbursement for expenses related to identity theft.

  • All in all, Avast's pricing strategy is highly competitive, especially considering its availability of a free version that provides all the essential security features typically found only in premium products. That being said, users looking for comprehensive protection should consider Avast One package for its additional features such as email and scam protection, VPN, anti-tracker, data breach monitor, identity protection, and more.

    About the Company

    Avast is developed and maintained by Avast Software, a global cybersecurity company headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic. Avast Software was founded in 1988 by Pavel Baudiš and Eduard Kučera, and it has grown to become one of the leading providers of antivirus and security software worldwide. The company is known for its innovative approach to cybersecurity, focusing on creating advanced technologies to detect and protect against emerging threats.

    Avast Software has a large team of cybersecurity experts and researchers who work tirelessly to develop cutting-edge security solutions. The company has a strong commitment to protecting user privacy and operates with a "Security First" mindset. Avast is dedicated to providing reliable and effective security products that help individuals and businesses stay safe online.

    As a global company, Avast has a presence in multiple countries, with offices and research labs located around the world. It serves millions of customers, including individual users, small and medium-sized businesses, and large enterprises, with its diverse range of cybersecurity products and services.

    Avast has also been actively involved in the cybersecurity community, collaborating with industry partners, government organizations, and law enforcement agencies to combat cyber threats and promote online safety. The company has received numerous awards and accolades for its contributions to the field of cybersecurity and its commitment to protecting users against malware, viruses, and other online threats.

    Customer Service

    Start with the official support website if you're having problems with Avast Antivirus. The site organizes frequently asked questions into categories, such as refund requests and subscription cancellations. You can also visit the Avast forum site to learn how other users have dealt with similar issues and what they did to fix them. If you have a question that isn't addressed in the forum or the Frequently Asked Questions section, you can submit a support ticket to Avast.

    Please note that the availability of customer care options may vary depending on the subscription package that you have selected. Premium subscribers can benefit from access to several channels, such as email, live chat, and phone support, for issue resolution. However, users on a free plan are limited to seeking customer support through the forum or FAQ page only.

    Our Verdict: A Top Brand In Cyber-Security For A Reason

    In conclusion, Avast provides unrivaled protection against dangerous real-world threats that you may encounter online. Although its quick scan may have room for improvement, the full scan is excellent, performing exceptionally well in our tests. It also received high marks from independent antivirus testing organizations such as AV-Comparatives, where it receives 3-star ratings in Advanced+ Malware Protection, Advanced Real-World Protection, and Advanced+ Performance for 2022. For a premium antivirus, it is hard to beat, and if you’re looking for free antivirus software, you won’t get a better deal than this.
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