Is Avast Good?
In the last few years, Avast, the developer of the same-name antivirus for PCs and mobile devices, sells data of its users to third parties (read the detailed investigation here). Even the large IT companies, including Microsoft and Google, buy such information.
Many tech-magazines, which conducted own investigations, accused Avast of selling users’ data. Even the users themselves noticed that they could not disable surveillance of their activity in the Avast apps. Therefore, we do not recommend to use Avast products; it is better to pay attention to other safer brands: PCMatic, McAfee, TotalAV, Norton, Bullguard.
Nevertheless, act at your own risk.
Avast antivirus products are the true giants on the market of antivirus solutions. Both free and paid versions of Avast antivirus include all the necessary features for reliable protection of your computer, home network, and data. Behavioral Analysis, Cloud CyberCapture Technology, Web Protection, Password Manager, and Wi-Fi Inspector are here to provide you with a decent security level. Avast antivirus software offers users fast protection against encryption viruses, the possibility to make safe Internet payments without additional load on the operating system.
Avast presents effective Internet security products; yet, it concedes some other antivirus giant. Nevertheless, this antivirus solution is worth your attention. Why? Let’s find it out.
Avast antivirus in 2020: Pros and Cons
Like any software, Avast antivirus has its strengths and weaknesses. Here are its main pros and cons singled out by experts and most users:
- Reliable and effective protection against various types of malware
- Free Password Manager
- Home Network scanning feature
- Mobile Security feature for smartphones
- Updated Game Mode allows suspending notifications during game sessions
- Avast is lightweight and doesn’t slow down devices significantly
- Premium versions are affordable
- No automatic scanning of new drives connected to a PC
- The boot scanning is too slow
- No firewall in the free package
What comes to your mind when you think of the best antivirus software? Which criteria matter to you?
For regular use on a personal computer, most people rely on three primary criteria: availability of a free version, effectiveness in malware detection and the minimal impact on the system.
An upgraded Avast antivirus meets all these core requirements: it is lightweight, reliable, and easy to use. Needless to say that its powerful free antivirus has traditionally been the reason for Avast’s popularity worldwide. But even on the top of all this, the software has a lot to be loved for.
Avast Security Features
After buying its rival – AVG, Avast combined the capacity of two good antivirus solutions, and now their malware detection mechanism is close to the industry leaders like Kaspersky and Bitdefender, with little impact on system performance. Moreover, the list of Avast security features became wider: the company now pays attention to comprehensive malware, phishing, and ransomware protection.
Classic anti-rootkit, anti-ransomware, and anti-Trojan features are here for your safety. Besides, you will definitely like the following utilities needed for safer Internet experience: personal firewall, safe browser, Wi-FI inspector, VPN service, etc. Avast already had a friendly interface, almost invisible impact on the system, and useful additional features, including a password manager and a network scanner. Now their antivirus protection is almost perfect, so Avast has gained new popularity.
One of the critical factors to evaluate an antivirus is its ability to resist malware attacks. And there is no doubt that Avast is a perfect tool to protect your device against the most sophisticated malware. The software uses 6-layers deep protection to detect and stop harmful programs in just a few seconds. Avast is also effective in removing malware.
To simplify security management for all your devices, Avast has combined all paid security features into a single cross-platform solution that works on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Avast offers different levels of protection against malicious programs.
Powered by Avast CloudCare technology, Avast web protection checks every URL link you click on, warning if it is malicious. Firewall for protection against hackers and network disables access to the Internet when your device is connected to a Wi-Fi or public network.
Phishing is another way for cybercriminals to earn for living. Although this method of stealing users’ data is old and well-known, many people still get caught in the trap. No wonder effectiveness in detecting phishing threats is among the top criteria for people to choose an antivirus.
Avast says it uses AI to detect phishing sites. Hundreds of millions of sensors provide data to AI, which makes it possible to notice threats faster and offer better protection. Avast scans every single site a user visits and analyzes it according to a set of criteria.
Avast significantly expanded its opportunities based on technology with AI to find threats and to undertake safety countermeasures. Phishing is a very effective technique of social engineering, and cybercriminals improve the methods to force people to give confidential information. Avast 2020 combines next-generation phishing protection and convenient features to provide their users with the best privacy protection.
On the Internet, we search for information, make purchases, conduct financial transactions, and communicate with family members. Each of these activities deserves effective protection. Using multiple devices online involves the risk of vulnerabilities and attacks by online threats.
Ransomware is an unpleasant thing. Once your computer gets infected, there is a huge chance you will lose a large number of files since they will be encrypted. That is why it is crucial to have reliable tools to detect ransomware and rescue your device from it. Even its free package will provide a high level of security. Business offers will give more sophisticated protection.
Ransomware Shield offers comprehensive centralized online protection for all your devices on any platform. The company’s state-of-the-art solution protects against webcams threats, encryption trojans, password theft, and other types of threats.
Besides, Avast has free decryption tools that may help to decode your files hit by different types of ransomware.
Network Protection and Blocking Malicious Sites
The Home Network Security is a module that scans not only the user’s computer, but also all devices connected to the router, such as printers, smart TV, and webcams. As is known, Wi-Fi devices are also vulnerable, and almost every node of the home network can be made a bot and used to commit crimes as part of a botnet.
With the help of the Network Security Module, you can check your home network in a blink of an eye. Home Network Security will detect the openness and accessibility of your router’s ports. As a digital company, Avast pays enough attention to the security of physical devices. Avast tends to collaborate with many router manufacturers to secure different types of networks, and Home ones, primarily.
Malicious sites blocking feature is also necessary in terms of Internet security. This utility creates an additional protection level to keep your device on the safe side. Also, you can use Blocking Malicious Sites features as a parental control feature, creating the list of the sites your kids shouldn’t have access to.
Other Protection Features
Some Avast antivirus scans are performed in the cloud, so the load on the operating system is low, and the presence of antivirus does not affect normal computer operation. The important thing is that Avast antivirus components are implemented in such a way to minimize interaction with the user, while, at the same time ensuring full protection for the device.
For example, in addition to the basic features that are available to any antivirus, Avast Antivirus has a convenient password manager. This component allows users not to remember several dozen passwords from different sites, but to store them in a secure container.
A distinctive feature of Avast antivirus is that it checks not only its updates but also for other applications installed on the computer. Together with support for current software versions, checking Wi-Fi devices connected to the network, such as routers or webcams, is an excellent way to protect your PC and protect against vulnerabilities.
The Avast Wi-fi Inspector function allows scanning routers, personal computer, mobile, and IoT devices connected to the network for free. It detects and eliminates the found problems. Identification of devices and detection of vulnerabilities and other risks is also improved. Avast Wi-fi Inspectordisplays the device which was founded in the network on the detailed map that simplifies navigation and management of the devices connected to local networks.
Avast Game Mode
Gamers will definitely appreciate the Avast Game Mode feature that can also be used to improve performance. Modern games load the system heavily, and when using antivirus, most often, it becomes impossible to play them. Avast solved this problem by allocating a separate component that reduces its own load on the operating system and thus frees up resources for gaming.
In comparison with 2017, Avast significantly improved its Game Mode, so all the gamers will not experience annoying pop-ups and notifications during the game session. Avast Game Mode mutes all the unnecessary sounds and pauses the Windows Update feature not to interrupt and slow down your PC. Overall, Avast Game Mode prioritizes game sessions, suspending background processes, and ceasing them temporarily.
Avast AntiTrack is a new tool that blocks tracking when visiting websites online, with support for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, IE, and Edge browsers. This utility helps to stay anonymous and protects against identity theft.
- Avast AntiTrack includes extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, IE, Edge.
- It helps you stay anonymous when surfing, offering an easy-to-use interface.
- AntiTrack helps to keep online activity history confidential.
- It helps to stop Web advertising services from tracking your preferences.
- Avast AntiTrack protects against online identity theft.
Overall, Avast AntiTrack is the best tool that will protect you against annoying advertisements. It will warn you that snoopers make attempts to follow you and will stop them.
The AntiTrack feature will cost you $49.99 per year.
For those users who worry about password reliability, but at the same time do not want to complicate their lives, Avast has the Password Manager. You only need to configure the feature once, and you can use just one master password to log in to different accounts securely. This technology, among other things, provides encryption and secure storage of information, as well as synchronizing data on all devices.
To have full access to information, websites often require registration. Depending on the site policy, there are different password requirements. It causes users to log on to more than 20-30 web pages with different passwords, and it is not always possible to remember them. The Avast Password Manager will save information about pages and passwords visited, allowing you to create one master password to log on to all sites.
Passwords Premium will charge $19.99 per year.
Optional paid component for all versions, Avast Secure Line VPN capabilities allow you to create a private virtual network that is a secure Internet tunnel for the user. Such a tunnel provides encryption of all transmitted information and connection protection in case of public Wi-Fi networks use.
A new version of Avast SecureLine VPN for PC and Mac offers an additional layer of privacy protection by automatically enabling a secure VPN connection when you start your computer. Another useful feature is the automatic connection of Avast to SecureLine when using an unprotected Wi-Fi network, which allows hiding the actions of users on the network from the prying eyes. The new version takes advantage of additional server locations – their number has increased from 41 to 54, which has enhanced the speed of connection through VPN.
Please note that SecureLine VPN (Multi-Device) comes at a price $59.88 per year now.
Avast Cleanup Premium is an optional paid component for all versions. It scans your computer for performance issues and unwanted items. You can run this feature from a free version to see the issues on your computer, but you won’t be able to fix them automatically. Once verified, Cleanup can free up the disk space and speed up your computer.
Cleanup Premium will cost you $59.99 for 1-year subscription.
Many users use different add-ins for browsers. This often affects both PC performance and security. It is challenging to track the rating of all additional applications if their number is large. Avast developers offer to make such a check for the user through antivirus. When you run a smart scan, you check the various components and partitions of your computer, including the low-rated browser add-ins, and then the user can decide whether or not to delete them.
In the new version of antivirus, developers improved the performance of the Avast Secure Browser and made it available to all users of Avast products. The browser will be useful if financial transactions are often made on the computer, and blocking of advertising will allow not to be distracted when using the Internet.
Avast Lab Tests
Numerous independent tests have proved the reliability of Avast antivirus.
AV-Test conducted in February 2020 showed that Avast could detect and eliminate 99% of threats. It also scored 6 out of 6 for the level of protection it gives to users’ devices, and got 5.5 out of 6 for preformance.
In July-October 2019, AV-Comparatives’ Real-World Protection Test Avast showed 99.3% score. That is why this antivirus took the 12th place only. That might disappoint some users because many competitors are 100% effective.
Also, Avast did good in the MRG-Effitas’ banking Trojans test and got Level 2 certification for its malware protection capabilities. Level 2 means that the minimum of one virus was able to get into the computer, but the software deleted it within 24 hours.
However, Avast showed rather average results in tests done by the British SE Labs. The goal of this test is to check whether an antivirus can take care of different types of attacks once detected. Avast Free Antivirus got only 91% accuracy rating. This result is not impressive if compared to other antivirus products.
Avast Products: How Much Does Avast Cost?
Avast is one of the most high-cost antivirus software. Although it’s Premier plan for Windows became cheaper in comparison to the previous year, it is still more expensive than similar plans of competitors.
Here is what Avast has to offer in terms of pricing:
|Plan||Premium Security||Premium Security
|Number of devices||1||10||Unlimited|
You can save a little bit by going long-term: with the 2-year plan the yearly price drops by around 8%, and with 3-years plan you can save about 12% per year.
Besides, Avast offers a 30 days money-back guarantee for most of their subscription products (AVG, HideMyAss!, CCleaner, and many others). If you do not feel like continue using any of their products – it is possible to cancel the recurring payment in the profile settings. The amount you have already paid will be charged back to your PayPal or card account. In addition, if the account was suspended from the Avast’s site (for instance, if the user breached their policies) – the funds will be returned as well. In any case, you will not lose your money.
Avast Free Antivirus 2020: Decent Antivirus Protection
Avast Free Antivirus is an ultra-light and modern antivirus with minimal load on system resources. The new version has been improved to increase efficiency and reduce the load on the system resources. Avast Free Antivirus essentials include:
- Intellectual scanning discovers all the vulnerabilities that could allow malware to penetrate the system, from unsafe passwords to suspicious add-ons and legacy software.
- Antivirus detects and blocks viruses, malware, phishing threats, spyware, and adware with intelligent analytics.
- Behavioral analysis instantly detects suspicious behavior to protect against ransomware and zero-day threats.
- CyberCapture isolates unknown files for analysis in the cloud and verify their security.
- Do Not Disturb Mode blocks notifications while playing games, watching videos, and making full-screen presentations.
- Web and phishing protection prevents malicious sites, scams, and forbid you to go via fake links without installing a special browser extension.
- Mail protection prevents infected emails from entering your computer mailbox (such as Outlook and Thunderbird), and prevents infected emails from being sent from your account.
Protection outside your computer:
- Analysis of networks. This feature automatically discovers the weaknesses of your home Wi-Fi network to protect it from intruders.
- Program updates. The utility installs updates for other software that eliminate vulnerabilities and improve performance.
- Passwords Premium protects all accounts with one secure password.
- Browser Cleaner removes unnecessary toolbars, add-ons, and other extensions.
- Backup and Disaster recovery: this feature creates a disaster recovery disk USB drive so that if a normal startup fails, you can restart the infected computer with it.
Avast Premium Security 2020: Protection Privacy and Performance Boost
Avast Premium Security is an advanced version of Avast antivirus that includes comprehensive features such as firewall, ransomware shield, and privacy tools.
Avast Premium Security is an all-in-one antivirus, now even faster and more efficient because of moving computing processes into the cloud. The world’s largest threat detection network, cloud-based artificial intelligence, and lightning-fast behavior analysis highlight Avast Premium among all others.
Avast Premium Security Benefits:
- Protection against viruses and other malware. Detect and block malware threats in real-time.
- Blocks ransomware, and don’t let the intruders obtain your sensitive data and blackmail you.
- Avast Premium finds weaknesses in Wi-Fi security and identifies vulnerabilities of any network you connect to.
- Safe online shopping avoids fake sites to make purchases and transactions secure.
- Network Analysis. Automatically detect vulnerabilities in your home Wi-Fi network (or wired network) to protect against hacking.
- Protection of the webcam. Prevent surveillance by unreliable apps and prying eyes through a computer’s webcam.
- Protection of confidential data. Block spyware attempts to access tax, medical, and other sensitive documents.
- Data Shredder. Permanently delete any files that allow you to borrow, sell, or throw away your computer without compromising your privacy.
- Do Not Disturb mode. Block notifications so you can watch videos, play games, and play full-screen presentations without interference.
- Automatic updating of programs. Improve the performance and security of critical software with automatic updates.
With the advancement of IoT, Avast understood that they could contribute not only to the PC’s and smartphone’s safety. Avast Omni is the latest development in the field of Internet technologies. The company created a system that protects the entire user’s home, checking all the devices connected.
Avast Omni implies big data, AI, and machine learning collaboration to create high-level security for the entire home network. Its cloud-based platform analyzes all the possible threats in real-time, guaranteeing a fast response to potential risks.
Convenient Avast Omni app allows you to monitor the devices in your Wi-Fi network. In case of any suspicious activity or fraudulent attack, you will get a notification via the Omni app. It can also be used for protection laptops, tablets, and smartphones, as well as utilized as parental control. We can say that Avast Omni is a unique, comprehensive solution to protect yourself and your family.
Avast for Mac
Avast Antivirus for Mac includes several layers of protection: antivirus, mail screen, Wi-Fi network analysis, and Web screen protection against downloading infected files from the Internet.
Avast Security for Mac (formerly Avast Mac Security, Avast Free Antivirus for Mac) offers 3 security screens, on-demand scans, and a web security plug-in with a reputation for WebRep that is automatically installed in Safari, Chrome, and Firefox browsers.
Key Features of Avast Security for Mac
Avast’s leading technologies are now available for Mac. Avast Antivirus for Mac includes the same antimalware technologies as its older brother, Avast Antivirus for Windows.
- For instance, Web Dynpro scans all visited web pages (port 80), downloads, and Java scripts, supports IPv6 connections, and, with its intelligent web-flow scanning feature, does not slow down your Internet connection.
- The email screen scans all messages for malware. The mail screen serves as an email proxy, so if you access the mailbox over a secure connection (SSL), you must configure your email client and mail screen to support this type of connection.
- Avast also protects your Mac from the infected files. A real-time file system screen scans/open executable files to stop the infection before it spreads on your Mac. If you prefer, you can specify a list of files and/or folders that you would like to exclude from the scan.
- Protection against dangerous and phishing websites for web browsers Avast Online Security (Safari, Chrome, Firefox) uses cloud-based WebRep technology, which provides access only to reliable websites according to Avast community rating, and also provides greater protection against phishing sites and sites with fake SSL certificates.
- Full control over the scan settings. Use on-demand scans to scan your Mac for your preferences, with the option of either a full scan of the file system, specific folders, or even removable storage media.
- Wi-Fi network protection feature scans your Mac for vulnerabilities. It detects the home router and connected devices’ security issues.
Avast for Mobile Protection (for Android and iOS)
Avast Mobile Security is powerful protection from malicious apps, Wi-Fi network vulnerabilities, and viruses. It will come in handy when you need to block malware, boost the phone’s performance, and track your device in case of theft.
Avast Mobile Security, both for iOS and Android, protects personal data with automatic virus scanning and notification of malicious URL links, blocks hackers with a built-in firewall. The Anti-Theft feature supports remote management and allows you to delete your smartphone history, lock your device, activate your siren, track your location with GPS, perform audio monitoring, and other useful actions.
Avast antivirus performs on-demand scans on installed applications and SD card content and scans in real-time during the first startup of applications. Includes features for scheduled scans, updating antivirus databases, removing applications, deleting files, and reporting false positives to the Avast lab.
Avast Mobile Security also provides management of applications. Similar to Windows Task Manager, it shows the lists of running applications and their size (MB), processor utilization, memory usage, and the number of threads and services – with the ability to stop and delete processes.
Closely integrated into Avast Mobile Security, Avast Anti-Theft is one of the most effective in the market. Formerly known as Theft Aware, the component has been recommended by leading industry experts: T-Mobile, N-TV, AndroidPIT, and Android Police.
Avast Mobile Security is free and provides several features that are not available in leading products. The privacy report, app manager, and remote phone security management features help Avast Mobile Security take the lead in comprehensive protection and complete control of your smartphone.
Avast for Business
Avast Antivirus for Business is an antivirus for small businesses with the cloudy console of centralized management. It offers endpoint protection of workstations based on Windows, Windows Server, and Mac OS.
Avast Business Antivirus is a new enterprise endpoint security solution that combines Avast and AVG’s best antivirus technologies. A large list of capabilities begins with basic security features. The solution offers antivirus, behavior analysis, real-time scanning of files, downloads, and email, and intelligent blocking of malicious URLs.
Comprehensive antivirus-level tools include a spam filter and an intelligent firewall. Wi-Fi analysis looks for network vulnerabilities, Sandbox works as an isolated environment, protecting the rest of your PC from malicious impact, and disaster recovery disk helps remove even the most persistent and hidden threats.
If you need more capabilities, Avast Business Antivirus Pro offers support for Exchange and SharePoint servers, Software Security to keep your applications up to date, and a tool for data destruction.
The virtual Avast Business Antivirus Pro Plus solution offers an Avast SecureLine VPN subscription, Passwords Premium, web camera security, and browser cleanup features.
All packages can be installed either as stand-alone antivirus or remotely managed using a cloud console (recommended for more than 5 devices).
Ease of Use
One of the biggest advantages of Avast is that it is very easy to use. Thanks to its intuitive interface, it is a simple tool even for beginners. To start using Avast, download it for free from the official site. The free program is available for download even on some third-party websites, but on the official site, you’ll find all the latest Avast products.
Be attentive when you install the program, as it offers to install the Chrome browser by default. If you don’t need it, opt out it. Once the antivirus is installed, you may launch it by clicking on its bright orange icon. The app has a simplistic all-black design with a column of menu points from the left. In particular, you’ll see four main icons – Status, Protection, Privacy, and Performance. By clicking on the needed icon, you can call the corresponding submenu where the particular features can be chosen. Avast for Mac looks virtually the same as the option for Windows.
When you suspend or close the main dialogue window, Avast continues working in the background mode. You may check the current security status at any moment. If everything is ok, the Status button is green, and you see a notification saying that you are protected. As soon as the threat is detected, the button immediately turns red, and you see the corresponding warning. By the way, you can start the smart scan directly from the Status menu, while to launch a full scanning you’ll have to do two more clicks.
As of today, the Avast community is huge, and the need for professional customer service is indisputable. If you have any questions, you can get in touch with the support service via ticket form on the site. Unfortunately, they don’t offer phone consulting. Nonetheless, their reaction via e-mail was prompt enough: we got the answer for our query in 20-30 minutes.
Guide: Avast Installation and Setup
To protect your computer, you must install Avast Free Antivirus and register. Some paid components will also be installed on the computer, but will not be available until payment is made.
The antivirus installation is simple and understandable.
- The installation distribution can be downloaded from the developer’s website.
- After you run the installer package with administrative rights, you can begin the installation directly. On the Welcome screen, we recommend you to review the terms of the User License Agreement and configure the installation options.
- The last step can be skipped if the mobile phone is already protected. After installation, Avast Free Antivirus works in background mode. After you turn off or remove third-party antivirus from your computer, you can start configuring Avast Free Antivirus.
- Register for Avast Free Antivirus when the installation is complete – the Avast antivirus icon appears in the lower right corner of the screen. Right-click it and select Registration Information. In the window that appears, you can purchase additional components, such as Avast Cleanup and VPN SecureLine, and register, or enter a paid license activation key if you have one.
Avast Antivirus FAQ
Avast Antivirus Alternatives & Competitors
Looking for good alternatives to Avast Antivirus? We can help you: