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- The Good
- Master password
- Great protection
- The Bad
- Limited tools
- Average performance score
Avast offers the top free antivirus software in the world. Most antivirus software services charge for the basic protection, but Avast offers you basic protection for free. It also has other packages that include better protections and more features for a price.
Free. Seriously, Avast offers the top free antivirus protection for your computer. It also offers a better, more complete version of the software for $39.99, as well as a more complete security suite for $49.99 and multi-device protection software for $69.99.
- Full virus and malware scan
- Phishing protection
- Quick installation
- Master password
- Sandbox, a protected environment
- WiFi Inspector
- Behavior Shield
- Browser Cleanup
- SafeZone Browser
Avast, while offering a free version of its antivirus software, also has some great features for its bigger products. You can use one master password to gain access to any of the sites your frequent. WiFi Inspector will scan any WiFi signal you try to connect to and make sure it’s safe. Behavior Shield will monitor apps for any weird behavior. Browser Cleanup will help you clear out any extensions and add-ons you don’t need. And SafeZone Browser will allow you to do online banking and shopping from a secure browser.
- 4.5 out of 6
As far as performance is concerned, you get what you pay for when it comes to Avast. And since you aren’t paying anything, the performance scores are not as good as some of the other top security software services. Avast’s free antivirus software scored 4.5 out of 6 when it comes to performance from AV-Test’s performance test.
- 6 out of 6
For a free antivirus service, you would think the protection might not be as good as the top paid products, but in fact, Avast’s free antivirus product scores an impressive 6 out of 6 when it comes to AV-Test’s protection tests. AV-Test tests all the features of each security software product with its own malicious viruses, spam, etc., to get an accurate account of how reliable the products are.
- Phone and email
Even for its free service, Avast offers some of the best customer service for users. They offer 24/7 phone support, and you can also submit a ticket if you are having problems with your software.
Avast!: User Reviews
Avast is like the little train that could when it comes to antivirus software. It started to gain a lot of ground by offering its free antivirus software, but has since become one of the top names in security software.
How Does Avast Work?
Avast works very similarly to other antivirus software programs. Once you have it installed, which is an easy process, it will do a scan of your device to check for viruses or malware. Once the scan is done, you can customize Avast to monitor your device any way you want. Generally, it will run scans periodically to search for viruses or malware, but if it detects suspicious activity on your device, it will alert you immediately.
Some cool features Avast offers in addition to its free basic protection:
Avast will help you set up a master password for your device, which you can use to gain access to any of your favorite websites or apps. Not having to remember all of your passwords is a nice bonus.
Sandbox allows you to perform unsecure tasks in a controlled environment. Simply put, if you aren’t sure about an email you want to open or an application you want to launch, you can take it into Sandbox and open it first to make sure it doesn’t contain any viruses or malware that can infect your computer. If it’s safe, you can do it again on your live device.
This is a new tool that some of the top antivirus software services are now offering. The WiFi Inspector will scan any wifi signal you are trying to connect to in order to make sure it is safe to use, which is nice if you are constantly connecting to wifi signals from your phone or tablet.
This tool is more for performance than protection, but it applies to both. Browser Cleanup will help you get rid of any extensions or add-ons to your browser that you no longer need or that may be hurting your computer in any way.
Most security software services include a similar tool. SafeZone Browser allows you to make financial transactions and do online banking in a secure browser environment, so hackers can’t gain access to your personal and financial information.
These features are not included in the free version of Avast, but are included in most of the paid versions of the software.
Can I Trust Avast?
Avast hasn’t been around as long as some of the other antivirus software services, but it has quickly become one of the most-used, mostly because of its free antivirus software offering. It also tends to do very well in independent testing.
Avast can play with the big dogs when it comes to protection. It scored a 6 out of 6 from AV-Test’s protection testing, which can be difficult to do since it tests multiple aspects of antivirus software as well as “overprotective” software that alerts even when there is no threat. Avast has always shown strong results in the protection testing, but 6 out of 6 is an impressive score, even for Avast.
In the performance section of AV-Test’s testing, Avast did not fare as well. It scored 4.5 out of 6, which is just an OK score. This is surprising since Avast offers specific performance-enhancing tools like Browser Cleanup and Passive Mode, which allows Avast to sit quietly in the background while your computer does its thing.
Common Avast Reviews
Avast actually has some of the best reviews because of its combination of affordability and stellar protection. Professional review sites like Cnet and PC Magazine give Avast 4.5 out of 5 stars, which puts it in the same class as big names like Norton and Bitdefender.
Users also seem to be big fans of Avast’s antivirus software. On Cnet, Avast scored a 4.5 out of 5 stars from more than 27,000 user reviews, which is impressive for any antivirus software. To put it in perspective, Norton and Kaspersky generally receive between 3 and 4 stars from user reviews on the same site.
Is Avast Right For You?
Do you like free? Then Avast is for you. But seriously, even if you want more protection than its free software can offer, Avast is still one of the cheaper software services that offers an extensive suite of protection tools that rivals some of the biggest names.
Considering the risks of not using antivirus software, if you are looking for the best free antivirus software, Avast is for you.
If you are looking for a low-cost security software suite with some cool features, Avast is also for you.
If you don’t mind spending money and you want the best of the best, you might want to go with one of the top three antivirus software suites.