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:

Master password: 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: 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.

WiFi Inspector: 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.

Browser Cleanup: 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.

SafeZone Browser: 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.

Protection: 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.

Performance: 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.

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.

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