When you think of internet security and antivirus software, what comes to mind? When researching online security software, you probably consider the following:
- The free versions
- The malware protection
- The impact it will have on your device
With that said, we have unbiasedly reviewed Avast Antivirus in 2020, and we are pretty confident in what we found.
So, with no further ado, here we go:
How Good is Avast?
You have probably heard of Avast as an internet security option. It’s been around since 1988, and it offers both free and paid antivirus protections, along with other perks in the paid packages.
Here are some highlights of Avast Antivirus:
- Compatible with all platforms including Windows 10, Mac, Android, iOS
- Various levels of malware protection
- Effectively detects phishing websites
- An effective security plug-in for internet browsers
- A passive mode for running more than one security feature
Avast Internet Security Review
Avast is a great option for those who use more than one device in a network because for each network, a free scanning is available for every device.
The free packages contain a lot of perks that most competitors offer in their paid packages—anti-malware software, a password manager, a gaming mode, and a Wi-Fi scanner to name a few. With that said, if you go with the paid packages, you will be getting your money’s worth.
Avast is a great option for those who enjoy watching movies and playing games in the full screen mode of their computer. The convenient “Do Not Disturb” mode blocks all annoying popups.
Reliability and Security
Several independent tests have proven the reliability and security of Avast antivirus.
The AV-Test lab in Germany measures protection against “zero-day” malware that cannot be detected by signature scanning alone, as well as against widespread malware whose signatures are known. In the test, 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, so we are pretty happy with this result.
In tests conducted by Austrian lab AV-Comparatives, Avast performed pretty well. Over a timespan of six monthly tests, its software averaged 99.4 percent detection of online malware, but the actual scores ranged from 100 percent in June to 98.6 percent in March.
Also, Avast did good in the MRG-Effitas’ banking Trojans test, achieving a 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.
While Avast did well on these three tests, it didn’t do so hot 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 percent of accuracy rating. While this isn’t awful, it’s not an impressive score when compared to other free products.
Malware can be defined as a malicious code that is developed to cripple or destroy a system’s operation. With that said, malware protection is a big component of a great antivirus.
Avast is known for its superior malware protection. The software includes a 6-layer protection to detect, stop, and remove malware in as little as a few seconds.
If malware wasn’t enough to worry about, there’s also ransomware. Ransomware is a type of malware where the computer hackers threaten to publish the victim’s data or block access to it unless a “ransom” is paid.
Once your computer is affected, there’s a chance you may lose files since they will be encrypted. It’s crucial to protect your computer against ransomware.
Avast offers a high level of security against ransomware, included in the free version too.
The term “phishing” is popular in the cyber security world. It’s simply a way for cybercriminals to impersonate a legitimate company and attempt to steal personal information or log in credentials.
Avast uses Al to find phishing sites. Millions of sensors provide data to Al making it notice threats quickly and protect users against them.
Antivirus software users complain about how sometimes antivirus software slows down their devices when scans are taking place. Avast may have a higher impact on the system than some others, but it still made the top ten antivirus programs.
In addition, Avast scored high on the AV-Comparatives’ Performance test in the following categories:
- Website browsing
- File downloading
- Launching apps
- Installing/Uninstalling apps
- File Copying
- Ease of Use
Ease of Use
Customers raved about the fact that Avast is easy to install and easy to use. It comes with an intuitive interface, making it simple for anyone to understand.
To use Avast, all you do is download it for free from the official website. Once the antivirus is installed, you can launch it by clicking on the orange icon. You will see four main icons: Status, Protection, Privacy, and Performance. Click on each icon, and you will see a submenu where the features can be chosen.
Do note that the program offers to install the Chrome browser by default. If you do not need Chrome, make sure you opt out of it.
If you close the main window, Avast continues working in the background. The current security status is always displayed and you want it to be green, meaning you are protected. If it turns red, a warning displays, meaning a threat has been identified.
You can then do a full scan to eliminate the threats. You can also scan a single item such as a file, by right clicking on it. You can set regular scans every day if you want.
Avast features an intuitive interface, which means it’s simple to use, even for beginners. Customize your interface by adjusting or turning off tools that you need.
Avast Package Options
Avast offers a range of packages to choose from. However, if you just stick to the free version, you will be well protected. The packages have extra features that we will explore.
If you need more specific protection, the paid plans are what you are looking for.
For Mac users, there is only one paid plan called Security Pro. It comes with Ransomware Shield and a Wi-Fi inspector in addition to the antivirus features.
Windows users have three paid plans to choose from:
- Internet Security
- Premier Package
- Ultimate Package
All three of these plans offer ransomware protection, a powerful anti-spam tool, a firewall, and detection of phishing websites.
Avast Premier comes with a webcam-hacking blocker, a tool that automatically upgrades apps for better protection, and a data shredder to completely eliminate files.
The Avast Ultimate Package comes with all the features of Avast Premier, with extra tools that are sold separately like a VPN and an advanced password manager.
In addition to the packages, you can get the following free and paid add-ons to ensure the maximum security and privacy:
Passwords is a password manager uses a smart program to generate strong passwords and protects them from unauthorized access. This tool is free to use.
Secure Browser, a free tool, helps you stay private while you are online. It blocks ads, speeds up your internet use, all while protecting your personal information.
SecureLine is a VPN that protects information transmitted by users’ devices to the internet. SecureLine offers multi-layered encryption.
Cleanup Premium is a removal tool for system optimizing, but you won’t lose any of your information. It improves the performance of your device.
Driver Updater is a tool that scans, updates, and fixes your drivers automatically.
AntiTrack is a tool that will protect you against advertises. This one is great because it warns you when snoopers try to follow you and it will stop them.
The last package is Avast Mobile Security which is for Android users. It defends them against harmful apps, Wi-Fi network vulnerabilities, and malware. It boosts the phone’s performance and features a tracker on it, in case it is stolen.
Unfortunately, iOS users are out of luck as there is no similar solution for their devices.
If you go with a paid version of Avast, you will be paying a little more than if you went with some of the competitors.
Here is what Avast has to offer:
Internet Security for Windows is $59.99 for one device for a year. For three devices it is $79.99, for five devices it is $104.99, and for ten devices it is $179.99.
Premier for Windows is $69.99 per year for one device. For three devices, the price is $99.99, for five devices, the price is $134.99, and for ten devices, it is $219.99.
The Ultimate Plan for Windows costs $99.99 a year for unlimited devices, so this one is a really good deal.
The Security Pro for a Mac is $59.99 for one device, $69.99 for three devices, $79.99 for five devices, and $99.99 for ten devices.
Avast also offers two and three-year plans, and you can save even more money with these. The price drops around 8% for the two-year plan and 12% for the three-year plan.
Also, it is worth mentioning that Avast offers a 30-day money back guarantee for most of their plans and their products.
Customer Service and Support
Avast’s customer service is pretty good, and their support is offered via email. However, they do not offer phone consulting services.
If you click on their support webpage, you will see various topics like installation, activation, account, and more. You can request help through these categories or you can search for your question in the Q&A forums.
Pros and Cons
There are pros and cons to any internet security software, and Avast is no different. According to experts and users of Avast, here are the main strengths and weaknesses:
- Reliable malware protection
- Free password manager
- Free web browser
- Home network scanning feature
- Mobile device security feature
- “Do Not Disturb” mode
- Does not slow down a PC
- Affordable packages
- Slow Boot scanning
- No firewall in free plan
- New drives connected to PC are not automatically scanned
The Bottom Line
No cybersecurity company is perfect; there are always some shortcomings whether it is not offering a plan for Macs or slow scanning for viruses.
However, with that said, some are better than others, and we think Avast is pretty good considering all it has to offer, even with the free plan.
One thing we don’t like is that the free plans do not comes with a firewall, and that iOS users cannot use Avast. However, with that said, the pros outweigh the cons for this company.