- This is the most popular antivirus on planet Earth.
- The Free version is among the best offers on the market.
- The company has been around since 1991.
- Impressive results in third-party tests.
- The dashboard is very friendly and easy to use.
- Great value for the money.
- The brand-new Secure Browser is totally free.
Let us start our Avast antivirus review by saying that this is probably the most respected and recognized name in the industry. Overall, there are 400+ million devices under its protection right now, and the client base keeps getting bigger. They have been around since 1991 and, along with Kaspersky, are the leaders of the race.
As you will learn soon, versatility and flexibility are this company’s biggest selling points, and along with the antivirus packages, there’s also a browser – Secure (used to be called Avast Safezone two years ago), a VPN service, and several tiny-yet-useful apps.
There’s an antivirus solution that will fit even the most modest budget. And regardless of which tier you go with, you’ll always get all the latest updates. During the independent tests, the Avast products constantly prove their worth and always enter the list of Top-3 most secure antiviruses.
The user interface is very intuitive, well-designed, and fast, which pretty much makes Avast Antivirus perfect not only for the pros but also the beginners who want a “plug-and-play” kind of software.
- Devices running on Windows OS.
- Regular users and business owners.
- People that put security and privacy above all.
- Users looking for entry-level protection. Upgrading to the higher tears is very easy.
The List Of Pros And Cons
Let us take a closer look at the pros and cons and see whether this company’s products are as good as they say. One thing is certain: you won’t be disappointed with Avast, as 400 million users around the world simply can’t be wrong. With it, you’ll get a strong, reliable protector that won’t put too much strain on your computer and battle the malware without you even noticing it.
- One of the fastest and most secure antiviruses.
- Detection/removal rate is impressive.
- The Avast For Business packages are among the best offers on the market.
- User-friendly, easy, and intuitive.
- Excellent value for money.
- The 30-day MBG (Money-Back Guarantee) is available with the top-tier plans (except for Ultimate).
- Avast Mobile Security for Android is totally free.
- The list of additional tools is quite impressive.
- It might be a bit difficult to make sense of all the various packages.
- Sadly, it’s not on sale for iOS. The Avast VPN is the only available product.
- The scans can be slow, especially on older machines.
- The free version comes with a limited set of features.
As one of the leading antivirus solutions on the market, Avast is very well capable of offering the potential clients affordable price-tags. Entry-level options for Windows, Mac and Android are completely free. Pais tiers come with a number of useful extras, and while they might not be the cheapest packages, they are, indeed, very competitive compared to other industry leaders. Let us take a closer look at the prices for every single plan/package from the Avast family.
- Avast Internet Security for Windows– $59.99
- Avast Premier for Windows– $69.99
- Avast Ultimate for Windows – $120
- Avast Security Pro For Mac – $59.99
We’ll discuss the specifics of every package in detail further in our review. Let us note that all the prices are for a 1-year subscription for 1 device. With 2 and 3-year plans, you can save around 8% and 12% respectively. If you need an antivirus for more than 1 device, take a multi-device license to save as well.
Reliability And Security
Reliability is the most critical aspect of any antivirus solution, along with security. For most modern-day antiviruses, it’s almost impossible to earn a top score in offline and real-time virus detection and removal tests. But that’s not the case with Avast. The company is doing a fantastic job of gathering info from the computers of its clients (again, 400+ million people). That helps the team responsible for security to come up with countermeasures to the new malware in a matter of hours.
But let’s talk about actual, real-world tests and see exactly how the antivirus performed. We’ll be looking at independent lab results ran by third-parties like AV-Comparatives and AV-Test.
A quick note: most modern-day companies actually pay independent testers like these to review their product. When the results are impressive, they can use that for advertisement. And when they’re poor, these testers help them improve the engines.
AV-Test always rates antivirus products based on their usability, performance, and protection. The maximum score is 18, and Avast managed to earn 17.3 and the company’s Top Product award. Kaspersky and Bitdefender, however, earned a perfect 18.
SE Labs, in turn, incorporates a replay system of attacks, and in their tests, Avast received the AA certification (AAA is the perfect score).
In recent tests, Avast managed to wipe out 75% of malicious samples the second they were planted, which is quite impressive. Yes, it got rid of most of the potentially dangerous files before they could even self-install. Overall, Avast detected 89% of the samples, which automatically gives it 8.9 points of 10. This is an impressive result; yet, Norton, McAfee, and some other antivirus products earned 9.3 points.
At the same time, Avast has a great feature: whenever it detects something unfamiliar, it instantly blocks its access to any folders and sends it to the HQ for a quick analysis. The bad news is – the antivirus doesn’t always recognize them as dangerous malware after the analysis. Sometimes, it claims that they pose no danger (even though they do).
In our own malware-hosting URL test, Avast instantly blocked access to 60 percent of the URLs and managed to eliminate 30 more percent right at the download stage. Overall, it earned a 91% protection score. AVG performed similarly. Compared to McAfee (97) and Bitdefender (99), that’s an above average result, but still not very impressive.
To run a Smart Scan, all you have to do is click the big green button in the middle of the screen. The scan includes browser add-ons, scans for any malware on the device, network security issues, problems with performance, apps/software with no security updates, and not-strong-enough passwords. On average, it takes the test 10-15 minutes to complete.
The antivirus can automatically update any outdated programs, which is quite handy. However, the performance issues won’t be fixed unless you’ve got the Cleanup service installed.
On the Protection page, you’ll find more options for a Scan. The Full Virus Scan takes +/- 2 hours. That’s very slow, as the modern-day average is 50-60 minutes. But, you won’t be running it every day, so, it’s not that big of an issue.
The Boot Time Scan is specifically designed to find and get rid of persistent malware that hides in the shadows and can’t be eliminated through a regular cleanup. Important note: the Boot Time Scan runs before the OS runs, meaning system-based malware won’t be able to hide. This test is also a long one.
Ease Of Use
This company has been one of the leaders in the industry for decades, and the team working on the interface managed to deliver a near-perfect product. As most of the rivals, Avast offers the users a very intuitive, friendly, and straightforward product.
While the algorithms and the protocols are quite sophisticated, for the average user, it won’t be hard to launch and use any of the available packages. The engine does everything on its own and won’t distract the user from working or relaxing in front of the computer. Ease of use is one of the key elements of any modern-day program/app, and Avast is an indisputable leader in this field.
Download And Installation
The download routine is very simple and straightforward. All you have to do is visit the official website, select one of the available packages, and click “buy now” to download it on your device. A quick fact: the free Avast security package can also be found on third-party websites. However, we recommend only using the official website for any purchases and downloads.
Unlike some of the rivals, it won’t take more than a couple of minutes to install the Avast products on your device. It doesn’t matter whether you need Avast for Mac or Windows, as the clients are all fast, reliable, and versatile. More good news: the antivirus doesn’t take a lot of hard drive space.
As we just mentioned, this is a very easy-to-use antivirus. As for the Avast user interface, it’s on par with critically-acclaimed antiviruses like Kaspersky and Bitdefender. The interface is very simple; at the same time, it is highly informative, and it’s easy to navigate through the available options and menus. When the device is protected, and there are no potential threats, you’ll see a green checkmark (it changes to red when you’re in danger).
Right below it, there is a huge button that runs instant scans. On the left, we’ve got “Status”, “Protection”, “Privacy”, and “Performance”. Everything is just a click away, and even an entry-level user will be able to make sense of it all. However, despite the somewhat basic interface, there’s a great potential for customization.
You can change pretty much every single tool and adjust it to your liking. Just go to Menu – Settings. Don’t worry: even if you “mess it up,” there’s a button that allows you to reset everything to default settings. Updates, info about the current version of the antivirus, and the list of the available components (including the company’s VPN, the Cleanup feature, and the more basic features) are all there.
When it comes to system performance, Avast is among the best. You won’t even feel it working on the background, which can’t be said about most antiviruses.
The bottom line is – if you own a modern-day computer, notebook, or any other device (including mobile phones), rest assured that there will be absolutely no problems with Avast. Even during a scan, the impact on system performance isn’t dramatic. That means the users can keep on watching movies, surfing the internet, and working while the antivirus is running the most sophisticated scans.
Package Features – What Does Avast Antivirus Have To Offer?
As mentioned earlier, this is one of the most versatile and flexible providers on the market. They have packages for regular users, business owners, and an impressive list of additional software/apps. Let us take a closer look at the current plans and see which one is best for you.
Avast was initially created to be used on the Microsoft OS, as it was the most popular system 2-3 decades ago. That partially explains why there are so many options on Win compared to the other systems. If you want to get Avast for Mac, you’ll be a bit disappointed by the lack of options. But let’s start with the Windows packages first.
The Windows Options
Avast Free Antivirus. This is the most basic plan. With it, you get quite a reliable product that will protect your device from the outside threats. For blocking viruses and other malware, this is a decent antivirus (recheck the test results in the “Reliability And Security” section to get a better image in your head). The free version doesn’t come with many features, but for basic protection, it is more than decent. And, compared to what the rivals have to offer, it is very impressive. With this package, you’ll get:
- Basic protection from malware, ransomware, and other threats.
- Wi-Fi security weakness Scans.
- Secure passwords.
Avast Internet Security. This is the second package offered by Avast. According to the company, this is their most popular product. It is the golden middle and will be more than enough for most users. The list of features includes a highly secure firewall. Plus, there is the Real Site feature (prevents the hackers from accessing your router’s DNS) and Sandbox (allows the users to run suspicion files in a safe environment, thus protecting their devices from any harm). Anti-Spam (blocks potentially dangerous spam/phishing emails), and Ransomware Shield (keeps suspicious programs from changing/deleting any files on your device and ruining them) are also available. The list of other features includes:
- Fake sites alert (prevents the hackers from stealing your data).
- An advanced firewall.
- Junk mail protection.
- Protection for personal files (photos, videos, texts).
Avast Premier. With Premier, you’ll get access to everything from the Internet Security package plus features like Webcam Shield (blocks suspicious apps from accessing your webcam), Data Shredder (an excellent feature for complete removal of unwanted files), and ASU (Automatic Software Updater; it just finds updates to the most frequently used apps on your device and updates them within seconds). With this package, you also get:
- Webcam spying protection (the hackers won’t be able to access your webcam).
- Permanent shredding of sensitive data (nobody will be able to recover these files).
- Automatic Updates.
Avast Ultimate. This package comes packed with the company’s most popular privacy tools. Avast Secureline is a reliable VPN that’s capable of encrypting your connection and giving access to geo-blocked content. Passwords Premium is a fantastic feature for securing your passwords and strengthening the weakest login-password combinations.
And finally, Avast Cleanup Premium is one of the best tune-up/clean-up apps for optimizing the operating system. On its own, Secureline costs $80 a year; Passwords Premium charges $20 a year; Cleanup Premium costs $50. As you can see in the “Avast Pricing” section, with the Ultimate package, the users will save a substantial amount of money.
The Mac Options
- Security For Mac Free. This is the Mac alternative to the free version on Windows. It is just as fast, reliable, and user-friendly. You can schedule scans and surf the web with the antivirus continually warning you about suspicious/hazardous sites. For some first-level protection, this is a great product.
- Security Pro For Mac. This package includes ransomware protection, real-time security alerts, and more. It is an alternative to Internet Security. If you decide to go with this plan, additional software like Avast Secureline, Cleanup Pro, and Password Premium will be available with huge discounts.
The Android Option
Avast Mobile Security. This is the most popular package for Android users. And, it’s 100% free. It earned a 100% protection-usability score in AV-Test and was downloaded more than 100 million times. Regular scans, detections of malicious apps, and verification of Wi-Fi security – that’s what you’ll get with it.
The advanced users can upgrade to Mobile Security Pro or Ultimate for even more security. Those packages come with the aforementioned VPN, the Anti-Theft feature, and more. A quick fact: for Android devices, Avast Secureline, the VPN, is significantly cheaper. The same goes for Cleanup and Passwords.
Avast Antivirus Support And Customer Service
A company this big and famous simply had to make sure that Support and Customer Service were top-notch – and they are. On the official website of Avast Antivirus, you’ll find an impressive FAQ page with answers to the most popular questions. The dedicated forums are also at your disposal.
The support number is toll-free; the old-fashioned users can take advantage of it. Finally, they can send tickets via email.
Summing up, we want to say that Avast is an all-around solid antivirus solution. It is great at detecting and removing malware of all kinds. The interface is lovely, and it doesn’t put much strain on your device. There are enough packages to choose from. And almost every single product comes with a 7-day trial. Don’t hesitate to use those trials to have a taste of what Avast is truly capable of.