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Avast Antivirus Review: Everything You Need to Know [2022]

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Malware protection: 10/10
System impact: 8/10
Pricing: 9/10
Ease of Use: 10/10
Reliability and support: 9/10

Price: Free plan

Updated: March, 1, 2022

Pros

  • Free version available
  • Excellent security features
  • High rating from independent lab tests
  • User-friendly interface
  • An effective Avast full scan
  • Affordable paid plans
  • Cons

  • A history of leaking user data
  • Tends to slow down device during scans
  • With more than 30 years of experience and over 400 million active users, Avast is a formidable force in the cyber security field. 

    In this Avast Antivirus review, we will cover everything you need to know about this software, from features to ease of use. 

    Security and Privacy Features

    Even though other antivirus companies provide comprehensive protection with their free software, none does it better than Avast. 

    The Avast free edition not only offers the most efficient real-time malware protection, but it also goes beyond the call of duty by scanning for out-of-date software, malicious browser add-ons, weak passwords and unsafe network connections. 

    However, to make your device impenetrable to ransomware attacks, you will have to subscribe to the Premium plan.

    Avast Premium Security

    The Premium version comes with the following features:

    • Ransomware Shield—the first line of defense against ransomware attacks
    • Advanced Firewall & Remote Access Shield to ensure hackers don’t come anywhere near your data. 
    • Password Protection and Sensitive Data Shield keep your browser-stored passwords and sensitive info safe by scanning the drive for any files that may contain names, addresses and financial details. 
    • Webcam Shield stops anyone from accessing your camera. 
    • Data Shredder that leaves no trace of deleted files on your device.

    In addition, Avast scans for weaknesses in your home and public Wi-Fi networks and blocks access to shady sites and unsafe content, thus stopping malware infections even before they reach your device. 

    Phishing sites, one of the most common threats today, are also blocked by Avast, which scans the web for blacklisted sites as well as new potentially fraudulent websites that have not been identified yet.

    If the program does miss something, it lets you open suspicious files in safe mode, ensuring 100% protection.  

    Finally, Avast Premium regularly updates new features automatically, so your computer is safe against the latest threats, and it provides personalised monthly security reports allowing you to stay on top of things. 

    Although these are hardly revolutionary features in the world of antivirus products, Avast will keep your device safe, and at the end of the day, that is all you need. 

    Avast One 

    Earlier this year, Avast released its latest product Avast One, both as a free version and a paid plan. 

    Available in the UK, US and several other countries, Avast One is a comprehensive safety tool that can be installed on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. 

    In addition to the main features from the Premium plan, Avast One also:

    • Monitors running apps for malicious behaviour
    • Gives you more privacy with VPN
    • Provides unlimited access to your favourite streaming subscription services 
    • Removes tracking cookies that can be used by advertisers 
    • Lets you know when your passwords have been compromised 
    • Updates all your apps 
    • Cleans up your device to free up more space and boost performance

    Even with the free Premium version, Avast offered more features than the competition, but now with Avast One Essential, the company definitely provides the most comprehensive free security. 

    But the main question is:

    Is Avast safe?

    In 2019, Google and Mozilla removed Avast’s web extension from their stores after it was revealed that the company, though its Jumpshot subsidiary, had reportedly been spying on their users and selling the data to other corporations. 

    Avast has since closed Jumpshot and cut off their access to their data, helping restore customers’ trust in the company. Not everyone is convinced, though, and many online reviews no longer recommend this AV software as one of the best. 

    Scanning for Viruses

    Avast’s scan options are hard to beat by any of the competitors. 

    This AV software offers a total of six different scanning options to meet any user’s needs. 

    • A Full Virus Scan that thoroughly scans your whole system for malware, rootkits and other threats;
    • Smart Scan that detects all threats and malware attacks, as well as performance problems, 
    • Targeted Scan allows you to select individual files,
    • You can schedule scans and select different areas with the Custom Scan
    • The Boot-Time Scan will check your system during startup to prevent malware attacks before using your device, 
    • Finally, you can scan files directly from your Desktop with the Explorer Scan.

    Even McAfee, which provides several scanning options, does not give you as many possibilities when it comes to targeted scans.

    Avast virus scans can take anywhere from 19 seconds to a couple of hours (depending on the scanning option and the device). 

    While Avast is fast, it does tend to slow down your device, especially during a full scan. On the other hand, Webroot provides optimal protection with a minimal impact on your CPU.

    Independent Test Results 

    Avast has performed exceptionally well in various independent tests. 

    On the October 2021 test by AV-Test, both the free edition and Avast One Essentials scored the highest mark in Performance, Protection and Usability.

    On the latest test run by AV-Comparatives, Avast ranks as one of the best-performing products, blocking 99.9% of all threats, the same protection rate as Kaspersky. 

    On SE-Labs, Avast, along with ESET Internet Security, scored a 97% protection rate, preceded only by Kaspersky with a perfect 100% score.

    Usability and setup 

    How to use Avast

    Well, the installation is incredibly easy. Simply follow the steps screen by screen, and you will get the job done in two to three minutes. 

    Avast Antivirus is also one of the easiest and clean looking programs out there. 

    The Status tab displays the state your device is in by showing a You’re protected sign along with a bright green Show results option giving you the latest Avast scan results

    The main functions are also easily accessible, divided into three separate panels on the dashboard. 

    Despite being user-friendly, there are some issues with Avast, especially the free version. Namely, you will find yourself constantly bombarded with ads from the company offering you discounts on their paid plans. While this is not a major disadvantage, you will not find such interruptions from AV software like Kaspersky or Bitdefender. 

    Device and Platform Compatibility

    Like most antivirus products, Avast Antivirus is available on every major platform.

    What’s more, the software can tell which OS you are using, giving you only the products and features for your specific device without bothering you with unnecessary options. 

    Plans and Pricing

    Both Avast Free and the newly-released Avast One Essential are completely free forever on any device, and they both offer basic protection features, with the latter giving you just a bit more.  

    That said, if you want more comprehensive security, the paid plans are a better choice. 

    The good news is that monthly subscriptions are not that costly, and all plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

    Version Avast One Avast Premium Security
    Features Real-time protection, Firewall, banking security, unlimited VPN, Password Manager, Wi-Fi security  Network Protection, Safe Online Banking, Webcam Protection, Password Manager, Advanced Firewall 
    Platforms Windows, macOS, iOS, Android  Windows, macOS, iOS, Android 
    Number of devices Five  Up to 10 
    Price £1.99/month £4.99/month for one device/

    £6.25/month for ten devices 

    At £59.99 for the first year, Avast Premium is slightly pricier than Sophos Home Premium, which costs £49.95 for the same number of devices. Sophos also has a free version; however, its features are nowhere near what Avast offers.

    This company also sells the Avast Ultimate Plan available for desktops only, which combines all products into one package, including Avast Premium Security, Avast SecureLine VPN, Avast Cleanup Premium and Avast AntiTrack. This plan comes out to £99.99 a year for ten devices. Norton, however, includes unlimited VPN in the Norton 360 Deluxe plan for just £24.99 a year.

    Customer support 

    Avast has an extensive support page complete with guides on the most common issues and detailed how-to articles for each product. 

    If you can’t find what you’re looking for on the page or in the FAQs, you can always contact Avast by email and get the assistance you need. 

    Is Avast Antivirus Good?

    Avast has many features that make it one of the best AV products on the market. It has a high protection rate, its feature-rich plans are available both as a free version and affordable annual plans, and it is exceptionally user-friendly. 

    However, there are issues. The recent scandal has somewhat shaken customers’ trust in the company. What’s more, there have been complaints that Avast has been pushing their paid plans too much with numerous ads and popups in the free edition.   

    So, is Avast legit and worth the money?

    Yes, despite minor issues Avast offers top-notch protection, and you won’t go wrong if you pick this company to secure your devices against online threats. 

    FAQ

    Does Avast protect against malware?

    Yes, the Avast malware scanner provides essential protection against known threats. What’s more, Avast has scored high marks in terms of protection and performance both from independent tests and customer reviews. 

    Is Avast Antivirus free?

    Yes, Avast Free and Avast One Essential are both free on every device and come with all the basics, although, as mentioned in our Avast Antivirus review,  the paid plans are well worth the extra cost as they provide many more features.

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