Avast Antivirus Overview
Avast is the most popular antivirus on the market and is available in over 45 languages. Though it comes with plenty of features, we think the pricing for a 1-device plan is extremely high compared to brands like ESET Premium and McAfee.
The premium plan comes with features like firewall and webcam protection, browser link checker, silent detection mode, file shredder, and a password manager. However, other additional features like a VPN, clean up tools, and more can be purchased individually.
If you need the entire suite and have a budget, we think Avast Ultimate is the perfect bundled antivirus and security suite to match your needs.
The product has received many positive scores from independent lab tests and delivered a perfect detection and protection rate against malware, ransomware, viruses, Trojans, and all other forms of malicious codes when tested.
How to Set It Up and Uninstall
The company has made it extremely easy and straightforward to install their product. Before starting, double-check and remove any existing antivirus solution. Once done, follow the steps listed below:
1) Visit the official website and download the installation package.
2) Open the file as an administrator and select the preferred language to begin the installation.
4) Avast will now be installed on your system. Click on the Run First Scan to confirm successful installation and to trigger a scan for the device.
5) Once the scanning is completed, we recommend that you reboot the system given some functions won’t be effective otherwise. You can always click and open the interface from the taskbar.
Uninstalling Avast on Windows is easy. Simply do the following:
1) Open Control Panel > Apps and Features
2) Click on the product and select Uninstall
3) Follow the prompts on the screen and restart the device after successful uninstallation.
Avast Premium has some neatly arranged features that pose tough competition for many other brands. Multiple scan modes, real-time antivirus and malware protection, USB scans, email protection, safe browser, firewall, Wi-Fi scanner, smartphone optimizer, DND mode – you can find almost everything with even their bottom-tier package.
However, extra security features like a VPN and Parental Control are available with the top-tier plans, which we think is very costly compared to the majority of competitors.
|Money-back Guarantee||Yes, up to 30 days from the date of purchase|
|Platform||Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS|
|USD Virus Scans||Yes|
|Automated Virus Scans||Yes|
For its simplicity and stability, Avast remains one of our top picks for internet and computer security. The antivirus offers multiple scanning options, including a full scan, folder scan, custom scan, USB scan, startup scan, and registry scan. Scheduling scans is another option we really appreciated that most competitors miss out on.
The product has proven its mettle in the September 2019 AV-Comparatives Malware Protection Test by competing against 15 other products. Out of 10,556 samples tested, Avast blocked 100% of the threats and was awarded the ADVANCED+ rating, surpassing market leaders like Kaspersky and Trend Micro.
|Plan||Price||Number of Devices|
|Avast PREMIUM Security||$69.99 per year||1||Webcam Protection, Password Manager, Data Shredder|
|Avast PREMIUM Security||$89.99 per year||10||Antivirus Protection, Cross-Device Protection, Smartphone Optimizer|
|Avast ULTIMATE||$99.99 per year||1||Premium VPN, Security + Cleanup Features, Advanced Protection|
|Avast ULTIMATE||$119.99 per year||10||All Premium Features, VPN, Wi-Fi Protection|
The company doesn’t offer any discounts on any of their plans and we did feel that the price for a 1-device plan is high and the features do not match up to the competition. That being said, the 10-device plan at $89.99 per year is a sweet deal if you don’t need the VPN feature. Again, you get a free VPN with all of the plans from Kaspersky, making this option a suitable alternative to Avast if you’re seeking this specific feature.
Overall, the pricing seems to be one aspect where Avast needs to rethink their options, especially when competitors like 360 Total Security and Bullguard are offering feature-laden plans at lower than $30 per year.
Privacy and Security
Avast offers reliable privacy from online and offline attacks. It also includes some additional features that help keep data on your device secure.
The advanced firewall allows you to monitor all incoming and outgoing requests as well as configure apps that can access the network. The Wi-Fi scanner is another sweet feature that adds an additional layer of privacy.
Last, but not the least, you can top-up the Secure Line VPN feature for an extra fee or upgrade to the Ultimate plan for extra security. Besides these advantages, the antivirus offers excellent protection from spyware, adware, and trackers.
You get complete protection against all online and offline threats across devices. The product has custom features based on the device to provide enhanced security as needed.
The advanced protection module works in the background without any system impact to make sure your device is protected in real-time by blocking viruses, spyware, and other malware.
We like the added security feature called Web Shield as it blocks suspicious URLs as well as download attempts. Other features like sensitive data shield, data shredder, password manager, sandbox, webcam shield, real-time updates, and more ensure that you are protected around the clock.
Performance and Protection
Avast ran silently in the background on the devices we used for testing. It didn’t consume unwanted system resources or slow the system. Based on our tests and the results of third-party labs, we think it is one of the most-lightweight antiviruses available.
In the October 2019 Performance Test by AV-Comparatives, it ranked 4th out of 16 products. Avast had an impact score of 2.6 and an ADVANCED+ rating, leaving behind competitors like F-Secure.
We were not surprised when Avast could detect all of the malware samples we placed on our computer for testing. The antivirus has performed consistently in the recent 3rd party lab tests. In fact, it received the 2019 Top-Rated Product certification from AV-Comparatives. It blocked 100% of 10,556 samples of malware used in the September 2019 Malware Protection Test. We noticed that the product has a great feature: it automatically blocks access to all folders whenever it senses anything new and sends it to the HQ for a quick analysis.
The product offers multiple levels of protection against malware. You get advanced protection as well as enhanced detection with the top-tier packages. The Premium plan offers decent protection and add-on features for complete protection from all types of ransomware. We appreciated the fact that it is able to block the majority of ransomware, but the sheer number of false alarms does seem a bit overwhelming at times. It blocked a decent 99.3% of 703 samples and recorded 8 false positives in the Real-World Protection Test, which is average compared to industry leaders like Bitdefender and Avira.
Avast claims the phishing sites are observed using AI. It searches and analyzes every single site that a user visits according to a set of criteria. Real Site is another feature included which prevents hackers from gaining access to your device’s DNS. We were thrilled that this feature needed minimal input from our end. The browser plugin is a nice-to-have feature, but we weren’t much impressed with it setting Chrome as our browser. Importantly, Avast is a certified Anti-Phishing Product as per the 2019 AV-Comparatives Phishing Test.
The real-time antivirus engine is able to detect and block all types of spyware. The browser extension blocks trackers to make sure that you’re not followed. Although it misses features like a virtual keyboard or AI-based scanner which you can find in Norton, it still does a near-perfect job of keeping spyware away from your devices. We liked the one-click scan feature as it quickly reveals potential vulnerabilities and helps fix them easily.
Moreover, the antivirus runs in the background without impacting system performance while offering real-time spyware protection.
You get an advanced firewall that gives you full-fledged control over each and every connection to and from your device. The firewall feature is turned on by default and set to provide optimal protection, but you can tweak the settings as needed. Another aspect we enjoyed was the advanced customization options like specifying default rules, creating packet rules, setting policy preferences, and a bunch of other features neatly organized under an easy-to-navigate screen. The firewall feature is average and it does a decent job. If you are looking for advanced configuration options, we recommend checking out TotalAV..
Lab Test Results
The product has performed consistently in multiple tests organized by renowned independent testing labs. In the most recent AV-Test for best windows antivirus software for home users in December 2019, Avast scored an impressive 17.5/18. It delivered a 100% protection rate against 331 samples of 0-day malware threats and 20,428 samples of widespread and prevalent malware.
As per AV-Comparatives, it is the Top-Rated Product of 2019. Avast received four ADVANCED+ and three ADVANCED ratings in the 2019 tests. Additionally, it shared the Bronze Award for Malware Protection and Silver Award for Advanced-Threat Protection with AVG. The antivirus also participated in the Anti-Phishing Certification by AV-Comparatives and was able to block 94% of 509 samples used. A total of 9 products had applied for the certification, and Avast was one of the certified six brands.
The company also proved its quality in the July 2019 Mobile Security Review where it was able to detect 99.9% of 3,601 malicious samples without raising any false alarms. This score was way better than Google Play Protect’s rate of 83.2% and 28 FPs.
The only problem with Avast is its average false positive scores. In the September 2019 False Alarm Test, it raised 7 false positives which was much higher than competitors like ESET and Kaspersky.
Ease of Use and Interface
One area where Avast shines is the color combination used throughout the dashboard. The neon-green highlights and white fonts stand out amidst the dark background. We found the interface easy to use and extremely intuitive. Each section is self-explanatory and the antivirus doesn’t need much input from the user.
The software has a simple all-black interface with a grid of left-hand menu lines. You will see four key icons in total: Status, Protection, Privacy, and Performance.
Clicking on the appropriate icon will allow you to call the corresponding submenu where you can pick the particular features. Avast for Mac looks almost the same as the Windows option.
We suspended the main dialog box, and it continued to work silently in the background. At any given moment, you can check the current security status from the taskbar. If all's well, the Status button is green and you see a notification saying you're safe. The button immediately turns red as soon as a danger is identified, and you will see an accompanying notification.
The company has made sure that every important feature is easily accessible without the need to click multiple times.
Overall, the solution presents a nice and easy interface that can be used by beginners and pros alike.
At every price tier, Avast provides premium support services for its antivirus software. There's a detailed knowledge-base that describes how its apps function and what they should be doing. Those resources guide new consumers through the product's process and let them do some easy troubleshooting on their own.
The company also has a 24/7 call center to tackle more serious issues. We tested the tech support and received prompt responses from well-trained support professionals who were able to share comprehensive and helpful information. This knowledge should be of assistance to new users as well as power users alike.
Besides their helpful representatives, the company hosts a huge online resource center filled with blogs, articles, user guides, FAQs, and much more that you can access anytime for quick assistance. We scanned through the knowledge-base and were pleasantly surprised with the perfectly managed and categorized content.
The company is BBB accredited and has an A+ customer satisfaction rate (something that most competitors don’t have). However, it has a rather low Trust Score compared to other brands on Trustpilot.