Notably, there’s a reason why Avast Free Antivirus is one of the best cloud-light, award-winning free virus protection software. It offers your computing devices essential protection that’s light, powerful, and completely free. It’s packed with the largest threat-detection network and machine-learning virus protection. As well as home network security that won’t slow down your PC. Bearing in mind, free antivirus is your first step to online freedom.
Naturally, if you’re looking for good antivirus software, you’re probably quite security-conscious. And considering Avast was forced to admit to selling user data last year, it’s reasonable to wonder just how safe Avast actually is. Well, as part of our review, we’ve taken a close look at Avast’s security measures to help you decide whether or not to install it.
What did we find out during our Avast research? We had a look at the security features and independent lab test results – and there are some interesting things worth noting. But, before we begin, it’s good you also know Why Cyber Security Awareness Is Important first.
What Is Avast Free Antivirus?
The Avast Free Antivirus is a family of cross-platform internet security applications developed by Avast for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. The Avast Antivirus products include both freeware and paid versions. To provide computer security, browser security, antivirus software, firewall, anti-phishing, antispyware, anti-spamming, etc.
Avast launched a freeware business product, Avast for Business, in February 2015. It is a cross-platform solution that includes antivirus protection, web threat scanning, browser protection, and a cloud management console. And, as of 2017, Avast was the most popular antivirus vendor on the market. For one thing, it had the largest share of the market for antivirus applications.
In Feb 2018, a test of various antimalware products by AV-TEST, Avast Free Antivirus earned 6 out of 6 points in the “Protection” category. More so, for detecting 100% of malware samples used in this test and earning an “AV-TEST Certified” seal. Avast’s Mobile Security & Antivirus app detected 100% of malware samples in the Jan 2018 test of Android malware by AV-Comparatives.
Back in Jan 2020, multiple news sources reported that Avast Antivirus, through a subsidiary, was selling the browsing history of Avast Free product users. Though the company claimed all data was “de-identified”, it was reported that the sold data could be linked back to people’s real identities. And, as a result, exposing every click and search they had made.
But, this could not be verified. In response, Avast announced that it would close the subsidiary over the data privacy backlash. With that in, due to those new in Avast Antivirus Free edition, it’s good we mention a few things.
How Is The Avast Free Antivirus Like?
You can download and install ‘Avast Free‘ from Microsoft—also available for Mac, Android, and iOS too—and it will always be free for a lifetime. Meaning, this will never run out after any specific time—it’s a lifetime of free security. If you go with this, you’ll feel that it is a very lightweight antivirus. It doesn’t make your computer slow ever.
This includes free real-time virus protection, which is a very strong shield for PCs. Avast has a gigantic virus database. However, it doesn’t have a firewall feature. If you would like to have a firewall, then you’ll have to go with the pro version. You can check out the difference between Avast free vs paid version. You can say that, Avast!
Of course, having a Free Antivirus is a good start for your protection if you are looking for free security for your computer. In other words, Avast Antivirus is a strong antivirus that will protect your devices from internet dangers. it enhances mobile security, scans malware, and consists of an anti-theft system.
Relevant Topic: Windows Defender Security Center | How To Secure Your PC
The antivirus scanner works to help examine the safe state of every running app and any newly downloaded app. It will also do the same when switching to scan an SD card on your device. It can be used in place of other paid antivirus programs. Most free antiviruses are not giving this real-time scanning feature, but Avast does.
The latest release version Avast Free Antivirus 2019 includes fully functional antivirus, antispyware, antimalware, anti-ransomware, heuristics engine features. Its real-time protection protects all files, email, p2p transfer, Instant messaging surfing, etc. It is free for life but a yearly registration is required to continue to use for Free. Registration is free as well.
So, it’s a complete Free Antivirus program. Today, Avast enjoys the biggest share in the antivirus market but most of their software programs are available solely through an internet connection. The antivirus, available in 45 languages, has products ranging from Windows and Mac operating systems packages to mobile products and business packages.
What The Independent Test Says About Avast Antivirus
Like a lot of industry-leading antivirus providers, Avast pays to have its products included in tests done by independent labs. Possibly the most well-known one is AV-Comparatives. In its latest real-world protection report dated July-August 2020, Avast blocked 99.7% of the widespread malicious samples used in the test.
And in its Malware protection test dated September 2020, AV-Comparatives found that Avast managed to protect against 100% of online threats. Offline, it managed to detect 92% of threats. It also yielded 10 false alarms. Which isn’t fantastic, but a lot better than the staggering 114 flagged by Panda.
Judging by AV-Comparatives test results, Avast isn’t quite as secure as some others, but it’s definitely up there among the best. And it’s one of the most secure free antivirus offerings on the market at the moment.
Avast has a wide range of features and tools meant to help your online security. But also, they will wildly differ, depending on which plan you choose. The biggest difference, of course, will be between Avast free antivirus and premium antivirus plans.
It’s Key Features Include:
- It uses multiple layers of security to protect even from unknown threats
- A new behavioral shield has been introduced in the newest version
- Game modes and movie modes are now available in the free version as well
- Avast Free is also available for Mac and Android
- A wifi inspector feature is also coming in its newer version to detect any WIFI connection security leaks
The Avast free plan comes with all the basic functions and features you’d associate with antivirus software. This, considering so many people subscribe to paid options, like Kaspersky or Norton 360, shows that you can get a good level of protection without necessarily having to pay for it.
The Free Plan Offers:
- the very basic real-time malware protection,
- malicious website/intrusive tracker blocking,
- wifi scanning, etc.
On top of all the regular features, Avast’s free offering also comes with some very handy extras that make this option even more tempting. You can use the Avast Free version for the lifetime but registration or registration every year is mandatory to keep it free.
During the installation of Free Avast, it can ask you to install the free Google Chrome internet browser and Internet Explorer (IE) toolbar. These are not required but optional. So, you can uncheck the box to skip these additional installations.
You are also required to register yourself with Avast antivirus to continue using the Free Antivirus after 30 days trial. No Worry, this registration is totally free. You also have to register once every year to continue using Free Avast AntiVirus. It’s also free to continue to use these Great features of Avast Free Antivirus software.
But, Features such as the firewall and Safe Zone need a premium membership. Basic Avast Antivirus is free to use but to activate more advanced features you have to purchase a paid version of the Avast Antivirus. Or you can go for Avast Internet Security to get all the advanced features.
How Much Does The Avast Antivirus Package Cost?
Despite the majority of the people using the Avast free antivirus option, the premium plans are even better. Avast Premium plans offer excellent overall protection against online threats. It not only scans your devices to make sure they’re secure but also inspects your online network, protects your webcam, as well as blocks suspicious activity and downloads.
On top of that, it even gives you a VPN service for safe browsing. Avast’s pricing strategy is actually pretty reasonable than the others. And, as we’ve mentioned, Avast offers a free version that comes with all the basic security features. If this doesn’t suit your needs, Avast’s Premium plan or business packages might be what you’re looking for.
It Premium Plan Allows You:
- Enjoy total online privacy
- Keep device performance at its peak
- Get all you need in one affordable package
- Enjoy premium tech support tailored to your needs
- Solution product offerings for businesses, etc.
Note, however, that Avast uses regional price discrimination. For example, the prices are significantly higher in the UK. If you’re looking for antivirus security for your home PC or smartphone, you’re quite lucky. Simply, because you can choose between Avast’s Free Plan and its Premium Plan offering.
For $69.48 a year (for up to 10 devices), Avast Premium Security adds real-time wifi security alerts. As well as the Ransomware Shield too. Whilst, for only $50.28 a year (for the first year), you get the Avast One offering for up to 5 devices.
Avast has a range of security packages for businesses as well. More so, depending on how many employees a company has and whether or not they’re an MSSP. Its Small Office plan normally retails at $139.99 a year.
But, right now, you can get it for just $125.99 for the year. This buys you licenses for up to 10 devices—with all the great Small Office security features. On the same note, if you’re looking to sign up for Avast’s Advanced Plan, you’ll need to get in touch with them directly to discuss your security requirements.
The team will then come up with a pricing package based on your needs. That said, you can head over to their business page to explore their solution product offerings for businesses in detail.
What Is Avast Secure Browser? It’s the safest browser there is! By blocking phishing sites, harmful download links, and encrypting your connection, Avast Secure Browser provides an extra layer of defense for the web.
Think of it as your first line of defense, while a powerful antivirus is the core of your protection. The Avast Secure Browser team hit a new milestone on their mission to make true private browsing ubiquitous with the Rainier release of two highly-requested features. Namely: Support for iOS and the ability to sync browser history and bookmarks across devices.
The secure browser feature used to be a paid-for service until 2016. Particularly, when the security company began bundling it with the free version of its antivirus software. While already available for Windows, MacOS, and Android, the addition of Avast Secure Browser for iOS seals a large gap of demand in the mobile landscape.
In particular, the mobile browser for iOS supports iPhones, iPods, and iPads running iOS 13.0 and above. The Avast Secure Browser For iOS is quite unique. It has the ability to sync bookmarks and browser history across devices. Perse, the browser is incredibly easy to set up and use and comes with a lot of great features.
Some of its key features include:
- Ad-free browsing that blocks online ads by default. This can significantly improve website loading times
- Built-in privacy lets you browse, shop, and bank safely online
- Blocks malicious websites and downloads to protect your device from potential threats
- Blocks online tracking to stop third parties from seeing your online activity
- Masks your digital identity so websites can’t identify you based on your unique browser profile
- Monitors your email address to make sure your passwords haven’t been leaked online
Notably, the Avast Secure Browser takes seconds to download and has a lovely clean interface that’s very similar to Google Chrome. It even has Google open by default. So that you can complete searches just as quickly and easily as you would if you were using Chrome. Notwithstanding, it’s also quite easy to set up this Secure Browser.
All the security and privacy tools that it comes with are ready to go from the moment you start up the browser, and they can be managed effortlessly through our easy-to-use settings page. Plus, Avast Secure Browser is compatible with other Chrome-based add-ons. So that you can further customize your browsing experience to your liking via the Chrome Web Store.
Relevant Topic: Mozilla VPN | For Your Device Security, Reliability & Speed!
What’s more, because it automatically blocks ads, browsing the internet feels cleaner and quicker than it does on less secure browsers. And the steps Avast has taken to mask the identities of its users give you added peace of mind when you’re surfing the web. Having said, that, if you’re looking for the best browsers for security, you should look for one that’s been made by security experts.
And also, the one that comes loaded with built-in tools that will keep you safe from online threats like phishing sites, malware or ransomware attack, web tracking, etc. By the same token, when it comes to private browsing, you should look for a browser that offers expanded privacy features. Just about every browser offers incognito mode browsing and Do Not Track (DNT) requests.
But, for even real privacy, you should seek a browser that has built-in VPN integration. In particular, with tools to detect and stop ad tracking, forced encryption, etc. As well as other ways to ensure your online business is your business alone.
Is Avast A Good Antivirus Software Solution?
In terms of the whole protection, yes! Avast is a good antivirus and provides a decent level of security protection. Not forgetting, the free version comes with lots of features, although it doesn’t protect against ransomware.
If you want premium protection, you’ll have to upgrade to one of the paid-for options. What’s more, the free version will cost you absolutely nothing. It’ll provide you with a basic level of security without costing you a penny. However, if you want more sophisticated protection for your computer, there are lots of paid options that come with more features and better customer support.
As for slowing down computer operations, all antivirus programs can slow down your PC, and Avast is no exception. This might be especially noticeable during a full scan. As we mentioned in the beginning, in terms of safety, although it provides a decent level of basic protection against malware, its safety practices were put on a run for the money.
Relevant Guideline: Avast Modern Slavery Transparency Statement
Earlier this year, it transpired that Avast had been selling highly sensitive web browsing data to some of the world’s biggest companies.
This was all done through its marketing technology subsidiary, Jumpshot, if I may add. Whilst, collecting browsing data on as many as 100 million devices. Some of Jumpshot’s clients even paid millions of dollars for products that included an “All Clicks Feed.” That accurately tracks user behavior, clicks, and movement across the web without customers’ knowledge or consent.
While Avast seems to have put this behind them, it does call into question just how safe it is to use Avast products.
As of today, malware is evolving at a faster rate than before. But, the latest antivirus generation is properly equipped to handle the speedy pace of change. Experts recommend that all Windows PCs should at least run antivirus, antispyware, and a firewall. In addition, the user should ensure that the three are up to date.
However, recently, the technology that powers antivirus software has changed a lot. Avast! not a new name in PC security. Even Avast was the first who offered a reliable free antivirus product to their users. In nutshell, Avast is one of the biggest names in the entire industry. With over 435M monthly active users in 2022, it’s synonymous with online protection all across the world.
Your online data and browsing habits are valuable to both companies and the bad guys. It’s, therefore, important to protect your digital identity and data with Avast’s easy-to-use privacy tools. A well-maintained device is one that will last a long time. Its security tools help keep your device’s performance at its peak. Clean out junk, increase speed, and boost battery life!
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Equally important, you’ll get all you need in one affordable package. More so, as you protect your computers, phones, and tablets from viruses and malware. As well as hide your online identity and strengthen your privacy too.
All this; while ensuring your devices run at their best. But, in order to realize its full potential, you should try out its paid plan. One thing is for sure, you’ll enjoy premium tech support tailored to your needs. Whereby, in addition to their standard support channels, they also offer premium care for all of your non-Avast tech issues.
That’s it! All the details you need to know about Avast Free Antivirus in one bucket. So, what’s your take on this security protection software. Have you had a chance to try it before? What is your experience? Well, you can let us know in our comments section. But, if you’ll need more help, you can always Consult Us and let us know how we can sort you out.
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