Avast Antivirus is a good antivirus solution - especially for its free version. Its basic version offers a lot of decent features that are probably sufficient to protect the average home computer user.

That said, its high-end features are often quite expensive. You can get all of Avast's premium features with better and cheaper options at other antivirus products. And although the free version is acceptable, there are better free antivirus products, such as Total AV. On the whole, Avast is good, but you can do better.

What's the security level? Avast's free level offers a fantastic antivirus engine. You'll love the security of Avast, and the speed with which it reacts to detect and remove dangerous programs. In this article, we give you our opinion on AvastWe go into detail about the different features.

 

Avast Security 🔐

As mentioned, Avast went the extra mile when it came time to design the free version of its antivirus product.

Even basic antivirus software offers more functionality than most others. Instead of just scanning for viruses and malware, it also detects outdated software, malicious browser plug-ins, network problems, unprotected sensitive documents and weak passwords.

 

avast scan

Avast Scan

 

My first scan did not detect any malware, bad extensions or network problems, but it did find vulnerable software, unprotected documents and weak passwords.

I'm not surprised that there is vulnerable software on my computer - I have a lot of software and it's painful to update everything - but those last two things gave me a bit of a break.

What does Avast consider to be unprotected sensitive documents and how do we find them? How do they check the strength of my passwords?

It turns out that scanning sensitive documents is very efficient. It allows me to find tax records, employment documents, financial statements and much more - things that I have stored on my computer without even remembering that I put them there. In all, it only detected two false positives. Avast sorted these documents into categories such as taxes, salaries, employment and travel (documents such as driver's licenses and passports).

It also gives you an easy-to-use button that instantly shows you the location of every document it finds. It's up to you to decide what you want to do with it.

Reading between the lines, Avast seems to take advantage of a technology known as Data Loss Prevention (DLP).

The DLP is a tool that is normally used in the context of large companies that store customer data such as credit card and social security numbers.

With DLP, companies can scan Word documents and perform optical character recognition (OCR) on PDFs to detect strings of numbers that resemble this sensitive data. The company can then know exactly where its sensitive data is and take steps to ensure that no one moves or deletes it.

Just knowing the location of my sensitive data is very useful and seeing DLP technology move from an enterprise to a consumer context is interesting to say the least.

But unfortunately there is not much you can do with this information without committing to a subscription.

Once you have subscribed to a subscription, you have the option to encrypt your information. and store in a secure digital locker. If an attacker tries to move or delete these files, the program blocks access to them and warns the user.

Avast's password scan is frankly a bit disappointing. I was expecting the service to tell me that I had set one of my passwords to "123azerty" or something as simple as that using some kind of futuristic hash algorithm.

Instead, he just told me that I store passwords in my browser (like everyone else), that this method is potentially insecure (the jury is not deciding on this), and that I should upgrade to use Avast Passwords, Avast's password management service.

This can certainly be useful, but it's not worth committing to an annual subscription when you could simply use one of the many password managers that are already available elsewhere.

 

Is the Avast antivirus engine up to scratch? 🔐

All these extras are frankly a distraction from the heart of the scan itself - the malware detector.

Independent laboratory tests show that Avast has a highly rated antivirus enginewhich has advanced features and reports zero false positives.

Few antivirus engines have scored higher. In addition, real-world tests show that Avast is effective in detecting and mitigating the vulnerabilities - such as download and code injection attacks - through which malware spreads.

In summary, Avast detects most forms of advanced malware and prevents most of them from installing on your computer.

If malware is installed, an automatic scan will usually detect and destroy the infection within a day.

When malware tries to run on a computer, Avast takes action. It immediately detects most known malware samples, then quarantines and removes them.

If Avast detects an unknown file acting suspiciously, it terminates the process and analyzes the malware sample at its headquarters.

If you suspect that Avast has missed a file, you can right-click on any file in your Windows Explorer panel and select the file or folder to be scanned individually.

More importantly, Avast is very effective at ensuring that malware does not install itself on your computer.

It detects most sites that try to spread malware before it starts downloading to your computer. For the rest, Avast will interrupt malware sites during the download phase.

Phishing sites - sites that attempt to mimic the login screens of banks and social networks - are much more common than malware sites, and are also a little simpler to produce.

It is probably more important to protect users from these sites than it is to protect them from malware sites.

Although there is a charge for this function, Avast has the ability to protect users from phishing sites. with surprising efficiency. Its software not only blocks sites that have already been blacklisted, it can also identify phishing sites that are too recent to have been identified by security researchers.

To sum up, the free version of Avast offers security that is among the best I have ever seen. You would almost expect that its designers would have disabled something to make the paid update more essential, but this is not the case.

Its paid features, including a password manager and an encryption option for sensitive files, add nothing extra if you're a regular consumer. However, you may still need their VPN, which is quite comprehensive.

 

avast logo

 

Avast features 🔐

In addition to the main antivirus function, Avast offers, in its free and paid versions, a multitude of features designed to ensure the security of your data.

These features range from the most expected to the most exotic, with most of the paid features perhaps most useful to advanced users. Here's an overview:

👉 Free features are essential for security

First of all, Avast offers a series of advanced security scanners. This is separate from the "Smart Scan" that you see in the main menu of the program.

When you click on the "Protection" tab, you will see a variety of options, including "Full scan" and "Startup scan".

The complete virus search is both slower and more thorough than the primary intelligent search.

Although it takes a little longer - up to a few hours on a slower machine - it has more likely to detect and resolve threats. If you think your computer has been infected by malware before installing Avast, you will probably want to run a full Virus Scan to eliminate any lingering threats.

You will also want to perform a scan when the computer starts up. Many types of advanced malware now have the ability to persist even when their files are deleted from your computer's operating system.

That's because these viruses exist outside the main operating system. When they are removed, they are simply reinstalled from files outside the operating system. A boot-time scan restarts your computer and monitors for suspicious programs that try to run while the computer is running, then stops them in their tracks.

Finally, Avast offers a complete WiFi scanner designed to protect you at home and on the move.

When I launched it, it discovered all the devices connected to my WiFi in less than a minute - my desktop, laptop, console, cell phone and kitchen speaker.

If my devices were not secure, it would have exposed vulnerabilities such as ports exposed to the Internet, default passwords and other weaknesses.

👉 Paid features don't add a lot of value

Apart from these advanced virus detection features, Avast doesn't offer much - but it's not certain that you need much more anyway.

For example, there is a utility that is supposed to clean your computer's hard drive, but it is not free. In the meantime, CCleaner is free.

Do you want to get rid of particularly sensitive materials? Avast offers a secure wipe function that allows you to delete a file by overwriting it several times, removing all traces of it from your computer.

The system is working as advertised, but it is difficult to see who needs it other than security researchers.

There is a VPN add-on that you can pay for, but other standalone VPNs offer similar functionality at a lower cost.

To sum up, Avast seduced me with its free version, but disappointed me with the prices of the paid and premium services.

The features of this version will not make you much more secure than those of the free software, and you can reproduce most of their functionality with free or lower cost third-party software.

Avast ease of use 🔐

This is an area where Avast has frustrated me. I realize that if you are an antivirus company, you have to make money by converting your free users into paid subscribers.

I shouldn't mind if Avast takes every opportunity to sell me a product - and most of the time it doesn't. What irritates me, however, is the use of the user interface to make me pay.

When you start Avast, you get a home screen, a big "scan now" button in the middle and a white box that gives you a welcome gift.

gift avast

 

This "gift" turns out to be a significant discount on a subscription.

What if you don't want a subscription? As you can see on the screenshot below, there is no "back" button, only a "buy now" option.

To exit the screen, you actually have to click on the red X in the upper right corner, which is counter-intuitive to most users who think that this button just closes the program.

 

avast promo

 

By the way, when you click on this X, another window appears after it, offering you a free trial.

Again, it's not a big disappointment--because, again, the service needs to make money--and if this were the only example of that in the program, I probably wouldn't mind.

Avast offers other confusing and intrusive up-selling hidden in its software.

Here's another example. In Avast's privacy menu, you can see some options that are closed with a large orange padlock, and others that are not.

You expect to pay to unlock features that are locked, and you expect that features that are unlocked will be free.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. When you click on SecureLine VPN, for example, a separate program is installed on your computer and then asks you for money.

If you click on "Performance" and choose "Driver Updater", it will be the same.

Avast takes you to the installation of a new program on your computer and then asks you for money.

avast features

 

The most obvious example occurred with the password manager, which is free but not great.

The password manager works like a Chrome or Firefox extension that stores your password and is secured by a master password, but it does not suggest strong passwords and does not warn you of weak or duplicate passwords - which is a must in other products.

You can't even implement two-factor authentication. (you know, with validation on your phone)

Anyway, when I clicked in the menus that led to the password management function, I decided to refuse to import my passwords into the Avast password manager.

Imagine my surprise when Avast started importing my passwords! Although I was able to cancel the transfer, Avast also installed its own secure browser on my machine - again without my permission.

It's a little disturbing. It has nothing wrong with the functionality of the antivirus engine itself, but for long-time users, constant sales reminders - and misleading menu options - can end up being frustrating.

 

Avast support 🔐

Avast offers a first-class after-sales service for its antivirus product at all price levels. There is comprehensive documentation available that explains how its software works. These services explain to inexperienced users how the product works and allow them to carry out some basic troubleshooting themselves.

The organization also has a 24/7 call centre for more serious problems.

Technical assistance specialists are able to provide detailed and useful information in a very short time. This information should be useful to both inexperienced and experienced users.

 

Rates of Avast Payant 🔐

Compared to other antivirus programs, Avast is about average in terms of price.

There are four main price levels: Free, Internet Security, Premier and Ultimate.

If you are determined to pay for Avast, Internet Security is probably the best option for you. It includes several useful features that are lacking at the free level: a "real site" option that protects against phishing sites, a ransomware shield to protect your files from encryption, a firewall that blocks intrusion attempts, and an anti-spam function.

Internet security also includes one of the most interesting features not included in the free version: the "Sandbox" mode.

This mode allows you to open files and programs in a virtual machine that does not have access rights to your desktop.

If the file contains malware, the malicious program will run in an area where it cannot harm your computer. This is a really nice little bonus, and it's very good for anyone who constantly receives phishing attempts.

Meanwhile, higher price levels contain more software that is nice to have, but not essential. Upgrading to Premier allows you to take advantage of unnecessary data destruction and disk cleaning features, while upgrading to Ultimate gives you access to the VPN and password manager.

None of these elements are necessarily essential to the security of your data and, if you need to use them, they are available from third parties at a lower price for the same efficiency. In the end, the only advantage is to have everything under one roof on the same software.

Once again, the free Avast level gives you all the information security you'll probably need, but if you need to upgrade to a higher version, the Internet security level offers you most of the other services.

 

Conclusion 🔐

Avast Antivirus is a high quality product that will ensure the absolute security of your computer.

Its free version offers a very high level of security, although the software is constantly trying to sell you its features. I hope you find this review of Avast Antivirus useful. You can go through our links to buy avast if you are interested. We receive a commission and allow our team to live.

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