Avast Antivirus Software Review
This massively well-known antivirus is popular for a reason, it has a suite of tools well-suited for security and protection. A staggering amount of people around the globe (roughly 400 million) rely on Avast tools as their main way to combat malware.
It is the most downloaded antivirus tool according to C|Net, the most selling one according to Amazon and is said to have the least impact on PC performance overall across all antivirus programs. This Avast Antivirus software review aims to shed some light on types of this anti-virus program and its baseline functionality.
Products and Availability
Avast offers four varieties of its tools for home users.
Free — An entirely free-of-charge solution that provides all the essential functionality you may need in an antivirus.
Pro ($39.99/year) – An upgraded version of the free antivirus, it has a bit more versatility and protection capabilities.
Internet Security ($49.99/year) — An even more comprehensive set of tools which allows for increased shopping and privacy protection, and a more robust anti-spam filter.
Premier ($69.99/year) — Avast’s flagship suite of security tools. Includes everything from previous tiers, with the added benefit of a file shredder and automatic software updates.
Even though only the base version of the tool comes in an entirely free capacity, paid Avast programs also come with free 30-day trials. A great option for users who wish to explore and review it for themselves.
These tools aren’t exclusive to the Windows platform (supported operating systems include Win XP Service Pack 3, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10), but also for Mac OS X, and mobile platforms like Android and iOS.
System requirements aren’t steep as well, and they apply to every Avast product across the board.
Processor – Intel Pentium 4 / AMD Athlon 64 or higher
256 MB of RAM or higher
1.5 GB of free space
There are additional functions each Avast antivirus can utilize, like SecureLine ($59.99/year) and Cleanup ($34.99/year), but they are a separate purchase, unfortunately.
SecureLine (VPN) allows encrypting incoming and outgoing information. You can hide your presence and go even more private on your network.
Cleanup removes all junk files from the system, fixes registry, cleans browsers from unnecessary files and optimizes boot times.
Along with protection for home users, there are also solutions for businesses and corporate owners – Endpoint, a couple of cloud-based technologies and security suites for Linux platforms.
The installation process is completely straightforward. By simply downloading and running the online installer, you can setup the latest version of the tool. Since the base tool is free, there are some sponsored options you may want to untick, like the installation of Google Chrome, for example.
In general, it is advised only to keep a single antivirus tool running on your system. Running two may be beneficial, but conflicts between them are bound to happen. So if you already have an antivirus and want to test out Avast’s free antivirus or other solutions, make sure to remove it before installation.
Once you complete the setup, the tool offers to perform a full-system scan. Please note, that if you do opt in for the scan, it may take a while to complete.
The design is straightforward, responsive and functional. It feels wonderful to navigate, and there are many customizations any user (beginner and experienced) can perform. Icons also become animated as the user puts the mouse over them, a nice touch.
The latest biggest feature Avast has rolled out is called the Nitro Update. The main idea of this novelty is that the program now runs most of its processes in the cloud. This technology removes the additional strain on system resources and adds more responsiveness to the tool.
CyberCapture is a new, continually updated technology. It analyzes unknown threats, isolates data in a safe environment, and relays newfound information about them to Avast Threat Labs in real time.
The most interesting scan type this utility has is called SmartScan; it will perform a number of relevant security scans with a mere click of a button. There are also:
Browser Cleanup. Get rid of useless browser features.
Software Updater. Eliminate risks that go along with having outdated software.
SafeZone Browser. Allows you to shop, complete monetary transactions, browse the web in a safe, and entirely controlled environment.
A password manager; it allows to manage passwords in your browser; small, but a neat feature.
Even though full-system scans may take up hefty amounts of time, the detection rates themselves are very reliable, some of the best across the majority of antiviruses. Active protection module blocks and quarantines a lot of malware types – spyware, adware, ransomware, phishing toolkits among other kinds. In short, the program showed impressive results in every department.
Avast is light on resources, it probably has the smallest requirements across all antivirus tools.
No extra weight, no additional strain on the system, but with an impressive feature list. With Avast, even the most modest personal computer can enjoy the effects of robust anti virus protection. And the base version is free, can never go wrong with that.
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