Avast Review | Antivirus, Fishing, Malware & Ransomware Protection

Many people spend most of their time online. However, there are over 350,000 computer viruses, Trojans, Malware, adware, worms roaming the internet. They attack computers to retrieve sensitive data of individuals, alter the way a computer works, just to name a few.

There is no doubt you need to be careful online and this is where Avast antivirus comes in.  It is designed to protect your devices against many malicious threats.

In this article, I will give you a detailed Avast review, one of the most popular antivirus brands out there. From features to pricing, to anti-malware protection, and system performance, I will cover all the important aspects in detail so you can make a smart decision.

You can check out how Avast compares to other antivirus software here.

Avast Review - What to Expect From This Popular Antivirus Software

Internet security is more important than ever. This is due to the fact that there are many online attacks on computers and devices. So it is clear you need the best antivirus software like Avast to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones.

Expect the following from this software:

  • Its packages comes with a VPN service
  • You will get high-level protection
  • It will secure your passwords
  • It will automatically update drivers
  • It offers solutions for a single user and for business enterprises
  • It offers apps for android, mac, android and iOS devices
  • Has a smart scan that detects all those loopholes that malware uses to slip in and affect your computer
  • It is also designed to boost your computer’s speed and increase the life of a battery
  • It will block offensive content for your kids and limit their time on the internet
  • It is lightweight hence will not slow down the performance of a machine or device
  • Can tell the location of your kids
  • It has solutions for business and homeowners
  • You will be able to know how many devices are connected to your home Wi-Fi
  • See threats on your home Wi-Fi, smart devices in real-time, and be able to block them.
  •  It is easy to install and connect
  • You will get a secure browser
  • Avast antivirus comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee
  • It is compatible with all windows such as Vista, XP, Win 7, 8, 10, SP3
  • You can try it free for 30 days, download their free version, or get their Premium Security suite. Keep in mind that Avast premium security offers complete online protection unlike its free version
  • Avast has a friendly and easy to use dashboard making it perfect for both beginners and pros
  • You will always get the latest updates
  • Its price of $59.88 per year for 1 PC and $83.88 per year for 10 devices will satisfy the needs of all possible users.

Avast Online Security

Avast premium or its free version is the world’s most trusted antivirus due to the high level of online security it offers to the computer and other devices. Currently, it has over 400 + million computers and devices under its protection.

It has online security that is tailored to fit all of your business and home needs.

It’s Headquarters

Its headquarters are in Prague, Czech Republic. It was founded in 1988 by Paves Baudis and Eduard Kucera. The 2 developed the antivirus to remove a Vienna virus that they discovered on a floppy disk in a Research Institute for Mathematical Machines that they were studying together.

Since then, Avast has been awarded multiple times increasing its popularity and has become now one of the largest security companies in the world.

Avast for Business

You need an antivirus to keep your business safe from online threats. You cannot afford to leave your important files and company networks unsecured. Cybercriminasl are always producing sophisticated malware that targets businesses.

If you have a robust anti-malware solution in place such as Avast, your business will not be vulnerable to attack. It is always producing security updates to protect your company against online threats.

It will detect and remove viruses. It also checks all the sites that you visit and warns if you visit sites that are not safe.

I have this antivirus in my devices and I haven’t been infected since using it. I can do online banking safely plus I know my identity is safe online.

Keep Hostage takers off

Cybercriminals have been known to use ransomware to block you from accessing your own data. They always demand money from their victims in order to release their documents.

 Use Avast to keep these hostage-takers off your sensitive documents.

Avast Antivirus for Home

It is worth noting that this antivirus comes with a parental control app for Android and iOS devices.

This app is designed to protect your kids from exposure to inappropriate content, limiting the time they spend on the internet, letting you know who they are talking to on the internet plus their whereabouts.

With this antivirus, the internet will be a safer place for you and your family. They will be protected from online threats such and on top of that, you can control how your kids use the internet.

You can block certain apps or websites etc.

Online Security?

You definitely need online security and this Avast free antivirus review will continue to explain why. In today’s modern world, everybody is using the internet for shopping, banking, interacting with customers, etc.

Therefore, there is a need for online security to protect against attacks. Also, there has been an increase in the number of cybersecurity threats which sometimes are not undetected by browsers and operating systems.

With Avast antivirus, it is able to stop hackers from:

  • Accessing your important data and manipulating it
  • Accessing your emails
  • Getting your online banking details

It is not only able to detect and block viruses but also other threats that can find their way into your computer such as;

Avast online security features

Ransomware

Ransomware is a program that is designed to literally kidnap or lock a PC. A ransom has to be paid in order to be able to unlock your PC or your files.

Avast is excellent at preventing cybercriminals from taking hostage of your files with ransomware. It will make sure that no ransomware won’t get through.

Spam

The fact that most emails come with a spam folder, still spam emails get through and some of them contain malware. This antivirus is able to discover viruses in spam emails plus prevent malicious people from accessing your sensitive information.

Phishing

This is a form of fraudulent activity that takes forms of fake websites, official-looking emails with the aim of stealing credit card details, money, passwords, and other important data.

In their official site, Avast has explained how they protect you from fake websites with their free browser. It checks all the sites that you visit and will warn you if there are sites infected with viruses.

It is also able to spot scam emails. You will get a notification if your emails have been infected with viruses.

Performance and system impact

Avast free antivirus and premium offers decent performance. If you are worried that Avast will slow your machines after installing it, do not because it does the opposite.

Instead, it will boost its performance by cleaning your Pc and removing any problems that are slowing your machine. When a computer slows down, many people just assume its antivirus and always remove it with the hope of restoring its performance.

Removing an antivirus just opens your computer to threats. If you are looking for an antivirus that will boost the performance of your machine instead of slowing it down, choose this one.

Avast computer protection

 

Revives your Computer

With Avast cleanup Premium, this antivirus is able to revive or improve the performance of your computer by putting to sleep any program that you are not using and is running in the background.

It can identify long-forgotten programs such as trial versions. These might be used as a loophole for malware to get in plus can slow down your computer. Avast will get rid of them or can put them in quarantine if you do not want to uninstall them.

 

Update programs

Making sure your programs are updated will improve the performance of your system a lot. Also, outdated programs will leave your computer vulnerable to online attacks.

Avast will update all outdated programs for you with its automatic software updater.

 

Avast Driver Updater

With Avast driver updater, all your drivers will be updated. This is because it scans and automatically fixes outdated drivers so you can have few device problems, your machine can operate smoothly, have better graphics, and can have richer audio.

It fixes outdated drivers for printers and scanners, monitors and Wi-Fi routers, headphones and speakers, photo and video cameras, mouse and keyboards, and other external devices.

 

Prolongs the life of your Battery

Did you know that this antivirus can prolong the life of your battery? I bet you did not know that.

It has Avast battery saver for windows that will save the energy of your battery by stopping energy drainers, reducing CPU performance, adjusting your computer brightness, and turning off applications that are not in use.

Keep in mind that this feature costs $29.99 per year and its main purpose is to boost the life of your battery by regulating PC performance.

In general, Avast clean up features that will boost the performance of your machine include the following:

  • Sleep Mode-Puts to sleep programs that are not in use
  • Automatic Maintenance- Automatically tunes and cleans your computer, fixes bugs
  • Registry Cleaner-removes junk files
  • Browser Cleaner-Removes cookies and browsing traces from major browsers to increase the speed of your computer
  • Automatic updates-All your outdated programs are updated automatically
  • Disk Defrag-It defragment your hard disk to boost the performance of your machine
  • Bloatware removal-It removes all ads, toolbars, and trials that you do not use.

Interface

I have tested Avast antivirus and I can tell that it has an intuitive, well-designed interface. I tested it on my Lenovo G50 laptop with a 4GB of RAM, Core i3-4005U CPU.

I was impressed with how it is easy to open and use its interface on my laptop and my other devices.

  • After installing the software, you need to double click the Avast icon on your laptop in order to open its dashboard.
  • The left panel of its dashboard has Avast features such as scans, settings, and virus chest.

The interface plays a big role for a user since it enables one to check the current status of protection which will be indicating “Secured”, to do a manual scan and adjust the settings of your antivirus.

You may not need your interface if you will not be performing any of these actions regularly. This is because Avast runs in the background protecting your machine and it does not require your input unless you want to do a manual scan.

Current status displayed on the Interface

  • Secured; it means you are fully protected from online threats and everything is updated
  • Attention means that some features of your antivirus are turned off and need to be fixed.
  • Unsecured means you are not protected at all. This can be as a result of turning off your antivirus. If you see this message on your dashboard, click the FIX NOW button.
  • Program version: You will get a message informing whether you are using the last version of the antivirus or not.

There are more navigational tabs on your dashboard that you can use to change program settings or view scan results or access antispam settings.

So as to be fully secured, ensure all real-time shields are turned on. On your dashboard, you will find the expiration date of your antivirus. Make sure it is updated so as to be able to identify the latest threats.

Installation and support

This Avast review will explain to you how to download Avast antivirus on your computer. Make sure to follow the instructions. The requirements of the antivirus include a laptop or PC with:

  • Disk space of 1.5 GB free
  • Operating system of Windows Vista, XP, 7/8/10
  • RAM of 256 MB and above
  • Processor; 1.5 GB

  • As you can see from this info, the requirements of Avast are not high in terms of computer specifications when you compare it with its competitors. Avast comes with 2 types of installation;

    Avast logo and computer icon

    Regular installation that will come with everything such as Avast Cleanup, Avast browser, Secure Line VPN, software Updater, and Avast passwords.

    Custom Installation; This installation lets you choose what features to install.

    Free Avast antivirus Installation

    First step: Visit their official site and “Click Download Free protection”

    Then run the Avast Installer

    Click yes to confirm the installation and the antivirus will start to install

    Follow all the setup instructions and the program will install itself.

    Avast premium Installation

    This is more than just an antivirus. Like I have mentioned before in this Avast antivirus review, Avast premium offers complete online protection for all of your laptops and devices.

    First step: Go to Avast official site and purchase the license. It costs $69.99 per year for 1 PC and $89.99 per year for 10 devices. It will work on your personal computer, android, and iOS devices.

     You can also try it for 30 days free to test if it’s the right antivirus for your needs or not.

    Click download now and run the installer

    Follow the setup instructions. On the license part, click supply a license file and put the one you were supplied with after purchasing Avast. Click next and the program will install itself.


    Secure Browser

    Enjoy safer browsing with Avast antivirus. It blocks all online ads so you can browse faster and safer on the internet.  With their secure browser, you will shop online, do online banking, and play games safely without worrying about hackers.

    Avast secure browser setup capture

    In general, you will get the following with Avast secure browser:

    • It will prevent malicious people from stealing your data
    • It will block malicious websites
    • It will mask your identity hence prevent hackers from tracking you
    • It will monitor your email address and information if your emails have been infected with malware
    • Offers fake site alerts that will protect you from hackers who steal credit card information, password, and money.
    • It comes with useful extras such as webcam guard, ad blocker, anti-phishing features, and hack check feature, just to name a few.

    Decent Malware Protection

    Malware is malicious software such as viruses, Trojan, and spyware that get installed in your computer or mobile device without your knowledge when you visit a certain website built to distribute malicious software.

    For instance, hackers use malware to steal personal information from your bank accounts. Also, they use emails to ask for sensitive information. Most legitimate businesses will not ask for your bank account or social security number via email.

    Protect yourself against these attacks with Avast premium security and make sure it is up to date to offer the necessary defense.

    Avast security settings are strong enough to save you from devastating malware attacks, plus uses a pop-up blocker to filter scammer messages meant to trick you into buying worthless software, or worse downloading malware.

    Free stuff may sound appealing but free downloads can hide malware. Avast have their secured web browser that will flag suspicious links, email attachments and detect unauthorized downloads.

    Excellent Phishing Protection

    Phishing is a form of cyber-attack where deceptive emails and websites are used to gather personal data. The objective of phishing is to dupe a user into believing that the message is something they want or need so to get them to click a link or download an attachment.

    The analogy is of a hacker throwing a baited hook out there (masquerading website or email) and dupes you, to bite. For instance, attackers may masquerade as staff from the bank or send a note from someone in the company.

    warning mail from Avast

    All a phishing fraudster needs to do is create a convincing replica of a trusted site. The hackers then send a warning email to users that someone has their password and they should change it immediately. Clicking on the link in the email will send you to the fake website login page. Any user who logs in not recognizing that the website is fake has given account access to the fraudsters.

    Avast has different security measures that users and companies can take to prevent phishing attacks. It uses AI to detect threats quicker and assess important information such as:

    • Check website lifespan, most spoofing sites have a short lifespan, too short for search engines to index them. This reflects in domain ratings. Avast will look into the site's history to indicate whether a page is safe or malicious.
    • Checking website certificate, HTTPS, and suspicious URL to determine whether the site is legitimate or not.
    • You don’t have to worry about spoofed emails or websites. Avast premium constantly scans websites to make sure they don’t pose a security risk on your computer or phone.
    • Moreover, Avast will automatically redirect you to secure sites, ensuring that you never land on a spoofed website.
    • User vigilance is important as well considering hackers masquerade as trusted entities to dupe victims into opening an email or login to a fake website.

     

    Scan Choices

    Scanning your laptops and other devices regularly with Avast helps to clean-up your computer of malware that can harm your files. Avast offers a wide range of scans to protect your PC from malware such as;

    1. Full virus scan

    Full system scan takes longer but it’s thorough compared to a quick scan. It checks all local drives, boot records, files, and also attached drives like a digital camera or USB drive.

    Once the scan is complete, an alert will be displayed if any threats are found. The alert will display the number of threats or infections discovered and provide you with options for cleaning.

    2. Smart scan

    This is a comprehensive scan that removes malware and other threats such as out of date software, fixes performance issues, and identifies browser add-ons with poor reputations.

    You can pause, resume, stop, or run the scan in the background by clicking its buttons.

    smart scan capture

    3. Boot-Time Scan

    Some viruses like to attach themselves to the startup program so as to infect when the operating system loads. The Avast boot-time scan runs before the operating system fully loads. This allows Avast to scan files before they are infected or used by another program or operating system.

    A boot-time scan is one of the most thorough scans because it scans any file which might be locked or in use. Therefore, blocking any malware or virus from launching.

    You can select the boot-time scan by navigating the scans options of the antivirus interface.

    4. Targeted Scan

    It scans files or folders that you select when you initiate the scan.  Simply right-click the file, navigate to scan with Avast, and you are good to go!

    If you want to scan more than one file at the same time, hold down the Ctrl key while you click each file you want to scan, then right-click and select to scan with Avast.

    5. Explorer Scan

    It scans specific disks, folders, and files for harmful files and unwanted applications directly from your desktop via file explorer.

    6. Custom scan

    Avast gives you the opportunity to scan your computer according to the parameters that you specified in your antivirus. This enables you to perform instant scans or check a particular suspicious file or disk.

    7. Quick scan

    This takes little time to complete compared to a full system scan. It checks hard disks partitions, temporary internet files, and the operating system directory.

    Wi-Fi Inspector

    Take control of your own internet with Avast’s Wi-Fi inspector. Cybercriminals will attempt to take control of your devices such as Wi-Fi router through default passwords that have not been changed leading to disconnection of service or stealing of sensitive data.

    Furthermore, attackers can manipulate your network to conduct further attacks and do illegal activities. You are liable if such attacks are traced back to your network.

    Luckily, Avast Wi-Fi inspector is enabled by default and automatically scans all the devices connected on your network whether wireless or cable for vulnerabilities and potential security issues, then notifies you if you need to address any issues.

    Moreover, Avast will alert you when your network connection is not properly secured. If your WI-FI is not protected, malicious people can intercept your internet traffic and eavesdrop on your wireless network.

    External parties can see what’s in your internet traffic including login credentials, photos, and videos.

    To avoid such occurrences, make use of Avast’s Wi-Fi inspector and configure your wireless router and all devices connected to it with a stronger password, which includes upper-case, numbers, special characters, and use WPA2 encryption to prevent hackers from intercepting your data.

    Simple Password Manager

    Password managers are programs that remember passwords for you. Avast has a simple password manager that will store sensitive information for you such as credit card details, strong passwords, just to mention a few.

    Avast password manager is an additional tool in Avast antivirus. Not only does it store your passwords but also helps to create a strong, unique password for every website you visit.

    Attackers often create emails that appear as if they’re coming from a legit website. To trick you, they provide a link that redirects you to the attacker’s website. Luckily, having a password manager will protect you from these attacks because it will not autofill your password on these sites.  

    Avast passwords capture

    Avast simple Password manager setup

    To launch a password manager, go to the privacy menu of Avast interface and click “passwords” then get started. You will be asked to add a browser extension to enable a password generator and autofill to work.

    You are now ready to start storing passwords and other details once you are done with the setup process.

    The automatic password generator can suggest up to 30 characters long passwords which are impossible for anyone to guess. This will allow users to have complex combinations.

    Benefits of Avast password manager

    Avast password manager has features that make it worth having it. Below are the reasons why Avast is one of the best free password managers.

    • Generate secure passwords for you
    • Allows you to store your online accounts details so you can quickly fill in login forms
    • Import your passwords from your internet browser
    • Auto-capture passwords whenever you log in to a new site
    • Additionally, you can configure a Master Password in Settings to protect the information you store in Avast Passwords.
    • Avast Passwords is currently available for devices running Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS. You can sync passwords for all supported devices connected to the same Avast Account

    Premium Features

    As I have mentioned in this review, Avast has free and premium versions.  Their difference is the protection coverage they offer.

    The free Avast antivirus version is however not designed to protect you from advanced attacks, and usually lacks key protection features that protect against advanced threats.

    When it comes to digital security and privacy, you get what you pay for. We recommend investing in a full-blown security package for excellent security and complete peace of mind.

    The feature and utilities offered by Avast premium include;

    1. Malware protection

    Malware protection is the heart and soul of antivirus software. The premium package has protection components to offer optimal protection against viruses, spyware, and cyber threats in real-time.

    Its core shields include:

    • File shield: Scans files for malicious code and blocks before they infect your computer and devices
    • Behavioral Shield: detects suspicious behavior that may be caused by malware.
    • Web shield:  prevents suspicious files being downloaded in your computer and device when you browse the internet.
    • Mail shield: Scans emails for malicious codes

    Avast has demonstrated consistent malware protection capability and will protect your device against all sorts of cyber threats.

    Core shields capture

    2. System performance

    Avast impressed me with its excellent performance. You will not see any slowdowns when it is running. Instead, it improves the performance of a machine by getting rid of malware that slows down a machine or putting it to sleep programs that are not in use.

    3. Advanced firewall

    It provides a firewall that monitors your network activity and instantly notifies you if there’s an issue. The firewall protects you from external attacks and keeps hackers away from accessing your computer.

    Avast firewall capture

    4. Sandbox

    This is a premium feature of this antivirus. It allows you to open suspicious files in a safe mode so your computer stays unharmed by the malicious content. This feature comes in handy when you want to run a suspicious file in a safe environment.

    5. Password manager

    This is a premium feature that saves, protect your passwords, and login information from different websites. It also prevents hackers from viewing your saved passwords in Google chrome.

    6. Webcam shield

    A webcam shield prevents malicious apps from making unauthorized changes to your webcam settings.

    7. Ransomware shield

    Enjoy ransomware protection with Avast premium. The program detects and blocks unauthorized access to protected files such as photos, files, and documents.

    ransomware shield capture

    8. Data shredder

    Data shredder permanently deletes junk files from your system memory so that they can’t be recovered. It is a useful feature that you can use to erase important files to prevent hackers from restoring them.

    9. Advanced VPN

    The Avast premium has a VPN that lets you browse the internet anonymously and makes you untraceable by hackers.

    10. Clean-up tool

    Avast comes with a clean-up tool to cleanse your system of junk files and keep your device working well.

    11. Real-time Automatic software updater

    Avast automatically updates applications on your computer to make sure you are completely protected online. This makes sure you have the current security updates for the best protection.

    All these premium features are compatible with windows, android, Macs, and iOS devices.

    Pros
    • Offers advanced protection hence can safely shop and bank online
    • It has an easy to use dashboard
    • It is lightweight hence will not slow down your machine once you install it
    • Offers great value for the money
    •  I really like the fact that Avast antivirus has advanced features such as Wi-Fi inspector that detect threats that lurk around the network, so that you can browse smoothly, without worrying too much about someone intercepting your network traffic.
    • AV-test and AV –two prestigious testing organizations that evaluate all antivirus products against malware samples, rated Avast antivirus with a perfect 6 out of 6 scores.
    • It improves the performance of a machine by cleaning your PC, updating outdated programs, putting to sleep programs that are not currently in use, and fixing computer problems.
    • Avast Antivirus performs particularly very well by detecting any threats in real-time. It constantly scans your computer to detect any suspicious behaviors with your program.
    • Avast Business Antivirus constantly keeps updating to keep you safe from the latest online threats.
    • This is one of the most trusted and largest security companies. It has over 400+ million users meaning many people trust the company.
    • This is a must-have antivirus. Comes with so many features to protect your passwords, webcam, files, protect you when surfing the web, etc.
    • It comes with apps for iOS platforms, Mac, and windows. It is suitable for both multi-user and business enterprises.
    • It has a free version. You might think that Avast does not have a free version but it does. However, this version does not offer complete protection.
    • Its premium version comes with a 30 days trial. This comes in handy when you want to try and evaluate if it’s the right antivirus for you or not.
    Cons
    • The free version comes with limited features. I would recommend Avast premium which comes with a range of features such as browser clean up, secure line VPN, password manager, etc.
    • Some of its notifications can be annoying. The good news is, they can be disabled in the menu options.

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