good
Avast impresses with a great free version covering all the essentials, and a huge set of features that offer well-rounded antivirus protection and some nice extras. Scans can slightly impact performance, however.
Try Avast now *
Features
9.4 / 10
Configuration & Usage
9.4 / 10
Security & Performance
8.0 / 10
Support
8.0 / 10
Antivirus

Avast Antivirus Review: How Good Is It?

Last update
6. Sep 2023
Ad disclaimer: For links on this page, EXPERTE.com may earn a commission from the provider. This supports our work and has no influence on our editorial rating.

Cybercrime's growth in popularity is definitely a cause for concern. While the chances of being robbed or attacked on your way to work or a restaurant have statistically declined, that isn't the case in the virtual world. All the more reason to have a solid line of defense against digital threats.

Avast offers one of the most popular free antivirus programs on the market and in this review, we'll let you know whether its good reputation is justified.

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What Is Avast Antivirus?

Avast Antivirus* is an award-winning antivirus program for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Its basic version is free of charge, however, to unlock all of the program's features, you'll need to pay for a premium subscription. We tested the software on Windows and Android.

Avast Antivirus Review

Review
8.6
good
Visit Website*
Features
9.4 / 10
Configuration & Usage
9.4 / 10
Security & Performance
8.0 / 10
Support
8.0 / 10
  • Packed with features

  • Easy-to-use

  • Functional freeware version

  • Excellent support area for DIY types

  • Limited support contact options

  • Scans can slow down your computer

1.

Installation & Usage

Installation only takes a few minutes, after which you can scan your computer to determine if it has any malware infections or if there are any vulnerabilities owing to outdated software. We were offered a free, 60-day premium trial subscription, just like with AVG Antivirus. The similarities don't end there: Both programs have a nearly identical setup process, which isn't surprising since AVG was bought by Avast in 2016.

After installation, Avast suggests performing your first scan.

Avast's user interface is streamlined and sleek thanks to its blue tones, orange accents (from the company's logo), and green 'all clear' buttons (if your computer is secure). In the menu on the left, you can check your system's status, perform a quick "Smart Scan", and browse through Avast's features. These are divided into categories like "Protection", "Privacy", and "Performance".

When everything is green in the status area, your system is in good shape.

Notifications, including warnings and information about updates, appear in the upper menu bar. This is also where you'll access the program's settings, which include a very practical integrated search feature that helps you to find what you need quicker. Even without the search tool, the app is well-arranged and you won't ever need to spend long looking for a tool or module.

Avast's settings are neatly grouped into categories like "Security", "Privacy", and "Performance".

Despite Avast's variety of features, navigation is easy and enjoyable because of the program's well-designed and tidy interface: It shouldn't take long to find any particular feature or setting, and the most important information never seems to be more than a click away.

Visit Website*
Configuration & Usage
9.4 / 10
2.

Features

There's no shortage of features with Avast Antivirus. Even its freeware version includes everything that we look for in an antivirus program. The wheelhouses of any antivirus program are its scans and real-time protection.

Comprehensive manual scans

You can view the different types of scans in Avast Antivirus by heading to Security > Virus Scan. In addition to its "Smart Scan", which you likely performed after installation, there are a few additional options: "Full Virus Scan" checks your entire system, whereas the "Targeted Scan" only evaluates those files or folders that you specify. With a "Boot-Time Scan", you can identify threats to your system when it's starting up.

It's also possible to create user-defined scans and schedule these to run at certain times. In addition to the kind of scan to be performed, you can specify how often it should be repeated (never, once, daily, weekly, or monthly), and what the program should do if it identifies any threats.

Avast Antivirus offers plenty of scan options.

Customizable real-time protection

To access the program's real-time protection features, click on the "Security" tab in the menu. In the "Core Shields" area, you can toggle File, Behavior, Web, and Mail shields on or off. Additional options for each of these can be found under settings. These include the ability to instruct the program to automatically check your incoming and outgoing emails or to block web attacks and unsafe downloads.

Some real-time protection features are only available to paying subscribers. These include ransomware protection, which defends you against a very sinister type of malware that encrypts your data, only returning access to it for a ransom. Webcam protection, which prevents unauthorized access to your webcam and microphone, is likewise only offered to users of the premium version.

Avast's real-time protection shields can be independently adjusted.

User-defined firewall

Beyond that, there isn't much else offered to users of the free version. Paying customers, however, get a firewall that monitors all incoming and outgoing data traffic on your network, and prevents unauthorized access.

In the settings menu, you can set a specific time for suspicious network packets to be monitored, or temporarily enable or disable joint use of your internet connection.

Paying subscribers can use the software's firewall.

File-shredder and Sandbox

The program's "Data Shredder" allows you to completely destroy saved files, preventing them from being recovered or restored. This is particularly handy if you want to recycle or dispose of a hard drive, memory stick, or other storage device, but are concerned about others retrieving data from it.

The "Sandbox" is another of Avast Antivirus's special tools that allows users to open questionable apps or data in a secure environment, without endangering the rest of their computer. This protects against the risks posed by unverified software. For example, if you want to know what a suspicious .exe file contains, you can launch it securely by right-clicking on it and selecting "Open in Sandbox" from the menu.

Open suspicious apps or programs in "Sandbox" without jeopardizing your system.

Safe WiFi usage

Avast's "Wi-Fi Inspector" scans networks you connect to, and alerts you to any security issues it discovers. At home, this helps you find out if there are problems with your router, or if any connected devices are in danger (or posing a danger). On public networks, you'll be able to see whether there are any nearby threats.

Bonus features: VPN and more

During installation, you can (optionally) install Avast Secure Browser, which comes with an integrated ad blocker. In the past, Avast Antivirus also included a password manager, however, this has been discontinued.

Even though Avast Antivirus doesn't feature an integrated VPN, Ultimate subscribers get access to Avast SecureLine. During our assessment, we rated this service as average owing to its relatively small server network, few features, and lack of a security audit.

Mobile features

The mobile version of Avast Antivirus offers additional security features, including a "Photo Vault", which encrypts and PIN-protects pictures in your device's gallery. Also included is "Wi-Fi Scan", which assesses the security of the network you're connected to.

Since smartphones are a common target for (physical) thieves, the mobile app also includes a number of anti-theft tools. For example, Avast can mark your device as "lost", whenever an unrecognized SIM card is inserted.

You can also remotely access your device or GPS locate it. Anti-Theft is included in all versions, however, some of its features can only be used by premium subscribers, like "Camera Trap" or "PIN Security". The first allows you to secretly photograph your phone's thief, while the latter will automatically mark your phone as lost after an incorrect PIN is entered eight times.

Avast Mobile Security includes a number of practical anti-theft features.

Likewise reserved for premium users is "App Locking", which provides an added layer of security for your apps, requiring either a PIN or fingerprint scan to open them.

In summary, Avast Antivirus has all of the features expected from a product of its caliber, as well as a few nice extras.

Visit Website*
Features
9.4 / 10
3.

Security & Performance

To provide a representative assessment of Avast Antivirus, we consulted AV-Test and AV-Comparatives, each of which regularly awards a range of antivirus programs with separate security and performance scores.

Security

Performance

AV-Test

100% (6 / 6)

100% (6 / 6)

AV-Comparatives

66% (2 / 3)

90%

OVERALL

83%

95%

Avast Antivirus cuts a very fine figure in both areas: AV-Test awarded it perfect scores in both categories, whereas the program aced the performance test from AV-Comparatives, taking 90 out of 100 points.

The February-May 2021 real-world protection test withheld a third star from the software owing to an above-average number of false positives and several security vulnerabilities. All the same, 99.9% of attacks were neutralized, with the remaining 0.1% dependent upon user behavior.

Performance-inhibiting full system scan

Avast Antivirus needed about 45 minutes to complete a full scan of our system. Unfortunately, we noticed a considerable dip in our computer's performance when surfing, opening programs, or copying files.

The third-party testing labs awarded Avast Antivirus high security and performance scores and our experience confirms their findings. The only negative is that, while reliable, a full system scan with Avast Antivirus might slow down your computer's performance and make it difficult to perform routine tasks.

Visit Website*
Security & Performance
8.0 / 10
Note: January 2020 controversy surrounding the sale of user data

An investigative report by Motherboard (Vice) and PCmag in January 2020 revealed that Avast, through Jumpshot, a subsidiary, had sold large amounts of user data to third parties, including Google, Microsoft, McKinsey, Pepsi, and Yelp.

This data includes "Google searches, GPS coordinates used in Google Maps, LinkedIn site history, YouTube videos, and porn browsing history, including the entered search terms and the videos watched." Even though no personal information was sold, it would not have been difficult for the buyers to identify individual user IDs based on movement data and device numbers. Avast's CEO Ondrej Vlcek apologized for the incident and closed Jumpshot.

4.

Support

DIY users will feel at home in Avast's support center, thanks to its keyword-searchable catalog of resources. If you're interested in learning more about digital security, be sure to check out Avast Academy, which is part of the company's efforts to not only protect but also educate users. For especially tricky questions, there's a forum.

The company's self-help resources are so good, that most of the time, it won't be necessary to contact its live support. This is probably Avast's hope since directly contacting its support personnel is difficult. Freeware users cannot file support tickets, and even premium subscribers are limited to emails. At present, the company does not offer a live chat. During testing, our query was answered within three hours.

Avast Antivirus's support center is first-class and its response times are good.

Avast appears to have put a great deal of effort into its FAQs and guides while cutting corners on its live support. Still, response times were good, leaving us with a positive impression of how the company assists its users.

Visit Website*
Support
8.0 / 10
5.

Pricing

Free, premium, and ultimate versions of Avast are available. The two paid subscriptions (premium and ultimate) can be booked for a single device or up to ten devices.

The service also offers three different business subscriptions, which can be scaled according to your organization's size.

A current overview of the service's prices can be found below:

FreePremium SecurityUltimate
Price per Year $0.00 $44.28 $58.49
Contract Period (Months) 0 12 12
Geräte
Max. Number of Devices unlimited 10 1
Special Protection Features
Real-time Protection
Internet Security
Email Protection
Ransomware Protection
Webcam Protection
Premium Features
Firewall
Password Manager
VPN Access
Adblocker
Cloud Backup
File Shredder
Parental Control
Performance Tuning
Mobile Features
App Lock
Location Tracking
Remote Lock
Camera Trap

Since subscription packages for antivirus software vary, the table below compares each provider's option that comes closest to our template. Relative to the other similar services from our sample, Avast Antivirus's premium version is in the more affordable end of the midfield.

1.
Avast
Free
$0.00
yearly price
2.
Panda Security
Free
$0.00
yearly price
3.
AVG
Free
$0.00
yearly price
4.
Avira
Free
$0.00
yearly price
5.
Sophos
Home Free
$0.00
yearly price
6.
Malwarebytes
Free
$0.00
yearly price
7.
360 Total Security
All-In-One
$0.00
yearly price
8.
Trend Micro
Antivirus+
$19.95
yearly price
9.
Norton
Antivirus Plus
$19.99
yearly price
10.
Bitdefender
Antivirus Plus
$23.99
yearly price
11.
G Data
Antivirus
$29.95
yearly price
12.
Kaspersky
Antivirus
$29.99
yearly price
13.
McAfee
Total Protection
$39.99
yearly price
14.
ESET
Essential Security
$39.99
yearly price
15.
Surfshark
24 months
$47.76
yearly price
16.
F-Secure
Internet Security
$49.99
yearly price

You can test the premium version of Avast Antivirus for 30 days at no cost, however, you will have to input a payment method to start the trial. We recommend canceling the subscription shortly before it concludes to avoid any billing irregularities. Monitor your payment method to make sure that you aren't charged for a subscription you aren't using. All Avast Antivirus subscriptions include a 30-day, money-back guarantee.

Conclusion

Review
8.6
good
Visit Website*
Features
9.4 / 10
Configuration & Usage
9.4 / 10
Security & Performance
8.0 / 10
Support
8.0 / 10

Avast Antivirus offers a wide range of features in a nicely designed package that's easy to use and reliable in terms of security and performance. Free users can access the most important features, and there are a few bells and whistles to entice prospective customers to the premium or ultimate versions: These include "Sandbox" and "Wi-Fi Inspector", both of which enhance security and set the program apart from its competitors.

We did deduct points in terms of support, since, despite the excellent FAQs and guides, live support is important for less technically inclined users. In terms of performance too, the software dropped points since your system might lag while a scan is being performed. All the same, this is a common problem with antivirus programs and not a serious issue.

Avast Antivirus
Avast Antivirus
(7,291,633 )
Avast impresses with a great free version covering all the essentials, and a huge set of features that offer well-rounded antivirus protection and some nice extras. Scans can slightly impact performance, however.
many features
Sandbox and WiFi-Inspector
solid free version
intuitive app
scans can impact performance
8.6
good
Plan
Free
Devices
unlimited
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
Avast Free
 $0.00
Visit Website*
Download for Free

Customer Ratings

Avast Antivirus received high ratings in the customer reviews that we examined. This is largely owing to the high number of perfect scores in the Play Store. Users there praised the program for doing its job well. On Trustpilot, the program performed less favorably: Reviewers complained about billing irregularities, such as automatic charges even after cancellation. Additionally, the company's support was somewhat criticized.

Customer Ratings
4.7 / 5
7,291,633 Bewertungen
Visit Website*
We analyzed the reviews and ratings from various portals and found 7,291,633 ratings with an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 .

Alternatives to Avast Antivirus

The antivirus software market is large and highly competitive, and some of Avast's rivals are worth checking out. Bitdefender, the top performer in our assessment, offers better support (including a live chat) and received even higher scores from the testing labs. At the same time, it's easy to use and serves up a similar package of features.

A list of more of the best alternatives to Avast Antivirus can be found below:

Best Overall 2024
Bitdefender Antivirus
Bitdefender Antivirus
(253,731 )
Our 'best in test' antivirus program Bitdefender boasts strong security, confirmed by independent test laboratories, along with a flawless user interface and a comprehensive set of features.
flawless user interface
excellent lab results
configurable quick actions
good support with 24/7 live chat
many features
9.6
excellent
Plan
Antivirus Plus
Devices
up to 3
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
 $23.99
yearly price
Visit Website*
Kaspersky Antivirus
Kaspersky Antivirus
(4,174,165 )
Kaspersky Internet Security is a user-friendly antivirus tool with a ton of features. However, some Western governments are currently warning against its use.
great test lab scores
a lot of features
intuitive interface
keylogging & webcam protection
some governments warn against use
9.1
excellent
Plan
Antivirus
Devices
up to 5
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
Kaspersky Antivirus
 $29.99
yearly price
Visit Website*
Free Trial Version
Norton Antivirus
Norton Antivirus
(1,853,439 )
With its robust set of features, lean applications, and a 100 % antivirus guarantee, Norton Antivirus is definitely worth a look. Sadly, the testing labs aren't unanimously impressed, and one or two features are missing.
learn, user-friendly apps
customizable child protection
100 % antivirus guarantee
no anti-theft features
mixed test lab results
8.4
good
Plan
Antivirus Plus
Devices
1
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
Norton Antivirus Plus
 $19.99
yearly price
Visit Website*
G Data Antivirus
G Data Antivirus
(11,249 )
G Data offers virus protection "made in Germany" with solid test lab scores, lots of customization, and great support. The user interface, however, could use a facelift.
many configuration options
great support
handy status bar
interface somewhat outdated
test lab scores "only" solid
8.4
good
Plan
Antivirus
Devices
up to 5
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
G Data Antivirus
from  $29.95
yearly price
Visit Website*
Trend Micro Antivirus
Trend Micro Antivirus
(142,454 )
Trend Micro delivers a solid overall antivirus package with lots of features and some nice extras, such as social media protection. However, the testing labs are a bit divided on the reliability of its protection.
some good lab results
plenty of features
social media protection
no firewall, webcam protection
uneven lab scores
8.4
good
Plan
Antivirus+
Devices
1
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
Trend Micro Antivirus+
 $19.95
yearly price
Visit Website*
Top Antivirus 2024
Sponsored
from $2.00
per month
Bitdefender
from $2.50
per month
Kaspersky
from $0.00
per month
Avast
from $1.67
per month
Norton
show all
Janis von Bleichert studied business informatics at the TU Munich and computer science at the TU Berlin, Germany. He has been self-employed since 2006 and is the founder of EXPERTE.com. He writes about hosting, software and IT security.
* Ad disclaimer: For links marked with an asterisk, EXPERTE.com may earn a commission from the provider. The commission has no influence on our editorial rating.
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