Everybody needs a reliable anti-virus program on their computer. With each day, the computer viruses out there are getting more and more advanced and if you do not have a good and strong security tool on your machine, then the chances of you landing some nasty malware infection would be dangerously high. Of course, one shouldn’t forget that the best protection they can offer their PC is their own common sense when browsing the World Wide Web, yet adding an extra layer of security via an antivirus program is always a good idea. Therefore, today we have decided to make a review of one of the top products out there when it comes to system protection and security – Avast Antivirus.
Many software programs centered around computer safety are paid products and users would need to purchase them in order to be able to use them for system security. However, if you are looking for a program that is free yet still offers great levels of protection against most types and forms of malware, then you might want to try out Avast.
Avast Antivirus is a popular free antivirus program that offers good quality of defense against malicious software and also comes with a good number of extra features that can help the customer to even further enhance their computer’s security. Avast also has a Premium version which is paid and offers access to several extra features that the regular version doesn’t have. However, all the main utilities that the program possesses are available in the free version. The program supports Windows, Mac and Android – there are no versions for iOS and Linux.
Avast provides a simple and easy-to-navigate interface with four main tabs listed vertically to the left side of its window. The four tabs are as follows: Status, Protection, Privacy and Performance.
- Status gives you a general overview of the security state of your machine as well as of the current status of any scans that might be running at the moment.
- Protection gives you a wide variety of options and settings that can help you improve the safety of your machine and also deal with any potential security threats. Note that some of the features here are paid as you’d need to be using the Premium version of Avast in order to access them.
- Privacy offers several features focused on improving the privacy that you get when using your PC. The main utility here is the password manager but there is also a file shredder and a VPN feature for safer browsing.
- Performance is where you gain access to couple of system performance-oriented features to improve your working process with the machine.
Obviously, this should be the most important aspect of each and every security program. After all, if an antivirus cannot properly protect your system, it doesn’t matter how fancy it looks or how many features it offers.
In the case of Avast, we should say that it is actually a satisfyingly reliable protection application. It has been tested by a number of labs and has scored high on most of the issued tests. Avast also received a certification from West Coast Labs for its excellent results. However, in many of the aspects that normally get tested, other security tools such as AVG, Kaspersky and BitDefender managed to outmatch Avast. This, of course, is not to say that Avast’s protection is necessarily weaker when compared to those other programs but it is still something worth mentioning. In most instances, the antivirus manages to deal with more than ninety percent of the potential threats it encountered. Also, another good thing about this program it that it doesn’t show a lot of false positives – an issue that is very common among a lot of the antivirus programs out there.
Generally, in terms of overall protection, Avast really is one of the most reliable options out there and it doesn’t matter if you are using the free or the paid version – the quality of safety and security that you would get would be the same.
Avast isn’t too requiring on terms of CPU and RAM usage which is good – even weaker computers can run Avast and use its scans without becoming slow and sluggish. When in the background and not scanning, the program barely consumes any RAM and has pretty much no impact on the CPU usage. However, some of the scans can take quite some time (especially the full system scan). Of course this is to be expected, but there might be other program out there that would be better optimized for performance. Nonetheless, we didn’t experience any issues with the way Avast operates and the way it performs.
Even the free version of this program comes with a wide variety of extra utilities for users who wish to have access to more advanced security features. Here, we will outline the most important and useful of them.
- Wi-Fi Inspector – this utility checks your internet connection and assesses the way it has been set-up. Once the scan is over, it shows if and what vulnerabilities there might be such as default/weak passwords, unsecured connection, outdated software, etc. If there are any detected issues, the program either offers to fix them automatically or presents you with a guide on how to do that manually.
- Rescue Disk – Avast also offers a utility through which the user can create a bootable device with the antivirus that can be used for scans and virus removal before the computer has booted to Windows – this is useful as it would allow the tool to operate without interference from most malware as the Windows wouldn’t be loaded yet.
- Software Updater – the antivirus can even update outdated applications directly from its interface. You just click on the utility and a list of all programs that have a new update will be presented. If you click on update, Avast will automatically download and install the new update for you.
- Passwords – this is a password manager that allows you to create a master passwords through which you can quickly access different online accounts. This feature even works across different devices where you might need to log in your web accounts.
- VPN – the application also offers a virtual private network that would allow you to browse privately. There is also an option to choose what connection to use – there are nearly 30 different VPN’s to select from.
- Premium features – as we said, the paid version of Avast allows access to an even greater array of added utilities such as Ransomware Shield, a Firewall, Sandbox, Data Shredder, etc.
- Cleanup – this this utility scans your computer for junk data, inefficient settings and other elements that might be slowing it down and offers you to clean everything up so as to speed-up the performance of your PC and free some hard-disk space.
One thing that we value is lack of intrusive and irritating advertisement within free software. A lot of legitimate programs out there often seem to appear like some sort of unwanted Adware simply because they tend to fill one’s screen with frustrating ads. With Avast, the advertising is set to a minimum. There are no invasive pop-ups and banners and the program doesn’t push its Premium version in a way that would make using the free one unpleasant. However, there are still a couple of ads but this is to be expected and they are also limited to the program’s own interface – something that shouldn’t be too difficult to put up with.
Avast is certainly one of the top security programs out there and it would surely keep your machine protected from most types of malicious software. The program is simple and easy to navigate making it a user-friendly tool but it also provides a wide range of extra features for more advanced customers who want to be able to further enhance the security of their system.