There is no question that Avast is one of the most recognizable names in the world of antivirus software. With over 400 million different devices protected, the company must certainly be doing something right. Avast expanded its database and antivirus tools in 2016 when it bought AVG antivirus. Having been devoted to creating a free and secure internet since 1988 shows the dedication to creating and supporting a superior product. They also offer multiple versions, with something that can fit into almost every budget, starting with a free version. Best of all, every version receives continuous support, including regular updates to help defend against the newest threats.
Features & Highlights
The most basic version offered is a free download. This is probably best suited for someone with limited security needs since the company specifically mentions that this is only to be used for personal and non-commercial purposes. Even still, it is able to block numerous types of spyware and viruses. It also includes regular updates. Some cool new features include the ability to automatically place suspicious programs in a ‘sandbox’ where they are unable to exert any malicious or harmful effects. Avast’s WebRep feature ranks the reputation of various websites for users.
Avast also offers two additional paid versions of their classic antivirus software. The next step up is their Internet Security plan, which allows for secure online banking and purchases, surfing risky websites and even the ability to safely run risky programs. Actually all versions have performed well in independent testing. AV-Test.org rated the program a very strong 14/18, while AVComparatives.org saw the software blocking a respectable 98.7% of all threats. Some of the best features are offered in their top plans, including the ability to block phishing scams and allowing for remote access of your own computer. You can also securely wipe the hard drive as needed.
Avast has recently added the Ransomeware Shield to its Internet Security and Premium plans, which ensures files cannot be encrypted covertly by outside sources without your permission.
Internet Security Suite
Avast’s internet security package allows for more confident browsing and surfing. This includes being able to block hacker attacks, securing personal data and protecting your identity. Another benefit of this antivirus suite is that it will help to block annoying spam and even phishing scams. Ultimately, these tools and protections should allow for a much safer internet browsing and user experience. You will also receive personal firewall protection, blocking nasty malware and all types of viruses from ever reaching your hard drive. Every month you will receive a security report detailing the most significant activity (sites blocked, for example).
The most basic package offered is free, so this certainly provides an excellent value. This plan is most appropriate for those with limited internet usage. The paid packages have a full range of different features, with each offering a little more than the next. The Internet Security suite is $59.99 per year and the Premium plan is $79.99 per year. They do all seem to be excellent values according to customer comments and unbiased rating agencies. The Internet Security suite package will probably be the plan that typical users feel the most comfortable with. Given the excellent protection offered (firewall, a Safe Zone display for trusted sites, ransomware protection and real time updated databases), the investment seems quite reasonable.
There are a number of helpful ways to obtain support through Avast. This includes a number of frequently asked question pages and even user forums which can be freely (and easily) accessed. Better yet, the easiest way to have your questions answered might be to pick up the phone and dial their toll-free support number. They even have an email ticket support system. The knowledge base is also quite comprehensive and searchable.
Ease of Use
Using the software is quite easy regardless of which variation is purchased. They can all be downloaded directly from the site. There are even a number of other sites offering the free version as a download, but it is best to go directly to the source in order to be sure you are getting the real thing. From here, just follow the installation directions (easy) and make sure to enable regular updates. Nothing more is required.
Avast is one of the most well-known and successful antivirus providers online today. Each plan offers a myriad of useful features and tools at very reasonable prices, including regular and real-time updates.