Avast! was established in 1988 as ALWIL Software cooperative in the Czech Republic after mathematics researcher Paul Baudis wrote a computer program able to remove the infamous Vienna Virus. Since that time, Avast! has continued expanding its antivirus technologies as well as its worldwide user base. Avast! currently protects over 200 million active devices in 41 languages.

 

Rank Chart
Price
Security Quality
Our Score
#1
$24.99-44.99
7.3
#2
$39.99-69.99
6.3
#3
$39.99-69.99
5.8
#8
avast logo
$34.99-74.99
5.3

The Good

Avast! offers free antivirus and anti-spyware protection for PC and for Mac. Coverage with a paid subscription includes a slew of additional security features. One feature to pay attention to is Avast!’s SafeZone protection for secured payments and banking. Though it’s not a typical focus of antivirus protection, improved financial security is a fast-growing need online. SafeZone allows users to control settings for specific websites dealing with financial transactions—such as online banking accounts, booking hotels and flights, online shopping, or any other type of money transfer—to launch in special windows that keep your financial information private.

Another great feature is the value Avast! places on crowdsourcing. The company encourages customers to submit information about specific malware they encounter to Avast!’s ever-expanding database of threats. This supplements the live updates maintained by antivirus professionals in Avast!’s labs.

The Bad

Though Avast! offers extensive virus, malware, spam, and phishing protection, as well as particular attention to financial accounts, the company’s antivirus products don’t offer any protection specific to social media accounts. They don’t monitor social media activity to alert you to suspicious activity that might suggest your accounts are being compromised. Additionally, Avast!’s subscriptions may seem relatively inexpensive, but the prices we’ve listed are only for securing one device. If you are looking to secure multiple computers, be sure to compare the prices for securing multiple devices, which can get pretty steep.

The Bottom Line

Avast! has an extensive worldwide presence as well as an impressive, consistent performance record with AV-Test and AV-Comparatives. This company is a good choice for antivirus protection. At the very least, you’ve got nothing to lose with the free subscription option and 30-day trials for the other products!

Price (*subject to change)

Avast! offers a free basic computer antivirus as well as upgraded versions for the following prices:

  • Pro Antivirus: $34.99/year
  • Internet Security: $39.99/year
  • Premier: $49.99/year

The basic mobile security smartphone app is free, and the premium version costs $9.99.

Free trial offer

All Avast!’s antivirus products are available for a free 30-day trial.

Mobile protection

Avast! offers a free mobile app for Android smartphones through Google Play with the following features:

  • Antivirus protects device from malware and malicious apps
  • Privacy report for apps identifies potential privacy risks
  • Blocks calls or texts from specified numbers
  • Tracks lost or stolen device through account web portal
  • Web browsing protection
  • Can add a firewall to a rooted phone to block out hackers
  • Track network data and Wi-Fi usage to help you stay within your data limits

The premium version has these additional features:

  • Geofencing allows you to set a perimeter that signals your device to lock, siren, or send its location to your portal
  • App lock prevents unauthorized access. After three unsuccessful password attempts, your phone will take a picture of the person attempting to unlock your device!
  • App advertisement detector for avoiding ads as you browse and use different apps

Security

  • Antivirus, Antispyware, & Antimalware – Includes real-time updates about new viruses to your PC’s virus database daily
  • Automatic software updates – Prevents virus and malware threats from exploiting security holes in outdated versions of software such as browsers, email clients, and office applications.
  • AccessAnywhere – Allows you to view your desktop and access your files from any computer that has Avast! installed, so you can be aware of what is going on when you’re away.
  • Data Shredder – Gets rid of your sensitive data so that deleted files on your hard drive cannot be recovered by others.
  • Firewall – Blocks hackers from stealing sensitive personal data from your PC.
  • Anti-spam and Anti-phishing – Filters out spam and scams from your email account.
  • Double Check Suspicious Files – Allows you to run suspicious files in avast!’s Sandbox, a virtual environment where you can run even heavily infected files safely.
  • Financial Protection – Protect your credit card and online banking data from being hacked.
  • Crowd Protection – Called CommunityIQ, Avast! maintains an information resource and early warning system consisting of malware data sources anonymously contributed by customers.

AV-Test/AV-Comparatives

Avast!’s performance scores have greatly improved over the last few years, instilling confidence in consumers and signaling a bright future for this company’s products.  AV-Test’s real world testing for web and email threats revealed that Avast! offers above average protection in those areas. Avast! also earned a perfect usability score in the most recent (October 2013) test measuring false detections of legitimate software. AV-Comparatives has repeatedly awarded Avast! its highest rating—advanced plus—for real world protection.

Tune-up & Speed

Avast!’s antivirus products do not have a tune-up feature included, but Avast! is currently working on updating its separate-subscription scan tool that can be used to free your PC of clutter to get it back up to speed. This tool, which is called the avast! GrimeFighter, detects hardware components in danger of failure and removes trialware, pop-ups, bloated toolbars, and junk files that hinder your computer’s performance. It will be available for download again once the Windows 8 version is updated.

Time in Business

Avast! was established as ALWIL Software cooperative in 1988 in the Czech Republic (26+ years in business).

Foreign

Avast!’s headquarters is in Prague, Czech Republic, with an office in Redwood City, CA.

Customer Service

Avast! offers free 24/7 phone support for installation, configuration, and trouble-shooting.

Operating systems supported:

  • Windows 7, 8, 8.1, XP (both 32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Android 2.1 or higher (for mobile protection)
  • MAC OS X: Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, Mavericks (for Mac antivirus)

System requirements:

  • Intel Pentium 3 Processor or higher
  • 128 MB RAM
  • 650 MB free hard-drive space

Are there any inaccuracies in this review? We take our accuracy very seriously and would love your feedback. Give feedback here.

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    March 31st, 2016 Teaneck, NJ

    I got the paid version never finished scanning more than 6% after 12 hours! cusotmer service jerk says it is problem with my computer. I want to delete but it wont accept password avast want $ 179 to reset the password. NEVER GET THIS CRAPPY PROGRAM

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