Avast Antivirus Review 2024

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Our Verdict

Avast is an excellent antivirus product with perfect testing scores

Avast is an impressive antivirus product that does much more than scan your devices for malware, viruses, and ransomware. As a provider with one of the longest track records in the industry, Avast can protect you from suspicious online activities, webcam spying, unauthorized access to your network, and more.

Although it isn’t the cheapest, it’s one of the most user-friendly antiviruses we’ve tested, and it’s great value for money. Furthermore, it’s lightweight, meaning it won’t interrupt your other activities or cause issues as it works in the background.

Pros

  • Comprehensive free version
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Excellent security, usability, and performance testing results
  • Numerous extra tools to keep your devices safe
  • Intuitive iOS and Android apps
  • Six scanning types

Cons

  • More expensive renewal charges
  • Customer support could be better
  • No parental controls

In this Avast Antivirus review, we’ll cover all the key details you need to know about one of the world’s leading cybersecurity companies, covering its features, functionality, and plans.

Avast antivirus software is ideal for families, small businesses, and individuals. Keep reading to learn how Avast performed in our tests, where it excels, what it could do better, and how it compares to the best antiviruses.

What is Avast Antivirus?

Founded in 1988 in then-Czechoslovakia, Avast has a long history as a leader in cybersecurity and enjoys a reputation as an innovative and trusty antivirus provider. Thanks to the continuous improvement and expansion of its services.

It was also one of the first companies to introduce a free antivirus plan. Besides being one of the best free antiviruses, Avast goes further with its premium plans, which offer extra features and more security.

Avast can reliably protect Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices today and has a mind-blowing user base of over 435 million users worldwide. From an advanced firewall to protection from spyware and other sophisticated cyber threats, Avast’s paid plans leave no room for vulnerabilities on your devices.

Is Avast Antivirus Safe?

The Mac app home screen.
Avast Premium Security on Mac

Avast is considered safe among experts in the cybersecurity field.

Performance-wise, Avast is one of the best long-term choices, as its lightweight operations won’t strain your devices. Tests show that Avast is excellent at detecting and removing malware, and we saw minimal slowdown in device operations, such as file transfers and downloads.

That said, many were disappointed when news surfaced that Avast had sold anonymized user data from free accounts to companies like Google and Microsoft prior to 2020. Avast has since enforced stricter privacy policies and made its data-logging practices more transparent to the public.

Avast Antivirus Plans & Pricing

Avast may not be the cheapest provider you can find, but it offers some of the most comprehensive plans in the industry.

It has two core antivirus packages that will help you deal with the most advanced cyber threats, and they come with numerous extra security tools. There are also several Avast One plans, which come with additional features.

Here’s a quick overview of its pricing structure and the features you can expect to find. All paid plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and you can try out the features with the free plans.

Plans Starting Price Features
Premium Security $49.99/yr for 1 device
$69.99/yr for 10 devices
Malware Protection, Advanced Firewall, Webcam Protection, Phishing Protection, and more
Ultimate $49.99/yr for 1 device
$69.99/yr for 10 devices
+ Avast Cleanup Premium, SecureLine VPN, AntiTrack features
Avast One Individual/Family $50.28/yr for 5 devices
$69.48/yr for 30 devices
More devices supported
Avast One Platinum $119.88/yr for 30 devices + Identity Theft Protection Features, Social Media Monitoring, and 24/7 support
Premium SecurityUltimateAvast One Individual/FamilyAvast One Platinum

Premium Security – $49.99/yr (renews at $77.99)

Avast’s first premium plan, Premium Security, offers exceptional security features to keep you safe from malware, ransomware, and online threats and address security risks on your devices.

The base plan covers one device and can be upgraded to cover ten devices for $69.99/yr (renewing at $99.99/yr).

The plan includes real-time antivirus protection to safeguard your devices and the Real Site feature to prevent DNS hijacking. In addition, its Advanced Firewall will stop hackers from accessing your data and devices.

We were impressed to see it also includes a Sandbox feature, which lets you test applications in a safe, isolated environment to prevent damage when opening potentially dangerous files.

The plan also provides webcam protection and allows you to automatically update apps and shred sensitive files to ensure nobody can recover them.

Ultimate – $49.99/yr (renews at $109.99)

The Ultimate plan includes all the features offered by Premium Security, with the addition of a range of extra tools, adding multiple security layers to boost your online security and privacy.

Ultimate has the same introductory prices as Premium Security – $49.99/yr for one device and $69.99 for ten – but these renew at $109.99 and $139.99, respectively.

Avast Cleanup Premium is an excellent addition if you’re looking to speed up your computer, as it helps you clean out junk files and free up disk space. It can also help you de-clutter your browsers by identifying browser add-ons you can safely remove.

Avast’s VPN tool can hide your browsing activities from third parties, such as your ISP or the government, and help you access geo-restricted content – making Avast one of the best antiviruses with a VPN.

Finally, the AntiTrack feature can hide your activities from third-party trackers used by data brokers. That means you’ll see fewer ads online, enhancing your browsing experience.

Avast One Individual – $50.28/yr (renews at $109.99)

This package has functionality that is very similar to the Avast Ultimate plan. However, the plan covers five devices rather than one at its basic rate.

You can also get a Family plan for $69.48/yr covering 30 devices (renewing at $149.99).

Avast One Platinum – $119.88/yr (renews at $299.99)

This plan adds a wide range of valuable identity theft protection features to the Avast One package.

They include credit monitoring across three leading credit bureaus, $2m in identity theft reimbursement coverage, social media account monitoring, data breach monitoring alerts, and 24/7 assistance for identity, credit, and tech issues.

All in all, it’s an excellent package for protecting yourself against fraud.

Can I Get Avast for Free?

Avast has a free plan that offers basic antivirus features. Avast’s free plan includes real-time antivirus protection, a WiFi vulnerability scanner, and ransomware protection. The free app will also alert you if it detects suspicious behavior on your system and will keep you safe from phishing attacks.

The Avast One Essential free plan even includes a VPN with 5GB bandwidth per week.

That’s much more than most antiviruses offer with their free plans, but Avast’s premium plans remain a much more reliable option. Their extra features provide 360-degree protection – and you can get an Avast One Individual account for just $4.19 per month.

Avast Antivirus Security Features

Each feature offered by Avast plays a vital role in safeguarding your devices from cyber threats. In this section of our Avast review, we’ll explore what these features can do for you.

Virus Scans

Avast's virus scans on Windows
Avast’s virus scans on Windows

Avast offers one of the most comprehensive selections of virus scans we’ve seen, including six different methods to root out malware from the system.

Here’s what each virus scan type does:

  • Smart Scan – Detects malware, potentially dangerous browser add-ons, out-of-date apps, performance issues, and network threats.
  • Full Virus Scan – Performs an in-depth checkup on your system, scanning its memory and storage drives to identify malware.
  • Targeted Scan – Scans specific folders or external hard drives.
  • Custom Scans – Lets you schedule scans and decide which parts of your system they check, how frequently, and how thoroughly.
  • Boot-Time Scan – Scans your device before the next system startup to improve the chances of detecting and removing malware.
  • Explorer Scan – Initiates quick scans directly from your desktop via File Explorer.

Real-Time Antivirus Protection

Avast's real-time protection features
Avast’s real-time protection features

Upgrading your security to Avast’s real-time antivirus protection offers numerous benefits over alternatives like Microsoft Defender Antivirus. It will constantly monitor your devices for signs of suspicious activity and will swiftly eliminate any threats it detects.

This means the program can tackle zero-day threats that have never previously been identified, and its knowledge database is updated in real time on emerging threats identified across its user base.

Ransomware Shield

Avast's Ransomware Shield
Avast’s Ransomware Shield

Ransomware attacks are a particularly pernicious threat, potentially locking your device and destroying all your data. Avast offers a specialized Ransomware Shield feature, which prevents your documents and files from being modified, deleted, or encrypted.

It’s worth mentioning that although Ransomware Shield can help you avoid the loss of sensitive files, it can’t decrypt them if a ransomware attack has already happened – so enabling this protection as soon as possible is crucial.

Network Inspector

Avast's Network Inspector
Avast’s Network Inspector

Avast’s Network Inspector is particularly strong. It scans your network for vulnerabilities and security issues, allowing you to protect your data and prevent unauthorized devices from connecting to the network.

Network Inspector can scan both wireless and wired connections and identify weak WiFi passwords, devices vulnerable to attacks, and DNS hijacking. It’s an invaluable addition for any household, and you can even configure it to send you a notification when new devices connect to your network.

Email Guardian

Phishing statistics show malicious actors are most likely to attempt financial fraud and identity theft attacks via email. Avast offers Email Guardian as a solution for this problem.

The feature scans your emails as you open them and alerts you of any suspicious content with a “Suspicious” label. This feature is compatible with numerous popular email providers, including Gmail and Outlook.

VPN

Avast offers a reliable VPN solution, SecureLine VPN, to help you unblock geo-restricted content, securely download files from the internet, and avoid third-party monitoring by hackers, governments, ISPS, and advertisers.

Although it can’t match the best VPN services we’ve tested, Avast SecureLine VPN offers decent connection speeds and can unblock foreign Netflix libraries and stream in 4K.

The VPN lets you pick between 500+ servers across more than 36 countries around the world, making it a solid tool to access content wherever you are.

Avast AntiTrack

Avast AntiTrack enhances your online privacy and keeps you safe from third-party trackers. It injects fake information into the data that makes up your digital footprint, making it harder for data brokers to capture meaningful information about you.

The tracker blocker helps maintain your privacy and stops ads being targeted to you. It also hides your location and reveals who’s tracking you. AntiTrack is available on all popular browsers, including Edge, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera.

BreachGuard

If you’ve browsed the internet without Avast or a similar antivirus program, data brokers have likely already got ahold of your information. Contacting them with data removal requests could be a painful, time-consuming experience, but Avast can do the hard work for you with its BreachGuard feature.

The tool can automatically send removal requests and follow-ups to ensure your sensitive data is protected. In addition, the BreachGuard feature will continuously monitor the internet and the dark web for signs of data breaches containing your information, alerting you if it detects anything.

Webcam Shield

Avast's Webcam Shield
Avast’s Webcam Shield

Avast’s Webcam Shield will prevent unauthorized applications and malware from accessing your PC’s webcam and microphone. Enabling this feature will block attempts by third-party apps to capture images, audio, or video.

The feature has three modes you can switch between:

  • Smart Mode – Avast will automatically determine whether it can trust an app trying to access your webcam and microphone and block any attempts from untrusted applications.
  • Strict Mode – The antivirus will force each app that tries to access your webcam and microphone to ask for permission. Apps will require manual approval from you before they gain access.
  • Block Access to Webcam and Microphone – Avast will automatically block every app that tries to access your webcam and microphone and notify you when one does.

Avast Cleanup

Avast Software Updater feature
Avast Software Updater feature

Cleaning all the junk, duplicate, and outdated files on your PC may sound daunting. Avast makes the process automatic with a single click with its Avast Cleanup PC optimizer.

We found that it’s extremely effective at removing junk files, broken shortcuts, and outdated apps. It comes with an automatic maintenance solution, which regularly checks for new junk files and bloatware to improve performance.

You can also use the PC optimizer to identify app updates and which apps should start up when you reboot your device. You can then remove apps you don’t use, which can result in some impressive boosts to the startup speed and the overall performance of your device.

Identity Theft Protection Features

The Avast One Platinum plan includes a wide range of identity theft protection features. It offers:

  • Social media monitoring – to alert you if your accounts are hacked or compromised
  • Credit monitoring – tracking your credit file with three top credit bureaus and letting you know about changes
  • Lost wallet assistance – helps you can cancel and replace lost credit, debit, and ATM cards
  • $2m identity theft coverage for lost wages, stolen funds, and expenses
  • 24/7 personal support to address identity, fraud, and credit issues, as well as tech issues

Privacy Advisor

Avast’s Privacy Advisor offers advice on securing your online accounts and following good practices to protect your privacy.

There are step-by-step guides for websites and apps, including Amazon, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and more. The guides explain how the platforms collect data and how you can reduce the amount of personal information you share.

Avast Antivirus Performance

Considering the amount of features it offers, Avast’s apps are impressively easy to navigate and use, even for first-time users.

We’ve thoroughly tested the platform and found its scanning and security features to be intuitive and effective without having any noticeable impact on system performance.

AV-Test is a reputable, independent security research institute. Its assessments gave Avast a score of 18 points out of 18 – a score it’s achieved repeatedly over the last two years.

The antivirus caught 100% of zero-day threats and prevalent malware attacks with no false warnings. On a high-end PC, Avast had a negligible performance impact, consistently beating industry averages.

With full marks in each category, Avast is undoubtedly one of the most user-friendly, lightweight, and secure antiviruses you can buy.

Avast Antivirus Compatibility and Ease of Use

Avast offers a dedicated app for each of the Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS operating systems. After testing each client on our devices, we found Avast to be easy to use and unintrusive.

Here’s what you can expect from Avast’s apps:

WindowsmacOSAndroidiOS

Avast for Windows

Avast has a minimalistic Windows app that lets you find everything you need from its home screen. Its features and tools are readily available, and you can navigate to settings by clicking on “Menu” in the upper right corner.

We had the best experience with Avast on our Windows devices, and it had nearly no impact on performance. The sheer range of features it offers makes Avast one of the best antiviruses for Windows.

Avast for macOS

The Mac app has a similar layout to its Windows counterpart, and we found it equally easy to navigate. Like the Windows app, you can configure the Mac features by clicking “Menu” in the top right.

The Mac client had slightly more system impact than the Windows app during a full system scan, but it still wasn’t a major issue, and you can certainly perform light tasks, like browsing or answering emails, while Avast scans the entire system.

Avast for Android

Avast offers one of the best antivirus apps for Android we’ve tested. It combines simplicity with an exceptional feature set.

From its standard antivirus features, such as scans and the Network Inspector, to mobile-specific features like Photo Vault, the app offers plenty of tools to keep your device safe and clean.

It’s also user-friendly and has well-designed feature hubs. For example, entering its Email Guardian feature will show you the latest statistics related to email spam and fraudulent messages in recent months.

The home screen has several tabs for the key features, and tapping “Explore” on the bottom rail opens up a menu with the rest of its features and tools.

Avast for iOS

The iOS app has a similar layout to its Android counterpart, and tapping on a feature will display an informative graph, fact, or explanation of the feature’s functionality. This makes the Avast antivirus iOS app an excellent pick for first-time users.

Although third-party antivirus apps like Avast can’t scan iOS devices for malware, you can still run a vulnerability scan. This type of scan will highlight any built-in security measures you haven’t set up, such as FaceID.

How Does Avast Compare Against Other Antiviruses?

Avast is only getting better every year. However, its competition isn’t far behind, and some competitors may suit users on a budget better than Avast.

In this section of our Avast review, we’ll compare it to three of its closest competitors based on pricing, connectivity, and features. In addition, we’ll see how Avast compares to Microsoft Defender Antivirus. Unusually, it also supports servers – see our guide to the best server antiviruses for more details.

Antivirus Starting Price Max Devices Real-Time Protection Firewall Scans
Avast Antivirus $49.99/yr 30 Smart, Full, Targeted, Custom, Boot-Time, Explorer
AVG $46.68/yr 10 Full, Quick, Custom, Boot-Time
Bitdefender $29.99/yr 25 Quick, Full, Custom, Vulnerability
Malwarebytes $44.99/yr 20 Quick, Custom, Threat

AVG vs Avast

AVG and Avast are both competitive antivirus providers with high malware detection rates, advanced features, and extra tools.

However, AVG doesn’t have Sandboxing, which lets you test apps in a controlled environment. AVG is slightly cheaper, though, and comes with better customer reviews. See our full Avast vs AVG guide for more information.

Bitdefender vs Avast

Bitdefender is one of the few antiviruses that offers more features than Avast. However, these features are better suited to small businesses and home offices than individuals. That said, we found Avast easier on smartphone batteries and background resources during scans and everyday use.

Malwarebytes vs Avast

Avast has several advantages over Malwarebytes. It protects more devices as standard, it offers a firewall, and its free plan has far more features. We also found Avast to be more user-friendly. That said, Malwarebytes has excellent customer feedback and a great customer support team. For more information, read our in-depth Malwarebytes vs Avast comparison.

Avast vs Windows Defender (now Microsoft Defender Antivirus)

Both providers offer serviceable basic antivirus features, including scanners and real-time antivirus protection.

However, Avast has the lead for additional security, with a more powerful and customizable firewall and a huge range of advanced features, including a VPN, data breach monitoring, and phishing protection. It can also provide for your other devices, including Android, iOS, and Mac.

How to Set Up Avast Antivirus

Avast is one of the easiest antiviruses to set up, and you can start using it before you even create an account. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to install Avast on a Windows PC.

  1. Subscribe to a Plan

    Head to Avast’s website and decide between its free, Premium Security, and Ultimate plans. Once you’ve subscribed, simply download the Windows client from its website and install the software by following the on-screen instructions.

    It’s worth mentioning that you should turn off any other third-party antivirus or firewall program before installing Avast on your device.

    <strong>Subscribe to a Plan</strong>
  2. Log Into Your Account to Access the Premium Features

    If you’ve subscribed, click “Log In” once you launch the Avast app and log into your account. Of course, you can use the free scanner and real-time antivirus protection before you even log in.

    <strong>Log Into Your Account to Access the Premium Features</strong>
  3. Scan Your PC With Avast

    With everything set up, you can perform your first system scan. Avast will greet you with a screen that lets you launch your first scan with a single click. With that complete, you can enable all of its other security features you want to use.

    <strong>Scan Your PC With Avast</strong>

Avast Antivirus Customer Support And User Reviews

It’s always important to us to check independent customer feedback to see what long-term users have to say about products and services. On Trustpilot, Avast has a score of 3.9 out of 5 stars, with more than 13,500 reviews.

Of these reviews, 62% gave it the highest rating possible, and another 13% gave it four stars, which Trustpilot rates as “Great” feedback.

Avast Antivirus review on TrustPilot
Avast Antivirus review on Trustpilot

Most Avast reviews describe it as a consistent and transparent service that doesn’t disappoint. These reviews matched our test results, given that they praise its ease of use across platforms and its exceptional malware detection rates.

Avast Antivirus TrustPilot user reviews
Avast Antivirus Trustpilot user reviews

Although many Avast reviews describe its free software as one of the best on the market, others point to the advantages of the premium packages, which allow you to protect more devices.

In terms of support, Avast offers phone support, live chat, and email support 24/7. You can access these via its support platform. In addition, there’s a resourceful knowledge base, which you can use to resolve most technical issues without contacting Avast’s support teams.

Avast's support center
Avast’s support center

Most negative reviews point to the support website. There are also complaints about waiting times when contacting customer support via phone, and users recommend using live chat. Nevertheless, Avast’s customer support is seen as being knowledgeable and professional.

Our Other Antivirus Guides

Our team of cybersecurity experts have created a wide range of resources on the best products on the market today. Here’s a list of some of our guides to help you further explore this competitive market:

FAQs

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Ilijia Miljkovac
Technology Writer
Ilijia Miljkovac
Technology Writer

Ilijia Miljkovac is a Techopedia writer with seven years of experience covering all things tech. He writes about cybersecurity topics, spanning VPNs, antiviruses, and hosting, helping to inform B2B and B2C audiences about the latest products and services. He's written for publications such as Business2Community, TheTechReport, Comparitech, and more. When he's not working, Ilijia spends his time hiking in nature or holed up in his apartment gaming.