Avast Antivirus Review: Features, Pricing, and Security

Introduction to Avast Antivirus

Avast Antivirus is a well-established name in the cybersecurity industry, known for its extensive feature set and reliable protection against various online threats. Founded in 1988, Avast has grown to become one of the largest security companies in the world, protecting millions of users worldwide. Despite a significant data breach in 2019, Avast continues to be a popular choice among users for its robust security features and ease of use. This review aims to provide a thorough analysis of Avast Antivirus, covering its installation process, features, performance, pricing, and more.


  • Comprehensive virus and malware protection
  • User-friendly interface
  • Extensive feature set including VPN, firewall, and device optimization tools
  • Excellent performance in lab tests
  • Free and premium versions available


  • Some advanced features are only available in premium versions
  • Can impact system performance during scans
  • History of a significant data breach in 2019

Features and Capabilities



Virus and Malware Protection

Utilizes advanced algorithms and a comprehensive virus database to identify and eliminate viruses, malware, spyware, and other malicious software.

Real-Time Protection

Continuously scans your device and blocks threats in real-time.

Behavior Shield

Monitors application behavior to detect suspicious activity and prevent zero-day attacks.


Automatically sends potentially dangerous files for analysis in the cloud.

Email Shield

Scans incoming and outgoing emails for malicious attachments and phishing attempts.

Ransomware Shield

Monitors and blocks untrusted applications from modifying or encrypting sensitive files.


Monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules to prevent unauthorized access.

SecureLine VPN

Provides encrypted internet connections to safeguard online activities, especially on unsecured public Wi-Fi networks.

Device Optimization Tools

Includes Cleanup Premium, which removes junk files, optimizes device speed, and fixes registry issues.

Privacy-Focused Secure Browser

Offers a safer and more private browsing experience with built-in ad-blocking, anti-tracking features, and enhanced security measures.

Wi-Fi Inspector

Scans your network for vulnerabilities and helps secure your home Wi-Fi.


Allows you to run suspicious files in a safe environment without risking your system.

Real Site

Protects against DNS hijacking and ensures you visit genuine websites.

Network Inspector

Checks the security of all devices connected to your home network, identifying potential vulnerabilities.

Email Guardian

Scans emails for phishing attempts and malware, ensuring your communications are secure.

Parental Controls

Available in premium versions; helps manage and monitor children's online activities, block inappropriate content, set time limits, and review browsing history.

Virus and Malware Protection

Avast Antivirus provides comprehensive virus and malware protection through several advanced technologies:

  • Real-Time Protection: Avast continuously scans your device, blocking any detected threats immediately.
  • Behavior Shield: This feature monitors the behavior of applications in real-time, detecting and stopping suspicious activities that might indicate a zero-day attack.
  • CyberCapture: Potentially dangerous files are automatically sent to the Avast Threat Labs for deeper analysis in the cloud, ensuring even the newest threats are identified and neutralized.

Email Shield and Ransomware Shield

To protect against specific threats, Avast includes:

  • Email Shield: By scanning all incoming and outgoing emails, Avast ensures that your communications are free from malicious attachments and phishing attempts.
  • Ransomware Shield: This feature offers an extra layer of protection by monitoring and blocking untrusted applications from modifying or encrypting your sensitive files.

Firewall and SecureLine VPN

These features ensure robust network security and online privacy:

  • Firewall: Avast’s firewall monitors and controls all network traffic, preventing unauthorized access and shielding your system from hackers.
  • SecureLine VPN: With encrypted connections, the VPN keeps your online activities private and secure, especially useful on public Wi-Fi networks.

Device Optimization Tools

To keep your device running smoothly, Avast provides:

  • Cleanup Premium: This tool removes junk files, optimizes system performance, and fixes registry issues, ensuring your device operates at peak efficiency.

Privacy-Focused Secure Browser

Avast’s Secure Browser enhances your online privacy by:

  • Blocking ads and trackers
  • Providing built-in security features to prevent unauthorized data collection and ensure a safer browsing experience.

Additional Security Features

Avast includes several other security tools:

  • Wi-Fi Inspector: Scans your network for vulnerabilities and helps secure all connected devices.
  • Sandbox: Allows you to run potentially harmful files in a secure environment, isolating any potential threats.
  • Real Site: Protects against DNS hijacking, ensuring you are not redirected to fake websites.

Network Inspector and Email Guardian

  • Network Inspector: Ensures all devices connected to your network are secure, identifying and addressing vulnerabilities.
  • Email Guardian: Scans emails to protect against phishing and malware, securing your email communications.

Parental Controls

Available in premium versions, Parental Controls help you manage your children’s online activities by:

  • Blocking inappropriate content
  • Setting time limits for internet usage
  • Reviewing browsing history to ensure they are safe online

Installation and Setup

Here’s a step-by-step guide to installing Avast Antivirus:

  1. Download the Installer: Visit the official Avast website and download the installer for the version of Avast Antivirus you want (free or premium).
  2. Run the Installer: Once downloaded, open the installer file. You may be prompted to allow the program to make changes to your device – click “Yes” to proceed.
  3. Choose Installation Type: Avast offers two installation options – Express and Custom. The Express installation is recommended for most users and installs the standard features. The Custom installation allows you to select which features you want to install.
  4. Follow the Prompts: The installer will guide you through the rest of the setup process. This includes accepting the license agreement and confirming your choices.
  5. Initial Scan: After installation, Avast will perform an initial scan to check for any existing threats on your device. This scan is quick and ensures your system is clean from the start.
  6. Complete Setup: Once the initial scan is done, Avast will finalize the setup. You might be asked to create or log into an Avast account, which helps manage your subscription and settings.

Ease of Use

Avast Antivirus is designed with user-friendliness in mind, ensuring that you can navigate and use its features without any hassle. Here are some aspects of its ease of use:

  1. User-Friendly Interface: The main dashboard is clean and organized, with large icons for key features like scanning, protection status, and settings. This layout helps users easily find and use the features they need.
  2. Clear Navigation: The sidebar menu provides easy access to all of Avast’s features and settings. Each section is clearly labeled, and sub-menus are intuitive, making it simple to drill down into more specific options.
  3. Guided Setup and Tips: Throughout the setup process and regular use, Avast offers tooltips and guided instructions to help you understand what each feature does and how to use it. These tips are especially useful for new users or those less familiar with antivirus software.
  4. Customizable Settings: For advanced users, Avast provides a range of customizable settings. You can adjust the sensitivity of virus scans, schedule automatic scans, and configure the firewall and other security features to suit your needs.
  5. Minimal Intrusions: Avast is designed to run quietly in the background without slowing down your computer. Notifications and alerts are kept to a minimum and are only shown when necessary, ensuring a smooth and unobtrusive user experience.
  6. Support Resources: Avast includes a help section with FAQs, troubleshooting guides, and access to customer support. This ensures that if you encounter any issues, help is readily available.

Performance and Effectiveness

Impact on Device Performance

Avast Antivirus is designed to provide robust security without significantly impacting system performance. However, like any security software, it does have some effects on device resources:

  • Background Scans: Avast runs continuous background scans to ensure real-time protection, which may use a small amount of CPU and memory. Most users find this impact negligible during everyday use.
  • Full System Scans: When performing full system scans, Avast can be more resource-intensive. These scans are thorough and can slow down system performance temporarily, especially on older devices or those with limited resources.
  • Optimization Features: Avast includes tools like Cleanup Premium to help mitigate performance issues. These tools clean junk files, manage startup items, and optimize system performance, helping to offset any resource usage by the antivirus software itself.

Lab Test Results

Avast Antivirus has been tested by various independent labs and consistently receives high marks for its effectiveness:

  • AV-TEST: Avast frequently scores high in AV-TEST evaluations, particularly in the categories of Protection, Performance, and Usability. In recent tests, Avast achieved near-perfect scores for detecting and blocking malware.
  • AV-Comparatives: In real-world protection tests, Avast performs well, demonstrating high detection rates and low false positives. The lab’s performance tests also indicate that Avast has minimal impact on system speed compared to other antivirus solutions.
  • SE Labs: Avast’s performance in SE Labs tests confirms its reliability in protecting against a wide range of threats, including phishing attacks and targeted malware. The software’s effectiveness in blocking threats before they can cause harm is particularly noted.
  • User Experience and Reviews: User feedback generally aligns with lab results, highlighting Avast’s strong protection capabilities and user-friendly interface. Some users report minor slowdowns during full scans, but overall satisfaction with the level of security provided is high.

Pricing and Plans

Overview of Avast Pricing


Cost (Annual)

Devices Covered

Key Features

Avast Free Antivirus



Basic protection, real-time scanning, Wi-Fi security, limited password manager

Avast Premium Security (Single-Device)

$49.99 (renews at $77.99)


Advanced protection, Ransomware Shield, Real Site, Sandbox, advanced firewall

Avast Premium Security (Multi-Device)

$69.99 (renews at $99.99)

Up to 10

All Premium features for multiple devices

Avast One Essential



Basic protection, VPN, limited system cleanup tools

Avast One Individual



All Essential features plus unlimited VPN, full device cleanup, identity protection

Avast One Family


Up to 30

All Individual features extended to multiple users and devices

Avast Business Antivirus

Starts at $39.99 per device


Tailored for businesses, advanced security, privacy, and management features

Avast Business Antivirus Pro

Starts at $49.99 per device


Includes additional business tools and protections

Avast Business Antivirus Pro Plus

Starts at $59.99 per device


Comprehensive business protection, includes all Pro features plus more advanced management capabilities

Comparison: Free vs. Premium

When comparing the free and premium versions of Avast, several key differences stand out:

  • Free Version:
    • Cost: Free
    • Protection: Basic virus and malware protection.
    • Features: Includes real-time scanning, Wi-Fi security, and limited password manager.
    • Limitations: Lacks advanced features like ransomware protection, full VPN, and premium customer support.
  • Premium Version:
    • Cost: $49.99 to $139.99 per year, depending on the plan and number of devices.
    • Protection: Enhanced security with additional layers such as Ransomware Shield, Real Site, and advanced firewall settings.
    • Features: Offers a comprehensive suite including SecureLine VPN, Sandbox, password management, and automatic updates.
    • Customer Support: Premium users receive priority customer support with faster response times.

The premium versions are particularly beneficial for users needing robust, all-encompassing security and privacy features, while the free version is suitable for basic protection needs. This tiered approach allows users to choose the level of protection that best fits their requirements and budget.

Security and Privacy

Avast takes user privacy seriously, but it’s important to understand their data collection practices. Avast collects data to improve its services and ensure the effectiveness of its security features. This includes information about:

  • Device Information: Data about your device, such as operating system, hardware specifications, and unique identifiers.
  • Usage Data: Information on how you use the software, which helps Avast improve its functionality and user experience.
  • Threat Data: Details about any threats detected on your device, which are used to enhance Avast’s threat detection algorithms.

Avast’s privacy policy is transparent about what data is collected and how it is used. However, some users may have concerns about the extent of data collection and the fact that anonymized data may be shared with third parties for research and analysis purposes​​​​.

Surveillance and Data Handling

Avast employs strict security measures to handle and protect the data it collects. This includes:

  • Encryption: Data is encrypted both in transit and at rest, ensuring that sensitive information is protected from unauthorized access.
  • Access Controls: Only authorized personnel have access to user data, and access is logged and monitored to prevent misuse.
  • Third-Party Audits: Avast undergoes regular security audits by third-party organizations to ensure compliance with industry standards and best practices.

Despite these measures, Avast faced criticism in the past for its data handling practices. In 2019, Avast was involved in a data breach where attackers gained access to the network through a compromised VPN account. This incident raised concerns about the overall security practices of the company. Avast responded by enhancing its security protocols and ensuring such breaches do not happen in the future​​​​.

These detailed paragraphs provide an unbiased view of Avast’s data collection, privacy policy, and the measures taken to ensure data security, giving readers a clear understanding of the company’s practices and history.

Customer Support and User Experience

Avast offers various customer support options to assist users with any issues they may encounter. Support is accessible through multiple channels, including:

  • Help Center: Avast’s online help center provides a comprehensive library of articles, guides, and FAQs that cover a wide range of topics. This resource is especially useful for troubleshooting common problems and learning how to use different features of the software.
  • Email and Ticket Support: Users can submit a support ticket or send an email to get help with more complex issues. Response times can vary, but premium users typically receive faster service.
  • Phone Support: Premium users have access to phone support for urgent issues, ensuring that they can speak directly with a support representative.
  • Community Forums: Avast’s community forums are an active platform where users can ask questions, share experiences, and get advice from other Avast users and experts.

Customer feedback generally indicates that Avast’s support is helpful and responsive, though some users report longer wait times for email and ticket responses. Premium users, who receive priority support, tend to have a more positive experience​​​​.

User Interface and Experience

Avast is designed with a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for users of all levels to navigate and utilize its features. Key aspects of the user experience include:

  • Dashboard: The main dashboard is clean and organized, with large icons and straightforward labels that provide quick access to key features like scanning, protection status, and settings. This design helps users find what they need without unnecessary complexity.
  • Navigation: The sidebar menu offers clear navigation, allowing users to easily move between different sections of the software. Sub-menus are logically arranged, making it simple to access specific features or settings.
  • Guided Setup and Tooltips: Throughout the setup process and regular use, Avast provides helpful tooltips and guided instructions. These tips explain the purpose of each feature and how to use it effectively, which is particularly beneficial for less tech-savvy users.
  • Customization: Advanced users can take advantage of a range of customizable settings. These include adjusting the sensitivity of virus scans, scheduling automatic scans, and configuring the firewall and other security features to suit individual preferences.
  • Minimal Intrusions: Avast runs quietly in the background, minimizing interruptions. Notifications and alerts are only shown when necessary, ensuring a smooth and unobtrusive user experience.

Overall, Avast’s interface and user experience are designed to be as intuitive and accessible as possible, making it a suitable choice for both novice and experienced users​​​​.

By focusing on clear, helpful support options and a user-friendly design, Avast ensures that users can effectively manage their device security with ease and confidence.

macOS and Android Protection Features


  • Real-Time Protection.
    Continuously scans your Mac for malware, viruses, and other threats, blocking them before they can cause harm.
  • Full System Scans.
    Allows users to perform thorough scans of their entire system, including external drives.
  • Web and Email Shields.
    Protects against phishing attacks and malicious websites, ensuring safe browsing and email communication.
  • Ransomware Shield.
    Monitors and blocks unauthorized access to your files, protecting against ransomware attacks.
  • Wi-Fi Inspector.
    Scans your network for vulnerabilities and helps secure your Wi-Fi connection.


  • Antivirus Engine.
    Scans installed apps and files for malware and other threats, providing real-time protection.
  • App Insights.
    Helps you monitor how much time you spend on each app and tracks data usage.
  • Photo Vault.
    Secures your photos with a PIN code, fingerprint, or pattern, protecting them from unauthorized access.
  • Wi-Fi Security.
    Scans Wi-Fi networks for security issues and notifies you if any vulnerabilities are detected.
  • Anti-Theft.
    Allows you to track, lock, or wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen.
  • Web Shield.
    Protects against phishing attacks and malicious websites while you browse the internet.

These features ensure that whether you’re using a Mac or an Android device, Avast has you covered with robust and efficient security solutions that adapt to the specific needs of each platform.

Advanced and Additional Features

Encryption and Security Updates

  • Encryption. Avast ensures that your data is securely encrypted both in transit and at rest. This means any sensitive information is protected from unauthorized access, whether it’s being transferred over the internet or stored on your device.
  • Security Updates. Regular updates are automatically pushed to your device to ensure you are protected against the latest threats. These updates include new virus definitions and enhancements to existing security features, keeping your protection current.

Password Management

  • Password Manager. Avast includes a built-in password manager that helps you store and manage your passwords securely. It generates strong, unique passwords for your accounts and autofills them when needed, reducing the risk of password-related breaches.

Vulnerability Management

  • Vulnerability Scanner. This feature scans your system for vulnerabilities, such as outdated software or insecure settings, and provides recommendations on how to fix them. Keeping your software up to date is crucial for maintaining security, and Avast helps ensure you don’t miss critical updates.

Anti-Theft Features (Android)

  • Anti-Theft. Avast’s anti-theft features for Android devices allow you to track, lock, or wipe your device remotely if it’s lost or stolen. This ensures that your personal data remains secure even if your device falls into the wrong hands.

Rescue Disk

  • Rescue Disk. Avast provides the option to create a rescue disk, which can be used to boot your computer and remove persistent malware that might be difficult to eliminate with regular scans. This is especially useful for dealing with rootkits and other deeply embedded threats.

ID Monitoring (Premium Plans)

  • ID Monitoring. Available in premium plans, this feature monitors your personal information, such as email addresses and social security numbers, for exposure in data breaches. If your information is found in a breach, you are alerted so you can take steps to secure your accounts and prevent identity theft.

By offering these advanced and additional features, Avast ensures comprehensive protection that goes beyond basic antivirus capabilities, addressing a wide range of security needs and scenarios.

Final Verdict and Recommendations

Overall Rating

Avast Antivirus provides a comprehensive and reliable security solution, suitable for both casual users and those with more advanced needs. Its extensive range of features, including real-time protection, ransomware shield, and secure browsing tools, ensure robust defense against various online threats. Independent lab tests consistently show high marks for Avast in terms of malware detection and overall protection, making it a trustworthy choice for safeguarding your devices.

Is Avast a Good Internet Security Suite?

Avast is a solid choice for anyone looking for a comprehensive internet security suite. It offers:

  • Multi-Platform Support: Protects devices across Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS platforms.
  • Comprehensive Features: Includes essential tools like antivirus, firewall, VPN, password manager, and anti-theft for mobile devices.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Easy to navigate, even for users who are not tech-savvy.

Despite its strengths, some users may have concerns about its data collection practices and the impact on system performance during intensive scans. However, these issues are relatively minor compared to the overall benefits provided by Avast’s robust security measures and extensive feature set.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Is Avast Antivirus Safe? Yes, Avast Antivirus is considered safe and reliable for protecting against various online threats. It consistently receives high marks from independent testing labs for its security capabilities.
  • Is Avast a Good Antivirus Solution? Avast is a strong antivirus solution, offering comprehensive protection, a user-friendly interface, and a wide range of features. It is suitable for both free and premium users.
  • Is Avast Completely Free? Avast offers a free version with essential protection features. However, for advanced features and more comprehensive protection, users can opt for premium plans.
  • Can Avast Antivirus Slow Down Your Computer? While Avast runs efficiently in the background, full system scans can be resource-intensive and may temporarily slow down older or less powerful devices. The impact is generally minimal on modern systems.
  • How Effective is Avast Antivirus? Avast is highly effective, with excellent detection rates for viruses, malware, and other threats. It performs well in independent lab tests and real-world scenarios.
  • Is Avast a Trusted Antivirus? Avast has a long-standing reputation in the cybersecurity industry and is trusted by millions of users worldwide. However, users should be aware of its data collection practices and choose their settings accordingly.
  • Why Can’t I Uninstall Avast? Some users may encounter issues when trying to uninstall Avast. It is recommended to use the Avast Uninstall Utility, available on the Avast website, to remove the software completely from your system.

For a comprehensive comparison of Avast and other leading antivirus programs, check out our Best Antivirus article. Discover which antivirus solution best fits your needs and offers the highest level of protection.