Avast Free Antivirus

Free program to help protect a user's devices from viruses

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  • Category Anti-virus
  • Program license Free
  • Version 20.10.2442
  • Size 6.65 MB
  • Works under: Windows 8.1
  • Program available in English
  • Program by AVAST

Avast, a free antivirus company, walks a fine line in giving away their core technology while still making a healthy profit. If at any point you decide that you liked Avast, you can upgrade to Avast Pro Antivirus for $34.99. For a long time, Avast has kept the same appearance, and in the 2016 edition, the developers gave the technology a new makeover. For example, the wide-open main window has some abstract art and a security status. You also have many icons over the top that let you look at the passwords, tools, scanning and store.

A Simple Installation

With Avast, installation does not take much, but you should be aware that you have to click the x out checkbox, or the installer automatically puts the Google Chrome browser on your desktop. In addition, the installation puts Google's Toolbar on your system. It is possible that because of the public's response to the privacy policy of AVG, the installer now has a screen for how Avast will handle your information. You will also have a link to the full details and how you can choose not to participate. With another link, you can protect mobile devices using the Avast antivirus for mobile security.

Great Lab Results

A lot of the famous and reputable labs like West Coast Labs and ICSA Labs have all scrutinized and certified Avast's antivirus protection. In both of their studies, the lab test Avast in the Virus bulletin in 11 out of the 12 latest rounds for testing, and they even awarded it the VB100 certification for nine of the tests. Meanwhile, Free AVG antivirus earned the VB100 from 11 out of 12 of the tests. Where the difference comes in at is that AVG is constantly trying to get you to upgrade with invasive ads that can make their software more of a pain than what it is worth. They might have good antivirus, but you have to constantly click out of their ads.

When Avast was given a protection performance test in three different parts, they found that Avast earned a 5.5 out of the 6 points total. In addition, they received 16 points out of the 18. With four separate tests, Avast had the chance to earn the highest possible rating, Advanced+, but there were false positives. For example, it detected valid files as malware. However, having an overly protective antivirus might still be better than having antivirus like Pandacloud that is not cautious enough. For a free antivirus, Avast had scores that were excellent, but for those wanting the best scores all-around in antivirus protection, Kaspersky would make an excellent choice.

Avast Taking Action

Seeing Avast work, the scan can be highly effective, but there were cases where it made the launch of a program lag for 15 seconds longer because it was pending the analysis. Avast will perform the same analysis for testing tools that were handwritten before it gives them the green light. Where Avast excels is it destroys malware before it gets a foothold and launches. If it doesn't do that, stopping it after can be harder for this product. Even despite that, Avast scored a 9.3 out of the 10 points total. That puts it up there with Bitdefender and Webroot.

Numerous Scans Available

When you conduct a full scan of your system, that can take up to an hour. That's longer than average with 34 minutes being your average, but with the thoroughness, that is what makes this system worth it. With some of the antivirus tools, they perform an optimization scan to speed up the following scans. AVG has this feature, and after that first scan, they can conduct a scan in a little over a minute. Using F-Secure, you can scan in a little over two minutes. However, Avast did not seem to have any features like this. You can also set up Avast so that it will scan as Windows is first starting up. Some worry that the scan at the boot up time will slow the process when it detects malware, but when Avast found threats, it dealt with them automatically.

A lot like the Browser Cleanup Scan from Panda, Avast also has a cleanup scan that will check your add-ons, and it will give a report about those with negative credibility. With this information, you remove the unwanted add-ons that are slowing down your computer. You can also put in a command for Avast in skipping specific add-ons for future scans.

Valuable Phishing Protection from Avast

Last year, Avast had a mediocre performance with the anti-phishing test. Their detection rating lagged 25 percent behind the phishing master detector called Norton Antivirus. With the latest edition, Avast almost tied with Norton, and they were just one percent behind. When looking at the statistics from Avast, they outperformed against built-in security for Firefox, Chrome and Microsoft Edge. The best part is that this one feature found with Avast. Seeing the number found on the toolbar, you will see the number of trackers found on your computer. You can also set Avast so that it blocks all or just some of the trackers.

An impressive innovation since last year's edition, Avast has optimal security, and it has consistently received high scores with the best free products when taken to independent lab tests. Should you choose Avast? If you are looking for free protection that will stop viruses in their tracks, then Avast will definitely perform well in these areas. Overall, it is a great free antivirus that stops most viruses dead in their tracks, and you do not have to pay for antivirus. Avast has a solid reputation, and they have consistently scored as some of the best free antivirus available in 2016.


  • Remains Free While Giving Great Protection
  • Built-in Safe Browser
  • A Modern Design Scheme
  • A Strong Selection of Tools


  • The Install Size Keeps Getting Larger
  • Over Time Avast Has Become More Sales Oriented with Their Free Service
Top 6 Avast Free Antivirus Alternatives

360 Internet Security  4.9.0

A reliable antivirus program with a clean interface

Microsoft Security Essentials  4.4.304.0

A tool kit to secure a PC from malware and intrusions

AVG AntiVirus Free  2015.0.6140

Security tool that detects and removes viruses

Norton 360 Deluxe

The stalwart among software titles that protect against malicious files

Quick Heal AntiVirus Pro  19.00

Repair the damage after a virus has affected your smartphone or other electronic device

Kaspersky Internet Security

Award-winning protection that can be used on multiple devices