Avast Internet Security Review 2020December 2019 Avast Review & Deals
Strong protection against zero-day attacks
Special quarantine feature for questionable pages and applications
Convenient VPN features available
Must pay extra for technical support
Must use Google Chrome to access some security features
User interface can be somewhat overwhelming for first-time antivirus users
Before you start, ensure that you have administrator access to Windows and that you have the Avast Antivirus software downloaded and ready to install either in your hard disk or an external device such as a compact or flash disk. If you don’t have administrator access to Windows, you can have an IT professional install it for you.
To begin, run the Avast set up file and choose the installation type. Avast lets you choose between two types of installation: regular installation and custom installation.
Regular installation installs Avast in the default set of components including browser clean up, SecureLine VPN, SafeZone browser, and password and software updater. Custom installation, on the other hand, lets you choose the components, shields, and languages you want to install. This is useful when you want to leave out some components such as the clean-up feature or SecureLine VPN. However, if you are not an advanced user, it is recommended that you stick with the default installation. Avast also offers additional products at this point such as Avast passwords, Dropbox and Google Chrome browser.
The last installation step prompts you to share Avast with your friends on social media. If one of your friends install it, you get a free Avast Pro Antivirus for six months. If five friends install it, you get a free Internet Security suite and an Avast premier for ten or more installs. It’s a nice deal and it is worth trying.
At this point, you might want to reboot your computer so Avast is fully integrated and configured for your system. Once this is done, you can sign up for your yearly subscription by registering your details.
Avast effectively protects your computer from known and unknown malware. Known malware are those that have been discovered before. When a malware threat is detected by cybersecurity, its digital signature is uploaded to an online database for future use. This digital signature is unique to the malware and can help the antivirus to recognize malicious apps easily in the same way that the police use a fingerprint to catch a criminal.
Once you have installed it, an AV runs frequent system checks during which it scans for digital signatures to see if your computer is infected with any malware. This is the most straightforward way to search for malicious programs. It is commonly known as virus scanning or signature-based detection.
Unknown malware is much more complex to detect. The signature-based method is useless when it comes to dealing with such threats. The antivirus employs a different approach known as heuristic file scanning. In this approach, the AV searches for suspicious behavior instead of digital signatures.
Suspicious behavior is anything that a legitimate program would not do. Such activities include hiding specific files, rapid replication of files, copying information to a directory, attempting to change the settings in your computer’s operating system and deleting files.
When Avast detects such behavior, it flags the program as potential malware and moves it to a sandbox where it can analyze the program securely without it being able to cause damage.
Avast also protects you from user-focused threats such as eBay scams and phishing. These types of attacks are not typical malware threats; antiviruses have had to advance their protection mechanisms so as to deal with them. Avast has spam filters, phishing protection, web advisors, and Wi-Fi scanners among others.
Avast can function in three separate modes – default mode, passive mode, and game mode.
Default mode runs normally while passive mode rids your computer of viruses and malware while still allowing you to use other security tools. Passive mode is especially handy if you have another antivirus but you still want to reap the benefits of Avast’s advanced features.
Gaming mode automatically detects when you are playing online and whitelists your gaming site. This mode also suspends some functions to ensure that you do not experience any lag. Avast will still be running in the background so you don’t have to worry about malware sneaking into your device through the gaming site, automatic downloads or chat messages.
Supports multiple devices
Avast Internet Security is compatible with Windows and Mac OS. It is, therefore, a great choice if you have computers, tablets, Mac books, and phones. Avast Antivirus offers great optimization tools for PC’s and a handful of extra tools for Android. Some of these tools include protection tools such as a virus scanner, password managers and a battery saver tool.
Although Avast does not offer virus and malware protection for iOS users, it gives them an excellent privacy protection tool.
One of the most impressive and noteworthy features of Avast is that it protects your home devices such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, which are likely to be the target of cybercriminals.
Although this feature doesn’t contribute to your device’s security, it is great to know that Avast includes a performance tab that has several tools that improve your PC’s performance. They include a clean-up tool that scans your computer for temporary files and gets rid of add-ons, toolbars, and programs you might have installed without even noticing.
Avast also gives you a software updater that ensures your programmers are up to date and secure.
Avast has a Sandbox feature that enables you to test new software in a separate protected space on your computer to make sure it is safe before allowing it to interact with the rest of your hard drive.
Although email providers will usually offer spam filters as part of their services, their customization options cannot compare to those of Avast online security. Avast allows you to whitelist email addresses you want to send mail to and adjust the strength of the filter.
Most firewalls in antivirus software work by either allowing nothing in or nothing out. Avast’s firewall employs a more sophisticated system of rules that lets it decide what to allow through. This approach is smarter and still provides top-notch protection.
The AV’s Wi-Fi protection will stop strangers from accessing your wireless network and also monitor for hackers in hardwire networks.
First-time users might find the interface a bit clumpy and bloated especially when compared to other antivirus software. If you are looking for a platform with less clunk, and easy-to-understand user interface, you might be better off looking for another antivirus software.
It is also worth noting that the installation process compels users to install Google Chrome as their default browser and use Avast’s proprietary browser toolbar for them to gain access to the full set of functionalities offered.
Although Google Chrome is an excellent browser, Microsoft Edge and Firefox fans might hesitate to change to Google Chrome to benefit from features as important as phishing detection.
Asking users to download a browser toolbar is a rather unusual solution. It also beats the logic of the program having a clean-up tool that cleans the user’s browsers from unnecessary plugins, extensions, and toolbars.
We were most impressed by the premier plan which offers you a wonderful combination of security and privacy for good value. Going for the Internet Security option means that you will have to give up some privacy features such as a digital file shredder, but you will have access to other features.
The ultimate subscription is the best option for those who don’t want to miss out on any of Avast’s impressive features. It includes all of Avast privacy, security, and clean-up tools. It also features Avast VPN, which further increases your online privacy and security.
Most users assert that Avast is the gold standard for browsing the internet safely. It allows you to browse the internet anonymously and legally while being protected by military-grade encryption.
All of Avast plans are yearly subscriptions. They are more expensive than some of the competing antivirus software but the protection they provide for your devices is worth the price.
The one-year plan goes for $59.99 and comes with a 30-day money back guarantee. The three-year plan goes for $159.99 and comes with a free trial period.
If you prefer to reach Avast support directly, you will have to search their website with a questionnaire until you find the email form.
You can then use the form to email your concerns or questions to Avast. Their customer care officials will get back to you in less than 24 hours, which is fast, compared to other antivirus software.
The AV’s call center is also available throughout. Their support specialists will answer your questions and help you solve any problems you might be experiencing.
You can also check out the company’s website which is full of information such as guides on how to solve specific questions and info on some of the important software.
Like any antivirus software on the market, Avast has both strengths and weaknesses. All in all, Avast did a favorable job in both detecting and protecting against malware, with a 98 percent protection score. That being said, it did allow some malware threats to creep through into our test computers.
Avast Internet Security and Avast Premier are a solid AV solution that gives you access to Avast’s mobile protection for cell phones and tablets, as well as some other extra features including the webcam blocker and the hugely improved Do Not Disturb mode.
Testing houses all over the world continuously give Avast high marks in device protection and the company has built a great reputation for being a strong security product.