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Avast Free Antivirus

Free
Download Editors' Rating:
Editors' Rating:
Excellent
Average User Rating:
out of 27457 votes out of 0 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    2016.12.3.2279
  • Total Downloads:
    391,715,996
  • Date Added:
    Aug. 17, 2016
  • Price:
    Free
  • File Size:
    5.96MB
  • Downloads Last Week:
    372,085
  • Platform:
    Windows
  • Product ranking:

Editors' Review

+

Avast Free Antivirus is one of the most popular antimalware products around. The 2016 version overhauls the interface, but it could stand to be more informative.

Pros

A better interface: This year's version gets a row of icons at the top with intuitive images and labels, which animate when you hover over them, to help you see that you've selected them. Clicking each icon drops down a submenu, so you can browse all of them before making a move. If you get lost, just click the home icon that's always in the upper left to return you to the main menu.

Lots of optional settings: Overall, you have a fine degree of control over how Avast behaves. Clicking the gear icon on the far right takes you to Avast Free Antivirus's settings window, which has categories in the left-hand pane, and options for each category on the right. Clicking Active Protection shows you a submenu that breaks down file protection, email protection, and browser protection into three subcategories. Each of the three has a toggle to disable the whole element, which is handy when you already have other software installed that you prefer for one of those three roles. Click Customize to drill down into another set of categories and options specific to that role.

Free syncing password manager: Tools bundled with antimalware suites range widely in utility and quality, and the free suites rarely include a password manager. However, the one in Avast is pretty respectable. It provides extensions for Firefox and Chrome, which you can use to autofill your login information at websites. You create a master password that protects your list of individual site passwords, and you can also sync your list across devices. This requires you to create an account, but it's free. You can also import passwords stored by your browser. Avast doesn't make it clear if its list is encrypted, and the password manager doesn't have many settings to customize its behavior, but if you don't have a password manager, this is a decent entry point.

To sync with Android and iOS devices, you need a different app named Avast Passwords, available for free at the Google Play store and iTunes App Store. The Android version of Avast's security software doesn't bundle the manager, and there is no iOS version of Avast Mobile Security. You can also subscribe to a premium version of the password manager that lets you transmit your login info from your mobile device to your computer, if they are on the same Wi-Fi network, by tapping a button on your screen. This feature costs a modest $10 a year.

Streamlined system software updater: Avast Free Antivirus can quickly scan your computer for outdated software, and updating is integrated into the app's interface. It creates a list of programs that need to be updated, and you need only click the button next to the program's name to get the latest version. Avast noticed that Java was out-of-date on our device, a problem that can create serious security holes. Because of Avast Free Antivirus's update integration, we didn't have to go to the Java website and hunt down the correct pages and links. This might not be important for advanced users, but it also won't get in their way, because the update scan is optional and doesn't hound you to use it.

Cons

The sales pitch can be tricky to navigate: A free program still costs money to make, and its maker will use a variety of methods to persuade you to become a paying customer. Avast Free Antivirus's main method is to put some tools in its interface that redirect you to purchase pages when you click them, or -- in the case of the VPN service -- entering you into a free 7-day trial that you can stumble into if you click too quickly. In the case of Avast Cleanup -- integrated into the Scan menu as "scan for performance issues" -- the tool goes through the process of checking for things that needs to be fixed, then redirects you to sales pitch when you tell the tool to fix the problems that it's discovered.

It's not necessarily a bad thing if an app integrates sales pitches into its interface. However, Avast Free Antivirus indicates two different price structures if you decide to upgrade to Avast Internet Security. The UI tells you that you will be paying $29.99, with an original MSRP of $69.99. But when you click that button, you'll be sent to a window with three choices, where the default choice is a two-year subscription of $39.99. Or you can get one year of coverage for $19.99. None of the MSRPs on this second window screen are $69.99, so it's not 100% clear if this is the same product, or what has been lost -- if anything -- by going from $29.99 to $19.99. On the bright side, PayPal is an option, if you prefer not to use a credit card.

VPN service overstates its abilities: When you log in to the seven-day VPN trial, Avast Free Antivirus tells you, "Your Internet activity is now completely invisible so nobody can spy on you," but that isn't necessarily true. Your Internet service provider can still detect that you're connecting to a VPN, and someone can monitor the VPN's exit point back onto the public Internet and keep logs of that activity. And a VPN doesn't necessarily protect you when you transmit personally identifiable information while using it, nor does it protect you from malware that may already be on your computer, recording what you type or which websites you access.

Bottom Line

According to AV-Test and AV-Comparatives, Avast's antivirus engine is relatively fast and accurate without bogging your system down, making it one of the best free antivirus apps around. And the password manager has cloud syncing across Windows, iOS, and Android devices, a feature that the other managers would usually make you pay for. But it would be better if the free and premium components were more clearly distinguished.

 
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Publisher's Description

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User Reviews
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  • Current Version

    0 stars Be the first to review this product
  • All Versions

    4.5

    out of 27457 votes

    • 5 star 19997
    • 4 star 4934
    • 3 star 886
    • 2 star 514
    • 1 star 1126
  • My rating

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Results 1–10 of 26476

1 stars

"AVAST USED TO BE GOOD! WHAT HAPPENED???"

August 16, 2016  |  By Mikey8929

2016-08-16 11:34:06  |  By Mikey8929

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.1.2272

Pros

None that I can see except being free.

Cons

Installed yesterday and right away I had errors when I restarted the computer. Seemed to be okay later but today I have constant script errors! Can't even get out on the Internet! I just uninstalled and restarted Windows Defender and now no script errors. I was using Avira free but decided to dump it when I noticed my computer being pretty sluggish. I was also having really slow issues with the browsers. Couldn't get email or stories without clicking twice and even three times! At least THAT stopped with Avast! I'm getting to the point where I think the free software isn't worth even trying!

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4 stars

"Best Free Version Available"

August 16, 2016  |  By Debashish belel

2016-08-16 10:48:01  |  By Debashish belel

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.1.2272

Pros

Free, protects emails as well, comes with a web browser

Cons

popup for paid version and other applications

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5 stars

"The Best for Home Use"

August 16, 2016  |  By r.zienkowicz

2016-08-16 10:20:26  |  By r.zienkowicz

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.1.2272

Pros

Easy to install and use. Not full of a bunch of bloat wear.

Cons

Understandingly it has the popups. but other that that no complaints.

Summary

I have used Avast free since 2008. I have never had a virus, Trojan or anything actually get through to my computer is all that time and I've gone to some scary places on the net. I have also used the paid version for one year. I was pleased with all. I will go back to the paid version when my finances got better.

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5 stars

"Happy Chappy"

August 16, 2016  |  By popeye59

2016-08-16 02:31:57  |  By popeye59

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.1.2272

Pros

Effective, easy to use, regular updates, multi platform & surprisingly good customer service

Cons

On the laptop, if I was to be picky, they can get a bit pushy with the upgrade popups. But what do you expect with a free version, they have a business to run. On a tablet, again as a nit pick, the extras can interrupt at inappropriate times, but again all it takes is a click to close them.

Summary

I recommend this to my friends, which is something I don't do lightly. I haven't had the issues mentioned by other reviewers.

Get it
Use it
Be safe

I'd buy the upgrade, but being retired every penny is precious... If you could buy via a monthly direct debit like other utilities i'd probably reconsider.

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5 stars

"Good confidence booster"

August 14, 2016  |  By polalor

2016-08-14 10:50:38  |  By polalor

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.1.2272

Pros

Sometimes, even without a virus, just doing "scan for viruses," the computer is back to normal. Awesome!

Cons

I've had free Avast for a long time. I'd purchase if I hadn't already had a VPN for security reasons.

Summary

Avast ya hardy's and get Avast. I've had them all since the 90's and Avast beats them all.

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5 stars

"Best for home use by far"

August 13, 2016  |  By ddas77

2016-08-13 13:38:58  |  By ddas77

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.1.2272

Pros

Its free and most useful to save you from the hazards of your regular browsing. Don't expect it to be a very high-performance enterprise solution but it does the job for your home PC.

Cons

Firewall used to be bundled earlier in the free version. It is no longer.

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1 stars

"USE SOMETHING ELSE!!!"

August 07, 2016  |  By richardslr

2016-08-07 19:52:19  |  By richardslr

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.1.2272

Pros

It didn't completely ruin my system...

Cons

Caused black out screen repeatedly that would only recover by restart, BLOAT, constant ads to buy more of their products, hard to remove, need I say more!

Summary

I bought their product without trying it, assuming it would be a good program, not only did it cause many issues and resist removal, when contacted they would not refund. Never had a virus as bad as this program...

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3 stars

"increasingly bloated over the years"

August 06, 2016  |  By cheolsoo

2016-08-06 08:00:56  |  By cheolsoo

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.1.2272

Pros

well, it still works....

Cons

I found Avast when looking for alternatives to Symantec/Norton a decade ago because Norton had become increasingly bloated and slow. The same is now true of Avast. I get annoying popup boxes suggesting that I get rid of "annoying online ads", which reappear daily no matter how often I click the "Don't show again" button, and now I even get a browser automatically installed that I didn't ask for. You've become too big for your britches, Avast. I'm still here, but without any sense of loyalty.

Summary

I have now started looking for more lightweight, less intrusive alternatives to Avast...

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1 stars

"Its not really free"

August 04, 2016  |  By MichelleBrandy

2016-08-04 01:10:27  |  By MichelleBrandy

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.1.2272

Pros

Its faster than a lot of other antiviruses I have used

Cons

Its not really free. It says its free when you download it but its a limited free download. After running it one time it says it wont remove somethings without being paid for it and now its saying I only have 12 days left so I will be deleting this. It wasnt even worth my time!

Summary

I think if an antivirus advertises for free it should be free. If its a trial version or you have to pay for it at any time it should say that too and it doesn't! This came up and still comes up under free versions for antiviruses and its not free! Everything is limited and everyone should know that!

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3 stars

"It seems the current version is less helpful."

August 01, 2016  |  By elinarqq

2016-08-01 00:14:00  |  By elinarqq

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.1.2272

Pros

Anyway, it is still effective for me, it can scan thoroughly and
update protections quickly.

Cons

Limits on free version.

Summary

Fine, it is ok for a free version.

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Results 1–10 of 26476

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Full Specifications

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What's new in version 2016.12.3.2279
  • NEW: Passive mode - new compatibility mode, which should solve compatibility issues, when Avast is being installed on a PC, where other AV is installed (and registered to WSC). Most of the shields are turned off, Avast should be updatable.
  • NEW: Added SafeZone browser, Security browser extension and SafePrice extension to Settings -> Components for better management
  • FIXED: BSOD for Skylake processor running Windows 10 Anniversary Update
  • FIXED: Randomly opening Avast UI bug
  • FIXED: SafePrice browser extension component is not installed during update when Browser extension was not installed in the previous version
  • FIXED: Compatibility problems with PICO(Bash) processes on Windows 10 Anniversary Update
  • FIXED: Incorrectly displaying firewall network profile notification
  • FIXED: Avast is correctly recognized in Windows Security Center after upgrade to Windows Anniversary Update
  • FIXED: Showing all passwords as reused in passwords list
General
Publisher AVAST Software
Publisher web site https://www.avast.com
Release Date August 17, 2016
Date Added August 17, 2016
Version 2016.12.3.2279
Category
Category Security Software
Subcategory Antivirus Software
Operating Systems
Operating Systems Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10
Additional Requirements None
Download Information
File Size 5.96MB
File Name avast_free_antivirus_setup_online_cnet_1.exe
Popularity
Total Downloads 391,715,996
Downloads Last Week 372,085
Pricing
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free

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