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Avast Free Antivirus

Free
Download Editors' Rating:
Editors' Rating:
Excellent
Average User Rating:
out of 27467 votes out of 11 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    2016.12.3.2279
  • Total Downloads:
    393,436,705
  • Date Added:
    Aug. 17, 2016
  • Price:
    Free
  • File Size:
    5.96MB
  • Downloads Last Week:
    241,505
  • 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
+
  • Current Version

    3.9

    out of 11 votes

    • 5 star 6
    • 4 star 1
    • 3 star 2
    • 2 star 1
    • 1 star 1
  • All Versions

    4.5

    out of 27467 votes

    • 5 star 20002
    • 4 star 4935
    • 3 star 888
    • 2 star 515
    • 1 star 1127
  • My rating

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1–10 of 11

3 stars

""SIMPLY GOOD""

September 22, 2016  |  By Taylorminaj1

2016-09-22 10:09:05  |  By Taylorminaj1

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

i used avast program last 3 years.

Cons

Free version takes all your control over the program away. You can't stop it from running or change the schedule or anything important really. Wasn't worth keeping if it wouldn't allow me to adjust it.

Summary

I'm not a computer officianado. I know I need software to keep malware off my drive, so I do. I couldn't care less whose name is on the software. but somedays ego i heard a name of Akick Total Security and it worked wonders for me, COMPLETELY removing my malware & threats.

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5 stars

"very reliable!"

September 17, 2016  |  By mesage

2016-09-17 08:06:25  |  By mesage

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

Reliable, professional, current!

Cons

I can't remember

Summary

Look, Avast is just good!

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2 stars

"The ads and popups drive me crazy!"

September 17, 2016  |  By shush319

2016-09-17 06:32:02  |  By shush319

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

Good "free" anti-virus.

Cons

POPUPS and ADS that cannot be turned off!

Summary

If I could turn off the ads or make them less frequent, I would be much happier about the program.

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5 stars

"Great protection, small system footprint and it's free!"

September 16, 2016  |  By Raven13373

2016-09-16 17:31:40  |  By Raven13373

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

Small system foot print. Not going to slow down you system. It also has one of the best definitions due to it's crowd surfing.

Cons

NON AT ALL!!!

Summary

Ditch Norton and get into really protection!

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3 stars

"Nothing outstanding"

September 10, 2016  |  By jackcrompton

2016-09-10 14:05:37  |  By jackcrompton

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

The product seems to work, with nothing to distinguish it from other free anti-virus.

Cons

The very, very intrusive and annoying ads

Summary

Apart from the ads, I have no complaints about this product.

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5 stars

"SIMPLY THE BEST!!!"

September 09, 2016  |  By lagunaberry

2016-09-09 11:48:09  |  By lagunaberry

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

FREE, and I mean REALLY FREE. No CC or Bank Info needed for FREE Version.
Easy to use and YOU control how it works, what is scanned, what to do with things it finds, and there are many options.
Can put AVAST! on your Desktop,Laptop,Smartphone, and connect them all together so you have full protection everywhere and from your Desktop, you can check the staus of your phone, etc.
The Pro Version, the one you do pay for, isn't expensive like most Antivirus software. It's really a great deal for your money, but once again, the FREE version works great and truly is FREE, no payment info required!!
It has a startup bootscan that, if you feel maybe something is up with your computer but aren't sure, will check EVERYTHING, and whatever it is, AVAST! WILL FIND IT GUARANTEED!! Plus, if you're not sure what it is that the antivirus found, you can just isolate it in the "Chest" or "Sandbox" so it doesn't run while you further research it.
Simply put, the best antivirus out there, hands down!!

Cons

Can't really think of a con...sorry!!

Summary

AVAST! is the smartest antivirus choice you can make. It's totally FREE with no strings attached. Unlike other antivirus' who say they are "free", but then you do the scan and it finds all this stuff, probably installs virus', is my theory, and then in order to get rid of those problems, you have to purchase their more advanced version...NOT AVAST! FREE means FREE with them and they will not make you buy thier Pro Version to get rid of what the Free version finds, it's free and it rids the problem-FREE. I'd download the free version and do a scan of your computer and see what it finds. If it's your first time, do the bootscan, even though it takes a long time, and you do have to monitor it so whatever it finds you can make the choice of what to do, then it moves on. that will do a thourough scan of all programs, files, documents, even photos, as sometimes people attach virus' to photos, and I guarantee it will find whatever is not right in there and you can either squish it like a bug, or just put it in the chest or sandbox for isolation so you can research and make sure it's really something bad if you're not sure. I bet you'll be surprised at what is really on your computer, and even more surprised and HAPPY when AVAST! fixes it!! Can't hurt to try!! Just make sure there are no other antivirus' on your computer or running before you download and start. running two antivirus' at the same time can cause major issues.

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5 stars

"Protecting my since 2005"

September 07, 2016  |  By michaelpm88

2016-09-07 16:12:21  |  By michaelpm88

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

Easy protection

Cons

Has some ads

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5 stars

"I've been infection free for many years"

September 07, 2016  |  By learnneweveryday

2016-09-07 12:34:50  |  By learnneweveryday

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

It's free
Easy to use
Scans faster than most
Never had a out of memory alert

Cons

I don't have any cons at this time

Summary

I have used the free version for many years. Avast has stopped any infection from attacking my computers. I browse a lot of web sites.

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1 stars

"Worthless "Feel-Good" Ware"

September 05, 2016  |  By media21master

2016-09-05 12:46:13  |  By media21master

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

Makes you believe you are safe with all the pop-ups

Cons

Actually is doing nothing. All our machines run Avast, but when I recently scanned a problem PC with Malwarebytes we found it had 285 objects that Avast was not dealing with, including Adware and a Virus. I scanned with Avast first before installing Malwarebytes.

Summary

Time to find a new option. I've had success with AVG in the past (paid and free). If you're running Avast you better scan your machines with a secondary program. You're not as safe as you think.

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4 stars

"Best Free Anti-Virus"

September 04, 2016  |  By DSOliveria

2016-09-04 09:15:18  |  By DSOliveria

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

This product is outstanding...I've been a free user for a couple years and have seen several terrific upgrades. Easy to install and trouble-free.

Cons

Frequent up-sell ads and pop-ups. The settings are a bit complicated.

Summary

If you're looking for something that just works, get AVAST!

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Results 1–10 of 11

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Full Specifications

+
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 393,436,705
Downloads Last Week 241,505
Pricing
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free

Previous Versions:

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