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Avast Free Antivirus

Free
Download Editors' Rating:
Editors' Rating:
Excellent
Average User Rating:
out of 27493 votes out of 36 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    2016.12.3.2279
  • Total Downloads:
    395,869,734
  • Date Added:
    Aug. 17, 2016
  • Price:
    Free
  • File Size:
    5.96MB
  • Downloads Last Week:
    303,992
  • 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

    3.8

    out of 36 votes

    • 5 star 22
    • 4 star 1
    • 3 star 3
    • 2 star 4
    • 1 star 6
  • All Versions

    4.5

    out of 27493 votes

    • 5 star 20018
    • 4 star 4936
    • 3 star 889
    • 2 star 518
    • 1 star 1132
  • My rating

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1–10 of 36

5 stars

"EXCELLENT PRODUCT... I COMPLETELY RELY ON AVAST..."

November 30, 2016  |  By skbarnwal_2004

2016-11-30 19:42:56  |  By skbarnwal_2004

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

LIGHT WEIGHT & VERY USER-FRIENDLY SOFTWARE

Cons

ALMOST NO CONS...SORRY, I DIDN'T FIND...

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5 stars

"This is the best choice!"

November 30, 2016  |  By aldo77779

2016-11-30 03:45:56  |  By aldo77779

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

Excellent protection!

Cons

Not at the moment

Summary

Avast Free is at the top, even compared to paid commercial AV software.
-Complete and customizable installation package
-Modern and attractive interface
-Various scan modes with user-defined settings
-CyberCapture
- SafeZone Browser
-Avast Passwords
-AND MORE...!!!

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2 stars

"Constant popups"

November 28, 2016  |  By ivaskaj

2016-11-28 22:32:47  |  By ivaskaj

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

It works, I never got a virus

Cons

There are entirely too many annoying pop up ads asking you to upgrade. When a threat is detected, it always shows a popup with an annoying sound. Just block it and leave me alone. And the deal breaker for me, is the Aw Snap errors I constantly got on Google Chrome when I had 100+ tabs open or while on a Tumblr page with endless scroll. When memory use on my system (Windows 10 with 16 gigs of RAM) went above 3,200 MB or so, I'd constantly get the Aw Snap error and everything would freeze up like I was on Windows 95 with a freaking 350 mhz and 128 megs of ram.

Summary

There are better free options. I'm using Bitdefender now, and so far I love it.

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1 stars

"crap. absolute crap"

November 26, 2016  |  By randomguyoverthere

2016-11-26 07:43:53  |  By randomguyoverthere

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

very... adequate... protection.

Cons

constant ads pursuing your wallet and asking you to rate the product and generally begging you to buy more of their products. and an endless supply of shameless BS.

Summary

crap.

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5 stars

"It's one of the programs I can rely on"

November 25, 2016  |  By eeaotly

2016-11-25 11:17:45  |  By eeaotly

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

It does its job well, but you can see it at its best when you set it to scan at boot. That's when it "catches" most of the viruses "lurking" in your system.

Cons

None that I can think of.

Summary

Actually, I'm now a Linux user and I'm kind of distanced from the Windows world. But most of my friends are Windows users, and when they have any PC-related problem, - usually caused by viruses - then, Avast Antivirus is one of the programs I can rely on to clean their system.

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5 stars

"ABSOLUTELY THE BEST, MOST COMPREHENSIVE, HIGHLY RATED!"

November 22, 2016  |  By 15443275vdr

2016-11-22 16:36:53  |  By 15443275vdr

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

This comes out on top in almost every Effectiveness Review Study I've encountered. It is comprehensive and offers automatic updates of other software, tests your online security and more. Easy to use and frequent automatic updates. Can not beat it - anywhere.

Cons

Seriously: none!

Summary

Get it and use it!

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5 stars

"Practical Antivirus"

November 21, 2016  |  By asult64

2016-11-21 22:05:33  |  By asult64

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

It is effective and its minimal impact on the computer speed.

Cons

The notifactions are too much

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5 stars

"avast best protection"

November 19, 2016  |  By chairul tansa

2016-11-19 02:16:01  |  By chairul tansa

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

avast excellent protection can beat any other antivirus
nitro-powered also equipped cybercpature perfect
may be a superior product and best
probably needs to be improved is
virus protection
email protection
network protection
performance
  This protection continues to be improved in order to increase the performance of the performance of avast
  increases then the result is getting better

Cons

there is no
because I never wear avast for 2.5 years

Summary

This product may be the best and
became No. 1 in the world

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5 stars

"Best Free Antivirus there is"

November 12, 2016

2016-11-12 12:38:31

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

It updates upon starting computer.
Acts in the background to keep you secure
You never know it's there.

Cons

Free contains a few ads but nothing like I've seen others talk about & I've used Avast for over 15 years.

Summary

It's the best free I've used & I've used them all. I usually only see 1 ad a day & have never had a problem with "constant" pop-ups. I do use ABP so maybe those who don't use that program get more but what do you want for free?
Never had a problem with it & it works well with ASC to keep the computer in great shape!

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5 stars

"Lightweight app, great for my older machine."

November 12, 2016  |  By ryearnd

2016-11-12 04:50:07  |  By ryearnd

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

Easy to understand and use, easy manual updates, nice software updater feature

Cons

none found, free version works fine for me but I am considering a purchase, I feel that I owe for the 2 years hat this software has protected me already.

Summary

Keeps my machine running right.

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Results 1–10 of 36

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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 395,869,734
Downloads Last Week 303,992
Pricing
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free

Previous Versions:

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