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Avast Free Antivirus

Free
Download Editors' Rating:
Editors' Rating:
Excellent
Average User Rating:
out of 27446 votes out of 10 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    2016.12.1.2272
  • Total Downloads:
    390,191,317
  • Date Added:
    Jun. 21, 2016
  • Price:
    Free
  • File Size:
    5.96MB
  • Downloads Last Week:
    491,216
  • 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

    3.4

    out of 10 votes

    • 5 star 5
    • 4 star 1
    • 3 star 0
    • 2 star 1
    • 1 star 3
  • All Versions

    4.5

    out of 27446 votes

    • 5 star 19993
    • 4 star 4933
    • 3 star 884
    • 2 star 514
    • 1 star 1122
  • My rating

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1–10 of 10

1 stars

"Avast Free Antivirus horrible almost kill my Windows PC"

July 26, 2016  |  By Dolphin3636

2016-07-26 16:05:11  |  By Dolphin3636

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.1.2272

Pros

Free but it is a nightmare.

Cons

I had to work on my computer for hours to fix it. It was worst than a virus. My screen went black after I restarted. If you don't want to cry don't do it. Yikes!

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1 stars

"like a virus itself"

July 23, 2016  |  By hlee2139

2016-07-23 19:28:49  |  By hlee2139

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.1.2272

Pros

it may work for you

Cons

impossible to remove from your computer without their special program.that tells me it's junk

Summary

i would not install

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5 stars

"The Go To free antivirus for my customers computers"

July 23, 2016  |  By toolman638

2016-07-23 07:44:29  |  By toolman638

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.1.2272

Pros

Easy download
Never-fail install
can detect rootkits

Cons

Nags you to upgrade
Some usage limits are imposed on free version

Summary

Use it

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5 stars

"Fabulous antivirus"

July 18, 2016  |  By analuisa47

2016-07-18 16:42:10  |  By analuisa47

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.1.2272

Pros

Fast and quick.

Cons

No problems for me.

Summary

Have been using avast for quite sometime, works great for me.

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4 stars

"Great Free Antivirus with lots of bells & whistles"

July 16, 2016  |  By Ginae1965

2016-07-16 10:00:19  |  By Ginae1965

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.1.2272

Pros

I've been using Avast for years, I have it on all our computers. I especially like the boot scan, I have caught many hidden viruses with boot scan. I also repair/maintain computers on the side, and have used Avast many times to find and remove viruses.

Cons

Well we have four computers, and I can't afford to purchase Avast, so I must use the free version. With the free version it gives you a lot of ashtray pop-up ads, every time I log on it gives me some kind of ad or static. I find the boot and full scans are on the slow side, albeit we do have large hard drives on our computers, there have been times it has taken 12+ hours to perform a boot scan.

Summary

All and All Avast is great FREE antivirus software, and has given me great service for years!

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5 stars

"Great program with a minimum of fuss."

July 14, 2016  |  By KMartin186282

2016-07-14 03:19:25  |  By KMartin186282

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.1.2272

Pros

Scans pretty quickly. Updates without annoying me. Haven't had any problems with it unlike 4 others I've tried. Works from XP through 10.

Cons

Nothing that isn't nitpicky.

Summary

I trust this one. I've strayed a few times due to "new and improved" but have returned each time.

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1 stars

"It's just not me"

July 14, 2016  |  By tehahn1

2016-07-14 00:47:20  |  By tehahn1

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.1.2272

Pros

It works well. Got just about everything but the kitchen sink in it

Cons

I like AVG's "Shredder". I don't like the idea of everything I do, is in the "cloud".
To me, it's just time before someone is able to hack the cloud to see everything people put in it.

Summary

It's nice. But not "meaty" enough for me.

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2 stars

"Background Service Not Working"

July 02, 2016  |  By Tenn-Wiskey

2016-07-02 20:52:32  |  By Tenn-Wiskey

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.1.2272

Pros

It's ok when it works I used the free version. On the website I got a registration key for one year must of been a promotion thing. The scans don't take is long as some other Antivirus. It did miss a few viruses they were considered low risk.

Cons

Background Service stopped working I tried to do a automatic fix that didn't work. I went to uninstall it I could uninstall it or another fix option that didn't work so I uninstalled it. It had access to the internet with my firewall so I know it had nothing with that.

Summary

I will install it one more time if I have the same problem I will find a different Anti Virus.

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5 stars

"This is the best antivirus software I've ever used."

July 02, 2016  |  By Ratharee

2016-07-02 16:00:43  |  By Ratharee

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.1.2272

Pros

Works fast and scans quickly
Scans thoroughly
Updates protections quickly and quietly
Doesn't lag your computer when it's scanning

Cons

I can't think of any cons

Summary

I've been using Avast since it was recommended to me, and it works wonderfully. Even the free version works better than Norton or Windows Defender! I highly recommend this product. I definitely will continue using it for as long as I have computers.

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5 stars

"I praise the day when Avast was made!"

June 26, 2016  |  By lala7447

2016-06-26 16:50:29  |  By lala7447

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.1.2272

Pros

Fast performance and scans
Immaculate protection
Low system footprint

Cons

None, this software is perfect!

Summary

Avast has been keeping my computer clean for years now and I will be using it until I stop using my computer!

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Results 1–10 of 10

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Full Specifications

+
What's new in version 2016.12.1.2272
  • Faster, lightweight protection that doesn't slow you down
  • CyberCapture technology - better detection of unknown and new files
  • Smaller installation size
  • Computer starts faster
  • Antispam as opt-in module
  • Removed NG
  • Removed Remote assistance
  • Removed stats (will be returned in new UI)
  • Improved Bank Mode is now available in SafeZone browser
  • When Avast Firewall is turned off, Windows Firewall is started instead
General
Publisher AVAST Software
Publisher web site https://www.avast.com
Release Date June 21, 2016
Date Added June 21, 2016
Version 2016.12.1.2272
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 390,191,317
Downloads Last Week 491,216
Pricing
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free

Previous Versions:

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