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Avast Free Antivirus

Free
Download Editors' Rating:
Editors' Rating:
Excellent
Average User Rating:
out of 27500 votes out of 43 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    2016.12.3.2279
  • Total Downloads:
    397,701,157
  • Date Added:
    Aug. 17, 2016
  • Price:
    Free
  • File Size:
    5.96MB
  • Downloads Last Week:
    285,253
  • 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 43 votes

    • 5 star 27
    • 4 star 1
    • 3 star 4
    • 2 star 5
    • 1 star 6
  • All Versions

    4.5

    out of 27500 votes

    • 5 star 20023
    • 4 star 4936
    • 3 star 890
    • 2 star 519
    • 1 star 1132
  • My rating

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1–10 of 43

5 stars

"Enought for most users."

January 11, 2017  |  By EasierSoft

2017-01-11 04:58:13  |  By EasierSoft

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

Avast occupied a little m computer memory, has best scanning speed, the free version has eight protection module: file system protection, web protection, mail protection, network protection, P2P protection, instant messaging protection, behavior protection, script protection, the free version is enought for most users.

Cons

No dissatisfaction

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3 stars

"Too many popups"

January 07, 2017  |  By EscapeGoat4

2017-01-07 14:38:31  |  By EscapeGoat4

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

Decent antivirus, Easy to use. Program updater is nice.

Cons

Lots of popups. I'm actually here because of one now. Popups vary from sales pitches, keeps asking you to rate it, news articles (for some reason), and useless facts. Pretty annoying, especially when you're playing a game or watching a show.

Summary

Avast would be a good free antivirus if it wasn't constantly annoying with popups. I'm probably going to check the av comparatives and switch to something less annoying soon.

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5 stars

"Excellent AV"

January 07, 2017

2017-01-07 08:54:48

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

Does not take much time to scan does the boot scan too always eager to catch the culprit if found any but i use the Malwarebyte too with the AV.Up till now gave no problem and is keeping me safe from the viruses. I am on window 10.

Cons

The pop up are really annoying as they come up to say up grade or buy this now which will keep your computer fit and so on. Rest nothing all perfect.

Summary

A very good free anti virus software which really keep your machine free from the online threats of viruses. A must for every computer weather smart phone of I pad or a desk top.

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5 stars

"A very good antivirus"

December 23, 2016  |  By manofspace

2016-12-23 14:26:52  |  By manofspace

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

I have used it on Windows 7 and 10. It is fast and easy to use.

Cons

I am sure that it has its cons but I can't think of any.

Summary

I have tried many antivirus programs. I don't know why I feel more confident and comfortable with Avast. I suppose that if you try it, it is easy to stick with it.

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5 stars

"Free virus protection for everyone"

December 21, 2016  |  By derekhsueh

2016-12-21 12:48:10  |  By derekhsueh

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

Who doesn't like free stuff?

Cons

Nothing, to be honest.

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2 stars

"Disable Network Adapter Unexpectedly"

December 15, 2016  |  By 39032637

2016-12-15 09:32:03  |  By 39032637

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

Comprehensive
Price (free)
Ease of Use

Cons

Locked up the LAN - blocked access to router

Summary

I've been using this for about 3 months on a little used machine. Suddenly, one morning we powered up the device and received "local area adapter doesn't have a valid IP configuration" and no internet. Troubleshoot the router, network settings, etc and discovered that Avast was blocking access to the router (192.168.1.1). Uninstalled Avast and the problem went away. Obviously an issue with their software

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5 stars

"Superb program"

December 06, 2016  |  By h_bretman

2016-12-06 06:37:35  |  By h_bretman

 |  Version: Avast Free Antivirus 2016.12.3.2279

Pros

the best of all the anti virus programs

Cons

non found as yet

Summary

I have been asked to fix friends pc's and have had to uninstall other paid for stuff in order to install Avast and let it fix things using the boot time scan

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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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Results 1–10 of 43

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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 397,701,157
Downloads Last Week 285,253
Pricing
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free

Previous Versions:

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