Icon of program: Avast Free Antivirus

Avast Free Antivirus for Windows

By Avast SoftwareFreeUser Rating

Key Details of Avast Free Antivirus

  • Avast Free Antivirus works on Windows computers, including Windows 10. It's not just for PCs; it also covers Android phones, iPhones, and Macs.
  • Using Avast is easy, even if you're not a tech pro. The buttons are clear, and it guides you through steps to make sure your computer stays safe.
  • If you want to shield your computer and gadgets from viruses and hackers, Avast is a good option. Plus, it won't cost you a dime, even though it does a great job.
When you open Avast, it quickly tells you if your computer is safe or not. The buttons and steps are straightforward, making it easy to keep track of your computer's health. It uses advanced tech to find and stop new computer bugs before they can do any harm. This simplicity in design is complemented by systematic prompts that guide users through essential security decisions.

Avast Free Antivirus boasts a range of features that enhance its functionality. These features include a password manager, URL filter, network scanner, and silent gaming mode. There are also some features to help you play games without any interruptions. The six layers of antivirus security, including Smart Scan, CyberCapture, Behavior Shield, File Shield, Rescue Disk, and Quarantine, contribute to a robust defense against malware. These additions enhance the overall user experience, providing practical tools for daily digital activities. Gamers also benefit from features that allow uninterrupted gaming sessions. None of these features cost you anything. You can download and use it for free on your computer, phone, or Mac.

Avast keeps itself updated, ready to fight off the latest computer bugs. The newest version has cool features, like different ways to check for issues and tools to keep your computer running smoothly.

It's not limited to Windows; it covers Android phones, iPhones, and Macs too. Avast wants to make sure all your gadgets are safe. One of the most important features that make Avast a stand-out antivirus software is its ability to offer trusted security with a very easy interface. It is very easy to use as everything is under your hand, ready to be explored on the home page. You can reach different features with a couple of clicks.

Avast Free Antivirus strikes a balance between powerful protection and user-friendly design. Its compatibility across devices, simplicity in interface, and cost-effective nature make it a popular option for users from all around the world.

Enlarged image for Avast Free Antivirus

Editors' Review

Download.com staff

Avast has one of the most popular antivirus apps around, due in part to offering a free version, and it's one that performs respectably. The company acquired its rival AVG in September of 2016, and now both use Avast's malware scanning engine, but their distinct personalities remain. Here are the highlights of Avast's latest release.

Pros

Easy to use: Avast has four main protection components: File Shield, Behavior Shield, Web Shield, and Mail Shield. If, for example, you use webmail and/or you find that Avast's Web Shield interferes with your web browsing, you can disable both relevant protection layers, while keeping the others active. Now, ordinarily, an antivirus app will keep warning you to turn these features back on. But if you really don't need them enabled, you can tell Avast that you want to ignore those warnings, and it won't bother you about those settings again.

Solid protection: According to independent labs, such as AV-Test and AV-Comparatives, Avast Free isn't quite as sharp as industry leaders like Trend Micro or Bitdefender, but it's arguably the best protection you'll find that comes without a price tag.

Aggressively low pricing: If you do decide to order Avast Pro, you can do so from within the app, and Avast offers a one-year subscription for a reasonable $15, which is about half of its street price. If you change your mind, Avast offers a 60-day trial of Avast Internet Security, which was priced at $20 a year. Pro purports to add enhancements to online banking security and "a test space for checking suspicious apps." This latter function appears to be a sandbox, in which you can open an app and investigate its behavior without risking an infection.

Relatively muted sales pitch: Free antivirus apps have a reputation for being pretty pushy about paying for a subscription, but Avast is on the low-key end of the spectrum (and it has been for a number of years). There are a couple upgrade buttons on the main console, and a number of features (a firewall, URL safety verifier, and "Webcam Shield," among others) that redirect you to an order screen when you click on them, but nothing felt particularly tricky, and the sales pitch doesn't make ironclad claims about what the program can do.

Data collection transparency: Avast tells you right off the bat that it wants to gather anonymized usage data, some of which may be used to help fund development, but you can disable this function in the Privacy settings. Though it would be nice if it explained what "certain" information it wanted to gather.

Cons

Some settings could use more explanation: Avast's settings menus have a number of icons marked with an exclamation point that you can click on for further details. But the description for CyberCapture doesn't sound substantially different from what a virus scanner already does: It "analyzes unrecognized files, defends and warns you about new threats, and helps keep your system secure." And Hardened Mode is there "to further lock down the security of this computer." But in what way?

Subscription offers can get confusing: The $15 Avast Pro offer is available via the upgrade buttons on the main console, but it's not an option when you click on one of the features that has a padlock on it. There, you get two different offers: $20 a year for Avast Internet Security or $30 a year for Avast Premiere. But if you, say, click on the padlocked "Sensitive Data Shield" icon, you only see the Avast Internet Security offer, and it has a different list of advertised features.

Bottom Line

While there are some quirks in the interface, Avast is a respectable and respectful antivirus app overall, and the paid version is notably budget-friendly.

What's new in version 23.12

Stabilization of the existing code and bug fixing.

Explore More


Full Specifications

GENERAL
Release
January 16, 2024
Latest update
January 29, 2024
Version
23.12
OPERATING SYSTEMS
Platform
Windows
Operating System
Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10
Additional Requirements
None
POPULARITY
Total Downloads
421,153,973
Downloads Last Week
895

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User Reviews

4.5/5

26719 User Votes


Developer's Description

Safeguard online privacy, secure devices, and go beyond essentials with cloud-light, state-of-the-art protection.
Lightweight, state-of-the-art protection that won't slow down your PC. Avast Free Antivirus has been redesigned to be easier to use while staying light on your PC. It offers proprietary, cutting-edge CyberCapture technology that finds and stops unknown files, as well as improved Wi-Fi Inspector which can identify even more weak points in your router. It also features SafeZone, the world's most secure browser, and an enhanced Game Mode which turns off background checks and updates to maximize your gaming experience.