Is Avast Worth Paying for? (2020 Edition)

Or, you want to put your money in the right place.

Are you concerned about the reputation of Avast Antivirus?

Avast is a popular name in computer security solutions. Still, people have mixed opinions regarding the performance of the program. Therefore, it is wise to know better about the program before putting your money into it.

However, it is challenging to make a judgment based on user reviews.

Therefore, we test the program ourselves and check some genuine sources for you.

Use this guide to decide if you want to purchase the program or not.

What is Avast Antivirus?

Avast main screen

Avast is an antivirus company that operates from Prague, Czech Republic. It started its business in 2001 and is operational till now. Avast has a wide range of users contributing to the 400 million consumers mark. 

Avast offers a free and premium version of the product for its users. It provides all essential features to protect your computer from cyber threats. Moreover, it can detect and eliminate widespread viruses and worms. Avast provides users with a system cleanup tool as well. You can use it to optimize your computer for better performance.

Avast Antivirus provides support for multiple platforms. You can use this application on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices. Moreover, it has some practical features to protect your system from harmful threats. Let us have a look at its features and tools.

Overview of Avast Features

Avast Products & Pricing

Free Antivirus
Premium Security
Ultimate
Intelligent antivirus
CyberCapture
Smart Scan
Wi-Fi Inspector
Passwords
Behavior Shield
Game Mode
Browser Cleanup
Sandbox
Passive Mode
Ransomware Shield
Firewall
Anti-spam
Webcam Shield
Automatic Software Updater
Data Shredder
Cleanup Premium
SecureLine VPN
Passwords Premium
Web Shield
Trial

Features Available in Avast Free Version

Avast offers a variety of advanced scanning options. Apart from the Smart Scan option in the main menu, you can access the detail scan options in the Protection tab. Here, you can find functions like Full-virus Scan and Boot-time Scan.

The Full-virus scan digs deep into the system to look for viruses. It might take a couple of hours on a slow machine. However, it checks for an infection in every file available on your system. Thus, the process allows Avast to track even the minute viruses present in the system. It makes the program more effective in exchange for a noticeable performance lag in the system.

You can have a malicious file that also operates out of the operating system. In such scenarios, the Boot-time scan can solve the problem for you. It restarts your computer and looks for any suspicious behavior from any applications. Some malware regularly installs them by keeping a backup file outside of the operating system. Fortunately, Avast can identify and eliminate such programs with a single click.

Avast Wifi protection

Lastly, the most critical feature to offer is Avast’s wifi protection. It can protect your data from cyberattacks that use a wifi connection to breach your computer’s security. Moreover, it flags any open ports in your wifi connection that can lead hackers into your device. When you run the function, it detects all the devices connected to the wifi system. Also, it suggests a solution to rectify the security in a few minutes.

Additional Features in Avast’s Paid Versions

You get Real-time protection in the paid version of Avast antivirus program. Besides that, it adds some other useful tools like File Shredder, System Cleanup, and more. However, these tools don’t add significant value to the utility of the program.

Avast Cleanup

The File Shredder deletes your file securely by writing over it multiple times. It makes it impossible to recover the data using advanced tools. However, you won’t need this function unless you exchange highly confidential data from your computer. The system Cleanup is an excellent tool to rectify minor setbacks slowing down your computer speed. Still, I can say that the free version of CCleaner works better than Avast’s module.

Another feature you get in the premium package is Avast’s VPN. It allows you to connect to random nodes from multiple servers based out of several countries. Thus, you can access sites that do not have permission in your region. Also, it helps to establish a secure connection to the internet. However, there are some better antivirus programs with VPN that offer better service.

Avast Antivirus: User Reviews

Like we already mentioned, people equally like and hate Avast for daily usage. Some point out that it works great on their system. Some users are using the program for over a decade now. They find it impressive and suggest others to use it as well.

Avast Reddit Review

Whereas, some users find that the paid version does not add enough significance to the price. Also, there are better alternatives to Avast when it comes to premium antivirus solution. A better option against Avast Premium is Bitdefender Antivirus.

Avast Quora Review

Many users report that Avast uses unethical techniques to promote unnecessary programs. However, Avast offers an in-depth customization option before you start the installation package. You can opt-out from any function you don’t want to use. For instance, you can resist installing the Safe browser if you don’t want to use it.

Avast Performance on the AV-Test

AV-Test is an independent organization that inspects the widely known antivirus solutions. They started including Avast in their test from the year 2010. It’s almost a decade now, and Avast has shown significant growth in the performance.

AV-Test examines a program based on three categories, i.e., Performance, Protection, and Usability. A product can score a maximum of 6 marks under each category. Thus, each program can score 18 marks at max. 

Avast has shown consistent performance over the last two years. It had a reasonably good performance even before that. Avast has consistently scored at least 17 marks in the past few years. That makes the product reliable and trustworthy for the use.

However, the real-world scenario and the simulated tests differ by a considerable margin. Developers can program software to perform better in such experiments. Also, Avast has consistently shown multiple numbers of false alarms in the test. That means it flags even those software programs that do not cause any harm to the system.

Controversies Associated with Avast Antivirus

A few years back, some major antivirus companies like Malwarebytes and Bitdefender started categorizing Avast products in the PUA category. It means these antivirus products have flagged Avast as a potentially unwanted application. It happened because of permissions associated with the system clean up tool. Since it requires to make changes in the system files, other antivirus products consider it as unnecessary permission.

Besides that, Avast’s free version can install other unwanted programs in your system without proper permission. It might include some browsers or extensions. However, you can deny the consent at the very beginning of starting the installation package.

Moreover, Avast was a part of controversy where a whistleblower detected that it sells user data to third-party clients. Avast had a marketing analytics subsidiary called Jumpshot that was accused of selling the data. However, Avast soon shut down the program to save itself from negative marketing. You can read more about the situation here.

Avast Pricing

When compared to other antivirus products with similar functions, Avast has a reasonable average price. There are three main tiers to the program, namely Free version, Premium, and Ultimate.

  1 Device 10 Devices Unlimited
Premium Security for Windows/Mac $69.99
Premium Security for Windows/Mac(Multi Device) $89.99
Ultimate for Windows/Mac(Multi Device) $99.99

If you want to pay for Avast, then the best package to buy is the Premium version. It includes the best features that Avast has to offer. Some of the noteworthy features in Avast Premium version are:

  • Web Shield: It prevents you from accidentally downloading the malicious application on your system
  • Sandbox: This feature lets you open a file in a contained environment. Thus, if it has a virus in it, then it can not damage your computer. Meanwhile, it also deletes the program to save you from a potential hazard.
  • Ransomware Protection: Ransomware can encrypt your data and make it inaccessible forever. This feature stops the program causing the cipher in real-time. Moreover, Avast stores previous versions of your files that are useful to recover your data if it gets infected.
  • Webcam Protection: The Premium version offers Webcam Protection to secure the user from unwanted breach through their camera.
Avast Core Shields premier

Meanwhile, Avast Ultimate includes some more features like system cleanup, VPN, Password Manager, and some more utility tools. However, it is not worth it to buy the program for these features. You can quickly get better results using other apps that provide similar functionalities at a lower price.

Final Verdict: Is Avast Worth Paying?

The free version of Avast presents enough tools to protect your computer from the majority of cyber threats. However, you can use the premium version for some better results. Still, you can find other antivirus programs providing excellent protection with a similar price range. Therefore, it is better to invest in some other antivirus program like Bitdefender if you want a paid version. As far as you are using the free version, Avast is considerably good.

Apart from some controversies and unethical marketing practices, Avast Antivirus is capable of protecting you from severe threats. If you are planning to buy the product, prefer Avast Premium.

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