Avast claims to have been safeguarding 435 million devices using its award-winning software for over 30 years. The free version of the software is limited capabilities. However its premium products such as Avast Ultimate are quite comprehensive. The suite includes antivirus software, VPN services, password managers and Cleanup tools to help users manage their passwords, keep their identity private online, and enhance their device.
Avast Ultimate has a simple interface that clearly delineates the tools it offers. Its malware engine has performed well in independent lab testing and detected many threats that are often missed by other protections. Its web security features are very effective in finding phishing sites that are not detected by Chrome or Firefox’s default security features.
Other tools include an app lock, RAM boost and a network scanner that searches for potential security holes. Its ransomware protection prevents third-party software from altering the way you store, delete, or lock your data until you pay. The program also offers mobile applications for Android and iOS. The Android application is more feature-rich due to Apple’s restrictions, but both versions contain essential security elements like malware scanning and web security.
Avast’s only major downside is that it stores and sends your personal information to its analytics company, Jumpshot. In 2020, this was revealed by an PCMag and Motherboard investigative report. However, it is possible to turn off this feature using the settings menu. If you are still concerned, Avast lets you set a password that you must enter to block the software from sharing your IP address or other information with third-party companies.