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In this Avast Internet Security review we cover one of the more popular software programs designed to protect your computer. We get a lot of emails from people asking whether or not this software is worth the cost, so we figured an in-depth review was in order.
A quick note about versions: this review covers Avast Internet Security, which is a step above Avast Free Antivirus. There are also upgraded versions called Avast Premier and Avast Ultimate, which have more features included.
Editors note: We bought this software with our own money and have not been asked by Avast to write this review.
Avast Internet Security Review Overview
I want to lead with my overall impressions of Avast Internet Security for those who don’t want to read a long article – then you can drill down and read about all the features in the rest of the review below if you so desire.
Overall I wasn’t expecting to be thrilled with Avast Internet Security due to a botched installation when I first installed the software, but my opinion drastically changed once I reinstalled it and found it was working swimmingly.
I actually had more fun than I usually do when reviewing these security software suites because Avast is easy to use, intuitive, and has quite a few bells and whistles that you won’t find in other security solutions. I also found their whimsical online and in-program help documentation to be refreshing.
Avast Internet Security is the basic version, a step up from the Avast Free Antivirus. However even this basic level software packs a lot of utilities.
Avast’s support was responsive and helpful when I had an issue connecting my online account with my software, and the help and documentation on the website is very well laid out and clear.
- Lightweight on the system
- Attractive and intuitive interface
- Responsive customer support
- Extreme customization ability
- Lightweight out of the box – no “bloatware” on installation
- No ability to set parental controls
- No ability to create custom users
I highly recommend this software as a virus and malware solution. There’s a lot of debate on the internet over which security suite is better, however Avast continues to be highly recommended by many computer professionals. No software will be 100% perfect, so if Avast has the features that you want it’s a great lightweight solution for protecting your data.
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Avast was a quick download and install on my Microsoft Surface Pro 4 running Windows 10. The installation was a touch slower than other security apps I’ve used, but that could be due to a slightly slower speed of internet as I was working remotely at the time.
After installation I ran the Smart Scan, and the program finished in about 6-7 minutes. The results were interesting as the software scans more than just for malware and viruses. It also found three software programs that needed updates (and allowed me to update them right from the dashboard), and pointed out that the coffee shop’s WiFi password was weak.
The scan is pretty typical of most security software suites. You can customize the scan in the settings to scan for only the things you want it to – for example, you can disable scanning for software updates if you so desire.
It’s important to know if your antimalware and antivirus software tools are up to snuff. The good news is that Avast consistently gets top scores in the AV Comparatives monthly score tallies. AV Comparatives is an independent group that tests the top computer security software tools.
You can check out their results here.
- Firewall – your standard firewall protecting your computer from outside influences.
- Anti-Spam – a full featured suite to keep spam and phishing emails at bay. Works with desktop mail software.
- Real Site – active DNS hijacking protection so you don’t get sent to fake sites.
- Wi-Fi Inspector – ensures your Wi-Fi network (public or private) is clean and safe
- Intelligent Antivirus – Uses smart analytics and Avast’s network of hundreds of thousands of users to detect and stop malware, spyware, viruses, and phishing.
- CyberCapture – Pushes suspicious files to analysis in the cloud – if it is found to be a threat the definitions and protection are extended to all Avast users.
- Behavior Shield – Protects you from zero-day threats (new and previously unknown threats) using advanced behavior monitoring.
- Smart Scan – Finds security cracks that could allow threats onto your system.
- Ransomware Shield – A new feature that blocks ransomware from encrypting protected files and folders
- Sandbox – Allows you to run suspicious software and open files in a protected sandbox in case of malicious activity.
- Avast Passwords – Helps manage and keep all of your passwords safe in one spot
- Browser Cleanup – Get rid of toolbars, add ons, and extensions.
- Game Mode and Passive Mode – enables you to hush Avast while playing games or use other antiviurs software in passive mode.
Avast Internet Security and all of the other software tools in their library of programs are very intuitive and easy to use. Each setting has a large icon-centric button, and each feature has a small “i” that you can click that explains the feature’s functionality and uses. This is helpful because even the basic Internet Security program comes with a lot of bells and whistles to play with.
Most computer users will find using Avast to be easy to use and almost fun – in fact it’s the most fun security suite I’ve tested. I can’t quite put my finger on why, I think it’s the simplicity and intuitive way everything is laid out.
The black on black color scheme is also a nice touch, making the software feel very updated and modern.
Password Protection and Storage
Avast notified me that I had 13 passwords stored in my internet browser, and it asked me to start using Avast Passwords, a password keeping system. I actually use LastPass for that right now, but it seems like a good option for someone who doesn’t have a password solution yet. For those who don’t know, these password solutions are a great way to enable yourself to use unique and difficult passwords for all of your sites so you don’t get caught with your pants down by using the same password for all your sites (something I used to do and I had a minor panic attack when someone hacked my Facebook account and got that password and my email).
You also have the option of storing credit card numbers as well with the ability to auto-fill them when online shopping.
Avast Passwords also has a cool feature called “Secure Notes” where you can safely store small secure things. Need a place to store your security key for your 2 Factor Authentication app This could be a good place, instead of a notepad file somewhere on your computer or even writing it down on a paper that could get lost. Let’s face it, every once in a while we need to keep a secure number on hand.
After taking my Surface Pro to the coffee shop to do some additional work and continue testing Avast, the software popped up notifying me that I had connected to a new WiFi network. It then gave me the option to scan the network, which scanned the router, and all the devices connected to it – meaning ALL the various laptops and phones that were on the network. I don’t suspect this coffee shop to be a hotbed of hacker activity, so it was not surprising to find that all the devices came up clean.
This feature is useful for detecting problematic devices that might be on a public network scanning it for activity. I’m not usually that paranoid but you can never be too careful. This is useful, however, if you want to do some banking or personal transactions on a public network and want to scan it before using it.
Avast Internet Security has quite a thorough settings menu, where you can tinker with excluded software, customize the Smart Scan, and do so much more. There is really too much to list for this basic review of the software – but suffice it to say that if there’s something you want to turn on or off or customize, there’s a 90% chance you’ll be able to do it within the settings.
You can even customize the scan parameters in the virus scan portion of the Smart Scan. Most computer users probably won’t touch this or need to stray from the default settings, but advanced users will be thrilled with this.
Available On Multiple Platforms
Avast is available for PC, Mac, Android, iPhones and iPads, and even networked “smart devices” in your home. That makes Avast one of the most compatible software programs out there – it covers most devices while many companies stop at just PC and Mac.
Each of these devices needs its own separate version of Avast, however, so unfortunately you can’t just buy it once to cover all of your devices. However, you’ll only need to deal with and learn how to use one program if you want to get Avast security on all devices – which is a time saver. Not many people want to learn how to use a bunch of different security software solutions.
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Features of Avast Premier and Avast Ultimate
Avast Internet Security has two higher levels to choose from that will get you a few more bells and whistles. I recommend all the levels, as I think all their tools are useful. However, just ensure that you need the additional tools they offer and you don’t already have something similar.
Check this link for Avast’s comparison web page.
For Avast Premier, you get webcam spying protection, a file shredder (completely delete a file), and the ability to automatically update apps and software.
With Avast Ultimate you get everything from Premier plus a few other Avast software tools: Avast Cleanup Premium which helps clean up file clutter on your computer, Avast Secureline VPN which shields your location and provides an extra layer of security to your internet browsing, and Avast Passwords Premium which allows you to store your passwords and also warns you of password leaks.
In my opinion, Avast Ultimate is worth it just for the easy to use Secureline VPN, which is very useful. Personally, if you were thinking of upgrading from the basic level I would probably skip Premier and just get Ultimate and get everything.
We used Ultimate for this review so we could be sure to test all the features and be able to write them up. I will say that the SecureLine VPN service works very well and it’s worth the price. SecureLine VPN is available as a standalone product as well.
Avast Internet Security Review – Conclusion
No matter what level you are interested in, Avast’s line of security software comes highly recommended from me. I had a lot of fun reviewing this software and found it to be refreshing from the rest of the security software that’s out there. No program will always protect you 100%, but picking one of the top line programs will give you the best shot at staying safe on the net, and Avast is up to that challenge.
We recommend going with Avast Internet Security or going all the way up to Avast Ultimate.
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These days you can't be too careful with your computer security setup. With more and more of our daily transactions happening online, it's very important to ensure that your computer is protected from the wide array of threats that are circulating on the internet. In this Avast Internet Security review we cover one of the more popular software programs designed to protect your computer. We get a lot of emails from people asking whether or not this software is worth the cost, so we figured an in-depth review was in order DriverPack Solution 12.3 R271 isoA quick note about versions: this review covers Avast Internet Security,…
Avast Internet Security Review 2018
Avast Internet Security Review 2018
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Our Review of Avast Internet Security 2015
Paid Anti-virus Programs
Pavel Baudis and Eduard Kucera founded ALWIL Software in 1988 when they released their first Avast anti-virus program. Years later in 2010, ALWIL changed its name to AVAST Software. Ever since the first release of Avast Anti-Virus, the software has been recognized as one of the best virus and malware protection applications available. That proud tradition continues with the latest release - Avast Internet Security 2015.
Cost and Value
Avast Internet Security 2015 offers average value in a security suite application when compared to other products we have tested. At a cost of $49.99 for an annual single-computer subscription and $69.99 to cover three PCs, Avast Internet Security 2015 costs roughly the same as comparable AV suites. While the Avast security suite does not provide a Parental Controls feature, it does offer router scanning, a reliable firewall and solid performance. Note - at the time of publication, and for a limited time, Avast is offering a $10 discount on the single-PC version of the anti-virus suite.
Downloading and installing Avast Internet Security 2015 is a relatively simple process, and depending on your Internet connection speed, should not take very long. The entire Avast installation file is rather large at 178 megabytes. However, you can choose to download a smaller quick-setup file that is less than 5 megabytes. If you opt for the smaller setup file, the wizard will simply download the remaining files during installation. At the time of publication Avast is offering a 60-day free trial if you provide billing information before downloading. Nevertheless, for the purposes of this review, we opted just to use the 30-day trial.
After downloading the setup file and opening it, just click "Run" in the Security Warning window that appears. Next, select to either use the trial version or enter your subscription info if you already have an Avast subscription. The installer then allows you to create a free Dropbox account if you need one, and finally prompts you to accept the license agreement. After you accept the agreement, the Avast installer completes the installation without any further action needed.
After installation is complete, just click the "Done" button to close the setup wizard and launch Avast Internet Security 2015. Upon starting for the first time, Avast will perform a quick Smart Scan of your computer automatically.
Once Avast Internet Security 2015 completes the initial smart scan of your system (which only takes a couple of minutes by the way,) it displays the Overview window of the user interface. The first time you see the interface, a "New Network Detected" window appears. Unless you are an advanced user or have a specific reason for doing so, just click the "OK" button to accept the default network settings.
While the text and icons in Avast are bright and easy to read, the interface can be a bit confusing at first glance. The layout of the Avast user interface suggests the company designed it with both PC and mobile users in mind. However, the combination of a sidebar menu and large tiles will make it harder to use for touchscreen users. If you will be using Avast with only a PC, though, the home screen of the UI is simple enough to navigate.
On the Overview screen, you can log in to your account or choose one of the four large buttons to perform common tasks. The four large tiles in the Overview window allow you to run a Smart Scan, clean up your browser, configure your router or create/edit safe zones.
The sidebar menu can be difficult to use. Clicking one of the sidebar labels opens another slide-out menu that is sensitive and disappears quickly if mouse movements are not precise. Nevertheless, you can access all the important functions from the sidebar menu. Those functions include Overview, Scan, Tools, Store, Account, Statistics and Settings. The sidebar labels provide adequate descriptions of the functions to which they lead. One nice feature in the UI, though, is the easy accessibility of the Settings area on the sidebar. With some AV suites we have tested, you have to search deep within the UI to find the configuration settings.
Avast Internet Security 2015 does not include Parental Controls. However, it does offer a few features not found in other security suites we have tested. One of these bonus features is access to a strong VPN network for making surfing sessions secure. Additionally, the application includes a nifty Remote Assistance option that enables two Avast users to share desktops and collaborate.
Virus, Malware and False Positive Detection
After we introduced a set of 8 viruses and 16 false positive files to the test system, we ran a full system scan. Initially, we were quite surprised and disappointed as Avast appeared to detect only two viruses and identified one of the safe false positive files as a threat. However, after closing the Scan Results window, we got another surprise - Avast prompted us to reboot so that it could continue the scan. After rebooting, Avast scanned the system in DOS mode and was able to detect and neutralize all of the viruses introduced to the test system. Unfortunately, Avast did identify another safe false positive file as a threat during the process.
To receive a perfect score in our tests, a security suite should detect and remove all viruses/malware and ignore all the false positive files. Put simply, the application should neutralize bad files and leave the safe false positive files intact.
Avast Internet Security 2015 performed quite well in the virus/malware testing by detecting and neutralizing all eight of the infected test files. With the false positive test, though, Avast incorrectly identified two safe files as threats and prompted for their removal. Therefore, Avast Internet Security 2015 received a 100% score in virus/malware removal and only an 87.5% score during the false positive test.
Below is a screenshot of the files used in the false positive test.
Scanning and System Performance
Perhaps the greatest strengths of Avast Internet Security 2015 are its tiny impact on system resources and extremely fast scan speeds. Initial scans on the clean test system were very fast with the smart scan taking only 2 minutes 4 seconds and a full scan finishing in just under 5 minutes. During the full-system/boot scan performed by Avast on the infected system, the entire process took less than 10 minutes.
Multitasking with Avast Internet Security 2015 also provided excellent results. Avast is very light and utilizes very little in terms of CPU cycles or RAM. While running a full scan, we were able to open IE and Chrome in under 3 seconds, and Windows programs such as the Snippet Tool, WordPad and Windows Media Player all opened immediately. In short, it was hard to tell the AV program was even running while using the test system for other tasks.
The test system we used to test and review Avast is a relatively modest Windows 7 machine with an Intel dual-core CPU and 2GB of memory.
Avast Internet Security 2015 is a very efficient virus and malware removal tool and performs very thorough scans. Impact on usability during scans is almost non-existent because Avast uses very few system resources. Although not covered in detail in this review, the Firewall and Router Security features are first rate and offer additional protection to users on the same network.
Avast Internet Security 2015 did not score so well in our false positive test. Avast identifies some safe files as threats and may prompt you to delete them. For some users, this could lead to the deletion of files needed for opening or running legitimate programs.
The Avast anti-phishing features did not perform as well as many other AV products we have tested. During our tests with known 0-day phishing and malicious websites, Avast blocked access to only 6 out of 10 bad sites. The anti-phishing tools in Chrome and Firefox actually did a better job, detecting 8/10 and 7/10 respectively.
The user interface is not as polished and easy-to-navigate as some offered by Avast's competitors. Finally, the lack of a Parental Controls feature is a negative for those with children or others who want to monitor/control surfing habits Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended Multilingual
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The antivirus solution from developer AVAST Software comes in many flavors and most users opt for the free edition for obvious reasons. This does not make it any less reliable, however. The program features intuitive, advanced and customizable scanning methods along with other modules dedicated to computer safety.
Complete and customizable installation package
The installer is completely configurable when it comes to shields (for files, emails and web), security tools and preferred languages. Since it is ad-supported, the utility offers to install unnecessary third-party components but they can be skipped.
The security tools include browser protection and cleanup (e.g. Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox), software updater for other programs installed, remote assistance for access on other computers, SecureLine for connection encryption agsinst spyware via VPN, GrimeFighter for system cleanup and maintenance, Rescue Disk for worst case scenarios with malware-crippled PCs, and a simple management connector that reports the Avast status to COM monitoring software.
Modern and attractive interface
Avast is wrapped in a pleasant and easy-to-use interface which provides fast access to the av status, scanning methods, tools, portable devices with Avast installed for remote control (smartphones, tablets), statistics (real-time and historical data, component status), as well as the rich configuration area, and animated tray icon based on different events.
Various scan modes with user-defined settings
It is possible to perform a quick scan in areas where malware is known to hide, complete by taking into account the entire computer, in removable drives only, custom directories, or at every Windows boot in autostart processes and services.
It is not necessary to change any settings, since Avast has a pretty decent default configuration. But advanced users have the possibility to fiddle with options regarding rootkits, file types, the exact scan areas, heuristics, PUP and suspicious files, archive formats, action on malware detection, scan priority, reports, exclusions, and scan scheduling.
Unconfirmed suspected infections sent to the quarantine may be investigated to decide whether to keep or eliminate them, while reports with scan activities may be examined in logs.
Other security tools
The software updater automatically finds updates available for other programs, SecureLine must be purchased before it can be used, the browser cleanup component removes toolbars and resets browser settings to default if necessary, AccessAnywhere requires an Avast account (free) to control the PC from remote locations, and Rescue Disk creates a bootable USB or CD drive with the latest virus definitions to use for offline scanning and cleaning.
Performance and conclusion
System resources can be hogged or spared, depending on how fast users want the scans to finish. It is possible to disable the file system, mail or web shield with one click and customize settings for each one of them. As far as virus detection ratio is concerned, Avast Free Antivirus delivers very good results, which places it among the top-rated antivirus solutions on the current market.
The utility's virus signatures can be kept up-to-date with Avast Virus Definitions. Those looking for enhanced security features can test and/or purchase Avast Premier, Avast Internet Security or Avast Pro Antivirus Bitdefender internet security 2013 LIcense 2015
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