Avast Free Antivirus is one of the most popular antivirus apps around, and it’s easy to see why. There are no annoying restrictions to try to persuade you to upgrade, and no gaping holes in its feature set: you get antivirus, malicious URL filtering, and some welcome bonus extras including an extra anti-ramsomware layer to protect your most important document folders, and speedy scanning for network vulnerabilities.
Upgrade to the capable Avast Premium Security suite and you’ll also get a firewall, secure file deletion and webcam hijacking protection, while a software updater automatically finds and installs missing security patches.
Avast has dropped its spam filter, unfortunately, but unusual extras include a sandbox to safely run suspicious apps, and Avast’s Real Site reduces the chance of hackers using DNS trickery to redirect you to malicious sites.
Premium Security’s single device license feels a little costly at $40 in the first year, $70 on renewal, but its multi-device deal costs only $50 ($90 on renewal) to protect up to 10 devices for a year. This is very similar to the competition, and for instance Bitdefender Internet Security costs $25 in year one ($40 on renewal) for its single device license, and $90 to cover ten devices.
Avast Ultimate adds a very valuable extra in unlimited access to Avast’s SecureLine VPN (which costs $70 on its own), as well as its Premium password manager and PC clean-up tool. The single device license is $66 in year one, $100 on renewal, but you can cover up to ten devices for only marginally more: $80 in the first year, $120 afterwards.
Avast Premium Security subscription options:
Avast Premium Security for $59.99 per year
That’s great value, but Avira’s Prime suite may also be worth considering in some situations. It has a similar feature set, including an unrestricted VPN, and it can cover five devices for an annual $100, or 25 for just $130. (A three-year, 25-device license is $361, as low as $4.81 per device per year.)
If you’re curious, trying out Avast Free Antivirus will help you find out more, and there’s a free trial of Avast Premium Security available, too.