Powerful antivirus software, available for free for Mac, PC or Android
Windows 10 / Windows 8.1 / Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows XP
Avast! is one of the most popular virus protection and Internet security programs on the market, currently in use on over 220 million PCs, Macs and other operating systems worldwide.
Internet security programs continue to evolve, not only because of changes made to how various operating systems move and store information, but also because of the parallel evolution of malware and other cyber threats. Avast! has long been known for its user-friendliness, real-time monitoring capability and constant threat definition updating. The newest version, Avast! 2014, offers computer users the choice of several different protection packages, the most basic of which is free to download and install.
Online Threat Protection
Most viruses and unwanted malware are found lying deep within web pages, either by intention or because the site visited is itself under attack. It is imperative that a virus protection program be able to recognize malware programming code regardless of how it is embedded in web content. Avast! 2014 Essential Free Antivirus software offers users a simple way to detect and remove this type of malicious content from PCs, Macs, and mobile devices.
The program contains configurable detection, scheduled scanning and protection against malware embedded in incoming code such as emails. The more advanced versions of the program are not free, but they include additional protection in the form of secure financial transactions and automatic software updates. The latter is of particular interest, because most hackers rely on the use of outdated browsers and readers by unsuspecting PC owners.
Top-Notch Security With Avast! Premier Version
Avast! Internet security offers a top-of-the-line version known as Premier. The most expensive of the packages offered by the company, this software includes AccessAnywhere, a nice program that allows users to access their own PC via the Internet, and Data Shredder, one of the most advanced erasure programs ever developed for PC owners.
One of the most annoying things about any software and Internet security programs -- as testified to by the millions of user comments -- is the problem of navigation. Some of the currently popular and highly touted virus protection programs on the market have lately been tinkered with to such a degree that users often cannot figure out how to disable part of the software so they can run a system restore or download sensitive programming that the virus protection would otherwise block.
Avast! appears to have addressed this problem by making it easy for users to decide which protective measures are most important to them. Turning certain features on or off is relatively simple with the 2014 version. The software offers users easy viewing on a smaller, mobile device viewscreen, and the optional mobile apps are also easy to understand and use.
High score in detecting unwanted malware
Very few false positive results
Excellent rating for detecting legitimate content
A 30-day use limit without registration for the free version
Low score for detecting live threats as compared to other popular antivirus software
The DeepScreen mode encounters problems investigating unidentifiable threats
The software giant's antivirus and Web-security suite
Protect your PC against a range of threats
Basic antivirus protection that includes routine definition updates
Powerful security software that includes numerous useful features