Avast claims to have been safeguarding 435 million devices with its award-winning software for more than 30 years. The free software from the company has limited functionality. However its premium offerings, such as Avast Ultimate are quite comprehensive. The suite includes antivirus software, VPN services, password managers, and Cleanup utilities to help users manage their passwords, stay anonymous online, and enhance their devices.
Avast Ultimate is easy to use, and has an easy-to-read layout that clearly outlines the various tools it offers. Its malware engine has performed well in independent lab tests, detecting many threats that are ignored by other security systems. Its web security features are highly effective, finding phishing sites that are not detected by Chrome or Firefox’s default security features.
Other tools include RAM boosters, an app lock and a network scan that checks for vulnerabilities. Its ransomware protection stops third-party programs from changing, deleting, or locking your data until you pay. The program also includes mobile applications for Android and iOS. Apple’s restrictions have led to the Android version more feature-rich, however both versions include essential security elements like malware scanning and web coverage.
The only issue with Avast is that it collects and sends your personal data to its analytics company, Jumpshot. In 2020, this information was revealed by an PCMag and Motherboard investigative report. This feature can be turned off via the settings menu. If you’re still concerned, Avast allows you to choose a password which you have to enter before the software is able to share your IP address and other information with third-party companies.