Avast Free Antivirus Review

A full review of Avast Free Antivirus

Avast Free Antivirus is one of the best free antivirus software programs you can download. It's a complete tool that protects against threats from the internet, email, your local files, P2P connections, instant messages, and much more. In fact, the 2019 version outdoes its competitors to a pretty significant extent. 

With all of these features, you might wonder what you'll have to fork over to pay for it. Fortunately, Avast is completely free!

What We Like
  • On-access protection from viruses and other malware.

  • Includes a "heuristics engine."

  • Silent mode feature to hide alerts.

  • Long history of excellent virus protection.

  • Runs on Windows and Mac.

What We Don't Like
  • No commercial use (home/personal only).

  • Tries to install unrelated software.

  • Requires periodic registration (but it's free).

  • Shows ads within the program.

The Smart Scan feature of Avast Free Antivirus running a virus scan on a computer.

Avast Description: Important Features

Avast Free Antivirus includes fully functional antivirus, antispyware, and heuristics engines. There's also real-time protection of files, email, web surfing, P2P transfers, instant messages, and even suspicious behavior. It scans browser plugins, too, to find installs that have a poor reputation and may be malicious.

Wi-Fi Inspector scans your network to find vulnerabilities, such as identifying routers that are using default passwords and checking if your network is accessible from the internet.

A feature called Do Not Disturb Mode is included in Avast Free Antivirus which will block pop-ups while any program is in fullscreen mode, or while gaming or watching movies. This is great so that you don't see update or virus alerts while presenting something or playing a live game.

The Behavior Shield feature built-in to Avast keeps a constant eye on your applications to make sure they don't start to act differently, which could be a sign of a virus attempting to manipulate the software.

Windows 10, 8, and 7 (except Starter and RT editions) are all supported operating systems for Avast Free Antivirus. You can get Avast for Mac, too, and it's also free.

Yearly registration is required to continue use, but Avast Free Antivirus regularly updates malware definitions and the program itself to stay current against new threats.

Installation Issues: Pay Attention While Installing Avast

You'll be asked to install Avast's web browser or some other program or tool during installation. These additions are not required; just uncheck the boxes if you're not interested.

You're required to register Avast to use it for more than 30 days, but registration is free and pretty simple. You'll also have to re-register once each year, but again, this is free.

Don't Believe the Rumors: Avast Is Free

Some users have stated that Avast Free Antivirus is not free or that it's not a truly complete antivirus program. That's simply not true. Avast Free Antivirus is a complete anti-malware tool.

Some of the additional benefits you get from purchasing the Internet Security, Premier, or Ultimate versions of Avast are the firewall, VPN, privacy, and spam protections, but you can get those features free from other programs ​if you want them.

So yes, Avast Free Antivirus provides constant virus protection, also called on-access or resident protection, for free. This means that Avast Free Antivirus can completely replace antivirus software from companies like McAfee and Norton that charge for their software and for yearly access to updates.

Our Thoughts on Avast Free Antivirus

Avast Free Antivirus has been around a long time and is, overall, an excellent free antivirus program. It includes just about everything you'd ever want from an antivirus program, free or otherwise. Avast Free Antivirus is the only anti-malware tool you'll need on your Windows computer.

You can see how Avast's software compares with antivirus programs from other companies — in protection, performance, and security — from AV-TEST.