The High Tech Society

A Review of Avast Free

TECH

A Review of Avast Free

Avast and AVG are the two main options for anyone who wants a free antivirus, and both of them have their pros and cons. As a diehard AVG user, I decided that I would give Avast a try (after nearly 6 years with AVG), and installed it on my computer. In the past six months since the installation, I’ve formed an opinion about it’s functionality, usability, comparison to AVG, and of course, my overall satisfaction with the antivirus.

Installation

Installing Avast is actually very easy, just a few simple clicks and you’re done. The program does not take up a lot of space, and it reverts to a notifications area icon when not in use.

Interface

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Avast’s interface couldn’t really be any more simple than it already is. It’s well laid out, easy to read, and everything is easy to find. While not as flashy as some, it’s also not as brightly colored, and appearance isn’t a huge issue for most people anyway.

Features

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Avast does have a lot of features and most of them are fairly fast, useful, and useable. These include a scanner, tools including browser and computer cleanup, a software updater that allows you to update all of your programs that are out of date (although it will ask you to buy the premium version if you want to do them all at once), a rescuedisk for backups, and a grime fighter to remove unnecessary apps and change system settings to speed up your computer and save space.

Scanning

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Scanning can take a long time with Avast. Unfortunately even the quick scan might take an hour or more, especially if you’re using your computer at the same time. The full scan may take up to 8 or more hours, and if you haven’t scanned your computer before, probably at least that. The long scan time is okay considering that the scanner works very well, and found every single virus that I downloaded to test it, including ones in downloaded files.

Review of Avast Free

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The Avast Free version is a great free tool that has a lot of pros and cons. It’s main points are that it has a very strong antivirus scanner that does catch everything I tested it with, and popped up several times to tell me that something was dangerous, or that it was stopping a download due to a virus download. That in itself is a really great point and makes Avast Free worth the download. It also comes with a number of great features like computer cleanup and speedup, although you will be constantly prompted to purchase the upgrade.

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The only real problem that Avast Free has it that it is consistently annoying. Whether it’s annoying with popups every time you turn on your computer alerting that it has updated virus definitions, annoying with popups that you have to update programs, or annoying with updates that you have grime on your computer, it’s constantly popping up and getting in the way. For some this might not be quite so bad, but for me,  it would be much nicer without them. In addition, if you have the free version, you will be constantly prompted to upgrade, this is understandable, but still annoying.

Avast also does not include a Firewall in their free version, which means that you will have to use the Windows one, or do without (which is not reccomended). AVG’s antivirus offers fewer features as extras, but does offer a free Firewall.

Finally, some of the extra features don’t work nearly as well as they should. The grime remover constantly targets programs that you probably actually want (like games), and targets anything not necessary to a computers startup and calls it an issue. If you aren’t familiar with what you want starting up or running, you might accidentally turn off some stuff that makes your life easier.

 

That aside, Avast is a great free antivirus, and its strong antivirus protection does make up for many of it’s shortcomings. However, after six months, I will be switching back to AVG, or to another free antivirus.