Avast claims to have been safeguarding 435 million devices using its award-winning software for over 30 years. While the free offerings of the company offer limited capabilities however, its premium offerings include Avast Ultimate, are quite complete. 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 a simple layout that clearly outlines the various tools it provides. Its malware engine has performed well in independent lab testing and was able to detect numerous threats that are typically not detected by other protections. Its web security is effective, catching many sites that phish, and get past Chrome and Firefox’s default protections.
Other tools include an app lock, RAM boost, and a network scanner that searches for any vulnerabilities. Its ransomware shield prevents third-party software from altering the way you access, delete or lock your files until you pay a price. The program is available as mobile applications for Android as well as iOS. The Android application is more feature-rich because of Apple’s restrictions, however both versions offer essential security features like malware scanning and protection for websites.
Avast’s biggest flaw is that it stores and sends your personal data to its analytics firm, Jumpshot. This was disclosed in a PCMag and Motherboard investigation in 2020. However it is possible to turn off this feature via the settings menu. If you’re still concerned, Avast lets you set an account password that you have to enter to prevent the software from sharing your IP address or other information with third-party organizations.