The personal firewall Avast includes with its Internet Security program is smart enough to provide extra protection when you connect to a public network versus your home network. This keeps snoops and hackers from swiping your sensitive information when your system is most vulnerable. Avast Internet Security shows you the intrusions it blocks and lets you to adjust its firewall settings to allow certain communications in. When you’re on your home network, you can keep the same level of security or lower it a little.
This firewall software comes with a VPN, or private browser. Using the VPN, you can perform web searches, bank and visit social media pages without threats slipping through or tracking programs, such as cookies, learning your online behaviors. You can also use Avast’s password manager to shield your usernames and passwords as you log into online email, bank and social media accounts. That way, your credentials can’t be swiped by hackers.
Avast Internet Security’s antivirus portion identifies and blocks malware, including ransomware that holds your files and programs hostage until you pay its creator a fee to unlock them. During our in-house tests, we found it was better at blocking malicious downloads, including Trojans and rootkits, than it was at warning us of malicious sites. While Avast gives a small warning for dangerous sites, it is very subtle – the Avast icon in the top right corner of the browser turns red. This is different from most personal firewall programs, which display more prominent warnings in the browser window.
You may notice some lag on your computer as Avast runs. However, its gamer mode keeps it from slowing your computer while you play games. Avast recognizes when you log into an online game and automatically suspends scans and other functions while you play. It then automatically resumes them when you are done. The software also enables this feature anytime you are in full-screen mode, which is helpful when you watch movies online.
The program’s Software Updater is another useful feature. This tool scans your computer for out-of-date programs and operating system updates, then provides you with a link to a legitimate source where you can download the latest version. This is important because hackers and malware target these weak points in your system, using them to enter and infect your network.
Avast Internet Security is one of the best firewall and internet security programs. It includes powerful tools such as a VPN connection, a password manager and an email shield. Its Real Site security lets you know if a webpage is too dangerous to open, and the software informs you if you have any outdated programs that make your computer vulnerable to hackers and malware.