Pros / Avast has an impressive automatic gamer mode.
Cons / For mobile compatibility you must download and install a separate program.
Verdict / Avast does well at protecting your computer and includes several important security tools to keep your system free from snoops and hackers. Plus, its gamer mode is a must if you play a lot of games online.
Avast Internet Security and Avast Premier are good choices for protecting your computers and mobile devices. Both did well in our in-house test for malware protection, and other test labs had similar results. We also learned that Avast’s automatic gaming mode makes both the internet security and premium security suites excellent choices if you play a lot of games online.
During our testing of the best internet security suites, Avast earned a 98 percent for malware protection. It prevented us from visiting websites with malicious downloads by displaying a warning messages. If we visited a safe site, Avast’s icon in the right corner of our browser showed green. Malware downloads were interrupted, and we were given details about the threat including the type of threat, like a Trojan or rootkit. Because the program has secure delete, most threats were automatically removed from our system without ever hitting the quarantine folder.
Avast did miss several virus downloads, though. These were saved in various parts of our computer and were found during the full virus scan. Found threats were
sent to the quarantine folder for us to double check before permanently deleting them.
Though Avast does have a free antivirus program, its paid versions come with more tools. Both Avast Internet Security and Premier have a personal firewall. This monitors your internet connection to see if anyone is using it to spy on you and gather personal information. It will also tell you if anyone is piggybacking on your connection, which causes your internet service to run slower. Avast also includes a vulnerability scanner with both paid versions. This looks for outdated software or weak passwords and helps you secure them better. This is invaluable because these are vulnerable points that hackers and ransomware often take advantage of.
The automatic gaming mode of this virus protection program recognizes when you are playing online and instinctively adds your gaming sites to its whitelist. It also suspends some functions while you play so you won’t experience any lag. But Avast is still running quietly in the background keeping you safe from any malware that may try to sneak in through popular gaming sites, chat messages or automatic downloads. When you are finished playing and navigate away from your game, Avast will disable its gamer mode and return to scheduled scans and deep cleans of your system.
With Avast Premier you also get safe banking tools that hide your personal information, including credit card numbers and bank accounts, while you shop or pay bills online. It also monitors your webcam and will disable it if it detects a program or someone other than you is trying to access it without permission. I you purchase Premier you can also download Avast’s VPN for free.
In comparison with the best internet security suites, Avast Internet Security and Premier are missing a few things, most notably parental controls. These would let you control when your child has access to the internet and what kind of content they can see. Neither has dedicated social network tools that protect you from malicious links or monitor for cyberbullies. Avast is also one of the few internet protection programs that doesn’t offer online backup storage to its users. We recommend checking out Bitdefender if these features are important to you.
Avast Internet Security and Avast Premier give you access to Avast’s mobile protection for cell phones and tablets. The application must be downloaded directly to the Android or iOS device you want to secure rather than using a single program like Norton offers. This means while you get some added protection for your mobile devices, most security tools and features available for the computer don’t work on mobile. For iPhones and iPads you are limited to block call features, a VPN and password manager. Android users, however, get true mobile security plus a system cleanup tool.
Avast Internet Security and Avast Premier lack a few important features that competitors include, and you need to get a separate program to protect your mobile devices, but a personal firewall and vulnerability scanner are both included. Premier also includes a VPN and webcam monitoring. Overall Avast did a good job detecting and protecting against malware, earning a 98 percent protection score. But it did allow some malware threats to download to our test computers.