Avast Anti-Virus features: Free vs Premium – Is Premium really worth it?

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Avast has a long list of features to ensure their customers protection. But which plan offers the best features to suit your needs?

By Aleksandar Spasov | 28th September 2018
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When it comes to quality anti-virus software, Avast is one of the first names to come up. With a long history of being within the top ranks in the list, Avast is a preferred option for millions of users around the world. The main question here is not whether you should rely on it but which version to choose – the free or the paid one?

As you might have figured it out, the free version is more than enough to keep your PC secure without paying a dime. With the Premium packages, you get a couple of extra features but is it really worth it? While every customer has a different approach to keeping their system safe, we will go a bit deeper into comparing the two possible choices.

Avast Anti-Virus Free Features

It is a known fact that even the free version of Avast can outperform many paid competitors. According to AV-Comparatives, it is one of the fastest (if not the fastest) scanning software among all other free antivirus software packages. Unlike some companies, Avast doesn’t “cripple” its free version just so you can purchase the paid one. You get the needed protection for your PC with Avast Free, and you can only go higher with Premium.

Starting off with the Behavior Shield, we will go through the most important security tools of Avast Free. The Shield acts as a real-life guard at a crowded event. Instead of a crowd, it monitors all running processes on your computer, both easily visible and running in the background. If it comes across an uncharacteristic activity, it immediately alerts you with a report. This way, you can inspect the danger yourself, and decide how to act on it – leave it be or terminate it instantly.

The Browser Cleanup acts as an extremely efficient insect remover. Where unwanted add-ons, extensions, and hijacked searches are the insects, and Avast Free is the powerful spray that scares them away. You can enjoy safe and smooth browsing while it does its job silently. No disturbance, just comfort.

For those highly suspicious files, Avast Free brings you CyberCapture. A feature that detects and locates these rare occurrences, locks them away from your computer and sends them out to the Avast Threat Labs. Once they get there, analysis and verdict come along. You get a quick feedback on the nature of the unknown file, so you don’t let it corrupt your device.

We doubt that there is such thing as a Silly Scan because every scan can be beneficial to your PC’s safety. However, Avast Free comes with a Smart Scan feature that detects scary malware, outdated software, unclear browser add-ons, all-around network threats, compromised passwords, and even performance problems. With just a simple scan, you will gain enough information to maintain the proper state of your computer.

To complete the goodies list, free users can use the Avast Safezone Browser. It enables private browsing through the Web with the help of a virtual desktop, accessible only by you. It gives you the chance to enter Bank Mode, pick Safezone add-ons, and proceed to bookmark favourite websites in a customized way. The Bank Mode is especially convenient because it “hides” all login/payment information from possible hackers, leaving you with a breezy online banking or shopping experience.

Avast Premium Features

Security-oriented users can, of course, choose to pay for their anti-virus software to gain more customization power for their defenses. Paid versions of Avast come in three forms – Internet Security ($59,99/year), Premier ($79,99/year), and Ultimate ($119,99/year). All of them upgrade the free features of Avast and customers may choose which one suits them the best. In addition, you get more specialized options when it comes to system safety.

Anti-Spam and Firewall are present in the Internet Security package as useful tools towards issueless web adventures. You won’t be able to click on a fake email link because you wouldn’t receive in the first place. Anti-Spam examines and blocks all incoming harmful messages, and the Firewall acts as an empowered bouncer, sifting out only safe content – you can always add a website to its whitelist if you find to be trusted. Otherwise, Firewall will do everything needed to keep you off dangerous URLs.

Going further into Internet Security, users get to run applications, download files, and check out websites in a totally separate environment. It is isolated from the rest of your processes, and it doesn’t allow any outside interference. Sandbox, combined with the ultimate Ransomware Shield, allow you to surf the net without the tiniest risk of getting your system infected by any form of malware.

As with many products, one can always go stronger. With Avast Premier, you receive a Data Shredder that gets rid of any unwanted/unneeded information – this eliminates weak links in your system, so hackers wouldn’t get the chance to exploit them. What is more, the Webcam Shield keeps all negative advances towards your web camera at a stop. Only you are able to define who sees what when you enter your video mode. Yes, Big Brother is always watching but you can pull the curtains together on him with just a click. Your privacy is important, and Avast understands that to the full extent.

Reaching the final option, Avast Ultimate allows the usage of Cleanup Premium, Password Premium, and the immaculate SecureLine VPN. Launching SecureLine hides your location, making you untraceable for possible IP attacks. It runs clean, doesn’t slow your PC’s performance, and it defines the Ultimate safe browsing experience.

To Summarize

It is totally fine to say that Avast Antivirus Free is able to keep your computer away from malicious attacks. It is light, doesn’t require much effort, and it only gets better with each update. On the other hand, paid versions bring more features, an array of special settings, and reach new heights when it comes to System Security. Avast, as a product, is an immense malware removal tool, and you only get bonuses when you upgrade your free version to a yearly subscription.

Written by
Aleksandar Spasov
Aleksander is a freelancer from Bulgaria. He's travelled and is still travelling around the the world and has been writing and studying as he goes. He describes himself as a bit of a word freak and this is clear from his studies in English and Journalism. Although he is knowledgeable in a lot of areas, he has been researching and writing about anti-virus as his most recent interest. Read more.
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  1. Data shredder. Webcam shield. So what? I like my data. I can put tape over my webcam.