PROS / It detects whether your applications are out of date and updates them for you.
CONS / A few competitors improve on Avast’s detection rates.
VERDICT / Avast Pro Antivirus is among the best antivirus software products because of its helpful feature list, usability, performance and rates of protection.
Avast participated in tests conducted by AV Test that ran continuously for March and April of 2014 with a total of 25 antivirus for PC competitors. In usability tests to determine whether it becomes confused into falsely detecting threats in perfectly legitimate software, it turned in superb results: Out of 826,400 samples, it made just one false detection. It also excelled at performance, a measure of whether it slows the performance of a host computer. It ran faster than the average participant in the tests. In protection tests to measure ability to detect brand-new as well as widespread malware, it performed on par with the industry average, which is why it is in our review of best antivirus software.
The most important feature of any antivirus software is malware detection and prevention. Anything else is nice to have, given that antivirus software is considered an entry-level product not expected to have the type of feature list that internet security suites have. Avast Pro Antivirus has many useful additional features to improve security. One such bonus is a software updater that analyzes whether any of your installed applications require updating and updates those that do. What do software updates have to do with security? Software updates incorporate fixes to any vulnerabilities that became apparent in the previous versions. Every time a hacker exploits a vulnerability in application software, the software publisher rolls a fix into the next version. If you lag in the process of maintaining current software versions, you become vulnerable to well-known malware. Hackers know that many users fail to maintain current software versions, so they successfully attack with older malware just catch the inevitable laggards. Avast’s software updater is an excellent feature that will improve your security if you have a tendency to postpone software version updates.
Another feature that extends security well beyond virus protection is Avast’s home network security scanner, which scans your network and routers for potential issues. It can warn about weak Wi-Fi passwords or alert you if you never changed the default password that the router came with. In a similar vein, Avast Pro Antivirus includes a feature that prevents hackers from DNS hijacking. DNS hijacking steers you from legitimate sites over to fake sites designed to fool you into thinking they are really your bank site, for example. If you take the bait and log in, then the hackers have all of your credentials. Avast’s Secure DNS decreases the potential for hackers to hijack your browser.
Avast customers enjoy 24/7 telephone access to technical support. Very few of its competitors provide such a thing.
Avast Pro Antivirus is excellent at detecting malware, accurate in its decisions about whether incoming traffic is friend or foe and sparing of system resources. It extends its protection to your home network, prevents hackers from hijacking your browser and updates any out-of-date applications that might leave you vulnerable. Customers enjoy 24/7 telephone access to technical support, a thing virtually unheard of among its competitors.