PROS / Avast detects when your applications are out of date and updates them for you.
CONS / A few competitors have a better detection rate for brand new malware.
VERDICT / Avast Pro Antivirus has a strong feature list with good AV-Test scores for usability, performance and protection.
Avast is familiar to many people in the antivirus software arena. It was one of the first companies to offer free antivirus software back in 2001. Avast Antivirus Pro is the paid version of the very same software. It includes a host of useful features, good detection rates and 24/7 phone support that helps it claim a spot in our review of the best antivirus software.
Avast participated in recent tests conducted by AV-Test during July and August of 2015. In usability tests, which determine whether it falsely finds threats in perfectly legitimate software, it didn't have any errors. It had average performance scores, a measure of whether it slows down a host computer. In protection tests to detect brand-new malware, it performed better than the industry average.
The most important feature of any antivirus software is malware detection and prevention. Since antivirus software is an entry-level product, anything else is nice to have. Avast Pro Antivirus has many useful additional features to improve security. One such bonus is a software updater that analyzes whether your computer's applications require updates. Hackers know that many users fail to maintain current software versions, so they attack with older malware to catch the laggards. Avast’s software updater can help improve your security if you have a tendency to postpone software updates.
Secure DNS is one of Avast Pro Antivirus's unique tools, which helps prevent DNS hijacking. DNS hijacking steers you from legitimate sites to fake ones, so while you think you're on your bank's website, someone is actually stealing your credentials. Another feature that extends security beyond virus protection is Avast’s home network security scanner, which checks your network for potential issues. It can warn about weak Wi-Fi passwords or alert you if you still have the default password on your router. Gaming mode prevents the display of pop-ups and alerts when you watch videos or play games.
Avast offers 24/7 technical support services via telephone. Less than half of the antivirus software products in our reviews provide such a thing. You can also contact the company by email. Avast does not offer live chat support.
Avast Pro Antivirus has few problems detecting malware and making decisions about whether incoming traffic is friend or foe. It extends its protection to your home network, prevents hackers from hijacking your browser and finds out-of-date applications that make you vulnerable. 24/7 telephone support is nice addition to a good product.