Avast free antivirus is an essential security application that protects a system from being attacked by viruses, spyware, ransomware and other kinds of malwares and threats. It provides all the necessary antivirus essentials for Windows, Mac and Android devices.
From blocking dangerous links to detecting real-time threats, from analyzing unknown files to alerting the user about malware existence, avast antivirus is expert in all of them.
It is an excellent free security suite with features like a password manager, a hardened browser, a gaming mode, and a Wifi scanner. However, to obtain some additional features like firewall, file encryption or file shredder, you will have to upgrade to a paid service.
In this article, we will see what the essential requirements are, to install avast antivirus on your system, from where you can download it, as well as we will learn about its interface, features offered, reports on its performances and its upgraded versions.
Let us start with the system requirements.
What are the necessary system requirements for Avast Antivirus?
The minimum system requirements for installing Avast antivirus (and other versions like Avast Premier, Avast Internet Security, Avast Pro Antivirus) are as follows.
- Windows 7SP1 or any higher edition (32/64-bit);
Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 except RT and starter edition (32/64-bit);
Windows 10 excluding mobile and IOT core edition (32/64-bit);
Windows Vista SP2 or higher version except for the Starter edition (32/64-bit);
Windows XP SP3 any edition (32-bit)
- Presence of Intel Pentium 4 / AMD Athlon 64 processor or higher versions, that supports SSE2 instructions, in a Windows fully compatible PC.
- 256 MB RAM or more.
- 2GB free hard disk space.
- Internet connection for downloading, activating and updating the program.
- Screen resolution should not be less than 800 x 600 pixels.
How to download and install Avast Free Antivirus?
You can directly download by clicking Avast Free Antivirus. Your download is expected to start automatically. If not, then there is an option to begin the process manually.
However, if you have an older version and you are trying to install a new version, you must keep it in mind that for Avast 7.x or later versions, you need not uninstall the previous version.
For these versions, Avast automatically upgrades the existing installation.
But for versions 6.x or older, you must first uninstall the existing version using Avast Uninstall Utility and then install the new version.
How to update Avast Antivirus?
Avast antivirus has ‘Virus Definitions’ that maintain a database of known viruses to identify malwares and other threats.
That is why the software must be regularly updated. The updates to ‘Program’ include bug fixes and general improvements.
Avast antivirus is expected to update automatically. If not, you can manually update the Virus Definitions (VPS) in the following way:
- Right-click the icon of Avast on your system tray.
- Take your cursor to Update and choose Engine and Virus definitions from the context menu.
- The screen showing the progress of VPS update is displayed.
- Click OK once the update is finished.
The Program consists of the user interface and all the components of Avast Antivirus. To update it manually, follow the steps given below:
- Right-click the icon of Avast on the system tray.
- Take your cursor to Update and choose Program from the context menu.
- The screen showing the progress of Program update is displayed.
- Click OK once the update is finished.
- Restart your computer (if asked) to reboot immediately.
How is the interface of Avast free antivirus?
Typically, if everything is alright, the main window has a green check mark with the words “You are protected” following it. If anything is wrong, the check mark will turn into a red X.
There is a button to use “Smart Scan” feature to find out vulnerable software, weak passwords, existing malware and other issues on your device.
There is “Protection Settings” that allows you to start a full-scan, scan particular files or any single item only.
The avast icon also has some features like Sandbox and firewall which are unavailable in the free version.
You must upgrade to access them.
Overall, the interface is both complex and customizable. The more you explore, the more opportunities you get.
What are the features of Avast free antivirus?
Avast antivirus is a feature-rich tool and is one of the popular security measures adopted by users worldwide. The features it offers are listed below.
Smart Scan comprehensively scans and detects different risks on a system.
For example, it can figure out several vulnerabilities like backdated software on a system which can be dangerous, malicious files, unnecessary apps, weaknesses in networks, weak passwords and existence of any other antivirus software on the system.
Core shields offer optional security to the systems by default. They display the major protection components in Avast Antivirus.
The different Core Shields are File Shield, Behavior Shield, Web Shield, and Mail Shield.
Avast antivirus has the provision of an isolated space where one can safely keep malicious files. One can even send them to Avast Threat Lab for Analysis from there. This space is termed Virus Chest.
The files residing in Virus Chest cannot access other data on your system. So, any malicious code in it will not affect your system.
Passive mode switches off all active protection like firewall and shields and allows a user to use more than one antivirus program at the same time, without degrading the system performance.
Under this mode, Avast will not actively protect your device but will receive the virus definitions and program updates and let you manually scan your computer.
It is better not to enable Passive Mode if you want Avast to protect your device from the common cyber threats.
Software updater updates other third-party apps to stop potential threats from penetrating the system. Attackers exploit the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of old apps to intrude a device.
With software updater, you can keep track of the existing apps on your computer and can update them as and when required.
Do Not Disturb mode
It is an upgraded form of the earlier Game mode. Do Not Disturb mode automatically blocks notifications of any other application from popping onto the screen.
It silently detects any application which you open, adds it to a list of entries and launches to stop notifications from being displayed.
Other additional features
Avast free antivirus is very rich in providing security features and has a lot of benefits for a user. But there are many additional features which are not available in its free version.
To access them, you need to subscribe and switch over to its other versions.
Some of these features are:
- Firewall feature is found in Avast Premier and Avast Internet Security which helps in monitoring traffic between the systems as well as blocks intrusions by attackers.
- Real Site or Secure DNS is available in Avast Pro Antivirus, Avast Premier and Avast Internet Security which prevents Domain Name System (DNS) hijacking.
- Ransomware Shields is found in Avast Premier and Avast Internet Security which averts any unwanted modification, deletion or encryption of your files during ransomware attacks.
- Sensitive Data Shield is available in Avast Premier and Avast Internet Security that protects confidential data from unauthorized access or damage by malware.
There are several such additional features like Webcam shield, Sandbox, Data Shredder, Anti-spam, etc in other versions of Avast.
Avast Antivirus offers predefined scans as well as an option for you to generate your custom scans.
Running a scan usually does not affect the system performance significantly.
However, it may affect depending on the system configurations or if multiple scans are initiated simultaneously.
What is the report concerning the protection provided by Avast Antivirus?
Avast free antivirus is an extremely popular antivirus used by people globally. Reports concerning its protective features are included in almost every testing lab report.
One can go through them before deciding to use it.
According to AV-Test’s February 2018 Home User report, Avast performed excellently by blocking 100% sample threats and displaying fewer false alarms than average.
The report also said that some actions might have been slowed down but was hardly noticeable.
For example, an application taking 5 seconds to launch without antivirus may take 5.5 seconds with Avast. Not a big deal, right?
As per the Real World Protection Report July-November 2017, Avast Antivirus ranked 10th with a detection rate of 99.5%, out of 21 other companies.
This rate is very much comparable to Avast’s competitors like Kaspersky and Avira (99.7%), McAfee (98.9%), etc.
According to SE labs, Avast ranks 5th out of 13 other companies. It is behind products like Norton, Kaspersky, ESET and Avira. It remained ahead of Trend Micro, F-Secure, BitDefender, etc.
Different labs have different testing procedures, and no two results are the same. Irrespective of all the variations, it is clear that Avast antivirus provides high-quality performance skillfully.
It may not perfectly match the market leaders but surely has beaten many of its competitors.
Avast Free Antivirus is amongst one of the most favorite choices picked up any user. It is a powerful free security suite and has even more features in its paid versions.
It offers multiple features like Smart Scan, Core Shields, Virus Chest, Passive Mode, etc and maintains the performance as well as the security of the system.
It bundles many additional features in its upgraded versions like Avast Premier, Avast Pro Antivirus, Avast Internet Security.
Avast free antivirus has a complex but customizable interface and is friendly for both beginners as well as advanced users.
It is effortless to download and install Avast free antivirus. It may not be the best but undoubtedly offers quality service in a free suite to different users all across the world.