Avast Antivirus Home Edition
Alwil Avast Antivirus Home Edition provides solid antimalware protection and a good set of features, but its outdated interface needs a makeover
- Capable malware detection, fast scan speed
- Outdated and confusing interface
Alwil Avast Antivirus Home Edition will do a decent job protecting a PC from malware, and it's free, but if you're willing to put up with a less-than-perfect interface (and some ads), you're better off going with Avira's top-notch blocking.
Alwil Avast Antivirus Home Edition, developed in the Czech Republic, offers capable malware detection and faster-than-average scan speed, both of which helped propel the app to the number two spot in our rankings of free antivirus software. Its clunky interface badly needs updating, however.
In AV-Test.org malware-detection tests, Alwil Avast Antivirus Home Edition blocked a respectable 98.2 percent of samples out of a malware "zoo" consisting of about a half-million files. That wasn't enough for Avast to top the best performer, Avira Antivir Personal, but it's still a good showing.
Avast didn't do quite as well in proactive-detection tests, which simulate how well a program would fare against new and unknown malware. Its catch rates of 46.1 percent (two-week-old signatures) and 41 percent (four-week-old signatures) put it in fourth place.
Alwil Avast Antivirus Home Edition was relatively nimble at on-demand scans (which you start manually) and on-access scans (which occur automatically when you save or use a file), placing second in each test (behind Avira in both cases). It issued just one false positive (labeling harmless software as malicious).
In disinfection, Alwil Avast Antivirus Home Edition nearly matched the top free performers, detecting and disabling 90 percent of the rootkits used in our tests. All three apps, however, also left behind Registry entries and failed to reverse all of the changes that the malware had made.
While Alwil Avast Antivirus Home Edition does well as a malware blocker and remover, it fares poorly as a program that people have to interact with. Its outdated interface has sections that look entirely different depending on whether you're running a scan, checking status, or changing settings.
The scanning interface mimics a music player, but you probably won't be singing its praises. Be sure to read the how-to guide that pops up the first time you use Alwil Avast Antivirus Home Edition, unless you enjoy scratching your head and growling at your monitor.
The Avast product is the only free antivirus software we've tested recently that requires you to register within 60 days to receive a free licence key. It's also the only app that scans web traffic for malware (AVG 8.5 Free's LinkScanner scans web traffic for the attacks that can presage malware, but not for the malware itself), and it scans email traffic as well.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost review
- 2 Synology DS216+ Review
- 3 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 4 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 5 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Edward Snowden has developed an iPhone case meant to kill surveillance
- No more passwords with Google's Trust API
- A critical flaw in Symantec antivirus engine puts computers at risk of easy hacking
- Malware attacks on two banks have links with 2014 Sony Pictures hack
- Valve cleverly battles Steam cheaters with two-factor authentication
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTSocial Media AssistantQLD
- CCIP & Fixed LeadVIC
- CCBusiness Analyst - Microsoft Active DirectoryNSW
- CCContract Systems Analyst (HP-UX/Oracle RDBMS) 160720/SA/113Asia
- CCMessaging EngineerNSW
- CCLead Solutions ArchitectQLD
- FTSAP ESB Service Management SpecialistVIC
- FTDesktop EngineerNSW
- CCChange Portfolio ManagerNSW
- CCBusiness Intelligence Developer - Initial 3mth ContractVIC
- FTJava DeveloperVIC
- CCProject CoordinatorACT
- FTGraduate IT supportNSW
- CCAssociate Engineer (Communications Engineering)Asia
- FTSenior .Net DeveloperSA
- CCData Analyst / Data ModelerNSW
- CCSenior SAP BW & HANA Developer/Technical ArchitectVIC
- CCOrganisational Change ManagerVIC
- CCSenior Business Systems AnalystVIC
- CCTechnical Specialist - EUCNSW
- CCCRM DeveloperACT
- FTSenior .Net DeveloperNSW
- CCCommunication LeadVIC
- CCBPM Solution ArchitectVIC
- CCCRM Technical Consultant / DeveloperNSW