Virus protection is somewhat of a tense industry to work in. It could be compared to preparing materials for tightrope walkers or skydivers – you’re dealing with a field where there is no room for error.
Virus scanning software programs can do a lot for you. They can protect you from hundreds of pesky tracking cookies or dozens of malicious software programs that would’ve otherwise likely found their way into your system – and your private files.
But it only takes one moment of weakness for one piece of malware or tricky virus to slip past antivirus software for a serious problem to occur. This is why so many virus companies compete with one another aggressively within the market – and among them is Avast Internet Security.
For those who have used them, the company represents a name they can trust to take care of their computer – the company has a long tenure in their field and a lot of good feedback. It’s hard to rack that up unless you have a firm grasp on your field and can consistently deliver what your customers want.
But for those who haven’t used them, why should they? Can they really stack up to the likes of other leading products like Norton, AVG, and even Windows Defender? Today, we’ll be checking out Avast Internet Security. What does it offer? Why is it important to know about it? And how could it help you compared to the competition?
The Growing Need for Internet Security Solutions
It may seem redundant to tell people they need an antivirus program when they’re browsing online. It seems like most of us would know this, especially given the internet’s growing popularity.
But there are still those who underestimate the scope of threats awaiting them online. Some people still don’t use an antivirus software, unless it is one that is set up for them. This can come in the form of Windows Defender, which is now often packaged standard with modern incarnations of the OS, and various trails of paid software included with the purchase of a new rig.
But it isn’t just about the common user underestimating how bad cyber attacks can be. There’s no need to imagine it – even some of the world’s biggest organizations with the best security departments in the world can thwart cyber threats. Just in the first half of 2018, many of the world’s leading organizations have been victims.
Let’s look at a few of these names.
Between April 26 and June 12, customers who shopped on the online store at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s may have had their personal information accessed by unauthorized third parties. Though Macy’s didn’t reveal a lot of specifics about either the number of people affected or how intensive the breach was, it was confirmed that some of the compromised data included credit card numbers.
It was back in June that this leading sports apparel giant announced that customer data inputted to their US website had been intercepted by an unauthorized party. Everything from the customers’ login information to their email and even physical addresses were accessed, with only a small degree of encryption stopping the situation from being much worse.
Sears Holding got hit hard by cyberattacks, with separate attacks to each of the respective companies taking place in April. A security liability with one of the company’s payment support partners resulted in about 100,000 people having their credit card information stolen.
The list goes on and on – Delta, Equifax, Best Buy Yahoo – there’s no name that is immune from being affected by cyber threats. And while established companies don’t usually rely solely on standard antivirus programs like Avast Internet Security, there are benefits to using it.
Let’s go over the basics about this product, including its origins, structure, pricing (if applicable) and performance when compared to the competition.
A Free Product That Offers Multiple Perks
As we can see, the immediate perk of Avast Internet Security is in its price tag – or more specifically, in its lack of a price tag. While not the only free antivirus programs out there, this is definitely one of the more popular ones.
Why is that? On Avast’s website, they list their main objective as creating a world that offers safety and privacy regardless of a user’s connection. That’s a lofty goal, but it is one every antivirus company should ultimately strive for. Just how well has Avast delivered over the years?
- Effortless security - Security updates plus new features are pushed to you automatically so you're always protected.
- PC safety made easy - Get automatic updates to stay protected from the latest threats.
- Protection beyond your PC - Find and fix network issues to keep strangers and malware out.
The company’s main claim to fame can be found in both their user base and the technology they use to accomplish their goals. They boast a user base of hundreds of millions, and they use a complex cloud-based learning engine to help them stay up on the latest threats.
This is a smart feature for any antivirus company to have – after all, cyber threats are the product of escalation. As the digital age took hold and the internet began to offer us more in terms of conveniences, more people flocked to it and uploaded their personal information in droves.
Malware Detection and Blocking
AI and Machine Learning
This represents a potential goldmine for hackers, who were quickly combated by security experts. This, in turn, caused those hackers to up their game and get more creative. From trojan viruses packaged in places you’d least expect to ransomware that literally holds your system hostage, there are a lot of bad things to worry about in cyberspace.
The answer to this is connectivity – which may seem a bit counterintuitive for some. How could embracing the digital age even more help thwart the hazards it brings? Connectivity doesn’t just mean viruses and spyware can reach a person’s computer. It means virus protection companies can do, too. They can deliver the latest and most important updates to virus definitions and protection settings, providing quick reactions to developing problems.
With a robust network combined with their skilled team, Avast has helped to keep cybercriminals at bay for millions of users. Whether the product is used in homes or in the offices of businesses, it provides a great array of tools to help users stay safe.
What is Avast’s Security Engine Built From?
- Extra ransomware protection - An extra layer of ransomware protection for your most important files and photos.
- Secure your network - Wall off your personal files and photos from ransomware.
- Keep your software updated - Get the latest updates for your apps, automatically.
Before we go over the specific product features you can expect in Avast’s line, it would be a good idea to explore their strategy with a little more depth.
The company draws on one of the largest threat-detection databases on the planet – or the largest, if we go by their claims. Every month Avast checks over 200 billion URLs for potential malware or malicious software. They also check hundreds of millions of files in the same span of time, using their artificial intelligence system to guard against future issues.
As the system grows and learns, it can better protect all types of users against threats. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new incarnation of an old virus (NotPetya, anyone?) to brand new threats, Avast’s system is built to handle it.
Their products have been around for three decades, and now that the number of things connected to the internet is expected to increase at exponential rates in the coming years, having a good antivirus provider has never been more crucial.
Avast Internet Security Products: Which is Right for You?
Block viruses and other malware
Scan for Wi-Fi security weaknesses
Secure your passwords
Avoid fake sites for safer shopping
Safely run suspicious apps
Block hackers with advanced firewall
Block annoying spam and phishing emails
Get an extra layer of ransomware security
Stop webcam spying
Permanently shred sensitive files
Automatically update apps
Includes Avast Cleanup Premium, Avast SecureLine VPN, and Avast Passwords Premium
Now that we know how long Avast has been around and how they go about creating their products, let’s examine their catalog and discuss which products they offer.
For starters, we’ll go to the home section. Home antivirus solutions are becoming more important than they have been since the internet’s inception. Homes now have more devices connected at the same time, more opportunities for their data to become compromised, and more of an initiative to stay protected.
Avast’s regular virus scanner may be free, but their Premiere Nitro Update does cost. Technically, you can still try it for free. But in order to get the full effect and enjoy all the tools the product offers, you’ll need to fork over some cash.
With the Premier version, you get Avast’s professional internet security scanner and antivirus program. It automatically protects you from suspicious files and redirects them with limited impact on your computer. There are even protections for Macs, meaning those hackers who target the often-touted-as-immune Apple side of computing can be guarded against.
Other perks include SecureLine encryption for safer connections, file cleanup programs to help you improve performance and disk space, as well as password protection tools. Whether you want to tidy up annoying toolbars on your browsers or ensure you don’t have any more problems with malware, the company’s home program’s Premiere edition is a great choice.
But what about the pricing structure? For one device, you can get a yearly subscription for around $34.99. As with most products of this kind, you can choose between 2-3-year options as well.
Avast Business Antivirus Pro Plus: The Commercial Option
- Keep 3rd party software updated: We'll keep an eye on common 3rd party applications and keep them updated to keep you protected.
- Secure connections: Secure connections over wifi when you're on the go.
- Avast Passwords: Secure storage and management of all your browser passwords.
As we mentioned above, companies have a vested interest in security as much (if not more so) as anyone. And while they may not use the free version of Avast’s basic scanner, it is certainly feasible they would consider their paid business security tool.
The idea behind this tool is simple: heavy threat protection without heavy resource consumption. We all know that companies need their computer systems to be as robust, fast, and responsive as possible. Think about how a small delay can affect a major organization. If companies that make thousands on sales per day experience even a few hours of downtime, it can result in a big slash in their profits.
Now think about how a resource-hungry virus scanner could slow things down gradually, just enough to siphon the same level of cash from the bottom line but over a longer period. Avast touts a great antivirus product that relies heavily on the cloud to take the weight off the system.
Not only does the software handle the basics flawlessly with a 100-percent detection rate for malware, but it also offers some great add-ons. This includes tools to help prevent spies from snooping on you through your webcam – that’s right, not even your webcam is safe from hackers unless you have the proper technology.
Businesses also have to worry about identity protection, as both they and their customers represent an easy target for hackers since all their information is usually stored in a single system. But there is nothing easy about cracking Avast’s security which protects identities through an easy-to-use VPN. It’s a safety measure companies can be glad they invested in.
There’s also one more protection feature included in the business version that is pretty nice – something some of Avast’s competitors don’t offer. An old philosophy regarding war says the way to defeat what is strong is to strike what is weak. As we mentioned at the beginning, even a minuscule security weak point can lead to you being victimized.
Luckily, Avast’s business tool detects issues in out-of-date software and helps you make sure that confidential documents get deleted for good. This helps eliminate the vast majority of security vulnerabilities out there.
Final Verdict: Does Avast Beat Out the Competition?
We all have our favorites – in food, in music, in TV, and of course, in virus protection. Avast’s software systems look a lot like those of Norton, AVG, or the other antivirus titans of the industry. But how do they compare?
If you take a brand-neutral perspective and go on features-to-price alone, you’ll find most of the industry’s big players offer you something great for your money. Avast’s pricing is close to that of its competitors, each offering a year subscription to a basic antivirus software for approximately $50 with some extras included.
Different companies offer different extras, so the real decision-making process comes down to what extras you prefer. But if you’re determined to go with Avast Internet Security because of previous experiences, you can’t go wrong. Whether used for homes or businesses, their tools are reliable and built to handle the most modern threats out there.