In today's technological world, we need some sort of defensive mechanism on all devices. With the change in time, many malware, viruses, and Trojans have come into existence-threatening your personal information. To counter this, several antivirus companies have come up with solutions to protect your privacy online.
Avast is one of those leading brands providing best-in-class security solutions in the market. Avast comes in two different types: Avast Free edition & Avast Paid, but which one stands out and can offer better security to our computer?
Is installing their free version enough to counter the viruses and malware attacks? If you're considering buying antivirus software, but you're not sure whether to go for a free or premium plan, then read on. Here, we have made a comparison between Avast free vs paid to choose among them.
An Introduction to Avast Free Antivirus
Founded back in 1988, Avast is a leading brand providing the best security packages in the market. The most popular Avast Free Antivirus comes with a handful of features designed to provide maximum protection against cyber threats.
The best part about their free version is that it comes without any costs. Hence, it allows you to try out their services before committing to their paid products. Avast even claims that their free version is much better than free versions of other antivirus programs. However, there are a few advanced security features that you will miss when you compare Avast free version with the paid Premium solution.
Avast Free Antivirus Usage Stats and Popularity
Over the last 32 years, Avast has gained over 200 million users from all over the world. AV-Comparatives has also ranked Avast's free as the most popular security provider in North America, South America, and Europe.
The rankings and popularity stats have come from a study conducted by AV-Comparatives. Their study has stated how people's access to the internet is changing. Hence, people are becoming more aware of the dangers of cyber threats.
Features of the Avast Free Antivirus
- Compatible with most of the operating systems available out there.
- Gaming mode
- Beginner-friendly user interface.
- Offers Real-time protection
- Firewall protection
- Multiple scanning options are available.
- Regular updates that keep your system up to date.
What's More in Avast's Arsenal of Security Packages?
That's not all! Avast has two different premium packages to offer, as well. As you'll move up the ladder, you will get more features and better protection against viruses, malware, and Trojans. Let's have a look at some of Avast's packages here:
Avast Premium Security
Avast Premium Security has a set of features that you won't get in the free version. Safezone, process virtualization, and sandbox are among the ones you get in their premium security package.
Free Antivirus provides only a decent security level, but Avast Premium Security provides you with some additional defensive mechanisms.
Avast Ultimate Suite
Specifically built for businesses and big firms, the Avast Ultimate suite includes features of both the free and premium internet security packages. Besides, it also has some additional tools like SecureLine VPN, Cleanup premium, and Passwords Premium.
Avast recently launched Avast One, bringing together Antivirus, VPN, security, privacy, and performance features in an all-in-one suite. Both free and paid versions of Avast One are available.
However, the free version, Avast One Essential, has limited features. The premium versions - Avast One Individual and Avast One Family include advanced security, privacy, and performance features. These include unlimited VPN service, enhanced Software Updater, Driver Updater, Webcam Protection & Disk Cleaner features, to name a few. Learn more in this Avast One Review.
Avast Free Vs Paid: Common Features
Both Avast free and Premium packages are different. But still, there are several similarities between them. Here's a few of them:
Avast's free and Premium package can run real-time scans for viruses, malware, and Trojans.
Firewall protection is a necessary module for any antivirus. It scans incoming and outgoing connections and blocks any potential threat.
Secure Wi-Fi Inspector
There's a Wi-Fi inspector available in both the free and premium packages. The Wi-Fi Inspector can scan for devices on your Wi-Fi networks with weak points. However, the Wi-Fi Inspector feature is not available for Windows.
Multiple Scanning Options
Both Avast's free and Premium plans have various scanning options to offer. It includes:
Avast One doesn't include the Mail Shield feature.
Both Avast Free and Premium packages have a built-in DND (Do not disturb) specifically built to prevent pop-ups while any program is in full-screen mode. Please note that this feature is not available in Avast One package.
Ransomware Shield prevents your data and other sensitive files from being encrypted by attacks. Hence, this feature scans and automatically secures folders that might contain personal data and let you decide which other folders you would like to protect against untrusted applications.
Mail Inbox Tracking
Infected mails play a significant role in phishing attacks. To counter this, Avast Free includes a built-in mail inbox tracking system that keeps an eye on your mail inbox and blocks the spam or phishing emails you receive.
Avast free version includes software Updater module. The basic function of this module is to scan your system and update old versions of software. Hence, it prevents the exploitation of any known vulnerability on the old versions.
Avast Free Vs Paid: Feature Differences
Avast's free version is enough to keep your computer safe from most of the prevalent viruses. Avast Free version provides a lot of features as compared to other competitors. However, when it comes to protecting your data and online privacy, you should consider their paid packages. There are several differences that you'll find in Avast Free Vs. Paid. Let's have a look at some of them as follows:
Fake Website Protection
Avast Premium Security has a built-in defensive shield that detects and protects you from suspicious websites trying to steal your information. However, you won't get this phishing protection feature in its free version.
There's a Sandbox available in Avast Premium that creates a separate space to run suspicious apps. By doing so, Avast Premium Security protects your device from any harm. Avast One doesn't have this feature.
Webcam Spying Prevention
There are over thousands of spyware attacks that take place every year. As a solution to the rising threat, Avast's Webcam Shield feature prevents unauthorized access to your webcam.
Delete Shredded Files
Avast Premium Security comes with the ability to delete shredded files. Hence it ensures that no one recovers those files to misuse them. Please note that this feature is not available in Avast One.
Password Protection is a privacy feature available in Avast Premium Security that protects passwords stored in your Web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Avast Secure Browser). This feature is enabled by default.
Advanced Firewall Protection
Avast Premium Security subscribers can take advantage of the additional premium features included in the package. These include
- Leak Protection
It is recommended to enable this feature when you are connected to the public network. Leak Protection prevents confidential data leakage (like login credentials and email addresses) from your computer to the network.
- Port Scan Alerts
Defend yourself against port scanning attacks with this feature. With this age-old technique, hackers look for ways to access your network and steal sensitive data.
When the feature is turned on, the Firewall will notify you if cybercriminals are trying to scan your devices for open ports. The feature works when it finds that you are connected to a vulnerable network.
- ARP Spoofing Alerts
As the name suggests, the Firewall will alert you of any Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) spoofing attacks when this feature is enabled. It is a form of man-in-the-middle attack where the hacker sends fraudulent ARP messages on a network. The feature, too, works when you are on an unprotected network.
Avast Ultimate Suite Vs. Avast Premium Security
While Avast Premium Security lacks a couple of advanced security features, Avast Ultimate Suite reduces the gap by providing additional security features. Let's have a look at what Avast Ultimate Suite has to offer:
Avast Ultimate Suite does feature a VPN to encrypt your browser for risk-free browsing. The VPN keeps your IP address and private information safe from hackers trying to steal your information.
The Avast Cleanup Premium module helps you to remove the system and browser junk files. It works automatically to keep your system fast and responsive. The cleanup module is similar to Advanced SystemCare Pro. You can read our Advanced SystemCare Pro review and compare it with Avast Cleanup Premium.
Anti-tracking software from Avast protects you from being tracked online, protects your identity while browsing online, prevents targeted ads, and keeps your Windows operating system private.
Avast Premium Security Vs. Avast One
Avast One has all the features of Avast Premium Security. In addition, Avast One includes features like Driver Updater, Web Hijack Guard, Data Breach Monitoring, Avast SecureLine VPN, and Cleanup Premium. Let's have a look at the major features:
Avast One includes the Driver Updater feature. Driver Updater will scan and update the latest drivers. In this way, you can speed up your PC performance. It is a paid feature.
Protection against DNS Hijacking
In Avast One, you can prevent DNS Hijacking via the Web Hijack Guard feature. It is a paid feature, and you will have to subscribe to one of their premium plans to avail of this feature.
Data Breach Monitoring
Protect yourself from data breaches in real-time with the Data Breach Monitoring feature. You can check and monitor data breaches for compromised passwords if any. Depending on your Avast One subscription plan, you can monitor 5 or 30 email addresses.
However, if you plan to migrate your Avast Premium Security (single device subscription) to Avast One, you are going to miss these features:
- Wi-Fi Inspector
- Mail Shield
- Data Shredder
- DND Mode
- Gaming Mode
Avast Free Antivirus Vs. Avast One
Avast One has many features even in its free version, but they are limited. Apart from the antivirus protection found in Avast Free Antivirus, you will get comprehensive security, privacy, and performance features in Avast One.
However, if you plan to migrate from Avast Free Antivirus to Avast One, you are going to miss these features:
- Wi-Fi Inspector
- Mail Shield
- Rescue Disk
- DND Mode
Who Should Buy Avast's Paid Versions?
Avast's free version offers the basic protection a device should have. If you are an advanced user with good surfing habits, Avast Free is good for you. However, if you need more protection features like Firewall, Browsing protection, etc. it would be beneficial to opt for Avast paid packages. They have three different paid packages to offer, but which one should you choose?
It depends on your needs. For example, if you want protection for your personal computer, it would be better to opt for their Premium Security package. It would be enough to provide the automated protection that your device needs.
On the other hand, do you store a lot of business and financial information on your device? Or do you travel a lot and access public WiFi for work and payments? In such cases, you can avail Avast Ultimate Suite. It has enough features and tools to provide you with complete protection from hackers trying to steal your information.
If you are looking for all-around protection, then you can go with Avast One. Avast One has all the tools to protect your devices in one convenient suite.
Paid Protection Pricing Plans
Avast Premium Security
Avast Premium Security has support for both single devices and multiple devices. It comes with some decent security features that could be enough to protect your personal computer. Avast Premium Security will cost you around USD 70 for one year that supports only one device.
On the other hand, if you want to use it for multiple devices, it will cost you around USD 90 per year and support up to 10 multi-OS devices. It includes all the features of Avast Free and also has premium security features to offer.
However, there is no need to panic with high retail prices. You can always save up to 70% Off using Avast Premium Security coupon codes.
Avast Ultimate Suite
Avast Ultimate Suite isn't only a package; instead, it is a bundle of all Avast's security packages. It provides the utmost advanced security to the devices. If you have some confidential information stored, then it could be the best option to protect your information from hackers.
You can avail Avast Ultimate Suite starting at just USD 100 a year to support only one PC. In case you want security for multiple devices, then you'll need to pay some extra money. You'll find similar features in Avast Ultimate Suite to get a Premium Security package but packed with some additional features. Besides, you can also save big using our Avast Ultimate coupons.
Avast One is available for free and also includes two Premium plans. In Avast One Individual, you can protect five devices with a single account, costing you USD 47.88 a year. You can opt for Avast One Family (6 Accounts/30 Devices) to protect more devices which costs USD 71.88 a year.
Avast One is currently available for download in some regions only - the US, CA, UK, AU, NZ, and IE.
For the latest prices on Avast products, you can check the official website.
Avast Free Vs Paid: Final Words
Once you use Avast, you'll hardly find any issue in their security solutions. As a customer, you always expect the best protection from any antivirus solution. Hence, Avast will not disappoint you in any aspect.
Compared to the competitors, Avast is a bit more expensive. However, looking at their massive customer base, it is evident that they are ready to pay for their services because of their unbeatable security solutions. Luckily our readers can get Avast Paid versions at a lower price. Hence, If you're not satisfied with your current antivirus software services, then you should give Avast a try.
Jack is an energetic passionate cybersecurity professional, blogger, and software reviewer. As a blogger, he enjoys sharing his cyberworld experiences with the world. He has been blogging for over four years now. Whenever he is not blogging, he loves binge-watching Netflix and fishing.