Avast provides three different versions of their security products. Two out of the three you have to to pay to use. One of the three is a freeware product. Today we will be reviewing the freeware product from Avast called Free Antivirus Essential.
Program Name: Avast Free Antivirus Essential
Price: Free (two other versions cost money, trial is available)
The difference between the free antivirus product from Avast and the two paid products is the number of features that are included. All three product from Avast includes antivirus scanning, protection from malware, real time analysis of new threats, password manager, and browser security.
Internet Security Advance and Premier Complete
Internet Security Advance is one of the paid products from Avast and includes additional features like: phishing site protection, firewall protection, and spam protection. The third product is called Premier Complete and includes all the features from Avast Free Antivirus Essentials and Avast Internet Security Advanced. Premier Complete includes additional features like: third party software updates and shredding of files securely.
Both Avast Internet Security Advance and Avast Premier Complete offer 30 day trials before you buy the products. Avast Free Antivirus Essentials is free.
Installation of Avast Free Antivirus Essentials
The download process is relatively hassle free and straight forward. After you download the installer from the Avast site and launch the installer. The installer will not take up a lot screen space and will show a small dialog. The small dialog window reminds you that you can do other things while Avast installs the program.
During our installation of Avast Free Antivirus Essentials the installer dialog decided to disappear by itself. Nothing appeared on the desktop for a few seconds but after a short while. A different Avast windows appears and tells you that Avast is now protecting your computer.
Startup and data sharing
Right after the screen that tells you that you are now protected. Avast puts out a bunch of words telling you that they respect your privacy. In short: Avast will automatically opt you into data sharing with them and third parties. If you want to opt out of the data sharing with Avast and third parties you have to go into the setting and opt out.
After the data sharing information screen you are presented with an offer to protect your Android smartphone. This is a free download for your Android smartphone. After this screen you are shown the actual Avast Free Antivirus Essential program.
Main window of Avast Free Antivirus
The options at the top of the screen are: Scan, Tools, Passwords, and Store. Take a look at a screenshot below:
There is an offer shown at the lower bottom of the Avast program window. If you click on “Unwrap It” the program will offer you a discount if you purchase the paid products from Avast. The new screen shows that you are using the Free Antivirus product and there are two paid products. Their names are a little different then what is shown on the Avast homepage. On the program screen the two products are called Pro Antivirus and Internet Security.
If you close out of the promotional offer screen and go back to the main Avast Free Antivirus screen and click on the gear icon (located at top right corner). You can configure and change the various settings for Avast Free Antivirus from there.
If you want to opt out of the data sharing and prevent Avast from sharing data with the Avast community then the options are located at the bottom of the General window. The General window is the main setting window. If you scroll all the way to the bottom then you can uncheck the data sharing options.
A picture of where the Avast data sharing options are located:
The Avast installer was quick but the sudden disappearance of all the windows and nothing appearing for a few seconds was worrying. You weren’t sure if the Avast installer was still working, had crashed, or what had happen to it. After a few seconds the installer appeared again and tells you that you are now protected. This was the only major con besides the whole data sharing screen and forcing you to have to go into the settings to opt out inside of giving you an option on the data sharing info screen itself.
The Avast Free Antivirus Essential program performed alright with no major issues. There are offers for free downloads of other products and a built in store inside the Avast program itself.
You can watch out no audio walk thru review of the program to make up your own mind: