Avast Free Antivirus 5
Avast Free Antivirus 5 review: This free antivirus package offers quick scan speeds
- Well-designed interface, quick scan speeds
- Was merely average in some detection tests
Avast Free Antivirus is a well-rounded free antivirus package: It does a solid job at blocking malware, has a pleasant interface, and scans files quickly.
Avast Free Antivirus 5 provides good, all-around malware detection in a speedy, well-designed package. We liked its easy installation process, smooth interface design, and minimal impact in system performance. However, its malware detection, while good, isn't the best we've seen.
Avast Free Antivirus 5 is well designed and generally easy to use. In most respects, it's a somewhat scaled-down version of the paid Avast Pro Antivirus 5. The installation process was quick and painless, and I had to click through only a couple of screens before it started installing. The main screen is laid out nicely and is easy to use, though not without its flaws. A slightly annoying aspect of Avast Free Antivirus the fact that a banner advertising its paid counterpart will appear on the Summary tab, but since it's unobtrusive, it isn't a serious issue.
First, the negatives: In traditional malware scanner tests (which rely predominantly on signature files to identify malware), Avast Free Antivirus detected 94.8 percent of samples, which is neither particularly good nor bad (top scorers detected over 99 percent of malware samples). It also did a decent, though not outstanding, job at detecting malware in our real-world malware detection tests: It completely blocked 76 percent of attacks (which is right about average), and partially blocked 4 percent of attacks. The top performer in this test, the free Comodo Internet Security Premium, completely blocked 96 percent of attacks.
But on the plus side, Avast Free Antivirus didn't falsely identify a single "safe" file as a piece of malware, the only free product we looked at that did so. Avast Free also did a good job at disinfecting a PC, detecting all infections on our test PC and removing all active components of malware infections 80 percent of the time, which set the pace among the free products we reviewed.
Scan speeds are very good, too. It scanned 4.5GB of data in 90 seconds in the on-demand scan test (that is, scans started by pressing the Scan Now button). This was a close second to Avira AntiVir Personal, which completed the test in 87 seconds. And Avast Free completed the on-access scan speed test in 3 minutes, 40 seconds--tops among the products we looked at. This is a good test to tell how well security software can scan for malware when files are opened or saved to disk.
Avast Free Antivirus also had a low impact on PC performance. Our test PC with Avast Free installed booted up in 44.5 seconds, which is roughly 4.5 seconds slower than the PC without antivirus software installed, but less of a slowdown than the average of the free antivirus software we looked at. The same held true for many of the other speed tests we performed.
Avast's support options outclass other free antivirus programs. Unlike most free antivirus software which only comes with online support, Avast offers free telephone support, so you'll actually be able to talk with someone directly if you have a problem. For some, that alone may be worth the tradeoff of good-but-not-top-notch malware detection. Although it wasn't the top performer in every category, Avast Free Antivirus is an excellent, well-rounded free antivirus program.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 4 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
- 5 Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III review: Testing the world's first 600Mbps wireless hotspot
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Facebook Messenger flaw revealed
- Synaptics's low-cost USB fingerprint reader could bring Windows Hello to old PCs
- Microsoft breaks own design rules in dupe-the-user Windows 10 upgrade tactic
- No more passwords with Google's Trust API
- There’s finally reason to hope in the war against ransomware
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.
- CCBusiness Data AnalystNSW
- CCSAP BASIS ConsultantVIC
- CCProgram ManagementWA
- FTService Desk AnalystNSW
- CCTechnical WriterACT
- CCJava DevelopersACT
- FT.Net Developer (WebAPI / Entity Framework / SQL Server)NSW
- CCSAP Portal DeveloperVIC
- FTMobility Developer x 2 - iOS and Android positions available!NSW
- FTIT Support Analyst (Renewal Contract)Asia
- CCIntegration ArchitectNSW
- FTProcurement SpecialistNSW
- CCContract Junior Programmer (JAVA / SQL) 160621/JP/224Asia
- CCIT Assistant (Lotus Notes/Technical Support) 160616/ITA/991Asia
- CCContract Programmer (JAVA/SQL) 160621/P/866Asia
- FTBusiness Analyst - Oracle Financials (Procure To Pay)NSW
- CCIntegration ArchitectACT
- FTProject Coordinator / AdministratorNSW
- CCInfrastructure ArchitectACT
- FTSolution ArchitectVIC
- CCInside Sales Specialist / Customer Service - TelecommunicationsNSW
- CCTechnical Content ProducerVIC
- CCSecurity Engineer - SUMO focusNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst - TravelNSW
- CCLevel 1 Helpdesk SupportNSW