Avast has been in operation for over 30 years and claims to protect 435 million devices in the world with its award-winning cyber security software. While the company’s free programs offer limited functionality however, its premium offerings, including Avast Ultimate, are quite complete. The suite includes antivirus, VPN service, password manager and Cleanup utilities which help users remain secure online as well as manage their passwords and make their devices more efficient.
Avast Ultimate is a basic interface that clearly outlines the tools it provides. Its malware engine scored extremely well in independent lab tests that identified a variety of malware that can get past other security systems. Its web security features are extremely effective, catching phishing websites that are not detected by Chrome or Firefox’s default security settings.
Other tools include the ability to boost your RAM, an app lock, and a network scan that looks for vulnerabilities. The ransomware shield stops third-party software from altering the way you access, delete or lock your files until you pay a price. The program provides mobile applications for Android as well as iOS. The Android application is more feature-rich due to Apple’s restrictions, however both versions contain essential security elements such as malware scanning and web security.
The main drawback is the fact that Avast collects your personal information and sends it to its analytics business, Jumpshot. In 2020, this was disclosed by a PCMag and Motherboard investigative report. This feature can be disabled via the settings menu. If you’re still concerned, Avast allows you to create a password you have to enter before the program can share your IP address and other information with third parties.