The internet is an ever-developing platform that keeps bringing us new technologies and tools as well as new threats!
Computer viruses are becoming more and more clever, finding new ways to steal valuable information.
That’s why everyone should arm themselves with a capable and reliable antivirus program.
Avast antivirus is one of the most popular choices out there, and the free version comes with lots of features.
Is the premium version worth it?
Keep reading to find out.
Is Avast Premium Worth It?
To decide whether an upgrade to the Avast Premium is worth it, let’s look at the features it has in common with the free version.
The free version offers the core essentials, but they’re enough to put it at the top of the “best free antivirus” list.
Avast Premium uses the same antivirus engines without any restrictions, the same ransomware shield, and anti-phishing methods.
You’ll still get to use the secure browser and Do Not Disturb mode.
These qualities could be more than enough for the ultimate protection of an average user.
However, Avast Premium is worth it for users who require a deeper level of protection and extra security features.
The main extra features that Avast Premium brings to the table are the following:
- Premium Security’s firewall
- Webcam protection
- Data shredder
- Real Site DNS protection
Now, you can decide if Avast Premium is what you need by thinking about whether or not you need these extra features.
Avast Premium Overall Features
When you first download Avast Premium, in the window that lets you choose where to install the application, click on the Customize button.
It’ll then show you all the features that Avast Premium offers with a checkbox next to their titles.
You can choose which ones you need.
For instance, if you’re using another clean-up tool or firewall or don’t want the browser extensions, you can uncheck their boxes.
Now let’s see what each feature does.
The core of any antivirus software is detecting and removing viruses and malware.
Avast does its best to prevent malware from getting into your computer by warning you about malicious websites.
If they manage to slip past the first stage, Avast usually stops most of them during the download process.
There’s a backup plan for the few files that may escape detection.
Avast will take immediate action if any malware attempts to execute on your system.
It can identify the known malware files, isolate the files, and delete them.
If Avast detects a suspicious and unknown file, it’ll stop its process and analyze the file for malware at its headquarters.
If you suspect that Avast has forgotten about a particular file, you can right-click on it and choose individual scanning.
The Sensitive Data Shield scans your drive for vulnerable files that may contain sensitive data, passwords, financial details, names, addresses, and so on.
It then ensures that even if a data-stealing trojan manages to get into your system, it can’t find the sensitive files.
It also prevents other user accounts from accessing them.
2. Scanning Options
Avast offers four main types of scans:
- Smart Scan: This is the app’s primary scan mode. It does a quick scan for malware and checks your system for missing software patches, unsafe settings, and so on.
A Smart Scan is a good option for a daily check-up since it takes less than a minute to complete.
- Full Virus Scan: If you click on the Protection tab, you’ll notice the Full Virus Scan option.
This mode analyzes your whole system, covering every bit of data.
It has a better chance of detecting and eliminating all the existing threats.
It’s a good option for when you suspect your device has already been infected and also for weekly use to achieve complete protection.
It’ll take longer than the Smart Scan.
For slower systems, the process may take up to a couple of hours.
- Boot-time Scan: Some advanced malware types tend to latch on even when you delete their files.
They can reinstall themselves from files that exist outside the primary OS.
When you run a Boot-time Scan, it’ll restart your computer and keep an eye for suspicious files trying to execute before your system starts.
It then catches them and stops them.
- Wi-Fi Scan: The Wi-Fi Scan can protect your personal Wi-Fi at home and on the run.
It shows you the devices that are connected to your Wi-Fi, such as your computer, phone, smart TV, and speaker.
It could also detect third-party devices that may be stealing your internet.
Avast lets you create custom scans using its extensive configuration options.
You can choose the files that Avast scans, set scan priorities, and tell it how to treat the threats it finds.
Avast also lets you run parallel scans.
For instance, if your system runs a Full Virus Scan, you can also ask for a separate targeted scan.
3. Ransomware Shield
Ransomware is a subcategory of malware, but it can do more severe damage than most kinds of viruses and threats.
If ransomware infects your system, it’ll start encrypting your valuable files into an unreadable format that your computer won’t recognize and run.
Once it finishes its job, you have almost no chance of getting your files back, even if you pay the ransom!
Therefore, the trick to overcome ransomware is to either not let it into your system or catch it before it spreads and locks your data away.
Avast has a strong ransomware shield that detects folders with valuable documents and creates an inventory of them.
It’ll then prevent any suspicious apps or ransomware from changing them without permission.
If Avast doesn’t include a file or folder in the list, you can do it manually.
4. Network Protection and Firewall
Avast Premium also provides a two-way firewall that offers multiple layers of protection for your online activities.
The firewall monitors all your network traffic to protect your device from unauthorized communications and intrusions.
It ensures that the programs running in the background of your system don’t abuse their access to the internet connection.
It has a default mode called Auto-decide that chooses whether or not to let a program use a network connection.
You can change the settings to “Ask,” which lets you override the settings.
Network protections also include blocking malicious websites to keep your device on the safe side.
This feature is also suitable for parents who want to keep their children away from specific websites.
5. Secure Browser
All Avast users have access to the free browser extension called the Avast Secure browser.
It adds safety to your Google search results and blocks dangerous links.
You’ll be safe doing financial transactions, and also, you won’t be distracted by annoying ads when browsing the internet.
The extension also scans your download and blocks trackers.
Avast keeps an eye on your other browser add-ins, alerting you if any are acting suspiciously.
6. Password Protection
Avast’s Password Protection feature prevents different apps and malware from stealing your passwords stored in Edge, Firefox, and Chrome.
When the app detects untrusted activity, it raises the alarm.
Unless you manually approve access, Avast won’t let it.
Avast used to install a Password Manager by default on your system, but it no longer does.
You can install it manually, though.
It’s relatively basic, but it can make your life less complicated.
It can store information securely, provide encryption, and synchronize data on all your devices.
You have to configure the feature once, and it’ll let you use one master password for logging into various accounts safely.
It also remembers your login information on websites that require registration and lets you use the master password for those sites as well.
Phishing websites try to replicate social media or banking login screens and trick users into entering their usernames and passwords into a fake site.
Although it’s an old and well-known trick, many people still fall into the trap.
That’s why Avast has an Anti-Phishing feature in the main suite instead of on the browser extension.
It doesn’t just block known phishing websites.
It can detect notorious behavior from newly made websites and estimate the likelihood of a phishing attack by looking at a site’s URL, metadata, and visual aspects.
Avast Premium goes beyond protecting you from phishing.
The Domain Name System or DNS servers on your system translate the human-readable domain names into IP addresses that your computer can understand.
A relatively sophisticated attack known as DNS hijacking can exploit this translation process.
When you’re browsing a trusted website, the attacker can redirect you to a harmful one without you noticing.
Then they’ll try to steal your username and password and valuable data like credit card information.
Avast Premium’s protection will keep you safe against DNS hijacking.
If you run into a shady file or program that Avast can’t entirely categorize as unsafe, you can run it in the sandbox and watch what it does without causing harm to your system.
A Sandbox is a virtual and isolated environment where you can execute programs but keep them from creating permanent changes to your system.
Drag and Drop the suspicious file into Avast’s Sandbox to run it.
You should know that even Sandboxed programs may be dangerous.
For instance, if they connect to the internet, they can collect information and send it elsewhere.
Therefore, Avast lets you decide if the sandboxed apps can access the internet.
10. Do Not Disturb
Many utility programs have a feature called Game Mode that helps you play games without any distractions by preventing any pop-up or alert and muting all unnecessary sounds.
Avast offers this feature under the name of Do Not Disturb mode.
You can use it for gaming and giving presentations, recording your screen, or watching a movie.
Also, most modern games need to use up most of the system’s resources, and so does the antivirus.
Avast frees up resources by reducing its load on the operating system in the Do Not Disturb mode.
It also pauses most of the background processes like Windows updates to prevent them from slowing down your system.
The Do Not Disturb mode is on by default, but you can customize its settings by manually adding programs to its list.
All of them need to be in full-screen mode for this feature to kick in.
Everybody knows that when you delete a file, it goes to the recycle bin, and you can restore it later from there.
Most people think that if you empty the recycle bin, the deleted data will be gone entirely.
However, certain tools can still restore them.
That is also true when you press Shift + Delete to erase a file.
The file remains as data clusters on your hard drive.
Avast’s Data-Shredder helps you delete files in a way that no third-party tools can restore them.
Right-click on the file, and from the pop-up menu, select the Shred Using Avast option.
Avast will then overwrite the file’s data with random bits before deleting it.
This way, if anyone tries to restore the information later, they’ll only get meaningless data.
This tool is handy for companies or individuals who want to get rid of secret information.
It’s also necessary for those who are selling or giving away their computers.
12. Webcam Shield
Some types of malware are programmed to compromise your privacy by subverting your webcam.
This spyware forces the webcam to record video and audio without turning on the webcam light, preventing you from noticing it’s active.
The Webcam Shield has three settings.
The Smart mode only allows trusted programs to access the webcam and asks for your permission when an unknown source wants to take a peek.
In the Strict Mode, every app must ask for permission to use the webcam.
The No Mercy mode will block the webcam entirely.
13. User Interface
Avast has a clean dashboard and a user-friendly interface for operating the main features.
The menu can look complicated at first, but you’ll see that the process is pretty straightforward as you get to know the app.
However, Avast is unfortunately known for its advertising overload.
When you’re using the free version, you’ll get constant upsell reminders to convert to a paid subscriber.
This problem doesn’t go away even when you’re paying the company and using the Premium version.
There are still features that require additional payments, and Avast will try to sell them every opportunity it gets.
This is where Avast could use some improvement.
Moreover, the app changes some of your default settings after installation.
For instance, once it installs its browser, it’ll make it your default browser without permission, and that could be not very desirable for some people.
An annual Avast Premium subscription costs $69.99 for one device and $89.99 for up to 10 devices.
The cost drops by 8% if you choose a two-year plan and 12% for a three-year plan.
However, there are still features that Avast doesn’t include in the Premium version.
The Avast Cleanup Premium, which gets rid of your system’s useless files and junk, will cost you $1.99 monthly.
You can install the Driver updater separately for free, but once you run it, you’ll notice it costs $2.99 per month.
The Avast SecureLine VPN needs a separate subscription for a monthly fee of $2.99.
You could also pay an extra $2.49 monthly for the AntiTrack Premium.
Using all these extra features will cost you more than the initial cost of Avast’s subscription.
What Is Avast Premium Security?
Avast is well-known for its free antivirus, which protects your computer against viruses, malware, ransomware, and other threats.
In the past, the paid version antivirus was called Avast Premiere, but it is currently known as Avast Premium.
It uses the same scanning engine as the free version but with a few additional features and utilities in the suite.
The package of bells and whistles makes it the all-in-one solution to all the security issues one may experience.
It works on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
Is Avast Premium Safe?
Avast is a reliable antivirus.
Some people suspect its performance is detrimental because their device’s speed seems to increase when they delete the application.
That’s because Avast is a heavy app that occupies a good portion of the memory and CPU while it is working.
Moreover, Avast once spied on their users and sold their browsing history data to big third-party corporations, including Microsoft and Google.
Since then, they have apologized and reportedly ceased making Avast user data available to buyers.
However, some users still can’t bring themselves to trust Avast, and they have all the right not to.