Avast Internet Security (2014) Review: Short on Security by PC Speak: Abney and Associates Internet Technology Review


Avast's suite has some premium features and is generally easy to use, but it fell short in the crucial area of protection.

Avast is a company perhaps best known for its free antivirus software. But paying for Avast Internet Security 2014 ($40 for one year of protection on one PC) will get you such premium features as a robust firewall, online banking security, and phishing and scam email protection.

Avast blocked 89 percent of zero-day (unknown) attacks in our real-world tests. That result may sound pretty good, but most of the suites in our roundup blocked 98 percent or more of such attacks. In our roundup, only Vipre Internet Security 2014 (at 87 percent) and Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete (at 82 percent) fared worse in the real-world tests.

When it comes to known malware attacks, Avast looks better on paper, blocking 98 percent of those attacks, except that all nine other security suites in our test group blocked 99 percent or more of them. Avast’s detection system properly ignored all of the innocuous programs, websites, and installations that AV-Test threw at it.

In AV-Test’s performance evaluations, Avast scored a low-impact 2—below average (in a good way) for a security suite. You system won’t take much of a performance hit by using Avast.

Installing Avast Internet Security 2014 takes you through just a couple of screens. Regrettably, one of those screens is a software push for installing Google Chrome as your default browser and the Chrome Toolbar for Internet Explorer. Ironically, one of the suite’s services is a browser cleanup tool that “removes annoying browser toolbars from your computer.” Avast’s installer relies heavily on the Internet, so the installation process can be time-consuming if you have a slow connection.

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