What’s Avast Internet Security?
Avast Internet Security, now part of Avast Premium Security, is a software tool for protecting you against online threats. There are some conflicting views about Avast and this product, so in this review, I’ll take a dive into it myself and write my own honest opinion on how good I think it actually is. Click here to skip to my verdict or continue reading for a walkthrough of me using the software on my personal laptop, as well as a comprehensive FAQ where I answer all the big questions people have searched for regarding the software.
Avast is a monster in the software industry, with revenue of $911 million in 2019 and 1,700+ employees (source). It is based in the Czech Republic and was founded way back in 1988, only recently going public in 2018.
Downloading Avast Internet Security
As mentioned above, Internet Security is now part of Avast’s Premium Security package, which you can sign up for here. Click the TRY IT FREE FOR 30 DAYS to get started downloading the .exe installer. Once you’ve opened it, it may take some time to load:
When that’s done and you can move forward with the install process, make sure to avoid installing any of the crap Avast tries to include:
Unfortunately, I got this error:
Avast doesn’t offer support themselves until you’ve paid for a product of theirs: they just direct you to their knowledgebase or forum. Therefore, I posted this thread in the forum. This issue seemed to have something to do with my internet connection, possibly related to the fact that I use a VPN. Anyway, strangely enough, the next morning when I turned on my laptop again, Avast resumed installing and installed almost immediately. Weird.
Using Avast Internet Security
After installing the software, I got started running a scan. When you open the software, it’s the only option you get:
This scan will search in 4 main categories:
- Browser threats
- Outdated apps (this just identified my Java and Notepad++ as being outdated)
- Viruses & malware
- “Advanced” issues
On my laptop this ran very quickly, completing the first 3 of the above very quickly (within a couple of minutes). The Advanced issues scan was the slowest, but also finished within a couple minutes. Here are the results that I got back:
I’m not sure why Avast Internet Security identified these 81 “sensitive items” that are “prime targets for attack,” as they were just Word documents I’d saved on my computer on a folder on the desktop. So there was nothing of concern found here.
Finish the scan and you’ll be prompted to look at programs that may be slowing down your computer. However, this is just an ad for “Avast Cleanup Premium,” so you can ignore this.
After running the scan and skipping a couple of screens, you’ll finally be taken to the main dashboard of the software:
As you can see, there are 4 main sections:
Here I’ll go through each one.
Includes the following:
There’s a fair bit here, so I won’t go into too much detail on each option. The main thing most users of this software will be interested in is the Virus Scans and the “full” virus scan, which searches much more comprehensively than just the “smart” scan which is run when you first install the software. As expected, this took much longer on my laptop than the smart scan. When it finally finished, this was the result:
I thought these were some curious results. For some reason Advanced SystemCare PRO, a piece of software I’d tried, liked and reviewed a few days earlier (see my Advanced SystemCare PRO review), was identified as “Malware,” which doesn’t seem right to me at all. As mentioned in my Advanced SystemCare review, the software is 100% safe and I’ve found nothing to indicate it’s malware of any kind, nor could I find any information online on why it should be considered malware. So I’d consider this a false positive. Same with identifying Soda PDF as malware — it’s obviously legitimate software.
The other program considered malware here, pcTattletale, could at least be understood since it’s a tool for spying on employees (see my pcTattletale review).
In the Protection section, of the 9 options available (as in the screenshot above), beyond the virus scan, I’d consider the Core Shields, Wi-Fi Inspector and Sandbox to be the most handy. Here are screenshots of those showing what they do:
Useful if you suspect your neighbor or anyone else is leeching on your Wi-Fi network. This will scan for devices on the network:
Allows running apps in a “sandbox” environment where they can’t do any damage to your computer:
Includes the following:
The Data Shredder feature here may be useful for you if you really want to get rid of a file for good (most people don’t realize that files can still often be recovered after they’ve been deleted and removed from the Recycle Bin with tools like Disk Drill). With the Password Protection feature, I’m not sure how useful it is as browsers like Chrome should definitely already do this, while the Sensitive Data Shield just returns back a whole lot of Word files whether they contain sensitive information or not (so you’ll get a lot of false positives). It should also be easy to disable your webcam yourself in Windows if you have to (regarding the Webcam Shield feature). The 2 other features here, SecureLine VPN and AntiTrack Premium, are for separate products by Avast you’ll have to pay for.
Includes the following:
As you can see, most of this is ads for separate software.
Avast Internet Security vs Avast Premier
As of 2021, Avast Internet Security and Avast Premier both come part of Avast Premium Security, so they’re 1 and the same product.
What does Avast Internet Security cost?
The standard price of Avast Internet Security (which, again, now comes in the form of Avast Premium Security) is $34.99/year for 1 PC, or only $44.99/year for 10 devices. I recommend getting the 10 device license if you’re going to be using it on anything other than your single personal computer.
Does Avast Internet Security include a VPN?
No. You’ll have to pay extra for that in the form of SecureLine VPN.
How do you turn off Avast Internet Security?
When you click on the X to close Avast Premium Security, it doesn’t stop the program running at all. You can right click on the icon for the software and select Silent Mode to stop it bothering you, or if you really want to close it completely, Alt+Ctrl+Delete and stop the process. It’s a bit ridiculous to have to do that, but the software doesn’t seem to give any option to properly close it.
How do you cancel an Avast product?
This depends on how you paid for it, but in most cases, you can cancel a subscription by logging into your Avast account, going to your subscriptions, and clicking unsubscribe.
How do you uninstall Avast Internet Security?
The same way you uninstall any normal Windows software.
Are there any discounts or coupon codes for Avast Internet Security?
These change all the time. Visit the latest Avast Premium Security page here to see if any promotions are currently running. If you’re lucky, you can get up to 60% off.
Do I recommend Avast Internet Security?
As Avast Internet Security is now packaged under Avast Premium Security, it comes with a lot of functionality, and can be considered good value for everything it offers. If you have a serious problem with your PC there’s a very good chance it’ll find it and solve it. However, I’m taking 1 star off for the initial installation problems I had with it and its false positives (see above).