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Avast antivirus provides a full set of features packaged in a simple package. Its malware engine earned an impressive score during my tests, and its web security was effective at catching websites that were phishing, and getting past Chrome and Firefox’s default detection systems. Its performance scanner also did an excellent job of keeping its impact on the system speed to a bare minimum. In fact Avast’s performance scan was more effective in decreasing the CPU usage than any other program I tested.

Avast also provides a range of other tools. It includes a password management tool, an VPN (exclusive to Avast One), a photo vault, as well as a data breach monitoring feature. The security toolkit is quite extensive, with an sandbox for running applications within and a security scanner to identify any vulnerabilities.

If you ever run into trouble, Avast’s support website offers a comprehensive knowledge base. The search function makes finding the answers to frequently asked questions easy. If you can’t find an answer then the Avast forum is a good source of help from other users.

While Avast claims it no longer sells user data however, the fact that it has done this is still fresh in the minds of a lot of users. PCMag and Motherboard reported in January of 2020 that Avast had sold personal information as well as location data of its users via its Jumpshot subsidiary. Avast has since stopped this practice, and now requires users to opt-in when installing its antivirus software for desktops. In its privacy policies Avast states that all information provided by consumers is “stripped off and de-identified prior to being shared with a third party.”