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Avast antivirus comes with a broad set of features packaged in a simple package. The malware engine received an impressive score in my tests and its web protection was effective in identifying websites that were phishing, and getting past Chrome and Firefox’s default detection systems. The performance scanner did an excellent job of keeping its impact on the system’s speed to a minimum. In fact Avast’s performance scanner proved more efficient in reducing CPU usage than any other program I tested.

Avast also offers a number of other tools. They include a password manager and an VPN (exclusive to Avast One), a photo vault, and a data breach monitoring feature. The security toolkit is very extensive, including the ability to run programs in and a router security scanner to look for any vulnerabilities.

If you encounter problems, the support website of Avast provides a complete knowledge base. The search function makes finding answers to frequently-asked questions easy. If you can’t find the answer you can use the Avast forum is an excellent source of assistance from other users.

Although Avast claims that it no-longer sells user data however its history of doing such a thing is still fresh in the minds of many users. In January 2020, PCMag and Motherboard revealed that Avast sold the location and other personal information of its users to third party companies via its Jumpshot subsidiary. Avast has ended this practice and is now asking users to opt-in during new installations of its desktop AV software. In its privacy policies Avast says that all data of consumers is “stripped off and de-identified prior to being shared with a third party.”

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