Avast Premium Security Review 2024: Is It Worth It?

Avast is a big name in the antivirus game, but is it still as appealing as it once was in terms of protection and overall security?
4.8
Learn More
On Avast's website

Avast
  • High antivirus test scores
  • Ransomware protection
  • No parental controls
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When searching for online protection, Avast is a good investment. Third-party tester AV-TEST gave it perfect scores across its Windows, macOS, and Android platforms. With competitive pricing and a 30-day free trial, we think Avast antivirus is worth checking out.

The Premium Security package includes ransomware protection, website scanning for safer online shopping and banking, and phishing protection. These features, test results, and a low cost make Avast a good antivirus solution for many security needs. We’ll cover the features in-depth, as well as discuss what we liked and weren’t crazy about with Avast Premium Security.

4.8
Learn More
On Avast's website

Avast
  • High antivirus test scores
  • Ransomware protection
  • No parental controls

In this article
Avast Premium Security overview
Who is Avast Premium Security best for?
Avast cost
Avast features
Avast Premium Security test results
Our Avast Premium Security experience
Avast Premium Security compatibility
Avast Premium Security customer support
Avast Premium Security FAQs
Bottom line: Is Avast Premium Security good?

Avast Premium Security overview

Price $34.68-$119.88/first yr
Free version Yes
# of devices protected 1-30
Malware scans Manual and scheduled
Firewall Yes, Windows only
Phishing protection Yes
Parental controls No
Details Get Avast

All About Cookies Rating
4.8
"Avast is still a good option if you want antivirus protection while shopping or working online, and desire features such as ransomware and phishing protection. This is especially true if you want more straightforward software without some of the bells and whistles other products may offer."

Who is Avast best for?

  • Best for the user who wants protection for multiple devices, but isn’t concerned about family protection features such as parental controls.

Because Avast Premium doesn’t offer parental controls, you won’t get comprehensive family protection for children. That means you won’t be able to monitor what your kids do online in most cases, so it may not be the best antivirus software for families. If you’re looking for a password manager, you’ll have to search elsewhere for that, as well — Avast doesn’t offer that option.

In 2020, Avast was reported to have shared and sold user data. According to the company, the data was stripped of personally identifiable information. That would make it difficult, but not impossible, for hackers to decrypt.[1] Following the reports, Avast's CEO announced plans to shut down operations at Jumpsot, which was the third party in charge of selling browser history data.[2] Its since created links that read "Do Not Sell or Share My Info" to comply with the CCPA, but it may also be a relief for privacy-concerned users.

Avast is still a good option if you want antivirus protection while shopping or working online, and desire features such as ransomware and phishing protection. This is especially true if you want more straightforward software without some of the bells and whistles other products may offer.

Avast pros and cons

Pros
  • High antivirus test scores
  • Website scanning for online protection
  • Ransomware protection
Cons
  • No parental controls 
  • Firewall is only offered for PCs

Avast cost

Avast has different plans, no matter the budget. There's a free plan if you choose not to pay for a subscription. We’ll show the different features that come with each one in the table below.

Avast is a straightforward antivirus for people who want good security without a ton of extras. For software with good overall security scores and additional features such as Email Guardian and Ransomware Shield, the prices are reasonable. Other antivirus products cost two and three times that, though they may offer more features for the money.

Avast Premium Security plans and prices

Avast One Essential Avast Premium Security Avast One Individual Avast One Family Avast One Platinum
Price for first year Free Starts at $50.28/first yr Starts at $50.28/first yr Starts at $69.48/first yr Starts at $119.88/first yr
# devices supported 1 Up to 10 Up to 5 Up to 30 Up to 30
Compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, iOS Windows, macOS, Android, iOS Windows, macOS, Android, iOS Windows, macOS, Android, iOS Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
Manual and auto scan
Phishing protection
Firewall Yes for Windows Yes for Windows Yes for Windows Yes for Windows
Real-time protection
Ransomware protection
Parental controls
Performance optimization tools
VPN
Data breach alerts
Identity theft protection features
Details View Plan View Plan View Plan View Plan View Plan

Avast products offer 30-day free trials, so you can try them out without risk and not spend your money if you decide you don't like them.

Avast features

We like that Avast offers more than fundamental protection when you get a premium subscription. Additional security tools, like a virtual private network (VPN) and identity protection can further help protect your sensitive data and device privacy.

Because we tested this product using a Macbook Air, we’re not thrilled that the firewall only works for Windows users. The Webcam Shield, Avast’s webcam protection, is also only available to PC users. That is a valuable feature, so we hope Avast makes it an option for Mac users in the near future.

Malware and antivirus scan

Avast Premium Security offers manual and automatic scans you can schedule for the most convenient times to check your device vulnerabilities. Avast’s quick scan and full scan are named Smart Scan and Deep Scan, respectively.

We ran several scans while reviewing the software and were impressed at how fast even the Deep Scan checked through the files. From start to finish, it took fewer than nine minutes to scan more than 943,000 files. That’s pretty fast considering some scans can take a few hours to run.

The Avast Premium Security Deep Scan page at 80%.

The Avast Premium Security Deep Scan details after the scan is finished.

The Smart Scan ran in about two minutes and checked more than 160,000 files. After it finished scanning, we received a notification in Scan Central that the premium features were maximizing our security. These features are Ransomware Shield, Network Inspector scanning, and Real Site protection for fake websites.

Using the scanning features was easy, and there were no issues with either Deep Scan or Smart Scan. For more specific scanning, Avast offers a Targeted Scan where you can select only the files or folders you want to check. If you use external devices, the antivirus also includes External Storage Scan.

Phishing protection

One of the most common methods of phishing is through email. In an email, a scammer will send links or attachments that lead you to malicious websites and attempt to steal your information. Avast Premium Security includes the Email Guardian feature that scans your direct emails and flags anything suspicious.

Avast also scans websites to verify you’re visiting legitimate sites and not fake scam sites meant to look genuine. That makes using your financial credentials safer when shopping and banking online, often working better than the default protections offered by Chrome and Firefox.

Firewall

Avast Premium Security offers a firewall, but only for devices using Microsoft Windows. It monitors network traffic between your device and outside networks to keep unauthorized users from invading your security.

According to the support information page on Avast’s website, you don’t have to do much to use the firewall except keep the option enabled. With Avast Premium Security, you’ll also get alerts if someone attempts to scan your network port or intercept your network traffic. These features are called Port Scan Alerts and ARP Spoofing Alerts.

Real-time protection

The real-time protection feature runs in the background while you’re online. The software blocks malicious threats without being intrusive. It also blocks unsafe downloads, which helps reduce the chance of malware on your device.

There's nothing to set up with Avast’s real-time protection. You get the Core Shields feature that includes the File Shield, Web Shield, and Real Site options toggled on by default. These all help protect you while online, providing you with malware protection and keeping your device free of computer viruses.

Ransomware protection

Avast Premium Security offers ransomware protection options for various file types, including videos, photos, and documents. You can tailor these preferences as you like, but all are turned on by default, except for the System option.

The Avast Premium Security Ransomware Shield preferences page.

Avast also protects against hackers gaining remote control of your device. The Ransomware Shield is on by default, so there’s nothing to do to set up the feature. It protects documents and pictures, and you can add a new folder for protection if needed. You can also stop protecting a folder at any time by selecting the box beside it.

The Avast Premium Security Ransomware Shield page, which is on by default.

Anti-fraud protection

Although you get the safer online website scanning feature, Avast Premium Security doesn’t offer anti-fraud protection. If that’s an important feature you’re looking for, you’ll have to seek an antivirus product elsewhere. It does have Bank Mode, which creates a secure virtual desktop to help keep your banking details safe.

Bonus features

You'll get a few add-ons with this software. One is the Stay Safe Virus Guarantee if you auto-renew your subscription. If your device is infected with a virus that Avast can’t remove, you'll get your money back.

With Avast Premium Security, you also get help remotely for malware or other malicious programs. That could help if your device is infected with a nasty virus, and you can’t remove it just by using the software. You also get a data shredder to help you permanently delete sensitive files so they can't be recovered.

Instant alerts for Wi-Fi weaknesses and intruders can also be beneficial. If you know how antivirus software works, you’ll know they don’t all offer this protection. The pop-up notifications can be adjusted to control how frequently the issues get displayed. Users who are working online and don’t want to be disturbed will appreciate this.

The Avast Premium Security page to adjust when to display non-critical notifications.

The Network Inspector (formerly Wi-Fi inspector) is helpful for reminding users to run a scan when joining a network for the first time. That could prevent users from downloading malware from an unsecured network.

The Avast Premium Security Network Inspector preferences.

Avast SecureLine VPN comes with all Avast One tiers, so you can encrypt your internet connection and stay safe online. It also comes with data breach monitoring, which alerts you if any of your passwords are leaked online, 

Finally, Avast Secure Browser is a free download that aims to protect users when online. It blocks malicious websites and downloads, hides what you type online so others cannot intercept your communications, and comes with a virtual banking mode, designed to keep your financial data safe.

Avast Premium Security test results

We test the antivirus products we review by running an EICAR test. EICAR stands for the European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research, which provides a safe and legal framework to test antivirus software for malware detection, potentially unwanted app detection, and phishing detection capabilities.

Based on our EICAR testing, Avast Premium Security was able to successfully detect malware, PUAs, and phishing.

Avast AV-TEST results

Test type Avast score
Malware detection Pass
PUAs detection Pass
Phishing detection Pass

Test results as of 11/23/2023.

With antivirus, it's important to review third-party test results for an unbiased look at how the software works. AV-TEST is an independent organization that tests and rates antivirus software in realistic scenarios against real-world threats. It tests antivirus for protection, performance and usability with a maximum of 6.0 points in each category.

We were impressed to see that Avast scored perfect AV-TEST scores across Windows, macOS, and Android devices. We were especially impressed that Avast received a perfect score while testing the Avast Free Antivirus for Windows. No matter the Avast plan you choose, you can rest assured that you're receiving top-notch antivirus protection.

Avast EICAR test results

Test type Windows 10 score macOS Ventura score Android 11 score
Protection 6 6 6
Performance 6 6 6
Usability 6 6 6

Windows test results from Jul-Aug/2023, macOS test results from Sep/2023, Android test results from Sep/2023.

Our Avast Premium Security experience

We had a positive experience testing Avast Premium Security. Everything worked seamlessly, and the antivirus was easy and quick to install. We tested the software on a Macbook Air using Big Sur 11.3.

The features we found to be the most remarkable were the Smart Scan and Deep Scan. Neither of these showed issues with lag time while having multiple browser tabs opened. The scans were simple and straightforward to perform. None of the scans we ran showed any malware threats.

Other features, such as the Network Inspector and Ransomware Shield, were equally easy to use because there was no setup for the operation. These options are already on when the product gets installed, so there’s nothing extra to do, which is good for users who don’t want to troubleshoot issues with complicated installations.

The Personal Privacy section lets you decide how or if you want your data shared. This is shown as a way to make improvements for online threats. If you don’t want to help with Avast’s analytics usage, you can simply uncheck those boxes.

The Avast Premium Security Privacy settings page.

We mentioned previously that to get the extra benefit of the Stay Safe Virus Guarantee, you must set up auto-renew for your subscription. However, some users may not be comfortable doing this.

Avast Premium Security compatibility

With any software, you want to know if it’s compatible with your device before you buy it. You should also remember that even if it’s compatible, some features may not work with every system. Avast Premium works with the following operating systems and devices:

  • Microsoft Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, and 7 (both the 32 and 64-bit versions)
  • macOS 10.13 or later
  • Android phones or tablets with OS Google Android 6.0 or higher (Marshmallow)
  • iPhones or iPads with iOS 13.0 or higher

Avast Premium Security customer support

Avast Premium Security has an impressive customer support system in place. You can contact them via live chat support, phone support, and email support so long as you have a paid version of Avast. Unfortunately, it's unclear if any of these options are 24/7.

We decided to call and ask why the firewall feature was not available for Mac users. After a lengthy discussion and remote access was granted to the rep, we were not given a reason. The support rep told us that he thought it should work, but he was unable to find access to the firewall either.

There’s also a knowledge base that offers help for technical and nontechnical Avast issues. If you’d rather contact someone directly, you can use the contact page.

Avast Premium Security alternatives

Some of Avast's weaknesses may be deal breakers for you, like its lack of parental controls and limited features for macOS. Here are other antivirus programs that may better suit your needs:

  • Norton: Norton has plans with more than just antivirus, including cybersecurity suites with a VPN, identity protection, and more. It also comes with parental controls, known as Norton Family, so you can keep your kids secure while they're online.

    Get Norton 360 | Read Our Norton 360 Review

  • Bitdefender: Bitdefender is a budget-friendly antivirus solution with simple yet powerful interface tools. Its even received perfect protection scores with AV-TEST, so you can rest assured that your device will be protected. 

    Get Bitdefender | Read Our Bitdefender Total Security Review

  • AVG: AVG is another product with standout security features, including tools to address Wi-Fi verification, phishing sites, and ad trackers. It also offers an impressive free product that comes with anti-malware, spyware, and ransomware protection. 

    Get AVG | Read Our AVG Antivirus Review

Avast Premium Security FAQs


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Is Avast Premium Security good?

With the reported security scores from AV-TEST and pricing plans, Avast Premium Security is a good option for users who want solid antivirus without many extra features.


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What happened to Avast Premier and Avast Internet Security?

Avast Premier is now Avast Premium Security. Avast Internet Security is no longer available, but existing users received an upgrade to Avast Premium Security.


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Is Avast better than McAfee?

Avast is better than McAfee for the user who doesn’t want extras such as a file shredder, App Boost, and file locker. However, McAfee edges out Avast as a better pick for a low-cost plan.

You can learn more about Avast vs. McAfee in our comprehensive comparison.

Bottom line: Is Avast Premium Security good?

Avast Premium Security is a good antivirus provider. There are some drawbacks, such as the lackluster customer support we experienced and limited features for macOS.

Still, if you want an antivirus that won’t break the bank and has good security ratings, Avast is a reputable option that will work for many people who want a security suite that provides great ease of use. If you need software with more features and premium customer support, you could opt for a product like Avira antivirus.

4.8
Learn More
On Avast's website

Avast
  • High antivirus test scores
  • Ransomware protection
  • No parental controls
Author Details
Patti Croft is a seasoned writer who specializes in all things technology. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science and carries a wealth of hands-on experience thanks to her background as a technical analyst and security specialist.

Citations

[1] The Cost of Avast's Free Antivirus: Companies Can Spy on Your Clicks

[2] Avast to End Browser Data Harvesting, Terminates Jumpshot