capsule review

Avast Free Antivirus

At a Glance
  • Avast avast! Free Antivirus

Avast's freebie finished second in PCWorld's 2012 free antivirus roundup. Avast Free Antivirus 7 mostly excelled in protecting against malware, it has a versatile interface, and it sped through our battery of malware tests.

Avast's defenses were weakest at blocking new real-world threats: It caught just 78.6 percent of them--not outstanding, but slightly above average. Avast did far better at stopping well-known malware, detecting 99.1 percent of samples in our zoo test--a very good showing. This package cleans up malware infections effectively, as well. It de­­tected all the malware residing on our test PC, and disarmed the invaders 93 percent of the time, tying for second-best in this test. The utility also removed all traces of infections two-thirds of the time.

The Avast offering won’t slow your PC down much. It completed the on-demand scan test in 1 minute, 34 seconds, for second-best in the group; and it finished the on-access test in 4 minutes, 16 seconds, good enough for third-best.

Avast's interface has a lot going on; advanced users will find many settings to toggle. Despite this complexity, it is nevertheless friendly enough that it shouldn't scare away less-geeky users.

--Nick Mediati

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At a Glance
  • Avast avast! Free Antivirus

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