Avast’s free anti-virus software is extremely powerful, with a comprehensive collection of tools and features that make it one of the top options for novices. Despite some significant controversies about the suite’s data-logging and session features (and subsequent sales of consumers’ browsing habits through an affiliate) however, it is ahead of the rest of its competitors in terms of malware detection. The obligatory initial scan that occurs as part of the installation process is a fantastic feature, too, and sets up the suite to use its native tools effectively.

All Avast plans are available for Windows, macOS, and Android and all come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Upgrade to the premium plan gives you a wide range of additional tools, including an advanced firewall and anti-phishing security. Additionally, you receive a Rescue Disk and a secure browser that allows you conducting ma transaction to use online banking and shopping. It also includes advanced anti-tracking and system optimization tools.

One of the most effective tools is Avast’s Smart scan, which is an enhanced and faster option to scan your computer for problems. My tests showed that while it’s a useful tool, there were some glitches when searching for specific types like ransomware. It could block selected files and then demand a charge to return them.

Avast also provides a web cleanup tool that is able to clear browsing histories, caches and cookies from all major browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Opera Brave, Edge and Internet Explorer. This is a great, simple feature that does its job well, although it doesn’t have as many privacy settings and customization options as some of the more flexible competitors.