Avast One is a new antivirus and PC optimization suite by Avast for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS users. It features a collection of useful utilities to keep your device safe from viruses and ransomware, while keeping your device optimized and faster for other tasks. The virus scanner has different type of system scans that you can start from an easy-to-use dashboard.
Avast already has a free antivirus in the market and what sets Avast One apart from Avast fee AV is addition of few more tools and one of them is a free VPN. The free version of Avast VPN offers 1 location and 5 GB bandwidth per week. The powerful Firewall and Web Shield helps you keep safe from threats and malware via constant scanning, which may find a way to your device through the internet.
Apart from PC or MAC, Avast One also works on mobile devices. You can install it on your Android and iPhone and enjoy the same set of features with an exception of few. However, the mobile app is not available in all the countries. So before downloading, you have to make sure whether the mobile app is available in your region.
Main Features and Tools Included in Avast One:
Apart from virus scanning, you will find some other optimization and privacy tools. Some of these are only available in the premium version, but still you can get a few free ones and they are listed below.
- Real-time Deep Virus Scanning: There is a default quick system scan available in Avast One, but you can also go for deeper scan as well in case you suspect there is a malware on your PC. In deep scan mode, it will check every file and folder on your PC. Not only that but deep scan can also be launched at the boot time.
- Ransomware Protection: Avast One offers a dedicated ransomware protection tool that can revoke access of applications to specified files in a folder. You can use this tool to block applications from modifying files or protect certain folders. This is similar to Windows Defender’s feature, but here you can opt for a few more options. Here it offers a white list of applications that you can specify and they can access any file on PC.
- Password Protection: If your data has been leaked in some internet breach, then you can know about it using the password protection tool. Here it can tell you whether your email or password has been found in any leaked database. This works like Have I Been Pawned service.
- PC SpeedUp: This tool of Avast One can look of active apps in the memory even if they have been closed by the user. It can efficiently terminate those apps and will free up memory, which in turn will boost overall PC performance. You can do this optimization in a click.
- Firewall: Even though Windows and MAC offer a built-in firewall, for an extra layer of security, you can use the one provided by Avast in Avast One. With the firewall, you can revoke internet access to any installed applciation on your PC anytime. And it only takes 1 click to block and unblock a software.
- Web Shield: To constantly save you from internet threats, the Web Shield of Avast One takes care of few things while you are browsing. It scans websites that you visit, stops malicious scripts from running, and blocks bots from stealing your information.
- Free VPN: This is probably the most attractive feature of Avast One, a free VPN. In my opinion, it is better than a lot of premium VPNs out there as it prevents DNS leaks and any other IP leaks effectively. Most VPNs fail to do that, but here it is very secure and you can have it automatically activate when you connect to an untrusted network.
Using Avast One in Windows:
For this post, I tested it on Windows 11 PC and I really liked the experience. Download it from here and then install it. First time, when you install it, it will ask you to choose an edition to activate. Since we are talking about the free version, you just use the Essential Edition and proceed.
Here are the different tools and utilities that you can use for now.
The very first is the Smart Scan that runs a quick virus scan of your PC and shows you the result. The same tool also scans your browser in case you have some malicious extension installed. The free edition does these two things, but if you use the premium version, then you will be able to use the PC cleaner tool as well.
In the “Explore” section, you can find the Web Shield tool of Avast One. Here you can configure some options to protect your PC from online threats. Here it offers a website scanner among other tools to prevent execution of malicious scripts.
Next, you can configure the Ransomware Protection in it. Here you can create multiple protected folders and it will block application access to those folders from modifying anything. Additionally, you can also use this to prevent access to certain files type by applications. You can opt to block complete access to the protected folders, or you can whitelist some apps to allow them to access protected files and folders.
Another nice tool included in this antivirus software is powerful firewall. You can use the Avast firewall to block internet access to some applications. It shows a list of software that you have installed so far and you can decide which of them can access internet and which ones can’t. There are separate tabs for active and inactive applications, and you can block internet access in real-time in just a click.
Now, probably one of the best features of Avast One, a free VPN. You can activate it from the Explore section itself. There is no Avast account needed to turn it on, and just slide the switch to activate it. It will assign the fastest server to your VPN connection along with a clean IP address. I checked it on Whoer.net and there were no DNS leaks, and it has a pretty good score there as well.
These are the powerful privacy and security tools that you get in Avast One. The same tools can be found on the Android and iOS version, and the free version works there as well. Signing in using an Avast account is optional, but certain tools require that you sign in to save settings and preferences.
I have used Avast free AV for a long time and a minor issue I had with it is that it was slowign down the system sometimes. But now that does not seem to be the problem with Avast One. Because it has PC optimization and cleaning tools in it already, so when you feel like your PC is slowing down, you just optimize it in a few clicks. Also, the free VPN is powerful too and I liked its speed and overall performance. If you are looking for a free antivirus solution in 2021 then it is no doubt that Avast One is a very good option to consider.