What's New in Avast Antivirus 2016?

Category: Anti-Virus

Avast 2016 has arrived, and the overall performance and user-friendliness of this highly-rated security software have been improved. New versions for PC, Mac and mobile devices are available. Some new features are included even with the free edition, and the mobile version has converted many of its premium features to freebies. Read on to learn more about the latest version of Avast antivirus...

Avast 2016 - New and Improved

Avast 2016 is now available in four versions whose cost ranges from zero to $69.99 per year ($49.99 as of this writing). I've been using Avast Antivirus for a couple of years now, and it keeps getting better. The 2016 editions are faster, friendlier, and feature fresh functions to foil felons. Here are the details...

For starters, the user interface now provides for easier control of settings. Feedback can be provided directly from the user interface pages, facilitating bug reports, feature requests, and suggestions.

A new password manager, creatively named “Passwords,” has been added to all versions of Avast 2016. It stores and manages passwords for Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox, enabling automatic logins and form-filling. It also checks the strength of your passwords and includes a password generator to help you improve password security. It can sync password and form-filling data across devices.

Avast 2016 Review

Avast Home Network Security (HNS), also included in every version, now scans for more types of vulnerabilities on your router and home network. Its reports are more detailed and helpful than in last year’s introductory version of HNS.

Avast Setup is easier and faster. But take your time anyway. One of the default setup options is to share data with Avast and third-party services. This feature allows Avast to receive reports of potentially dangerous files and websites you encounter and share that info with its other security partners. This helps Avast maintain a crowd-and-cloud-based catalog of online threats, and provide better protection for all users. Avast says they will remove anything that identifies you personally before sending such reports. If this bothers you, disable sharing during setup by unchecking a box, or later through the Settings menu.

Avast Mobile is free, and will protect your Android, iPhone or iPad devices from the more than 2,850 new threats discovered each day. It also includes the ability to find your lost or stolen mobile gadget, filter calls and messages, clean out junk files, improve battery life, and remove ransomware.

The free Avast Mac Security promises to protect your computer, your money, and your identity. The details on the Avast website are bit vague, but the picture shows a File System Shield, Mail Shield, and Web Shield to protect against phishing, router hijacking and other threats.

SmartScan, SafeZone and SecureLine

SmartScan now integrates the Antivirus, Software Updater, Browser Cleanup, Home Network Security, Cleanup, and Passwords. One click does everything and presents a comprehensive security profile of your system, router, and home network.

Avast SafeZone Browser replaces the old SafeZone feature to protect you during online shopping, banking, and other financial transactions. It includes a Pay Mode that isolates your browser in a virtual “sandbox” so that keyloggers and other spyware cannot monitor and capture login credentials, credit card details, and other sensitive data. SafeZone Browser is not available in the free version; it first appears in the $34.95/year Avast Internet Security version, and all other paid versions.

All paid versions of Avast also include SecureLine VPN, Sandbox for testing unknown software in an isolated memory environment, and SecureDNS that provides an encrypted channel to Avast’s private DNS servers.

A few features are only available in the higher-priced versions. Avast Internet Security ($39.99/year) adds Anti-Spam technology, a software Firewall, and SafeZone for rogue website detection. The Premier version ($49.99) adds a software updater and data shredder to completely erase data from a hard drive so that it cannot be recovered.

Avast consistently ranks high in independent tests of its threat detection and eradication capabilities. Its “silent/gaming” mode eliminates unnecessary notifications, and its parsimonious consumption of system resources also helps keep Avast unobtrusive.

I use the free version of Avast (along with occasional scans with the free version of MBAM) and it has served me well. But I'm very security-conscious and vigilant when I go online. If you share a computer with kids or others who are likely to click on anything that moves, one of the paid versions may be a good investment.

What Internet security software do you use? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "What's New in Avast Antivirus 2016?"

(See all 24 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

Charlie Scott
10 Dec 2015

I used the free version of Avast for several years (it was recommended by the tech I bought my Dell laptop from). I also had Norton Anti-Virus, then upgraded to Norton 360. They ran well together (with an occasional burp) until earlier this year. I ended up contacting Norton and, after several tries to fix the conflict, ended up having to de-install Avast. My wife's Dell laptop also had a conflict we couldn't resolve, and we de-installed Avast on her machine as well. (I should note that I have paid for Norton and still have a while to run on my subscription.) I've wondered if either (or both) companies have buried some type of conflict in their coding to create problems with other providers. In any case, I was satisfied with Avast and Norton since it seemed that one might catch something the other didn't. Really didn't like having to go to just one provider.

Posted by:

10 Dec 2015

I have used Comodo for a long time and it has performed well for me. it does not bother my Windows 7 system by slowing it down. it also gives you the option of when you find a false positive that it has quarantined, you can open the quarantine and tell it that it is a safe file and allow it. updates are regular although some need a reboot. Very happy with Comodo.

Posted by:

10 Dec 2015

I have used Avast for several years along with an occasional M-BAM run. I have had no problems on my own computers. I have seen several different problems with other AV programs on friends computers and recommended that they switch to Avast.

Posted by:

10 Dec 2015

I've used AVG for a long time. Your reviews of Avast always tempt me to switch. When helping friends and relatives I make sure they go with Avast because of your recommendations. When I finally get myself motivated I'll be switching also. You haven't led me astray yet.

Posted by:

10 Dec 2015

Sounds good.

I went to download the Mac version and was routed by Avast to CNET. Is there a reliable alternative download site?

Posted by:

10 Dec 2015

I have used the free version for many years. Just the antivirus. I never had much trouble. I will try the new one when it comes available.

Posted by:

Bob Shami
10 Dec 2015

I have been using the free version of Avast since August. I registered the product at the time. I see now where the registration period is good only for one year - the registration panel in settings tells me how many days I have left before the registration "expires". What happens at the end of that year? Will the program still function as before?

EDITOR'S NOTE: There is no expiration for the FREE version. Some people mistakenly download a free trial version of the PAID product, and then are led to believe that the free version is demanding an upgrade to paid. If that happens, just uninstall and then download the FREE (not free trial) version.

Posted by:

Bob Shami
10 Dec 2015

Further to my post above, being new to Avast, I have just learned that the free version apparently requires annual re-registration. This quote appears on Avast.com faq in answer to "How do I register Avast Free Antivirus": "Your registration is valid for 12 months during which time you will receive free updates to both the program and your virus definitions. After that time you may renew your free registration." Apparently they start reminding you to renew the registration 30 days before it expires. See this link for how to do this: http://code.adonline.id.au/renewing-avast-antivirus/

Posted by:

Basil J. Miller
10 Dec 2015

Seems like a good product

Posted by:

Lee Keller
10 Dec 2015

Avast - Requires too many resources. Also too large a footprint.

AVG - Ditto

Solution: Bitdefender Free

Posted by:

10 Dec 2015

I like Avast because the free version is auto update.
For paid version I like Spybot ... anti crapware is free. Anti Virus is small price.

Posted by:

11 Dec 2015

Thank you for your most useful tips and interesting articles

Posted by:

11 Dec 2015

On Nov. 25th Avast downloaded and installed a new version. Whether this is the 2016 I don't know. Version 11.1.2245.
3 days ago I was losing my internet connection, but on only 1 computer. I suspected a hardware problem.
Then I noticed the Avast icon in the system tray had a little red "X" over it. I clicked on the icon and a display advised that Avast was turned off. I clicked "Turn on". The icon resumed its normal spinning and I HAD INTERNET back. This has happened several times in the past 3 days. I'm pulling my hair out over this. It has been suggested I download their uninstaller and then re-install Avast.
Any suggestions? (Beware of squirrels.)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Sounds like good advice.

Posted by:

11 Dec 2015

Avast Free Edition was the first pc security I used back in 2003. I had good results. I have been using Immunet 3 free edition for the last 4 years. I've had good results with it also.
I'm looking into if I can run both programs together. If not I'm going to try the 2016 Avast Free.

Posted by:

11 Dec 2015

I have used Bitdefender Internet Security (paid) for my desktops for several years (since you first mentioned its winning ways in AV tests and it has continued to prove itself).

I have been using a combination of free Avira and free ESET for all mobiles for about a year now.

The above combinations have protected me extremely well, especially with a monthly run of MBAM (free) and its new ANTI-Exploit (free) just to be sure.

Posted by:

Ray Bobo
11 Dec 2015

I am not a geek and don't understand far far more than I do understand about cyber stuff. And I don't have time to waste solving unending PC problems. I used Avast (and other) antivirus programs. But I also began using System Mechanic (at Bob's suggestion). The Pro version (not free) includes antivirus and antimalware functions. I didn't seen the need to have redundant antivirus programs confusing each other. So, SM works for me.

Posted by:

12 Dec 2015

I really must comment -- When will PC or Laptop users learn that you should not have 2 or more AV programs on your computers!!! All of them will conflict with each other. They all use different codes to produce their programs and most of these codes do not "play" well with others.

Plus, AV programs integrate their programs into the operating system and everything else, for the security of the computer. It's like having 2 Firewalls in action, at the same time, that doesn't work well, either.

This is one reason, I disable Windows Defender. I happen to have a hardware Router from AT&T that has it's very own Firewall. Believe me, it is rock solid. Especially, the newest Routers, their password is FINALLY on par, with what is recommended as a safe, secure password! Numbers, Capital letters, Small letters and Symbols. They may even use Spaces, but, mine doesn't have Spaces.

I have been a user of Avast! for years. One of the main reasons I chose Avast!, it has an Anti-Root Kit, even for the FREE version! Right now, I do have the paid version of Avast Internet Security. I got a great deal for 3 computers and I happen to have 2 people who are NOT computer savvy and I needed to protect their computers, from themselves. LOL :)

I can't wait to see the new Avast! 2016. To date, I haven't seen it come, in the updates/upgrades. Since, my subscription runs until August 2016, I think, they will upgrade my computers to Avast! 2016.

I, some of you wonder why I write Avast! with an exclamation point -- That is the way it was written, when I first started using Avast!, about 10 years ago. In fact, when Avast! first started, they labelled themselves as aVast! Just some trivia. :)

Posted by:

12 Dec 2015

Bitdefender Free - its highly rated and inobtrusive. Stays out of the way and is light on resources. I used to have Avast but I like Bitdefender better. I am pleased with Bitdefender.

Posted by:

Glenda Oakley
12 Dec 2015

Thanks Bob, for a timely article. I was wondering about Avast. I did download it, but like Bruce, who commented above, I seemed to have some glitch with internet connection. There was none some times, so had to restart. I got worried so uninstalled it. Also I could not get anything to print although the pc recognised I had a printer plugged in, as the print page set up appeared, I made my choices, but the "print" button would not light up allowing me to press "print".I wondered if avast got "rid" of a driver or something.So I did a system restore and can print again. I am going to make a restore point, and auto back up is due, so then I will install it again. And uninstall MSE first. I know MSE does not rate very high at all, but I had to put it back on as I needed something. Hope it works this time......

Posted by:

george w.
07 Apr 2016

Serious flaw discovered in Avast's security-focused SafeZone browser :


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