Avast Premier represents the premium tier of protection within Avast’s broad cybersecurity portfolio. Going beyond the company’s free antivirus, Premier bundles advanced features like automated software updates, ransomware shield, webcam security, and more.
With over 435 million users worldwide, Avast touts itself as the biggest threat detection network in the industry. The company’s software consistently earns top marks across platforms from evaluators like AV-TEST. As cyberattacks grow more sophisticated, Avast Premier promises full-spectrum shielding even against unknown emerging threats.
This article examines what owners can expect from Premier in terms of included capabilities, cost, performance benchmarks, user experience, and overall software effectiveness. It also compares Avast’s premium offerings against competitors like Norton and McAfee. Multiple testing reports paint a picture of leading but not flawless protection.
II. Avast Premier Features and Pricing
Avast Premier comes loaded with security capabilities plus convenience features that go beyond basic antivirus. Premium perks include automated updates, software maintenance, speed boosting, and secure connections.
Key utilities in Avast Premier include:
- Antivirus engine
- Ransomware Shield
- Webcam Shield
- WiFi Inspector
- Sandbox technology
- Real Site protection against spoof sites
- Rescue disk for recovery
- Automatic software updater
- Driver updater
- Software cleanup
- Faster startup sequence
- SecureLine VPN
- Security apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
- Account can support mix of platforms
Avast Premier pricing depends on the number of devices protected:
- 1 device for 1 year = $99.99
- 1 device for 2 years = 35% savings
- 5 devices for 1 year = $119.99 per year
- 10 devices for 1 year = $199.99 per year
Discounts apply for longer subscription terms up to 60% off. Families with many devices in the ecosystem may realize considerable savings compared to individual plans.
III. Performance and Usability
Independent testing repeatedly confirms Avast’s leading malware detection capabilities, if not always topping charts. Areas like usability and system performance also compete well against premium rivals.
A. AV-TEST Results Across Platforms
The independent testing authority AV-TEST evaluates antivirus efficacy, usability, and performance across major platforms. Tests occur in January and June with evolving criteria that products must meet to get certified.
Windows: Avast Premier scored 100% in both protection and usability for both Windows 10 and 11 every round during 2022. Performance scores ranged between 4.5 and 6 points meaning moderate to high overhead demands.
Mac: On macOS, Avast similarly earned perfect 100% protection and usability ratings throughout the past year. Performance hit 6 points as well on modern MacBooks.
Android: Testing on Android yielded straight 6-point perfect scores in all categories. Protection, battery impact, and device slow down all proved negligible.
In total, testing shows Avast Premier very competitive versus brands like Norton, Bitdefender, and Trend Micro. However, it did not sweep every single trial. There remains room for software enhancement even among security suite leaders.
B. Comparison with McAfee
Avast narrowly edged McAfee in recent testing rounds according to AV-TEST. Both suites score essentially perfect in malware detection, but Avast won out in areas like:
- Less installation time
- Quicker scan speeds
- Smaller storage footprint
- Lower memory usage
For guarding against viruses and other threats, either software ranked as excellent. But Avast imposed slightly lower overheard whether installing, updating, or running scans. Still the race felt very tight.
IV. Third-Party Test Results
Evaluators like AV Comparatives, SE Labs, and MRG Effitas also conduct frequent testing of popular antivirus brands. Examining their most recent analyses shows mostly excellent scores but some shortcomings too.
A. AV Comparatives
This independent lab performs systematic tests for over a dozen leading antivirus products. In its February 2022 assessment, Avast passed both the Malware Protection and Real-World Protection with high marks, but faltered in certain areas.
For example, Avast failed two false alarm checks related to valid software being misflagged. It also showed higher than average system slow downs compared to rivals. However, actual threat detection remained impressive overall.
B. SE Labs
UK-based testing house SE Labs subjects antivirus tools to real attacker methods and malware. They evaluate areas like:
- Threat Interception
- False Positive Rates
- Endurance Under Attack
- Total Accuracy
Avast earned AAA awards on tests over the past year. These indicate excellent results on all evaluations. However, Avast did miss some core web-based threats in mid-2022 testing that top scorers like Norton and McAee blocked fully.
C. MRG Effitas
This group performs targeted tests against specific malware toolkits circulating in the wild. They distinguish themselves by testing in-the-field detection rather than benign environments.
For 2022, Avast passed all quarterly assessments against prevalent attacks like Qbot banking malware. However, it struggled in some past years against targeted ransomware simulation. Though more recently it demonstrates improving capabilities even versus sophisticated strikes.
In all cases, reviewers note effective protection for common threats users face. But there exist potential gaps around detecting more advanced or specially designed attacks depending on test conditions.
V. User Experience and Support
Ease-of-use and helpful customer service also factor into positive security software experiences. Avast aims to create a smooth interface across platforms while offering support options should anything get confusing.
A. User Interface
Avast Premier uses a relatively clean interface showing device security status at a glance before drilling down into submenus. Areas like WiFi scanning, software updates, VPN, and scans remain straightforward to access.
Some options for fine tuning scan depths or toggling features on or off may better suit intermediate to advanced self-starters. Less tech-savvy folks should find the defaults reasonable without excessive tweaking needed.
B. Support and Premium Version Perks
In terms of customer support, Avast provides:
- Online knowledge base with DIY help articles
- User forum to ask advice from community
- Direct in-app messaging for quick questions
- Telephone, chat and email channels available
As a premium user, expect priority handling over freeware subscribers when reaching out. Extra perks also include free remote desktop assistance for diagnosing tricky problems.
Premium feels worthwhile over the Avast free version based on testing labs citing stronger detection rates from added layers like sandboxing. Extra goodies like automatic driver updates also lend value.
Avast Premier belongs undoubtedly among elite antivirus suites given its consistent high test results from multiple review boards. Areas like detected threats stopped, low false alarms, tiny system drag, and polished interfaces all rate positively.
Yet it doesn’t claim best-in-class awards unanimously across every evaluation, occasionally getting bested in niches like specialized malware attacks depending on conditions. No software remains completely foolproof given the arms race with exploiters.
For broad modern threat protection across home device networks with little tuning required, Avast Premier warrants recommendation to novice and professional users alike. Just remain aware that extremely targeted attacks may penetrate its shields based on expert adversary skill and resources.
With automatic background updating enabled however, users should feel reassured about having top-tier shields versus common threats including ransomware. Performance optimizations additionally prevent the suite from bogging down modern Windows PCs and MacBooks noticeably.
Overall, Avast Premier looks well worth a free trial or discounted multi-year commitment for peace of mind against fast-evolving cyber dangers both online and offline. Just supplement smart software selection with equally wise browsing and computing habits for layered security.