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Avast One

Avast One review: A one-stop security suite with great malware protection, a smart VPN and plenty of extra tools

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £40
(5 devices/yr. Inc VAT)

Fairly priced and packed with features, Avast One is a tempting all-in-one solution for security and system maintenance


  • Excellent virus protection
  • Friendly integrated interface
  • Basic free edition


  • Not as fast as the best rivals
  • Price doubles in the second year

Avast made its name with a slick free antivirus tool, but Avast One is a full-featured security suite, with secure browsing, identity protection and a versatile VPN. It’s a direct challenger to the likes of Bitdefender and Norton, and it has the anti-malware moxie to back it up.

While the pricing isn’t quite as cheap as those packages, it is affordable. And if you don’t want to pay the full whack, there’s also a free edition of Avast One that delivers the core protections across all major platforms. Whatever you’re looking for from a security solution, Avast deserves consideration.

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Avast One review: What do you get for the money?

Naturally, Avast One offers real-time malware detection and removal. It also includes a dedicated anti-ransomware module, which keeps a strict eye on specific folders, and won’t allow changes unless authorised by you. 

You can choose from 55 secure server locations around the world, and optionally enable a kill-switch to prevent accidental data leaks. There’s no split tunnelling, however – either everything goes over the VPN, or nothing does.

Finally, you get a familiar collection of tune-up utilities: a performance optimiser, disk and browser cleaning tools and an automatic driver updater. These don’t add a huge amount of value, as you can normally achieve the same results with free standalone tools but it’s convenient to have everything built into a single system-maintenance console. The whole package costs £40 for five PCs, Macs, smartphones or tablets – rising to £80 in the second and subsequent years. It’s a reasonable price, considering it includes unlimited VPN access but it isn’t the best deal around. Big-name security suites such as Bitdefender, Kaspersky and Norton can be found on Amazon for under £20, while the only way to get Avast One is via Avast’s own website for the full RRP. (You can buy the “Avast Ultimate Suite” on Amazon but this is a collection of tools rather than an integrated product.)

Still, there’s a free 60-day trial that you can use to try out the software. And for those on the tightest budget, Avast also offers a completely free edition of the suite, dubbed Avast One Essential. This lacks the web and identity protection features but uses the same anti-malware engine as the full package, and the same firewall. It even includes the VPN, although free users are limited to an automatically selected server location and can only transfer 5GB of data per week.

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Avast One Review: Will it keep you safe?

Avast One does a great job of stopping malware; that’s confirmed by multiple independent tests. During January and February 2023, German security lab pitted Avast One against more than 11,000 viruses, including 360 completely new zero-day threats – and, as detailed in its full consumer security suite report, Avast aced every test, delivering flawless protection in every case: protection results, Jan/Feb 2023 (%)0-day Jan0-day FebWidespread JanWidespread Feb
Avast One100100100100
AVG Internet Security100100100100
Avira Internet Security100100100100
Bitdefender Internet Security100100100100
Eset Internet Security98.998.3100100
F-Secure SAFE99.5100100100
G Data Total Security100100100100
Kaspersky Premium100100100100
Malwarebytes Premium98.997.8100100
McAfee Total Protection100100100100
Microsoft Windows Defender100100100100
Norton 360 Deluxe100100100100
Trend Micro Internet Security100100100100

Similar results were obtained by AV-Comparatives in Austria. For that lab’s March 2023 malware protection test, Avast One was tested against over 10,000 malware samples. While no security suite got a perfect score, Avast One acquitted itself admirably with a superb 99.97%.

AV-Comparatives protection results, March 2023 (%)Offline detectionOnline detectionOnline protectionFalse positives
Avast One96.90%99.50%99.97%2
AVG Internet Security96.90%99.50%99.97%2
Avira Internet Security97.00%99.10%99.96%2
Bitdefender Internet Security98.10%98.10%99.94%6
ESET Internet Security97.40%97.40%99.94%0
F-Secure SAFE96.90%98.70%99.96%14
G Data Total Security98.80%98.80%99.95%2
Kaspersky Premium90.00%97.90%99.96%2
McAfee Total Protection89.60%99.70%99.99%9
Microsoft Windows Defender83.10%99.30%99.98%32
Norton 360 Deluxe91.10%99.70%99.99%3
Panda Dome72.20%95.50%99.97%102
Trend Micro Internet Security60.90%91.80%97.19%10

This isn’t quite a gold-medal performance: McAfee Total Protection and Norton 360 Deluxe both racked up superlative scores of 99.99%. Windows’ built-in Defender antivirus also managed to nudge ahead of Avast One with an impressive 99.98%. Realistically speaking, though, these margins are too small to worry about. I can confidently rank Avast in the top tier of antivirus solutions, while noting that it also registered fewer false positives than many of its rivals.

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Avast One review: Will it slow your computer down?

Avast One is a pretty unobtrusive piece of software. Its many components are all wrapped up in a single interface that’s quite clearly and logically laid out, and easy to navigate.  It doesn’t bog down your system too much, either. I tested its online performance with our in-house web benchmark, which uses the Chrome browser on Windows 11 to download multiple files of various types. With Avast One watching over the connection, opening a series of ten JPEG images in the browser took just 0.53 seconds in total, while opening the same images under Windows’ own built-in protections took 0.96 seconds.

Similarly, our set of ten PDFs took a total of 0.47 seconds to open, versus 0.84 seconds with Windows Security. For sure, these are small differences but, when you’re browsing a rich website that’s packed with images and other types of content, the cumulative speedup could be noticeable.

If you want to go beyond the core Avast One software, you can install an optional extension for Chrome, Edge, Firefox and Opera, which adds in-browser warnings about dangerous or fake sites, as well as enhanced privacy protections. With this activated, our JPEGs and PDFs were slower to open, taking a total of 9.7 and 9.2 seconds respectively. That’s still roughly on par with Windows Security, though, while providing more rigorous protection.  Avast One isn’t so swift at every task. With the suite installed, it took us 8.3 seconds to download ten EXE files through the browser, and 39.2 seconds for a set of ZIP files. With Windows Defender the same files landed on our hard disk in 6 seconds and 17.7 seconds respectively.

Avast One might also have a modest impact on your daily desktop experience, specifically when it comes to opening applications. In AV-Comparatives’ most recent performance tests, Avast One was rated “very fast” for most desktop tasks but merely “fast” when opening desktop applications, both for the first time and on subsequent launches. Windows Defender, by contrast, scored “very fast” when opening previously scanned applications.

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Avast One review: Should you buy it?

Avast One is a broad package, but there are a few boxes it doesn’t tick: several competing suites include parental controls and Norton 360 adds cloud backup too. As for speed, you’ll get faster browsing with Bitdefender, McAfee or Norton; if your focus is desktop performance, you may do better with Eset Internet Security or, again, Norton 360.

There’s also no avoiding the fact that the likes of Bitdefender, Kaspersky and Norton can be had for half the price. Yet I can’t complain too much about the cost of Avast One; for someone with five devices to protect, the first-year subscription works out to just 67p per computer per month. The 60-day free trial is unusually generous and, if you decide you don’t want to pay, the Premium subscription downgrades gracefully to the Essential edition, allowing you to keep the core protections for as long as you want.

That sort of helpful behaviour makes it easy to overlook Avast One’s weaker points. It’s a likeable package, with a neat all-in-one design that doesn’t get in your way. You don’t even need to manually turn the VPN on and off, thanks to the smart connection options that can automatically trigger and disconnect it as required. If you like the sound of an integrated security and tune-up suite with strong anti-malware credentials, Avast One may suit you very nicely.

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Avast One: A one-stop security suite
Internet security

Fairly priced and packed with features, Avast One is a tempting all-in-one solution for security and system maintenance

£40 (5 devices/yr. Inc VAT)