A free versatile and powerful integrated service
Avast One Essential is a free security and privacy software that enables you to easily protect your PC from online threats. Developed by Avast, this all-in-one security service features several tools—an award-winning antivirus, a PC performance booster, and more—to both keep your data safe and clean as you browse the internet.
Avast One Essential is one of the three versions under the Avast One product. It is the comprehensive free version that’s available on all platforms. Meanwhile, the other two—Avast One Individual and Avast One Family—offer more features for monthly subscription plans.
What is Avast One Free?
In general, Avast One is a full-on security suite of tools with a user-friendly interface. It provides security, digital privacy, identity protection, and performance enhancement for various devices—allowing you to safely surf online and do other data-critical tasks there, like online banking and such. For a free pass at this software package, you can download Avast One Essential and give it a go. It includes all basic tools mentioned, such as security and clean-up features, and doesn’t give you much hassle in navigating the program’s dashboard.
When you first launch the application after installation, you’ll be prompted to choose which version you want: the free Essential one or the premium version that has two editions. After choosing Essential, your main menu will now be displayed. If you don’t have an Avast account yet, it will show a button for registration—although you can skip this part. Otherwise, the main page will always display the option to do a Smart Scan. Unlike most similar programs, though, you need to scroll down for more options.
The bottom half of the Home menu contains your Shortcuts, which display four quick-launch buttons for the program’s tools aside from Smart Scan. There are the Deep Scan and Targeted Scan alternative options. There is also a VPN Secure Connection button for the built-in VPN. For better PC performance, you have the PC Speedup tool—which optimizes your background app activity. Lastly, you can also enable Data Breach Monitoring here. Take note that all of these functions can also be found in another section of the interface.
All the tools at your disposal
The left-side panel of Avast One Essential’s window holds four tabs: Home, Explore, Messages, and Account. The Explore section is where you will find all of the tools offered by this software—segregated by the function they generally serve. Under Device Protection, there are nine more tabs: Scan Center, File Shield, Web Shield, Ransomware Protection, Firewall, Quarantine, Sensitive Data Shield, Web Hijack Guard, and Webcam Protection. These are the tools for the built-in antivirus—although take note that the last three are locked behind the premium versions.
Under Online Privacy, you will find the VPN feature, which allows for a 5GB bandwidth weekly limit. You can choose when it will automatically turn on, but it doesn’t let you pick the server location and doesn’t offer basic functions like split tunneling and a Kill Switch. You will also find the Clear Browsing Data and Password Protection features here. Meanwhile, the Smooth Performance tools include PC Speedup, Software Updater, Disk Cleaner, and Driver Updater—the last two locked for premium access.
While this free version already offers numerous handy features, you can still upgrade them for better device security and protection with Avast One’s premium versions. There are two available: Avast One Individual, for one account and five devices; and Avast One Family, for 6 accounts and 30 devices. The upgraded features include all of the locked tools, unlimited VPN bandwidth for over 55 server locations in 34 countries, password breach alerts on registered email accounts, and more. Both subscription plans are eligible for Avast’s 30-day money-back guarantee.
Take your pick from the list
All in all, Avast One Essential is a great choice for an all-in-one security solution if you’re looking for something that’s intuitive and easy-to-use but still has powerful functionalities. While some basic settings for its built-in tools aren’t available at the start, this program is still highly versatile for most PC protection issues and is accessible to a wide range of users with its different versions.