Avast Secure Browser review

A Chromium-based browser with handy security features

Avast Secure Browser Review Hero
(Image: © Avast)

TechRadar Verdict

Avast is at its best when ad-blocking and other security features are enabled, making it a swift, sleek, and safe competitor in the browser market.


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    Fast & responsive

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    Advanced privacy and security options

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    Automatically blocks unwanted ads and pop-ups

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    Advanced tab management features for simpler workspace handling


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    Some security features cost

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Avast is best known for its globally-renowned antivirus. However, the company took a huge leap in 2016 when it introduced the Avast Secure Browser as an optional add-on. 

You don't have to change your default browser and go through the struggle of familiarising yourself with a whole new platform — simply add Avast as an extension to your default browser and reap the security benefits it offers without switching platforms. 

If you’re planning to give Avast a shot, this guide is for you. We’ve covered Avast’s features, usability, and competitors in great detail so that you can make the right choice.

Avast Secure Browser: Features

Avast protects you from dangerous phishing websites that can trick you into sharing sensitive information about login credentials which can later be exploited. Avast will automatically block websites known for such activities so that you don't even come across them.

Avast masks your digital identity, such as your IP address, making it impossible for any hacker to get hold of your information or reach out to you in any way. This feature also applies to trackers that are known to monitor your activity and later spam you with marketing campaigns. Avast bans such third-party software right from the get-go.

Another remarkable feature of Avast is the Extension Guard. Oftentimes, you’ll see certain websites starting downloads even if you didn't consent to it. This can be an attempt by malicious websites to plant malware or viruses in your device. To stop this, Avast puts a complete ban on untrusted websites downloading extensions in your system.

If you’re using the Avast browser on your laptop/PC and mobile at the same time, you can sync your data, such as history, bookmarks, and favorites, across all of your devices while being fully encrypted throughout. Avast ensures you don't have to go through the hassle of repeating the same old configurations for the same account on multiple devices.

It comes with a special Bank Mode that’s perfect for all your online payments and banking activities. Since you’ll be entering sensitive personal information that could be heavily exploited, the extra encryption of Avast’s special Bank Mode will certainly come in handy.

The browser comes with easy-to-add add-ons like a VPN and antivirus for extra protection. The antivirus will keep advanced digital threats such as ransomware and viruses at bay, while the VPN will keep your online activities private. The latter can also help you access geo-restricted content and hide your location.

Avast also provides excellent protection from fingerprinting by offering fake data any time software tries to copy your identity or steal your digital attributes.

Avast Secure Browser: Privacy

Avast is a privacy-friendly browser. It neither tracks your online activities and data nor lets any third-party track you. In fact, it automatically blocks all ads that could be hiding malicious links to further amp up your data security. An added benefit of this feature is that the website loading speed improves drastically.

What’s more, Avast comes with a Bank Mode, as discussed above. Enjoy additional security and encryption and enter sensitive data such as your bank account number or passwords without any second thoughts.

For added protection, you can always pair the browser with the free Avast antivirus. They're a formidable pair that'll ensure that no malware or hacker can break into your system.

Avast Secure Browser: Ease of use

Unlike other browsers such as Chrome and Edge, Avast doesn't have its own interface. It works in collaboration with other well-known browsers. 

For example, if you want the security and perks of Avast in your device’s default browser, you can get it as an add-on. This way, the look and design of your default browser (Chrome, Edge, or whichever it might be) will remain the same — you’ll just get an additional set of features, thanks to Avast.

Speaking of features, although Avast offers endless options, the good thing is that they're still easy to understand. 

First, you’ll notice the “Security and Privacy Center” that comes with tons of protective features such as an ad blocker, antivirus, VPN, web shield, and more.  


You can choose which ads are blocked when browsing the web (Image credit: Avast)

Avast Secure Browser: Competitors

There are very few browsers that challenge Avast when it comes to privacy and speed. After all, one of Avast’s biggest products is an antivirus, and the browser has been designed by the same company — surely, the company’s reputation adds to the browser's credibility.

The browser automatically blocks ads and pop-ups to keep your experience pleasant and uninterrupted. Blocking unnecessary website elements also tremendously helps you increase the website speed.

In fact, this is the reason why Avast is faster than many popular browsers like Edge and Chrome. 

Speaking of battery usage and efficiency, Avast had reportedly been using too much battery power in the past few years. However, to combat that, Avast has a tool called “Avast Battery Saver.” The only purpose of this tool is to extend the battery life of your device by minimizing the internal and external power requirements.

While Avast does fairly well against most browsers, it doesn't necessarily surpass Opera. That’s because Opera offers almost all the features that Avast does, plus a free built-in dark mode on top of that. On the other hand, if you want to use a dark mode on Avast, you’ll need access to Google Chrome themes.

The only advantage Avast has over Opera is that it works with other browsers as an add-on, whereas Opera is a separate platform that needs to be downloaded and installed separately.

Avast Secure Browser: Final verdict

Avast is surely a must-try for those who prioritize web security over everything else. Since Avast started with an antivirus, it's familiar with all the types of digital threats you can face through your browser better than any of its competitors. 

That’s why you’ll see it has a massive section dedicated to security and privacy settings where you get a VPN, a private mode, a web shield, and much more. 

Some security features, such as blocking ads, are turned on by default so that your browsing experience is pleasant right from the beginning. 

Avast is fast, lightweight, and responsive, making it a reliable browsing solution for those who need constant access to the internet.

We feature the best privacy tools and anonymous browsers.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.