When it comes to artificial intelligence, Avast has succeeded in establishing an esteemed reputation for itself. It offers cybersecurity tools and services that are more sophisticated, quicker, and smarter. One of its prominent rising products is the Avast SafeZone Browser, which sports a reputation for mitigating cyberattacks and adding an extra layer of protection to your surfing experience.
However, after discovering a vulnerability in the Avast SafeZone Browser in September 2017, the firm suspended access to the browser until it was able to resolve the problem. A malicious website may use this vulnerability to scan cookies, saved credentials, and local documents.
In 2018, Avast SafeZone Browser was integrated into the more sophisticated Avast Secure Browser, which is based on the most recent and most comprehensive version of Google Chrome. Avast asserts that it has completely rebuilt its prior version in order to resolve the security vulnerabilities found in it.
However, it is best to believe on claims only after thorough verification, and this review intends to do precisely that. For a better browsing experience, you should look into the Avast SafeZone Browser’s security features mentioned below.
How Secure is Avast SafeZone?
Avast SafeZone Browser provides a much safer environment for its users as compared to other web browsers. It has an integrated ad blocker for ad-free surfing. It also comes pre-installed with Avast Password‘s browser software, which allows you to manage all of your passwords in one place. Some of its security features are as follows:
- Sandbox application: Avast SafeZone Browser operates in a sandbox, in which applications and processes function in a segregated virtual space, restricting them from gaining access to your personal data and preventing significant harm.
- Virtual identity: Avast SafeZone Browser conceals your true identity and provides you with a distinct virtual identity that prevents websites from being able to recognize you.
- Shielded window: The browser opens websites that seem harmful or dangerous in a Shielded window to prevent any threats from reaching your device. It also automatically wipes off your browser history.
- Extension Guard: It prevents the installation of hazardous and unverified extensions in your browser, only enabling the installation of approved extensions.
Even though Avast SafeZone Browser is capable of providing such enhanced security features, it lacks in some prominent privacy areas that make it unreliable. Some of these drawbacks include:
- To avail Avast SafeZone Browser’s features, you must provide access to your personal information to the browser. As a result, it may compromise a user’s account security.
- Several vulnerabilities and flaws have been identified in the browser that can expose your identity to cybercriminals.
- It also allows hackers to access private data on your computer simply by clicking on a destructive link.
In order to get rid of these drawbacks, update your browser to Avast Secure Browser.
Is Avast Browser Safe?
Since users detected many vulnerabilities and flaws in the Avast SafeZone browser, Avast introduced an advanced browser to eliminate privacy concerns. Vulnerabilities in Avast SafeZone Browser included:
- Information leaks
- lack of user confidentiality
- third-party access.
The updated browser, known as Avast Secure Browser, incorporates most of the similar features as Avast SafeZone Browser; however, its overall functionality has risen a couple of notches.
Avast Secure Browser is a Chromium-based browser that focuses on user accessibility along with maximum security. Panopticlick, a browser testing tool developed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, has verified the reliability of Avast Secure Browser. It claims that the browser provides excellent security against online tracking and does not use unique fingerprinting to identify users.
|SafeZone browser||Secure browser|
|OS Support||Security & Privacy Center|
|User-friendly interface||Built-in VPN extension|
|Video Downloader||Privacy Cleaner|
|Device compatibility||Extension Guard|
Remember that Avast came under scrutiny again in January 2020 for allegedly selling up to 100 million customers’ search histories and online activity to third parties. Avast claims the data it sold was anonymized, but reports suggest otherwise. Avast has a long history of data security issues.
You should also remember that Avast browsers are private browsers. The fact that private browsers only erase data from your computer is a significant disadvantage. Your IP address is still visible to third parties and Avast browsers do little to eradicate that.
How to Browse the Internet Safely with an Avast Browser?
In order to fully utilize and even enhance the features of an Avast browser, it is necessary for you to install a secure VPN connection. VPNs can help mitigate the privacy and security risks that Avast browser poses. They allow you to explore the web without any privacy concerns.
- Avast browser has a reputation of leaking your information. Hence, a VPN will provide you with an additional degree of security by creating an encrypted tunnel across your data traffic and anybody attempting to monitor you.
- Even though Avast browsers promise anonymity, they have been able to live up to that claim. The tiny bit of anonymity that you can achieve on the internet is only possible with the use of a reliable VPN.
- Even while utilizing Avast Browser’s Bank Mode, your IP address still remains public. A VPN is the only tool that can help you shield it.
Following are some of the VPNs that you can utilize for safe browsing:
CyberGhost VPN is a prominent VPN service that promises maximum privacy and security. It is based in Romania, a jurisdiction that opposes data retention on internet users. It offers military-grade AES-256 encryption, as well as instant log deletion. With its highly secure industry-standard VPN protocols such as IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols, CyberGhost’s VPN service is an excellent choice for online confidentiality.
Nord VPN leads the VPN market and is amongst one of the top-tier VPNs in the industry. It is based in Panama jurisdiction and does not assist government agencies or law enforcement authorities. To protect data transmission, NordVPN employs industry-standard AES-256 bit encryption. It makes use of sophisticated VPN protocols such as OpenVPN and IKEv2 in order to improve your online security further. It has a strict no-logs policy.
ExpressVPN is a reliable VPN service provider that offers outstanding overall features. Established in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN is an offshore jurisdiction. There are no government-run surveillance networks involved with it. It utilizes AES-256 encryption and VPN protocols, including OpenVPN, TCP/UDP, PPTP, SSTP, and L2TP/IPSec. It also follows a zero-logging policy.
SurfShark VPN is another leading name in the VPN industry. It is also based in the British Virgin Islands, which is an exceptional offshore jurisdiction. It makes use of military-grade AES-256 encryption. In addition to OpenVPN, Surfshark provides the ability to switch between VPN protocols such as Shadowsocks, IPSec/L2TP, and IPSec/IKEv2. It also upholds rigorous zero-logging policies in all of its operations.
Problems with Avast Secure Browser
Despite its updated features and enhanced security, Avast Secure Browser has previously been under hot water for overlooking several privacy aspects. Its main issue is not living up to the over-the-top claims that it has made regarding its security and privacy protection. Hence, users have a hard time believing any claims made by Avast until they verify them on their own. Some further problems found in Avast Secure Browser are as follows:
- By default, the browser is configured to accept third-party cookies during regular browsing. In contrast, third-party cookies are often blocked by default in privacy browsers, at the very least.
- The browser comes with a bit of speed degradation due to the usage of sophisticated tools, whereas it claims that it provides 4x speed.
- It doesn’t allow the installation of any privacy extensions as it claims that it provides enough security and privacy that you do not need additional measures.
- The users of Avast Secure Browser are also unable to remove default browser extensions even if they seem sketchy.
- The tools for increasing productivity are limited in Avast Secure Browser.
- It offers very few customization features.
- Some of the necessary security measures require a premium subscription for which you need to pay before utilizing them.
- Many users have an issue with the fact that Avast Secure Browser is based on a Chromium browser.
- There are many suggestions to use or connect with other Avast applications; this might be a sign of utilizing a significant amount of proprietary code that links back to Avast servers.
These problems make Avast Secure Browser an unreliable browser. However, most of these issues can be resolved by installing a VPN.
Is Avast Secure Browser Safer than Chrome?
Because Avast Secure Browser is based on the Chromium platform, it looks almost similar to Chrome. Even your existing configuration settings, bookmarks, history, and other optional features are not affected by shifting to this browser. Avast Secure Browser is comparable to Chrome but focuses on user privacy and confidentiality. Here is a detailed comparison of the two browsers’ security.
- Simply stated, popular browsers like Google Chrome prioritize customization and accessibility above user privacy. On the other side, Avast Secure Browser was created to offer users a secure environment that offers user anonymity.
- Avast Secure Browser’s built-in Adblock allows you to personalize your settings. With strict blocking mode enabled, you can even block the most troublesome ads.
- In contrast, Chrome’s ad-blocking feature is basic and buried deep inside the settings, making it unlikely that users would ever find it.
- Chrome has still not been able to defend the tracking allegations, whereas Avast Secure Browser consists of anti-phishing, anti-fingerprinting, and anti-tracking features.
Due to the fact that both browsers use the same engine, they are both safe. However, Avast Secure Browser takes the lead since it offers more privacy settings along with a trustworthy ad-blocker.
Is Avast Browser Bank Mode Safe?
Avast browser offers you a unique feature, known as Bank Mode, which allows you to shop and bank more safely online. The Bank Mode isolates your online activity inside an encrypted tunnel and shields it against keyloggers and other types of malware or adware that may compromise the session. It ensures that your cash transactions are secure and confidential.
- Avast Browser Bank Mode protects you from a certain kind of malware that can record the user’s typing pattern and extract personal credentials.
- It further shields you from such harm by preventing all potential cracking methods to guarantee the highest level of protection.
- To put it simply, it creates a private space for you in which there is no possibility of spying, phishing, or any other keylogger trying to capture your input pattern.
- This mode is not just relevant for banking websites, but you may use it for any website that generally requires protection and security. For example, internet purchasing, cryptocurrency settlement, and even managing company assets.
You can enable or disable Bank Mode manually, or it can even start functioning automatically if the Avast Browser recognizes that you have arrived at a banking webpage or a checkout tab.
However, Bank Mode requires you to have access to both the Avast Browser as well as the Avast Antivirus, which serves as a disadvantage for users who are not fond of the company’s policies.
Who owns Avast Secure Browser?
Pavel Baudiš and Eduard Kučera are the two co-founders of Avast Company which was established in 1988. The company also owns a dedicated leadership team consisting of big names on the market. However, the company has a long history of being involved in data transmission to third parties, due to which its overall reputation has been compromised. It has been subjected to severe investigation in 2017 as well as 2020 due to security issues.
Avast has several allegations for collecting the browsing histories of its users and selling the information to third parties via its Jumpsuit subsidiary, potentially earning millions of dollars by packaging your private browsing data. This data can include everything ranging from Google Maps location searches to your browsing history.
It is indeed ironic that a company with the most popular antivirus software is associated with such information leaks.
How to Download Avast Secure Browser on Windows 10?
Follow the steps outlined below to get an insight into the installation procedure of Avast Secure Browser on Windows 10:
- Click here to download the Avast Secure Browser setup file (the file will be saved in your Downloads folder by default)
- To run the downloaded setup file, right-click and choose Run as administrator.
- A UAC dialogue must have appeared. If so, choose Yes to authorize.
- In case you aren’t logged on as an administrator, enter your administrator account password and click Yes to allow installation.
- After the Avast Secure Browser setup has finished installing on your computer, click OK.
You will be able to continue your online activity immediately after installing Avast Secure Browser.
Avast is an organization that places a high value on security, and its browser follows a similar approach. Additional security and privacy options are available in Avast Secure Browser, which also integrates with other Avast security services, both free and commercial, to provide a comprehensive security solution. Although it may not offer as much customization as some other browsers, it does provide all you could possibly need for a safe, private, and quick surfing experience.
To conclude, Avast Secure Browser/Avast SafeZone Browser is a tried and tested competitor when it comes to shielding oneself from being monitored while browsing the web. Other browsers cannot provide some of the more distinctive features that Avast delivers, such as bank mode and anti-fingerprinting. Moreover, its functions are enhanced tenfolds when you use it with an active VPN connection.
Do share your thoughts about the Avast SafeZone Browser review!