- Simple, straightforward client
- Default integration with Avast Antivirus (Windows)
- Unlimited cross-platform syncing and backup
- Stellar app
- One touch login
- Free of charge basic version
- No autologin
- Limited variety of credentials
- Security issues with Windows version
When you hear the name ‘Avast’, what comes to mind? If the answer is a free antivirus that protects almost half a billion users worldwide then you would, admittedly, be correct. But did you know that Avast also has a password manager that is entirely free for everyone? Introducing Avast Passwords, software available either as a standalone program for computers or as an integrated feature of every Avast Antivirus.
With Avast Passwords all of your credentials are protected in a safe and straightforward desktop vault, the contents of which can be synced across multiple platforms without any restrictions. And as should be expected from an Avast product, Avast Passwords provides outstanding security for both free and paying customers alike thanks to such useful features such as multiple master passwords or extras like the intelligent Password Guard evaluator and the one touch login that turns mobiles into security keys.
Before jumping into what Avast Passwords is capable of, it’s important to note that this password manager is available in two versions: a standalone program for Mac and a Windows version that only exists as part of a built-in feature for Avast Antivirus. Although both versions are mostly identical, there are some minor differences: the Mac version has a built-in password generator and can automatically lock itself from use more frequently, while the Windows version is capable of exporting the vault’s content in a format that is compatible with Chrome and Firefox.
With that out of the way, it’s time to focus on the password manager itself, which is straightforward but quite basic compared to many of its competitors. This is best manifested in the fact that the program only handles website logins, credit card data and secure notes, all of which are listed alphabetically. In addition to that, Avast Passwords provides no options to share passwords with third party users and is also incapable of automatically logging you into websites that are stored within the program’s vault.
However, don’t let these limitations deceive you since Avast Passwords perfectly serves its purpose, and includes some pretty interesting features, too. All entries into the vault, for example, have colorful icons to provide better orientation within the software, which is especially useful when these icons change into the respective company logos of bigger websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Additionally, the software also sports a convenient search bar with which looking for the right information is a piece of cake.
Editing credentials is also pretty easy, whether the entry is created on the spot or is imported from a browser or another password manager. Interestingly, sensitive information like credit card numbers and the CVC/CVV are always censored before editing, while passwords are automatically evaluated by the software.
This is in fact where Password Guardian, an extra feature of Avast Passwords, also comes in handy. However, since Password Guardian is a more advanced version of the password evaluator, it is also capable of listing duplicate passwords as well as warning you of any websites that have been compromised.
Apps and Browser Extensions
Unfortunately, Avast Passwords’ browser extension is not too stellar as it only provides five functions: opening the vault, autofilling credentials, prompting users to save new passwords, generating strong passwords, and locking the vault. Thankfully, one of the most important features – fetching passwords saved to a browser’s password manager – is present, but note that the process can only be started from the Avast Passwords client itself.
The Avast Passwords iOS and Android apps, on the other hand, are an entirely different story, as they are a perfect replica of the desktop client with only a few differences. One such difference is the option to favorite certain credentials in order to create a list of the most used logins, credit cards and secure notes. And similar to the Mac version, the apps lock automatically after a certain amount of time or when the phone’s screen is turned off, but they are also capable of replacing the master password with a four-digit PIN code, too.
Still, the app’s most important feature is the unique one touch login that turns the device into a security key, with which the program’s Windows version can be unlocked by simply tapping a notification sent by the app.
Although both the Windows and Mac versions are almost identical where their features are concerned, the method of installation is heavily dependent on the platform. The most important difference is that Windows users must download and install Avast Antivirus, which includes Avast Passwords as one of the built-in features. This means that if Avast’s antivirus is already installed on the PC, there is no need to download or activate anything else. Mac users, on the other hand, are required to download a separate client for Avast Passwords, the installation of which is pretty quick.
When the program is up and running it requires the creation of a master password, the strength of which is evaluated immediately. Interestingly, however, the new master password doesn’t have to be the same on every device that the software is installed on, giving the option to use multiple master passwords or stick to just the same across each platform. Once the master password is created, though, Avast’s password manager is immediately ready to be used and filled with credentials, either by adding them to the vault directly or by fetching them from browsers via extensions – which need to be installed manually.
These steps are more than enough for average users, but to enjoy Avast Password at its fullest it’s highly recommended to create an Avast account as well, since it’s the only way to manually sync the vaults of all connected devices that are protected by this password manager.
Security and Privacy
Despite many decades of experience in cyber security Avast has made one huge mistake when developing Avast Passwords, since the PC version’s vault cannot be automatically locked more than twice a day. Granted, the process can be done manually or by closing the current browsing session on the browser, but this vulnerability is still a huge negative.
However, when it comes to everything else, Avast truly shines. For starters, Avast Passwords uses AES-256 encryption everywhere. Credentials are always encrypted locally on the device, but the same military-grade encryption is also applied to passwords that are synced between devices using Avast’s cloud storage. This cloud storage also serves as a backup, allowing users to restore their vaults with just a few clicks should their data somehow get lost.
And then there’s one touch login, the company’s Windows-only two-factor authentication solution, which we have already discussed in the Features section. However, we cannot emphasize enough what a great asset this feature is for the overall security of the Avast password vault. By enabling this feature in the software – and pairing it with a mobile device – the vault becomes completely hacker-proof.
Having a powerhouse that is Avast behind this password manager is one thing, but what makes Avast Passwords a must-have is its pricing. Users can enjoy this password manager for absolutely nothing no matter which platform the software will be used on.
In fact, having the Windows version of Avast Antivirus is a real jackpot, as not only does it provide Avast Passwords for free but it also has other cyber security features with which your computer can withstand any form of cyber attack. And before you ask, no, this is not a trap: neither the software nor the app are filled with ads and with the exception of one touch login and Password Guardian there are no blocked features.
However, if you want access to these two extra paid-for features – and at the same time be covered by the 30-day money back guarantee – then there is always the option to purchase an Avast Passwords license for a year at $1.66 per month. This price can even be reduced to just $1.53 each month by opting for a three-year subscription.
Even though Avast provides live support for all of its customers – no matter where in the world they are – it’s still limited to only email inquiries, though they are usually answered within 24 hours or so. There is also the option to ask for further help by turning to the community forum, where Avast Passwords users and company experts are happy to answer all your questions.
However, if you would prefer to have an instant answer then it’s best to visit Avast’s extensive support page, which not only covers basically everything regarding the use of the software but also has detailed FAQs for all versions of Avast Passwords. And if that’s not enough, Avast maintains a blog updated on a daily basis, covering various topics such as proper password management.
Although our experience with Avast Passwords is mostly positive, we won’t say it’s a perfect password manager. Thankfully, however, the only issue with this software – aside from being pretty basic – is that the standalone Mac client provides features for greater security that aren’t present in the Windows version, the latter of which isn’t even available as a separate program.
But when it comes to everything else Avast Passwords perfectly serves its purpose. The fact that the Windows version is built into one of the most popular antivirus programs helps to further increase the overall safety of any PC. The two extra features – the password evaluator and the one touch login – cleverly turn mobiles into security keys. And if that’s not convincing enough, consider the price: if you don’t need these extras features that are available for as low as $1.53 per month, then Avast Passwords can still be enjoyed completely free for as long as you wish.