This week there has been one of the most important mergers in the information security sector. The security giant, Norton, has purchased Avast, the best known and most used free antivirus in the world, for 8 billion dollars. With this, Norton has not only acquired the antivirus, but also with other subsidiaries (such as Piriform or AVG), which also makes it the owner of other programs such as, for example, the well-known cleaning program CCleaner. However, users are beginning to wonder: what will happen to the free antivirus?
Avast has always been one of the top free antivirus that we could install on Windows. This was able to offer us sufficient protection against all types of malware. And, users who needed additional protection could purchase the Pro version license, which unlocked the firewall and some additional security shields.
Norton, on the other hand, is one of the best and most complete antivirus programs that we can install on the computer. However, this antivirus has always been paid, so it has never been an option for users who did not want to pay subscriptions for its security software.
Thanks to this purchase, Norton will finally have its own free antivirus. And this can only be good news for Avast.
Avast will be Norton’s “free antivirus”
Although the transition process will be long and complicated, in the end Avast will end up being the free option for those who do not want to pay for the Norton license. Surely Avast will continue to maintain its name to differentiate itself from Norton and not confuse users. It is also possible that, in the medium or long term, the antivirus will be renamed “Norton Avast” or something similar. But what is almost certain is that the Avast name will stick around.
Both companies will share their engines, algorithms and technologies in order to improve both security programs. In this way, Norton can better optimize your engine and heuristics, and Avast will also be able to improve your weakest points, such as the false positives and threat detection.
What would be strange is that Avast stopped being a free antivirus and became a paid one, like Norton.
Of course, these are the most logical moves, but they are not official. Despite having tried to contact both companies to try to find out something about the future of the two antivirus, neither Avast nor Norton have responded. If any of the companies makes an official statement, we will update the news.
Free antivirus: best alternatives to Avast
As usual, surely there are users who do not like this merger at all. Norton has been in the IT security market for decades, and friends and foes are always made over time. That Avast is now part of Norton surely makes more than one user consider changing their antivirus. And this is where we will find many different options to choose from, such as:
- Windows Defender. The default antivirus for Windows 10 and Windows 11 that has nothing to envy to the free or paid antivirus. It offers very good performance and excellent threat detection rates.
- Avira. The well-known free antivirus “from the umbrella”. It has always been one of Avast’s rivals, although in recent years it has not been seen as much as in the era of Windows XP or Windows 7. However, it is still an excellent option to consider.
- Kaspersky. Norton’s great Russian rival also has its own free antivirus. Although it is quite limited in functions and shields, it is capable of perfectly protecting us from the main threats that can reach our PC by sharing an engine with the paid antivirus.