Avast SafeZone (sometimes also misspelled as Safe Zone) is a free browser from Avast based on Opera and running on Chromium engine. It comes as a component (not a standalone application) with all Avast antivirus versions (Free Antivirus, Pro Antivirus, Internet Security and Premier) available on Windows computers. According to Avast, it’s the most secure browser on the market.
SafeZone browser is basically replacing old SafeZone feature within the Avast paid products and is available completely for free to anyone. The main benefit of using SafeZone browser is the Pay Mode for private online transactions (banking and shopping). It also includes useful built-in plugins like Passwords, Ad Blocker, Video Downloader or Do-Not-Track. Unfortunately you are not able to install any other plugins or add-ons, due to security risks.
Below is the main page of Avast SafeZone browser. Design is very clean and modern, yet nothing surprising.
Avast SafeZone Browser – Shortcuts (Starting) Page
Full list of key features contains:
- Top notch security provided by integrated anti-malware shield and anti-phishing scan
- Pay Mode for doing online transactions (banking) in safe virtual environment (sandbox)
- Integrated Ad Blocker plugin for browsing without intrusive advertisements
- Integrated Video Downloader for downloading videos from YouTube, Vimeo etc.
How to Download and Install Avast SafeZone Browser for Free
The only way to download and install Avast SafeZone is together with the Avast antivirus (including the free version). Technically it’s only a component of Avast, therefore it’s not available for separate download or usage. You can only use it together with Avast.
To download and install SafeZone browser follow these steps:
- Download latest version of Avast antivirus
- Run Avast installer (avast_free_antivirus_setup_online.exe)
- Select ‘Customize’ to make sure ‘SafeZone Browser‘ component is selected and confirm by clicking on ‘Install‘
Once the installation process is finished you can open SafeZone browser from the desktop (orange circle icon with rudder) or from Avast user interface under ‘Tools‘ » ‘SafeZone Browser‘.SafeZone Installer Unfortunately there is no standalone installer for Avast SafeZone Browser which you could upload on USB stick for example. Therefore if you want to install on it on different computer, you need to use the Avast Offline Installer.
Performance Test – Avast SafeZone Browser vs. Google Chrome vs. Mozilla Firefox vs. Internet Explorer
Besides the security element, one of the most important browser qualities is performance and speed. We have compared SafeZone browser against the market – Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. And surprisingly Avast SafeZone is really fast, almost as Chrome!
Using various available tools for browser performance testing we found out following. Chrome (green bar) is still the fastest browser on the market, scoring high scores in all tests. While SafeZone (orange bar) is the second fastest browser nowadays. Firefox is somehow behind them and Internet Explorer is by far the slowest one.
Browser Performance Test Results – Avast SafeZone vs. Google Chrome vs. Mozilla Firefox vs. Internet Explorer
Final performance test results are highlighted on the chart above. The higher the score is, the faster the browser is. You can find more details about how we tested in the ‘Additional Notes’ section at the end of the article.
Avast SafeZone Browser Features in Detail
Let’s take a look on the key SafeZone features in detail.
Ad Blocker – No More Advertisements While Browsing
One of the pre-installed built-in plugins is Ad Blocker. Recently it raised some controversy whether it’s fair to use it and some sites even restricted content to users who are using any form of ad blocking. On the image below you can see Ad Blocker blocked 12 different ads on Huffington Post site.
Avast SafeZone Browser – Ad Blocker Plugin in Action on Huffington Post
Ad Blocker in Avast SafeZone runs fully automatic and there is no need to set it up. Just browse the web as usual and all ads are blocked. To see the number of ads blocked click on the red icon ‘AD’ in the navigation panel. You can also disable Ad Block for specific domain or block any other specific ad (element) on the page.
Pay Mode – Do Your Banking & Shopping in Total Privacy
The most interesting and unique feature of SafeZone browser is Pay Mode. It basically opens any page in a virtual environment (sandbox) which is completely isolated from your system. That means any keylogger or hacker can not see what you are doing or what is your password. Also your system can’t be infected if you visit some ‘shady’ site.
Avast SafeZone Browser – Pay Mode Tab Activated
Pay Mode is automatically triggered for majority of the online banking sites. In case your bank is not on the list you can always enter Pay Mode by clicking the credit card icon next to the navigation panel (top-right corner). You can tell page is opened in Pay Mode if the tab has green credit card icon and font.
Video Downloader – Download Videos From YouTube With Single Click
Last but not least is the Video Downloader, again a pre-installed built-in plugin. It makes it super easy to download videos to your computer from popular servers like YouTube or Vimeo. Mostly in the MP4 format.
Avast SafeZone Browser – Downloading Video From YouTube via Video Downloader
To download video simple hover over it and the orange download icon will appear (see the screenshot above). Simply click on it and video will start downloading on your computer so you can play it any time later, even when you are offline.
Avast SafeZone Browser Review & Test Conclusion
We definitely find Avast SafeZone browser powerful, fast and secure. Pay Mode is the biggest advantage and technically it makes the browser really the most secure one on the market. It lacks some customization like custom plugins, but that makes it even more secured. It’s a perfect choice for common Internet users. And if you like Opera, you will definitely love SafeZone.
Trying to get rid of SafeZone Browser? Check out our guide ‘How to Uninstall/Remove Avast SafeZone Browser‘.