Avira Antivirus Review: What is Our Experience With This Virus Scanner?

Review star bar, magnifying glass, Avira logo and a star showing a review score of 7.2

Avira Antivirus is a virus scanner that protects internet users against malware attacks. It keeps your identity, money, and personal information safe. Their new anti-ransomware feature stops unknown threats in their tracks.

Avira is a German software company that was founded over 30 years ago. Since then, it has grown into a market leader in antivirus products. However, it’s still relatively small compared to Kaspersky, Bitdefender, Avast, or AVG.

In January 2021 Avira was acquired by NortonLifeLock, the company that owns the Norton 360 antivirus suite.

Avira recently backed its antivirus with comprehensive security packages, complete with a VPN, browser protection, software updates, password manager, and free system optimization.

Moreover, Avira’s new anti-ransomware offers protection against ransomware threats and even against currently unknown mutations of these attacks.

In this review, we’ll test Avira Antivirus thoroughly, including its free package and Avira Antivirus Pro. How will their protection, speed, and ease of use fare against our critical eye? You can read all about this and more in our extensive Avira Antivirus review below.

Avira total score table review


Avira Antivirus: Short Review

ProsCons
Low system loadThe paid version doesn’t offer much more than the free version
Avira’s free version offers good protectionCustomer service is not included in the free version
Uses the latest cloud technology for great virus protectionThe app tries to do a lot of upselling, offering you more expensive subscriptions
Installing Avira is very easy

Both Avira Free Antivirus and Avira Internet Security (the paid package we tested) offer great protection against malware. Moreover, Avira doesn’t affect your system load too much, meaning it won’t slow your device down too badly.

We calculated our total score of 7.2 for Avira based on its security, speed, system load, privacy, user-friendliness, and customer service.

If you’re excited to start using Avira Antivirus straight away, you can click on the button below to get your subscription.

Visit Avira Antivirus

Avira Packages and Prices

In addition to their free version (Avira Free Antivirus), Avira offers three paid packages with various features.

Screenshot of Avira, pricing plans

All packages include some basic features, such as virus and malware protection. Moreover, the premium packages offer additional features. You’ll find out more about these features in the useful package comparison table below.

FeatureAvira Free SecurityAvira Antivirus ProAvira Internet SecurityAvira Prime
PricesFreeFirst-year $26.99, after $44.99/yearFirst-year $34.99, after $57.99/yearFirst-year $59,99, after $99.99/year
Number of devices11, 3 or 51, 3 or 55 or unlimited
Operating systemWindows, Mac, Android, and iOSWindows and MacWindowsWindows, Mac, Android, and iOS
Real-time antivirus
Anti-phishing
Performance optimization
Payment protection
Smart & Fast VPN
Adblocker
Private browsing
WebCam protection
Adult content blocker
Screen-time management
GPS child locator
File protection
Password manager
Customer service (VIP)
Firewall manager
Anti-ransomware
Download linkVisit Avira Visit AviraVisit Avira Visit Avira

For each package, you can select the desired number of devices you wish to protect. With Antivirus Pro and Avira Internet Security, you can choose between one, three, or five devices.

With Avira Prime, you can choose either five devices or an unlimited number of devices. You can also determine the subscription’s duration (i.e., one, two, or three years, or monthly). Avira, therefore, offers a lot of flexibility and the possibility to tailor the packages to your needs.

You can see the different prices for Avira Pro below, which is the version we tested. If you adjust the number of devices from one to three or five, the price will, of course, increase slightly.

Screenshot of Avira, Duration and number of devices

Not satisfied? Avira offers a 60-day money-back guarantee on their yearly subscriptions. For the monthly subscriptions, this guarantee is only 14 days.

The free version of Avira is almost as good, protection-wise, as the paid Antivirus Pro version. Nevertheless, it does lack a few useful features, such as the automatic email attachment scanner that the premium versions offer. Moreover, the free version doesn’t offer any customer service.


Security: How Well Does Avira Antivirus Protect Your Computer?

Score scale 8/10

What about protection against the latest viruses, spyware, Trojans, and malware? Can Avira’s virus scanner recognize active malware and detect phishing? Of course, the protection of a virus scanner is by far its most important feature.

After all, that’s what you installed the software for in the first place. These are our main conclusions regarding Avira’s safety:

  • Avira obtained a very good score in the AV-Comparatives test.
  • The antivirus’s real-time scanner protects your device around the clock. You can also do manual scans or set these scans at a specific time.
  • Avira uses safe and modern cloud technology to assure protection.
  • Avira offers a multitude of safety features.

When security is concerned, Avira is actually one of the best antivirus providers we’ve tested. There are only a few providers for which we’ve given a higher score than Avira for protection. Its solid protection, combined with its low number of false positives, has led us to give it an 8.0 for security.

Security tests: How well does Avira perform?

Avira has a 100% (perfect) score for the Windows AV-comparatives test from February to March 2022. This means it blocked every single (potentially) dangerous URL and file during this testing period.

Although virtually all popular antivirus solutions have a high score for this test — after all, they should — a perfect score is still quite exceptional. And it doesn’t seem Avira just got lucky, either. After all, in November and December of 2021, they managed to get the same impressive result.

Perhaps just as impressive is the fact that Avira returned zero false positives out of two million samples in the above-mentioned period. This means it didn’t mistake a “clean sample” for malware a single time. This is a great result, considering that the industry average is two false positives.

Screenshot of Avira, Completed scan

Avira’s real-time security

Like any other good antivirus, Avira has a constant real-time threat detection mechanism. This is available with Avira’s free version too, which is a nice bonus since not all free antivirus programs do so.

Avira software

Apart from this real-time protection, you can also do manual scans. You can choose from these scan options:

  • Complete scan: This scan checks your entire system for malware.
  • Fast scan: This scan checks the most vulnerable parts of your system. Avira will perform this scan weekly.
  • Manage your scans: This allows you to perform scans, but also plan them at a set time. You can also customize which parts of your device you want to scan.

Screenshot of Avira, Scan selection

Avira’s virus scanner offers protection against, among others, ransomware, viruses, spyware, and Trojan horses. Infected files will be repaired or deleted and infected websites blocked. Avira is also capable of blocking phishing attacks. Do note Avira Free Security doesn’t protect against ransomware.

When the virus scanner runs into an unsafe file, Avira will put it in quarantine. Subsequently, you can choose to either delete or repair the infected file.

Cloud-based technology

Avira uses the latest cloud technology to provide the best antivirus protection. When Avira spots a suspicious file, it’ll send a digital fingerprint to its cloud database. It then relays the information about whether it’s safe or not back, and the antivirus then takes action to quarantine or let it be.

Your device is connected to the global cloud-based threat detection system. Furthermore, since Avira only fights malware on its own servers, it has greater control over its database and can maintain secrecy.

Hackers won’t be able to figure out what Avira knows. Because of this, Avira is always one step ahead of them. Furthermore, low-resource cloud-based technology makes Avira a light virus scanner that won’t slow down your computer.

Screenshot of Avira, Introducing cloud technology

Avira’s other security features

Apart from real-time protection and manual scans, Avira also offers some other security features:

  • Web protection: keeps you safe from dangerous web content that is categorized as phishing, malware, spam, or fraud.
  • Mail protection: scans every incoming unencrypted email attachment for malware. You can even configure this feature to do the same for outgoing emails.
  • Ransomware protection: prevents attacks in which criminals keep your system hostage to blackmail you.
  • Avira’s Software updater: automatically keeps your software up-to-date to prevent security flaws.
  • Avira’s Firewall manager: allows you to optimize your Windows Defender Firewall.

Web protection, Mail Protection, and anti-ransomware are only available to paying users.


Privacy: How Does Avira Handle Your Data?

Score scale 6.5/10

Avira states that they don’t just protect users against malware, viruses, and other threats, but also keep users’ personal data safe. This means that user data isn’t shared with third parties, such as governments or advertising firms.

As a German company, Avira has always been subject to one of the strictest data protection laws. This is because, in Germany, privacy protection is seen as one of the most important civil rights.

Rules that protect against the misuse of personal data are included in the German constitution and in the Bundesdatenschutzgesetz (i.e., the German Personal Data Protection Act).

Avira declares that they adhere to applicable data protection legislation, in particular the German Telemedia Act (TMG) and the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

We examined various aspects of Avira’s privacy and as a total privacy score, we give the antivirus provider a score of 6.5. These are our main conclusions:

  • Avira offers a built-in VPN.
  • In its privacy policy, Avira states it stores quite a lot of personal information.
  • Avira works with a lot of third parties, which means they will have access to (some of) your information as well.
  • Avira offers some more useful privacy features, apart from its VPN, such as a password manager and a file shredder.

Avira VPN

Avira Internet Security offers several privacy features. The provider lists these clearly within the privacy section of their application:

Screenshot of Avira, Privacy section

One of Avira’s privacy features is a built-in VPN, known as Avira Phantom VPN. At least as for Avira’s free version and Avira Internet Security (and presumably also Avira Antivirus Pro), this VPN isn’t too impressive.

You can only select one server location. This is the nearest location, which in our case, happened to be Amsterdam.

Moreover, the VPN only allows for a maximum of 1 GB of data per month. In fact, in the case of Avira Free Security, it’s just 500 MB. To use the VPN without limits and with a kill switch, you’ll need Avira Prime.

Needless to say, we don’t recommend getting Avira just for the VPN feature. In fact, if having a good VPN is important to you, we recommend checking out a provider like NordVPN or Surfshark.

If you opt to buy the Avira Phantom VPN Pro package, you’ll have more server locations at your disposal:

RegionCountries
Africa and Middle EastIsrael
Asia and AustraliaAustralia (Perth and Sydney), Hong Kong, India, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore
EuropeBelgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Czech Republic, United Kingdom (London and Manchester), Sweden, Switzerland
North AmericaCanada, Mexico, United States (Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, and a streaming server)
South AmericaBrazil, Chile

Avira’s privacy policy

Avira gives an overview of transparency reports and a warrant canary on its website. These reports show that Avira hasn’t received any government warrants to release information, gag orders, or letters from the National Security Agency (NSA).

This is good news, especially considering that the country where Avira is located, Germany, is part of the 14 Eyes Alliance. Avira did receive some information requests in the past, but has, so they claim, never released any user information.

We didn’t find Avira’s privacy policy to be very clear and easy to understand. We understand these documents are usually divided into several sections, but in Avira’s case, the way these sections are organized makes it difficult to understand what data Avira collects and why.

Nevertheless, because this is so important, we analyzed their privacy policy and present our important findings down below:

  • Avira processes data that can be traced back to you.
  • Much of the data that Avira collects is necessary to provide its service. When personal details are no longer necessary, Avira will anonymize or delete them.
  • Avira only shares personal data if you agree to it, if this is legally permitted or required, necessary in terms of the agreement you have with Avira, or when this is permitted and there is no reason to assume that not sharing the data is important to protect your interests.
  • Avira stores personal details such as your name, email address, physical address, and credit card information. Within your account page, you can request an overview of the personal data that Avira stores.
  • Some of the data might be stored for up to 10 years.
  • If you install Avira on a device used by someone else, Avira will also process this person’s personal data.
  • Since Avira works together with so many third parties, how your data is handled also depends on these parties’ privacy policies.
  • Avira uses cookies for various ends: to make sure the website works well, to save your preferences, to analyze how you use its website, and to show you advertisements on other websites. For instance, Avira will give website visitors a unique ID to keep statistics on what YouTube videos these users watch.

Avira shares user data with the following entities:

  • Employees (internal and external)
  • Its subsidiaries
  • IT infrastructure providers
  • Payment processors
  • Providers that help with customer support
  • Software providers
  • Marketing and sales partners
  • Providers of analytical tools
  • Governmental organizations and agencies

Avira might also share data with the governments of other countries. They may do so if permitted by EU law, or if you’ve explicitly agreed to this.

Other privacy features

  • Password manager: Some of Avira’s subscriptions include a password manager. In Avira’s case, this is a browser extension that stores your passwords. It’s good, but not on par with the best password managers.
  • Privacy settings: By configuring Avira’s privacy settings the right way, you can prevent Windows and certain apps from sharing your data, as Avira claims.
  • Browser safety: Avira offers a browser extension for Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Opera to block tracking and ads.
  • File shredder: This allows you to permanently delete certain files. Avira claims this feature makes sure hackers no longer have access to these files.

All of the privacy features included in Avira Internet Security, the version we tested, are also available to Avira Free Security users.


Usability: How User-Friendly is Avira Antivirus?

Score scale 6.5/10

Anyone should be able to use a virus scanner without difficulty. The installation should be easy, and in principle, the virus scanner should be able to function by itself once installed.

In this section, we’ll look at Avira’s ease of use. These are our main findings:

  • Avira’s website offers some self-contradicting information and is not clear nor easy to navigate.
  • Installing Avira is an easy and intuitive process.
  • Even Avira’s paid subscriptions lack some useful antivirus features.
  • Canceling your subscription is easy.
  • Only Avira’s paid packages include customer service. Moreover, Avira Prime users will enjoy VIP customer service.

Avira’s website

Avira’s website is pretty user-friendly. At the top of the home page, using the drop-down menu under “For Home” you can select the antivirus software of your choice. You can choose between the free version, Avira Prime, and Avira Internet Security.

Homepage screenshot of Avira with logo

By clicking on the package you’re interested in, you’ll find a short description of that version. You’ll be able to buy your chosen subscription with just one click, or you can select the number of devices and the duration of your subscription first.

Still in doubt about which version to choose? Feel free to consult the detailed comparison of the various packages that can be found on their web page as well. You’ll find this by clicking on “Compare products.”

We did find it a bit strange that clicking on this is the only way to learn of the existence of the Antivirus Pro package since it’s not mentioned in the drop-down menu with the other options.

Moreover, we wonder why the content of the website and the layout differ depending on the language you select.

How do I install Avira Internet Security?

We’ll now go over the installation of the Avira version that we’ve tested: Avira Internet Security.

  1. From the Avira website, click on the drop-down menu under “For Home.” Now click on “Internet Security” (or another package if you’d like).
  2. Choose the number of devices you want to protect and the duration of your subscription.
  3. Fill out your payment information. You can pay by credit card, PayPal, or wire transfer using a bank located in one of the SEPA countries.
  4. Fill out your address information.
  5. Accept the terms, review your order, and confirm your purchase.
  6. Now you’ll get to a page with an overview of your purchase and you’ll also get an email confirmation. You can now start the Avira installation. Click on the installation button and create a password.
  7. Open the installation wizard and go through the installation process. This will just take a few minutes.
  8. Confirm that you already have a license (If you downloaded the software without first choosing and paying for a subscription, you can now do so). Fill out your license key to activate your subscription.

Screenshot of Avira, Installation final step

You are now protected by Avira Internet Security.

Avira software

Avira Antivirus works on laptops, smartphones, and tablets and has been developed for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Avira Free even landed a spot on our list of the best free antiviruses for Mac. The software is available in twelve languages.

To change the language, click on the “Settings” icon in the top right corner of the screen (the one that looks like a cogwheel).

Avira’s software has a clear user interface. On the start-up screen, it instantly shows the “Status” of your antivirus protection. You can also see when the last update was carried out.

Moreover, you can click the option “Smart scan” to instantly start a smart scan of your system.

safe free antivirus software

The virus scanner itself is also very user-friendly and separates its scan results into three sections: security, privacy, and performance. Green ticks indicate that all is well. It also displays any issues.

Avira software scan

You can also install the free version of Avira on Android and iOS. To do this you can simply download the Avira app from the Play Store or the App Store.

It seemed strange to us that Avira Internet Security still lacks some important features, even though it’s a paid subscription.

For instance, many security issues that Avira Internet Security detects can’t be completely resolved. In fact, we were instructed to upgrade to the more expensive Avira Prime package instead.

Furthermore, as you can expect, Avira Free Security regularly prompts users to upgrade to a paid package.

How easy is it to cancel your Avira subscription?

Canceling your Avira subscription is quite easy. Both the app as well as your account page on Avira’s website offer an option to disable the automatic renewal of your current subscription. This way your subscription will automatically be canceled after your chosen subscription duration has elapsed.

There is also an option to cancel your subscription and even get your money back. However, you can only do so if the money-back guarantee still applies to your subscription. Avira’s yearly (or longer) subscriptions have a 60-day money-back guarantee. Their monthly subscription has a 14-day money-back guarantee.

Avira’s customer service

Avira’s free version doesn’t offer customer support. By checking email addresses, the system recognizes premium users and prevents free users from receiving customer support.

Users without a paid subscription will get a message stating they aren’t entitled to that service. They’ll be presented with advertisements for Avira’s premium products instead.

Nonetheless, you can of course consult the extensive FAQs on the Avira website. Furthermore, you’ll probably be able to get clear answers to your questions by referring to the videos and useful images available on the website.

If you have a paid Avira subscription, you can contact customer service both by email and live chat. Avira’s customer service, including their FAQ, is available in English, German, French, and Italian.

When we tried out Avira’s live chat, we were pleased to find our customer service agent was friendly, polite, and knowledgable. She was able to answer our questions and offered useful responses.

Note that Avira Prime users even have access to “VIP customer service.” We found little information on what this service entails on Avira’s website. However, according to the live chat agent we spoke to, Avira Prime customers enjoy priority when they contact customer service by phone or email.

Moreover, Avira Prime users can contact Avira by phone from 9:00 to 12:00 (CET). With another subscription, you can only call Avira from 9:00 to 12:00.

The decent user-friendliness of Avira’s app, but the complete lack of customer service for non-paying users led us to give Avira a 6.5 for user-friendliness.


Avira’s Speed and System Load

Score scale 7.5/10

Many will agree that protection is more important than speed, but it’s still preferable when a virus scanner is reasonably fast so you don’t have to wait for hours for a scan to be completed.

We ran both a quick antivirus scan and a full scan with Avira Free and Avira Pro, the speed results of which are provided below. In brief, these are our findings on Avira’s speed and system load:

  • Avira uses small amounts of RAM when it’s running in the background: it was only using about 0.6% of our total RAM.
  • The fast scan really deserves its name: it takes less than a minute to perform one (depending on the number of files to scan, of course).
  • It took us about 35 minutes to do a complete system scan.
  • While scanning our device, Avira was using about 22% of its processing power and 6% RAM.

Fast scans vs. comprehensive scans

A smart scan takes just a minute with both Avira Antivirus Pro and Avira Free Antivirus. In both versions, the smart scan only scans the most vulnerable areas of the computer.

A thorough scan took us about 35 minutes and scans the entire system for viruses and malware. Such scan times are decent and will probably be perfectly acceptable to most users.

The above scan times may vary from user to user and can depend on the number of files on your computer.

System load when running in the background

In addition to speed, it’s also important to look at system load. Virus scanners can overload systems and take up a large part of your CPU’s resources. This can drastically slow down your computer.

Slow computers after installing a virus scanner are a major annoyance for many users. Having said that, you might wonder: does Avira slow down your system as well?

We tested the effect of Avira’s virus scanner on our system load. When Avira is running in the background, the processor utilization is 0%. In other words, users won’t notice the difference in computer performance.

The maximum RAM usage when running in the background is around 58 MB. During a full scan, the processor usage goes up to 22%, peaking at 30%. While performing a fast scan, working memory usage is 64 MB.

During a full scan, this goes up to 180 MB. Interestingly, there is no noticeable difference in system load between the free version and the paid versions.

The decent scan times along with the low system load result in a 7.5 for Avira’s speed and performance.


Final Verdict: Is Avira Antivirus a Good Virus Scanner?

In our assessment of antivirus software, protection is (obviously) the most important element. It comprises 40% of the provider’s total score. Privacy counts for 30% of the final grade, while user-friendliness and speed and system load make up 20% and 10% of the total score respectively.

Below you’ll find our scores for Avira per component:

Avira total score table review

This brings us to a final grade of 7.2.

All in all, Avira Antivirus holds its own and performs really well in AV-Comparatives tests. If you’re looking for a solid antivirus that performs well, you should absolutely consider going with Avira Antivirus.

It gets the highest score in terms of security, and it doesn’t really leave a major impact on CPU consumption or your RAM, making it an excellent choice for people who don’t have a powerful computer.

Interested? Get your Avira Antivirus subscription below!

Visit Avira

Would you like to compare Avira to other antivirus options? Check out our other antivirus reviews, or go straight to our top 5 best antivirus solutions to check out the best software to protect your devices.

Avira Antivirus Review: Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about Avira Antivirus? We’re happy to help. Check the FAQs below to see if your question is listed. Simply click the question to see your answer.

In addition to the free version, called Avira Free Antivirus, there are a number of paid versions. You can purchase Avira Antivirus Pro for $44.99 per year (one device). Avira Internet Security is more comprehensive and offers extra options.

You can buy this package for $57.99 per year (one device). Avira Prime is the most expensive and the most complete Avira package and can be bought for $99.99 per year (covering five devices). Want to know more about what all these subscriptions will get you? Check out our review of Avira right here.

Follow the steps below to remove Avira Antivirus:

  1. In Windows 10, right-click the “Start” button in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen to open the context menu.
  2. Select “Apps and Features”.
  3. Click on the Avira product you want to remove and then click on “Uninstall”.
  4. Confirm the message you receive regarding uninstalling the product.
  5. Click “Yes” to confirm the “User Account Control” request.
  6. Click “Yes” to confirm the Avira setup request.

“Avira Setup” will take a few minutes to remove the product. Click the “Yes” button on the dialog box requesting to reboot your system. After restarting your computer, the Avira product will be completely removed.

Yes, Avira also has a free version, namely Avira Free Antivirus. The free Avira package is almost as good as its paid version, Avira Antivirus Pro, in terms of protection. Unfortunately, the free version doesn’t offer protection against ransomware. Furthermore, in the free version, you will also regularly see advertisements.

Tech journalist
Nathan is an internationally trained journalist and has a special interest in the prevention of cybercrime, especially where vulnerable groups are concerned. For VPNoverview.com he conducts research in the field of cybersecurity, internet censorship, and online privacy. He also contributed to developing our rigorous VPN testing and reviewing procedures using evidence-based best practices.
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  1. I just hate the Free Version for my Laptop running Win 10. It constantly blocks my VueMinder Lite that I have used for years.. For some reason I cannot uninstall your t program. I have it on my Android Samsung with no problem. I communicated with a Mary in Customer service many times & she was limited in advice. PLEASE HELP PLEASE!!! Cathy

    • Hi Cathy,
      If you’d like to uninstall Avira on Windows 10, follow these steps:
      1. Right-click the “Start” button in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen.
      2. Select “Apps and Features.”
      3. Scroll down and click on Avira, then click on “Uninstall.”
      4. Press “Confirm”/”Yes” a few times, and the program should uninstall itself within a few minutes.
      5. Restart your computer to finalize.
      If this doesn’t work for you, you can either try contacting Avira customer support again (we’re not from Avira, we have just reviewed their product) or using a third-party removal tool. We hope this helps!

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