Avira Antivirus is a virus scanner that protects internet users against malware attacks. In this way, your identity, money and personal information will remain safe. Their new anti-ransomware feature protects against threats and even stops unknown mutations before they attack. 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. It is, however, a relatively smaller provider than other leading companies, such as Kaspersky, Bitdefender, Avast or AVG.
In addition to antivirus software, Avira now also offers comprehensive security packages, complete with a VPN, browser protection, software updates, password management, and free system optimization.
In this review, we’ll take a critical look at Avira Antivirus. How well do we rate the ease of use, speed, and protection of this product ? You can read all about this and more in our extensive review below. Like competitors AVG and Avast, Avira also offers a free virus scanner. We have tested both the free version, called Avira Free Antivirus, and the paid version, Avira Antivirus Pro.
Avira Packages and Prices
In addition to their free version (Avira Free Antivirus), Avira offers three paid packages with various features.
All packages include some basic features, such as virus and malware protection. Moreover, the premium packages offer additional features.
You’ll find a summary of Avira’s various packages below:
|Avira Antivirus Pro |
|Avira Internet Security |
|Avira Prime |
|Realtime virus and malware protection||Password Manager Pro: For protecting credentials to your online accounts||Password Manager Pro: For protecting credentials to your online accounts|
|Antivirus Scanner: Protection against malware (viruses, ransomware, Trojans, etc.)||Software Updater Pro: Automatically updates your software.||Software Updater Pro: Automatically updates your software.|
|Nightvision: An intelligent learning system that protects you against new and evolving threats.||Option to protect either one, three, or five devices||Option to protect either five or an unlimited number of devices|
|Pua Shield: Identifies potentially unwanted applications hidden within legitimate software.||Repairs security vulnerabilities in software||Repairs security vulnerabilities in software|
|Web protection: Proactively blocks malicious and phishing URLs and stops them from loading.||Anonymizes your browser history|
|Firewall Manager: Optimizes your firewall settings with one click.||Option to install premium mobile apps.|
|Device Scanner: Scans removable devices for malware.||Free access to future products.|
|Browser Tracking Blocker: Prevents companies from tracking your online activities.||Cleans up your computer and frees up extra storage space.|
|Adblocker: Blocks annoying banners on websites.||Customer service VIP support|
|Customer service: Only available for paying users|
|No ads: The paid versions don’t show advertisements.|
|Option to protect either one, three, or five devices|
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 various 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.
Not satisfied? Avira offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re impressed by Avira and want to try out a subscription right away, click on the button below:
Avira Antivirus Pro’s Features
The table above already specified which options Avira Antivirus Pro has to offer. The advantage of Pro over the free version is that it offers protection against ransomware. Moreover, this version won’t bother you with advertisements. On top of that, you’ll also have access to customer service. Apart from that, there are no major differences between the Pro and the free version.
There are a number of features that are missing from Avira Antivirus Pro, while they are included in several other virus scanners. Features such as the vulnerability scanner, for example. The vulnerability scanner allows you to identify the weak points in your system and thus provides additional protection against hackers.
Avira Antivirus Pro also doesn’t have its own firewall. Firewalls are essential when you want to prevent hackers and malware from reaching your computer. Nonetheless, Avira’s firewall manager can help you optimize the firewall built into Windows, called Windows Firewall.
Avira’s Free Antivirus’s Features
There are free virus scanners that are almost as good as their paid versions. However, free virus scanners often have several disadvantages. Consider, for example, annoying advertisements, privacy risks or unwanted browser messages. Free virus scanners sometimes also fail to provide basic protection. You might be wondering, is this the case for Avira Free?
In terms of protection, Avira’s free software, Avira Free Antivirus, is almost as good as the paid version, Avira Antivirus Pro. However, the free version offers no protection against ransomware. Avira Free Antivirus also isn’t equipped with a separate email scanner that checks email attachments for malware and infected links in advance. Nonetheless, the virus scanner does of course offer protection when you try to open malicious attachments.
Virus scanners are often provided for free by producers of Antivirus software for marketing purposes. Consequently, Avira Free will occasionally bombard you with popups offering you great deals to get you to switch to the paid version. The free version also regularly tries to convince users that the paid version is necessary to solve certain problems. See the example below:
The advertisements and popups are major drawbacks of the free version. The only way to get rid of them, is to purchase Avira Antivirus Pro.
Security: How Well Does Avira Antivirus Protect Your Computer?
What about protection against the latest viruses, spyware, Trojans, and malware? Can Avira’s virus scanner recognize active malware and detect phishing? That’s what we’ll be detailing in this section.
Once you’ve installed Avira, the virus detection feature will work all by itself. The virus scanner automatically scans your computer. Avira also offers the option to perform a quick or full manual scan at any time. You can manage these scans yourself, meaning you can decide how often and on what day and at what time the scan should run.
Avira’s virus scanner offers protection against ransomware and detects viruses, spyware, and Trojans. Infected files will be repaired, and infected sites are blocked. Avira also blocks phishing attacks.
Avira uses the latest cloud technology to provide the best virus protection. When Avira spots a suspicious file, it’ll check it while it’s still in the cloud. This means that most malware detection and analysis doesn’t take place on your computer. Your device is connected to the global cloud-based threat detection system. Furthermore, since Avira only fights malware on its own servers, it can keep its methods secret.
Hackers won’t be able to figure out what Avira knows. Because of this, Avira is always one step ahead of them. Furthermore, cloud-based technology requires few system resources, which makes Avira a light virus scanner that won’t slow down your computer.
Avira Antivirus’s Security Score
We were impressed with Avira’s security and have calculated a security score for Avira Pro based on research by AV-Comparatives.
According to AV-Comparatives’ tests, Avira scores above average in blocking malware. Only 0.4 percent of the test attacks managed to bypass protection. This is below (and therefore better) the average of all providers tested, which was 0.8 percent.
The tests also looked at false positives. These are harmless files that are wrongly classified as malicious. Only one false positive was detected with Avira Pro. This is well below the average of 8.3.
In our tests, Avira Antivirus is one of the best in the field when it comes to security. There are only a few providers that score better in this regard. For example, Kaspersky protects against 99.9 percent of all threats, with no false positives.
The great security mark in combination with the low number of false positives results in a security score of 9.0 for Avira.
Privacy: How Does Avira Handle Your Data?
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). For privacy, we therefore give Avira a 9.0.
Ease of Use: How User-Friendly is Avira Antivirus?
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.
Avira’s website is very user-friendly. At the top of the home page, you can select the antivirus software of your choice. You can choose between the free version, Avira Free Antivirus, and one of the paid Avira Antivirus packages. On the website, you will find a short description of each version. You’ll be able to download the chosen software with just one click. 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.
First, we tested Avira’s free version. This version is very easy to install. You just need to click the “Free Download” button to start the installation.
How do I install Avira Free Antivirus?
You can install Avira Free Antivirus by following these three steps:
- Run the installation file. Double-click the downloaded file.
- Confirm and click “Yes” in the dialog box to start the installation.
- Follow the instructions on screen. This only takes a few minutes.
During the installation of Avira Free Antivirus, various other tools are automatically installed as well. Programs such as Software Updater, Phantom VPN, System Speedup, and Safe Shopping are added to your system automatically without asking you for confirmation first. If you don’t want these unnecessary extras, you’ll have to remove them manually afterwards.
After installation, you’re asked whether you want to perform a smart scan. Avira Free will immediately start the first scan. During this scan, files will be updated and the computer will be scanned for viruses. This all happens automatically.
Avira Antivirus Pro’s installation process
Installing Avira Antivirus Pro is very quick and easy to do as well. The only possible drawback is that the available payment methods are limited, as you can only pay by credit card or PayPal. If you use the latter, your account will automatically be linked to the email address of your PayPal account once your payment and installation are complete. If you pay for someone else or if you purposefully use a different email address for your PayPal account, this could cause issues.
Avira Antivirus works on your laptop, smartphone, and tablet and has been developed for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. 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.
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. Any issues are also clearly displayed.
Avira’s customer service
If you have an Avira Antivirus Pro subscription, you can make unlimited use of Avira’s customer service. When you log into your Avira account on the website, simply select the option “Support”. To receive support, you need to complete three steps. First, you need to choose between “technical support” or “payments and licenses questions”. Next, you need to indicate which product your question relates to. Finally, you need to complete Avira’s contact form.
The contact form is automatically linked to the email address of the PayPal account with which you completed your payment. As mentioned earlier, this can be inconvenient. Support is offered in a number of languages: English, German, Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Italian. After completing the contact form, you’ll receive a standardized email stating your query will be answered as soon as possible. When we contacted Avira’s customer service, we received an email response the next day. The speed of this service definitely impressed us.
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. Unfortunately, there’s no live chat function.
In conclusion, the comprehensive and clear FAQ page in combination with the lack of customer support with Avira Free Antivirus brings us to a 7.0 for Avira’s customer service.
Final assessment for usability
We were pleased with Avira’s ease of use. The antivirus program is easy to install and both the software and the website are very comprehensive. However, the advertisements shown in the free version can be quite annoying, although buying the premium version will easily solve this. That’s why we award Avira with a 7.0 for ease of use.
Avira’s Speed and System Load
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.
Fast scans versus 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 30 minutes and scans the entire system for viruses. 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’s utilization goes up to 26% with peaks as high as 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 7.0 for Avira’s speed and performance.
Final Verdict: Is Avira Antivirus a Good Virus Scanner?
|Low system load||The paid version isn’t much better than the free version.|
|The free version, Avira Free Antivirus, provides good protection.||The free version doesn’t offer customer support.|
|Uses the latest cloud technology for the best virus protection.||The free version has annoying advertisements.|
|Installing Avira Antivirus is very easy.|
Both Avira Free Antivirus and Avira Antivirus Pro offer excellent protection against malware. In addition, Avira is a lightweight virus scanner. Consequently, your computer’s system performance is scarcely affected.
We calculated a final score by looking at security, speed and system load, privacy, ease of use, and customer service. Security counts most strongly in our score and has a 0.5 weighting. Speed and system load come next with a weighting of 0.2. Privacy, ease of use, and customer service each have a weighting of 0.1.
Below are the scores for Avira per component:
- Security: 9.0
- Speed and system load: 7.0
- Privacy: 9.0
- Ease of use: 7.0
- Customer service: 7.0
- We arrive at a final mark of 8.2.
Did this review convince you of Avira’s quality and would you like to take out a subscription? Or do you simply want more information about one of the packages? Click on the button below to go to the Avira website.
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:
- In Windows 10, right-click the “Start” button in the bottom left hand corner of your screen to open the context menu.
- Select “Apps and Features”.
- Click on the Avira product you want to remove and then click on “Uninstall”.
- Confirm the message you receive regarding uninstalling the product.
- Click “Yes” to confirm the “User Account Control” request.
- 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.