Avira Free Antivirus Review
Simplicity meets complete online security.
Avira Free Antivirus is one of most popular and recommended free antivirus software programs for various reasons. Avira Free Antivirus offers excellent malware protection, can be customized to fit any computing style and doesn’t incessantly badger users into upgrading to a paid version. It integrates well with other free, useful Avira programs, like the virtual private network (VPN) client and the secure Web browser. However, Avira Free Antivirus can be heavy on the CPU during active system scans, and there’s no live support.
Avira’s free antivirus has a conventional layout with a list of menu options down the left-hand side, and context-based settings windows in the main part of the control screen. Scheduling scans is straightforward and there are different options, such as full scan, quick scan and scans of specific drives. At first sight the way Avira bundles the integrated front-end to the Windows firewall with its product may be a bit confusing.
Users get a trial version of Avira’s System Speedup app, which examines junk files, the registry and privacy issues. However, you only get one run, before you have to buy the paid version. Avira’s Free antivirus software is available for Android, iOS and Mac OS as well as Windows.
Avira Free Antivirus does not offer protection for email clients or Web browsers — these items are inactive in the interface and can be activated with an upgrade to a paid version. It also cannot examine files stored in a cloud server. However, its free Browser Safety plugins for Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox perform well in blocking known malicious URLs. (Windows 10’s Edge browser isn’t yet covered).
Avira Free Antivirus Performance
Avira’s malware-scanning function does an excellent job of keeping a PC infection-free. It stops 100% of tricky, previously unseen “zero-day” malware in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 evaluations, conducted in the fall of 2015. In the same tests, Avira stops either 100 or 99.9 % of widespread, previously known malware, which is better than most antivirus software suites out there.
PC Mag and PC Advisor performed a test scan of a 50GB basket of files, which they reported takes about an hour to examine 398,910 files. This makes a scan rate of 103 files per second. A repeat scan is completed in 57 minutes, indicating that there isn’t any file tagging going on, so the scanner can ignore unchanged files. These results are broadly in line with those from AV-Test, where the same scan engine, demonstrate the same outstanding results.
The most impressive results for Avira came from its performance and usability tests. The antivirus software only makes a few mistakes in identifying between malware threats and legitimate content. It also doesn’t slow down Windows 10 computer systems while it runs. This means all system processes will continue running normally while security scans are running
Avira can also scan both USB removable drives and incoming email, blocking threats regardless of where they originate. It has a gamer mode, which will suspend security scans during gameplay to not disturb user experience.
Avira Free Antivirus Experience
Avira Free Antivirus has a simply interface and is easy to operate. The buttons on the main window are not as big or noticeable as those of other free antivirus programs, but they this is not a big inconvenience. Across the top of the main window are tabs for File, View, Extras, Update and Help. A green checkmark indicates when everything is up-do-date and no threats are found. If it turns to a red X – then a scan should be run.
Manual scans can be initiated from the main interface window. Scan priority can be set to low, medium or high and users can choose from a wide assortment of detailed parameters. These include including master-boot-record, rootkit or Registry scans; and can even customize what partitions to scan, active processes or even Windows directories. It’s easy to schedule a daily or weekly scan.
One of the best features of Avira Free Antivirus is the amount of user control it offers. The program has different layers of configuration options, which may be somewhat confusing but definitions will appear for each of them when you hover your mouse over them.
There is a built-in Help section, which is more detailed than those of other free antivirus products, which is convenient given that there is no live chat support for the free version of the software. However, some topics are not well covered, such as the Firewall section.
Perhaps the best feature of the user experience is the lack of pop-ups and other reminders to upgrade to the paid version. There are pitches, of course, but in the form of a subtle and non-intrusive “Upgrade Now” bar in the main interface.
Installation is fast and easy with one of the quickest setup times among the free products available. Unlike popular alternatives like Avast and AVG, it is not necessary to register to use Avira Antivirus Free. You will only need to register if you’re planning on using the software to manage other Avira-protected systems — including PCs, Macs, Androids and iPhones and iPads — from the MyAvira website.
To make up for the lack of live support, users have access to the Avira user-community forums at the bottom of the main interface window is. Avira does not provide personal phone or email support for Free Antivirus users but the threads discuss pretty much all possible issues and ways to resolve them.
Avira Free Antivirus excels in the malware protection it offers and its array of add-on software includes valuable options like a private browser and a VPN client. Its quick scan option tops the time of other programs, although Avira Free Antivirus extracts a moderate performance hit.
Avira Free Antivirus Pros and Cons
Avira Antivirus Pro is a stronger antivirus than most of the competitors, and it is compatible with Windows 10, 8 and 7. It offers protection from viruses, adware, spyware, back-door programs, dialers, fraudulent software, phishing, and more.
Pros of Avira Free Antivirus
- Protects from many types of malware, not just traditional viruses
- Contains advanced tools
- Works on Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP
- Supports the Mac operating system
- Virus definition updates are automatic
Cons of Avira Free Antivirus
- Configuration wizard could be intimidating
- The download portion of the installation process takes longer than with other programs
- Installation program makes browser changes unless unselected
- Asks to install a toolbar during setup
No live support
All in all, Avira Free Antivirus is good at accurately preventing malware attacks without confusing good files for bad ones. The best thing about the program is its range of protection as well as the optional registration. This is one of the best free antivirus applications you’re going to find. Its well-designed interface is easy to use and direct, making Avira Free Antivirus great choice to protect your PCs.