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Avira Antivirus 2016 Review: Amazing Virus Protection

By: Danielle P
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Looking for amazing virus protection software with an easy to use interface, excellent tech support, and a 30-day money back guarantee to boot?

Avira Antivirus software might be the right choice for you.


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Amazing virus protection: Avira Antivirus

Avira Antivirus: Amazing virus protection

Our Avira antivirus review delves into the suite of Avira products available, helping you discern which one matches your security needs.

Pros and Cons

Pros:
  • High protection score
  • No boot time increase
  • Excellent PC performance tests
Cons:
  • No ransomware protection
  • Firewall is based on Windows Firewall

30-Day Money Back Guarantee

Avira is so confident in the excellence of its product that it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on its paid products.

They even offer a free trial version so you can see what Avira is all about!

So, if you’re not sure that Avira is the right fit for you, or just want to see what Avira is all about, you can download any Avira antivirus and security product, right now, risk-free.

Background of Avira

It all started in 1986 on the banks of Lake Constance in Tettnang, German, when an electrical engineer Tjark Auerbach and a partner established an IT company called H + BEDV.

What started off as a small company turned into one that developed antivirus programs with AV scans, and in 1999, Avira launched its first non-commercial, private antivirus for personal use made available to download at no cost.

Avira is know as one of the "freemium" pioneers in that it offers free antivirus software for home users with premium features offered at a cost.

Avira's claim to fame is this freemium business model, and the company believes it's a fitting motto seeing that they are based by a lake that has no borders.

Today Avira produces antivirus software for multiple systems and devices, as well as for home and business of various sizes.

Comparison: Which Product is Right for You?

Avira offers three packages for home users besides for the free version.

All the products protect 1 device for a 1-year license.

The Avira Antivirus Pro offers a full antivirus software experience minus a few things like a spam filter, firewall, parental control, and ransomware detection and protection. 

However, if you find the additional features appealing, the other packages could be your best fit, with a great value to boot.

But there are so drawbacks:

While Avira Internet Security Suite contains a variety of features in its anti-virus production and in System Speedup, it lacks a firewall, spam filter, and parental control just like the Antivirus Pro.

And, at the price point for a one year license for a year, and an expensive price for for three licenses, the price point doesn’t make this package any more appealing.

The same goes for the Total Security product.

If you’re looking for a suite that provides the best internet security as well as offline features, you might consider looking elsewhere for a better value and a more comprehensive package

Comparison Table of Avira Home Products

Avira Comparison Table of Home Products

My Recommendation

I think the Antivirus Pro is your best bet in terms of value for money and features. Unless you need  a VPN, I would go with Antivirus Pro.


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Business Packages by Avira

Avira provides several amazing virus protection for businesses of various sizes that offer coverage for up to 3 devices.

Some of them are:

The Avira Antivirus for Small Business offers protection for endpoints and Microsoft Exchange Servers.

Avira Antivirus for Endpoint comes with protection for workstations and file servers, while Avira Antivirus Pro just has protection for workstations.


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Avira's Key Features

These are the main attributes you can expect for each Avira product:

Antivirus Scan

An antivirus scanner is the key element of any antivirus software.

There are many types of scanners out there, such as on-demand or on-access, as well as different malware to detect, like zero-day malware to give an example.

Avira therefore has an antivirus scanner for all its products: free, home user and business.

Like a lot of antivirus providers, Avira is designed with two scanner options: the Full Scan and the Quick Scan.

I performed the scans and lab tests on a dedicated standalone PC that we use for all the tests. The PC has a clean Windows 10 64-bit installation with all available Windows updates installed.

The computer hardware is comprised of 4GM RAM, Intel Core i7 CPU 3.20 GHz.

Once you download Avira, you can pick the scan you prefer to run on the dashboard.

Avira's scan selections

Scan selections on Avira

The duration of the Quick Scan was 26 seconds. When I ran it for a second time it took 20 seconds.

The Full Scan took 14:33 minutes and 8:42 minutes for the second run.

Avira - Full scan in process

Full scan in process on Avira

Avira - Full scan finish time

Full scan finish time on Avira

Overall scores have confirmed that Avira provides one of the best real-time detection scores on the market!

This means that the majority of viruses will be caught by the program before they even enter your system.

But what if something does get past this shield?

In a recent study, Avira came in first place for file detection – meaning that Avira is among the best antivirus options in terms of virus removal.

FatSecurity.com Hands-on Malware Detection Test

Watch this video to see Avira Total Security Suite's excellent results in our hands-on test malware detection test performed in-house by our team of experts.

96% is a fantastic score, placing Avira up there with the top antivirus providers.

FatSecurity.com Hands-on Performance Test

I trust independent labs as a very reliable source, but I thought what's the harm in putting Avira to the test for myself?!

I performed my own hands-on performance test to provide an honest and reliable home user experience for our readers. 

All of our tests are performed on the same computer I mentioned in the Antivirus Scan section above.

I checked 3 parameters for the test, namely:

  1. CPU usage
  2. Memory usage
  3. Hard disk (read/write) usage

I tested these parameters during 3 significant moments:

  1. During a clean windows installation when there was no installed software.
  2. When I ran a full antivirus installation after software updates and a computer reboot.W
  3. When a full scan of the antivirus was in process.

These are the results that I recorded in graphic form:

Avira's System Performance Impact

System performance impact by Avira

Idle - Windows 10 without Avira

Windows 10 without Avira - Idle

Avira during a full scan - CPU and memory usage

CPU and memory usage by Avira during a full scan

The score for my hands-on performance test is therefore 97%.

Malware Blocking

Avira comes with a full antivirus engine for all its products.

It offers strong protection against viruses and malware, and has achieved positive results in its ability to detect malware.

Unfortunately, there is no anti-ransomware detection and protection, so Avira cannot pick up on these horrible threats.

There is also no firewall protection besides for the built-in Windows Firewall.

Lastly. another feature lacking that a lot of the other antivirus providers offer is parental control.

Besides this, Avira makes for an amazing virus protection option if you feel that the other attributes are for you.

Phishing Protection

Avira’s protection against phishing isn’t the most thorough, in comparison to the other best antivirus programs.

However, if this feature isn’t critical to you, this shouldn’t be much of a deterrent.

Avira's phishing protection

Phishing protection on Avira

URL Blocking

Avira performs admirably in its ability to detect and block malicious URLs, which is a key feature of any anti-virus or internet security product.

Avira’s Browser Safety plugin (which works in Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Internet Explorer) also will completely block your access to suspicious websites, always staying one step ahead of you.

Real-Time Cloud Protection

This system analyzes unknown files in the cloud and helps prevent zero-day threats as they are created.

When the system detects a suspicious file, it sends the information to the cloud, checks it against Avira’s database, marks it as either “safe” or a “threat” and returns this information back to you.

Email Protection

Avira scans your emails for malware to make sure that, for example, attachments you open don’t contain viruses or any other malicious attacks.

It also includes network protection, advanced web protection, and game mode (in which all notifications are suspended during games and movies).

Avira for Mac

Avira for Mac provides a clear and intuitive user interface that allows the user to scan the computer with the push of a button and repair damaged files and folders in a breeze.

The protection included in Avira Free Antivirus for Mac has every aspect of internet security covered:

Viruses, Trojans, adware, and spyware don’t stand a chance!

For users who would like for Avira to run in the background, the software allows you to schedule your security scans, with the program only alerting you in the case of a problem.

In independent testing, Avira for Mac detected 100% of both on-demand and on-access malware – an impressive feat!

The only con is this:

During system scans, there may be a noticeable decline in your system performance.

To avoid this, you could choose to run the scans at strategic times, or only infrequently.

Additional Features of Avira

PC Tune Up

The Avira System Speedup tool, which is designed to clear your computer of unnecessary files and programs and, as a result, speed up your computer’s performance is what the PC Tune Up entails.

Tools included in the System Speedup software include: Junk File Cleaner, Registry Cleaner, Privacy Cleaner, Smart Defragmenter, Startup Optimizer, and Process Manager.

The most useful of these features might be the Startup Optimizer.

This helps to streamline system performance when starting up your computer via a user-friendly screen that lists startup processes and offers insight about which ones you might consider disabling – and which ones you should keep around.

Additional tools included in Avira System Speedup that enhance the security suite include File Tune-Up, which removes unnecessary files, and then will display to you a report of the remaining files and folders that consume the most space on your hard drive.

This tools also contains a backup tool, which allows you to create a backup on a local drive, an optical drive, or a network location.

File Encryption

An added bonus is File Recovery, which can sometimes succeed in recovering information from deleted or lost files.


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Game Mode

Game mode, another component, enhances your gaming experience by preventing notifications during gaming and optimizing your video performance.

Driver Updater

​​​​​Driver Updater, the only feature not included in the other products, checks your system for outdated drivers and delivers you the results on a screen that also provides you convenient links to download each.

This sounds great – but what’s the kicker?

For Windows users who use Windows Update and set it to run automatically, it’s likely that you have no need for Driver Updater – your drivers should already be up to date.

Social Shield

Included with any Avira antivirus software purchase – or available for free download – is Avira’s SocialShield.

Here’s what that means for you:

SocialShield provides an additional layer of protection for social networks.

This allows parents to keep an eye on their children’s behavior on popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

The system will alert the parent to potential contact from strangers, cyber-bullying dangers, inappropriate content/language, and reputation risks.

When you click on the “social networks” tab on the dashboard, you’ll see an invitation to download this separate program.

Browser Safety Extension

The Browser Safety extension also checks each site you visit, rates the site’s potential danger, identifies and blocks ads and any components that track your online activity.

Another component of this extension also helps you shop online by comparing prices from different retailers for you.

Mobile Security for Androids

Avira has diversified their options, and versions of its programs, which were originally designed only for PC, are now available for Android,and iOS.

For Android users who want to protect their mobile devices against viruses and malware, Avira offers a free solution for download from the Google Play Store – Avira Antivirus Security – to solve your problems.

But what’s included?

Avira will protect sensitive data like credit card numbers that you keep on your cell phone, as well as all your pictures, contacts, and emails.

And that’s not all:

In case of loss or theft of your cell phone, the software allows you to locate your phone, remotely lock it, and sound an alarm or display a message.

Avira can also block unwanted calls and alert you if your email has been compromised by a hacker.

For those who would prefer a more comprehensive security package to protect their Android devices, the paid version of the app – for $11.99 – adds in:

Whether you choose the free or paid versions, the information stored on your Android phone needs to be protected – and there’s no better way to do it than with Avira.


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Avira for iOS

You keep tons of important information on your iPhone.

Don’t you want to keep it safe?

For free and downloadable in the app store, Avira Free Antivirus for iOS keeps your iPhone secure from digital attacks.

At the moment,

The features provided by the service are pretty slim!

They only allow you to check whether your email has been hacked, or locate your lost or missing phone (or trigger a loud noise) via remote access on the Avira Dashboard.


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Ease of Use

Avira is recognized as among the best antivirus software options in terms of ease of use.

Regardless of the specific product you choose, you’ll be greeted by an intuitive dashboard that makes navigating Avira’s virus-fighting functions easy.

What can you see on the dashboard?

Avira's control panel

Control panel on Avira

You can clearly see your system’s status, and confirm that all services are working correctly, including PC protection and internet protection.

System Requirements

Before you install any Avira product, you need to make sure your device meets these system requirements.

I have mentioned the system requirements for the top products to be safe, but you can check the requirements for each bundle on the Avira site if you're in doubt.

Avira works on Windows 7-10 on an Intel Pentium 4 processor for desktops and Pentium M for laptops. The minimum memory requirements are 1024 MB RAM, and 800 MB of available hard disk space.

For those that opt for Android smartphones and tablets, Avira software requires versions 4.0.3-6.0.

Mac users will need 10.9 (Mavericks) or higher, with 2 GB of RAM and 500 MB of free hard disk space.

iOS compatibility requires iOS 7.0 or later whereby Avira will work on iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch. 

A+ Customer Support

Users of free Avira software won’t have access to technical support, but they do have access to a comprehensive database of information on solving anti-virus related issues.

Additionally, and free of charge:

Users also have access to a comprehensive and easy-to-follow library of video tutorials and manuals to help take advantage of the powerful tools contained within the Avira program.

For more complicated issues, users of free Avira software will have to pay out of pocket for access to one-on-one tech support by phone or chat.

For subscribers of one a paid Avira antivirus product, tech support is available 24/7.

Avira prides itself on its extremely well-qualified technicians who are available to assist via phone, email, or chat.

So, in short:

Whether your software is paid or free, you’ll have access to a wide variety of support.

Certifications and Awards

Avira is no stranger to awards and certificates from household names in the world of lab security and IT tests.

In March 2016, Avira received a certificate of top marks from AV Test for the Avira Antivirus Security for Android Device, and in the same month AV Comparatives awarded Avira its top Advanced + certificate for scoring 99.9% for file detection.

In 2015 right until 2004, Avira has been granted awards and certificates from AV Comparatives, AV Test, virusbtn.com, and other IT security lab test companies.

Value for Money

Overall, Avira offers solid performance and amazing virus protection.

The pricing here is a bit higher than most similar products that also offer longer license periods, and the value compared to other antivirus providers simply isn’t there given the missing features and the lack of integration.

The choice is yours, but you will be in good hands should you opt for Avira.

My Conclusion

Pros:
  • High protection score
  • No boot time increase
  • Excellent PC performance tests
Cons:
  • No ransomware protection
  • Firewall is based on Windows Firewall

Our Avira review has pointed out many of the reasons that Avira is considered to be one of the most amazing virus protection software companies.

But, despite this, Avira does have its faults, and its packages don’t always have the best value for money.

However, if you’re looking for a free antivirus software that packs a serious punch, Avira should be on the top of your list.


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By Danielle P

Senior editor, professional writer & researcher

A creative and literary prodigy with an astounding ability to write about anything. While Danielle doesn’t have a vast technical background, her research capabilities are limitless and she can write about anything her heart desires.

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Avira is an excellent antivirus. Even though it doesn't offer any discounts to its customers, Avira's pricing is still extremely competitive. In addition to the financial aspect, Avira provides great malware protection across devices with extremely low impact on performance, great tech-support, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. The user interface is intuitive and this antivirus is extremely easy to use.

Avira
Date published:April 4, 2017
9 / 10 stars

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