Avira Antivirus review
Avira Antivirus is a German antivirus program that boasts 500 million users worldwide. Its appeal lies in its simplicity, huge number of features, and a free version that gives you a test drive without spending a single cent. Also, Avira Antivirus boasts good malware detection rates and offers constant real-time protection.
However, with lots of other great antivirus products, is Avira Antivirus even worth your consideration? Luckily, I'll answer all your questions in this Avira review.
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|Platforms:||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS|
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Avira Antivirus pros and cons
- Outstanding results in lab tests
- Protection from ransomware
- Intuitive user interface
- Integrated VPN
- Useful browser extensions
- Extra mobile features
- The free version lacks the web protection feature
- Delayed response times from customer support
How safe is Avira Antivirus?
Without a doubt, Avira is one of the safest antivirus services on the market. Since its rise in popularity in the early 2000s, Avira has won multiple awards for its outstanding anti-malware detection rates.
Here are a few examples:
- A “gold status” from Anti-Malware Test Lab for virus and rootkit detection (2008)
- "AV Product of the Year" award from AV-Comparatives (2008)
- First place in the "Real-World Protection Test" by AV-Comparatives (2014)
Some other notable wins include the VB100 award and a place on the software A-list of PC Pro.
Independent Avira Antivirus testing
Checking out the reports of independent testing labs is possibly the best way to find out if an antivirus program is trustworthy.
So, in the most recent antivirus software testing session by AV-Comparatives, Avira Antivirus blocked 99.3% of the latest malware and viruses. It also detected 5 false positives out of 175.
However, in the February-March period of 2020, Avira managed to block 100% of the threats provided. Aside from this stellar result, it detected no false positives, which is quite rare even among the best antivirus programs.
The year 2019 was also successful for Avira, as it earned the first place during four different testing periods by blocking 100% of threats. In addition, it detected almost no false positives - only 1 out of 175.
In comparison to other anti-malware applications, these results are outstanding. Sure, most antivirus programs detect at least 97% of viruses, which is quite good. However, “quite good” is not enough when it’s your safety we’re talking about.
Avira security features
The Security tab displays the most important features of Avira Antivirus. This is where you’ll go when you want to scan your computer for malware.
Even though not all the features are available for users of Avira Free, there’s still a lot to explore. To unlock all security features, you’ll have to get one of Avira’s paid versions.
You can choose from two different scan options: full scan and quick scan.
The full scan will check your whole PC, digging through even the most obscure areas of the system, while the quick scan will only check the most vulnerable areas of your computer.
There’s also a section called Manage scans. Here, you can keep track of the scans already performed on your device. In addition, this tab allows you to schedule custom scans. Simply select the folders you want to check for malware, and set the scan to take place daily, weekly, or monthly.
All versions of Avira Antivirus offer Real-time protection against malware.
This feature monitors and scans all the files you access, copy, or otherwise interact with, letting you know if they are safe or infected. In case of danger, Avira Antivirus won’t let the suspicious file make changes to your device. It will also show you a notification.
Now, there are three more options under the Security tab, but you can activate them only if you have one of the paid versions of Avira. Let’s find out whether they’re worth your money or not (after all, this is what this Avira review is for).
This feature prevents threats like phishing and spam, as well as malware like browser hijackers. If you encounter something suspicious while browsing, Avira will stop the threat instantly. I advise you to keep this feature on at all times, as even seemingly safe sites can get infected from time to time.
This feature protects you from viruses in attachments. Of course, one thing to remember is to never open email attachments from strangers.
However, sometimes even your friend might send you an infected file by accident (especially if they don’t have a good antivirus program installed).
If you don’t know what ransomware is, I’ll tell you this: you don’t want to get it. In short, it is a malicious program that encrypts your files and demands a ransom to unlock them.
It can travel through links and attachments in emails and chats, but you might also download it from infected sites.
To prevent this from happening, Avira Antivirus detects ransomware before it activates, thus protecting your device from a total lockdown.
It is worth mentioning that various tests have proven Avira to be extremely reliable against such threats. This antivirus software detects even the latest types of ransomware because its virus database gets constantly updated.
If Avira recognizes a file as a threat, it encrypts it and sends it to the quarantine folder. In this way, the potentially infected file can’t do any more damage to your device.
To remove a file from this folder (and your computer or smartphone), you have to delete it manually. Otherwise, Avira Antivirus will store it there indefinitely.
However, if you are 100% sure that the file is safe (as Avira is known to occasionally find false positives), you can restore it to its original location. To make sure that Avira won’t target it again, you should set it as an exception to exclude it from the next scan.
Software updater is a paid feature of Avira Antivirus software.
It will scan your system for outdated apps and suggest updates. Remember that it will inform you about risky programs even if you only use Avira Free Security Suite. However, the free version of Avira’s software updater won’t upgrade old applications - you have to buy one of the premium packages to get your updates done for you.
This feature is yet another reason to purchase a paid version of Avira Antivirus. Keeping your programs up-to-date minimizes the risk of infection and security breaches.
All versions of Avira Antivirus offer the firewall feature. However, it’s not an additional firewall - Avira merely lets you manage your Windows firewall through its app.
Even though this feature might seem a little useless at first, it can actually come in handy. That’s because Avira’s user interface is extremely intuitive and easy to use, and you won’t have to dig through the Windows Security tab to find a way to disable or enable your firewall.
Avira bonus features
If you’re still wondering whether Avira is good enough for you, take a look at its extra features listed below.
Spoiler alert: you can find a lot of them on the free version of Avira Antivirus, too.
One of the more interesting features of Avira Free Security is a free VPN. It is fast and easy to use, connecting you to the nearest server with a single click.
Unfortunately, it is limited to a mere 500MB per month. Sure, it will help you in an emergency situation, but the data won’t last long - for daily use, you will have to consider upgrading your Avira software.
In addition to the limited data, the free version of Avira Phantom VPN won’t let you choose the location when connecting to a different server, as it will simply connect you to the nearest one.
After the installation process, you will notice that Avira Free Security comes with a free extension called Avira Password Manager.
This password manager is a great help if you are tired of keeping up with the login credentials throughout all your accounts. All you need to do is remember a single master password, and Avira will fill out everything else.
Additionally, the extension auto-generates strong, reliable passwords for your new accounts and syncs your credentials across all your devices. There’s also the possibility to enable two-factor authentication.
Just keep in mind that this password manager won’t keep track of things like information for form filling.
Avira Password Manager will work with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Opera.
Avira Safe Shopping is yet another browser extension that arrives with Avira Free Security.
It can come in handy if you like shopping online, as it will help you avoid scam sites and trackers. Safety aside, Safe Shopping is a great tool for price comparison, as it will display the best current deals for the product you want to buy.
Unfortunately, this extension is only compatible with Google Chrome, Edge and Opera at the moment. Let’s hope Avira releases Safe Shopping for all the other browsers.
Did you know that when you delete a sensitive file from your PC, hackers can still recover it?
To prevent this from happening, you can use the file shredder of Avira Antivirus. It is a feature integrated into all Avira’s versions, including the free one.
Simply drag and drop the file you want to erase forever, and the shredder will take care of the rest. Just don’t forget that this action is permanent - you will never be able to recover the deleted file, so choose wisely.
Here you can apply either recommended or custom privacy settings to your device. In short, this will prevent Microsoft from collecting and using your personal information.
The recommended settings block ad tracking, disable location tracking, and make your activity private. You can apply or disable these settings anytime you want.
You can also customize your privacy settings. This will give you an even wider range of the info you can hide (including your search history).
Avira Crypto is a recently implemented feature that lets you mine the cryptocurrency Ethereum (ETH) while your computer is in idle time. It is an extension of Norton’s Crypto tool, which is no surprise considering that Avira was bought by NortonLifeLock back in 2020.
The feature is completely optional and the way it works is that it lets you mine Ethereum and then gather your earnings in a built-in Avira Crypto wallet. Of course, it’s not free – whatever you earn, there’s a 15% mining fee.
On top of that, since you can only mine Ethereum, which is banned in several countries, you might not get the feature with your antivirus package. It comes with all of Avira’s tiers, including the free one, for Windows users in the US, UK, and Canada.
To conclude, Avira Crypto is a feature for users who are interested in or want to learn mining, however, if you don't need it, you can simply not enable it (or disable it in the Avira Crypto dashboard).
Avira Performance Features
Using Avira correctly might significantly boost the performance of your device. In this section of the Avira Antivirus review, you will explore the Performance tab to take a look at the features that might help your battery last longer.
The optimizer of Avira declutters your device by detecting and deleting all the unnecessary files and cookies.
As a result, you can enjoy a much faster computer, especially if you’ve been putting off its spring cleaning for a long time.
As time goes by, you might notice that the battery life of your laptop or smartphone gets shorter and shorter.
And Avira Antivirus has a solution for this.
Avira’s battery saver will help you extend your battery life by tweaking a few things here and there. Once activated, it reduces screen brightness, closes unnecessary applications, prevents updates from happening, and blocks push notifications together with location tracking.
An outdated driver might serve as a gateway for a hacker attack. As a result, keeping your drivers up to date is essential if you want to prevent bad things from happening.
Thankfully, Avira’s driver updater turns the hassle of checking every single driver manually into an easy task. Just click on the Scan button, and Avira will show you which drivers are already vulnerable.
Then, you can simply update them all at once.
I was surprised to find out that even the free version of Avira offers this service. Nice, is’t it?
This Avira tool scans your device for duplicate files and deletes unnecessary copies.
I checked this feature and it indeed found some identical files. However, Avira’s duplicate finder is a strictly paid feature, so you’ll need to upgrade the software to Avira Pro, Avira Internet Security, or Avira Prime in order to unlock it.
All the features under this tab will help you speed up the startup of your computer by 25%. Startup Guard, Startup Time Notifier, and Hyper Boost are the tools you need for more efficient performance.
Plans and pricing
Even though at first glance Avira might seem a bit pricey, buying it actually pays off when you keep in mind all the extra features that come with it.
On the other hand, you can just use the free version of Avira Antivirus. It offers a few basic features that make your computer more secure, and it comes together with the password manager and the safe shopping extension.
However, if you want features like unlimited VPN usage, web protection, ransomware protection, and premium mobile apps, you might consider buying one of the full packages listed below.
Keep in mind that Avira has an extra option for American users called Avira Antivirus Pro. It is the least expensive version of the three paid ones, and it is a good budget option for those who want to feel protected but don’t want anything fancy.
|Avira Antivirus Free||Virus scans, Real-time protection, Phantom VPN, File quarantine, Avira Safe Shopping plug-in, Avira Password Manager, File shredder||Free|
|Avira Antivirus Pro||Internet protection, Email protection, customer support||From $30.99|
|Avira Internet Security||Advanced Avira Password Manager, Automatic driver updater, Automatic software updater||From $40.99|
|Avira Prime||Unlimited Phantom VPN, VIP customer support, Advanced PC optimization||From $59.99|
Avira Antivirus Free
Here’s what you get if you download the free version of Avira Antivirus:
- Virus scans
- Real-time protection
- Phantom VPN with 500MB of monthly data
- File quarantine
- Avira Safe Shopping plug-in
- Avira Password Manager
- File shredder
As you can see, Avira Free is a decent antivirus solution. It offers lots of extra features that will make your browsing easier, including useful plug-ins and a VPN.
And here’s the best thing about it: Avira Free uses the same anti-malware detection techniques implemented by the paid versions, so you can be sure that your computer will be protected.
Avira Antivirus Pro
If you buy Avira Antivirus Pro, you get every single feature of the free version together with:
- Internet protection
- Email protection
- Customer support
Avira Antivirus Pro costs $30.99 a year.
This version offers internet protection (real-time malware blocking) and email protection (which scans all unencrypted emails and attachments).
Also, if anything goes wrong, you can contact the customer support via email or phone (this is not possible with the free version).
If you decide to protect three devices at once, you will pay $57.99 a year, while a five-device subscription will cost you $70.99 a year.
Avira Internet Security
In addition to the features that come with Avira Antivirus Pro, Avira Internet Security also offers:
- Advanced Avira Password Manager
- Automatic driver updater
- Automatic software updater
As the title suggests, this edition of Avira focuses on your internet experience.
It auto-generates and stores passwords (thanks to its Password Manager Pro), functions as an ad-blocker, blocks trackers, and automatically updates software and drivers.
Avira Internet Security costs $3.42 a month (or $40.99 a year) if you want to use it for a single device. The subscription for three devices costs $70.99, while you’ll have to pay $83.99 for five devices.
Aside from the features included in the Avira Internet Security package, Avira Prime gives you:
- Unlimited Phantom VPN
- VIP customer support
- Advanced PC optimization
This is the version you should buy if you want everything. It is the complete package, giving you everything Avira has to offer.
Avira Prime gives you unlimited VPN data (with 40+ server locations), VIP customer support (a toll-free mobile number), and premium mobile apps.
In addition, Avira Prime grants you access to their future products, frees up extra storage space, and secures credit card payments.
Another great thing about Avira Prime is the constant discounts. Right now, for example, American users can subscribe to it for $0.99 for 3 months.
After the trial period, however, the price goes up. You will spend $5.00 a month (or $59.99 a year). This subscription covers five devices by default.
In case you want to use Avira on an unlimited number of devices, you can splurge a little and spend $129.99 a year.
Whether Avira Prime is worth its price is up to you. I would suggest buying it only if you have to cover a myriad of devices, as this would actually save you money (especially having the unlimited VPN in mind).
Ease of use and setup
Here’s something you should know about Avira. It is one of the most intuitive pieces of software I’ve ever had my hands on. And that’s saying a lot.
You can find everything you need from this program in its four main tabs: Status, Security, Privacy, and Performance.
Once you click on the desired tab, everything is extremely self-explanatory. Virus scans, the VPN, the file shredder, and all the other features are a single click away.
Setting Avira up is a piece of cake as well. Simply click on Next a few times, and you’re all done.
The installation time may vary depending on your device. It took 4-5 minutes for Avira to install itself on my computer. However, it may take less time on yours.
Avira Antivirus mobile app
If you want to keep your smartphone secure, Avira has you covered. You can download the Avira Antivirus app from Google Play for Android or the App Store for iOS.
Then, simply use the free version or log into your Avira account if you bought an Avira suite for multiple devices.
Even though the mobile version of Avira offers similar features to the desktop one, a few mobile-only perks help it stand out.
The Anti-Theft feature tracks the location of your device and lets you wipe out its data in case of theft or loss. It also allows you to put a PIN code on applications to prevent strangers from accessing them.
Additionally, Avira mobile displays the permissions given to your phone’s applications. With the help of Avira, you can also set a password to confidential apps and scan your network for unwanted devices (like your neighbour’s laptop).
There are also two paid features - microphone protection and camera protection. They let you manage the apps that have access to your camera and microphone.
In this Avira Antivirus review, we’ve already talked about the performance and functionality of the program.
However, I think that customer support is also an important factor when choosing your anti-malware software.
First of all, you should know that Avira Free doesn’t offer any tech support, which means that you’ll have to dig through Avira’s knowledge base or use your googling skills if you encounter any problems.
Luckily, all Avira’s paid versions include customer support. You can either send them an email or call them. Calling the support team can actually be the preferable option, as you might need to wait a few days until you get an email reply from an agent.
By the way, the users of Avira Prime (the most expensive edition) get the privilege of a toll-free number, which is a nice bonus.
I’m really excited to tell you that Avira Antivirus has met all my expectations of what a reputable anti-malware program should be. By being lightweight and offering good malware detection rates, it even puts some of its competitors to shame.
Only one question remains – which version of Avira should you get?
Honestly, I think that Avira Antivirus Pro is the best one from the batch in terms of pricing, features, and functionality.
You see, even though the free version uses the same malware detection software as the paid editions of Avira, it lacks one major feature – secure browsing.
So, if you want to be protected from hacker attacks while surfing the web, you should consider spending an additional $44.99 a year for that extra layer of safety. All in all, reviewing Avira was truly a pleasure. I recommend it to people who value online safety – a.k.a. everyone.
Other antivirus program reviews:
Avira vs. Avast: is there a winner?
Malwarebytes antivirus review: features, price and security - how good is this antivirus?
Bitdefender vs Norton 360: battle for the #1 spot
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Avira Antivirus. If you have a question not listed here, don’t hesitate and drop it in the comments - we’ll get back to it.
Is Avira a good antivirus?
Yes. In fact, Avira is one of the best antivirus solutions out there. Even its free version gives you top-notch protection from viruses. However, you might want to upgrade it to Avira Pro if you want to stay safe while browsing.
Which is better, Avira or Avast?
While some paid editions of Avast offer more features than Avira Antivirus, the virus detection results of Avira and Avast are pretty much the same.
Keeping in mind that Avast has been caught selling customers’ browsing data to third parties in early 2020, I would stick to Avira just in case.
Is Avira Antivirus safe?
Definitely. Avira Antivirus holds multiple awards for being a trustworthy anti-malware solution. It also repeatedly shows great results in virus detection and removal tests.
In comparison to other major pieces of anti-malware software, Avira is at the top together with some of the most popular security programs like Avast.
In addition, the developers of Avira are constantly working on making their software immune from latest hackers attacks and security breaches.