Avira Free Antivirus Review: Virus Protection For Your Device

If you need antivirus protection for your devices, then choose Avira Free Security Antivirus. It offers free VPNs and password management along with the standard anti-virus. 

However, it does not have many of the components that come in most security suites. Like firewall or spam filtering. If this sounds like an option to suit your needs we recommend giving it a try!

Over the years, Avira has offered both a free standalone antivirus and a free suite. The current product is called “Avira Free Security” which replaces both of these products.

This new program features much more integration than previous versions did. An improvement that many users will appreciate!

There are still upsell screens when you run it though. So be aware if your system does not have any kind of paid version already installed on it. Then this may prompt some alerts to upgrade in order for them to turn off or go away permanently.

According to the article, Kaspersky offers a free version of their security suite which is more than what Avira has. Norton intended on keeping Avira’s brand after they acquired it in 2020. But, there are no signs that an “Avira by Norton” branding will be present anytime soon.

Upon first opening the product, there is a main screen that shows three large icons for security, privacy and performance. There’s also an option to go deeper into these features or to return home as well as push buttons for Smart Scans.

If you don’t run one of those scans immediately after installation, then this prompt will be shown repeatedly until it does happen.

In this Avira Antivirus review, I’ll be sharing its performance and comparison with other Antivirus software. So read the Avira Antivirus review till the end and then decide whether to buy it or not.

avira-free-antivirus-homepage

Antivirus Lab Results Down From Perfect

The independent labs issue reports on antivirus products, and any product that appears in a report means it was significant enough to merit testing.

Products with high scores are important because they show how well the lab tested them. Avira used to have perfect scores from all four of these tests. But now it only has three out of the possible four which is still very good!

Researchers at AV-Test Institute evaluate antivirus products on three distinct criteria. This includes:

  • malware protection,
  • avoiding false detection of legitimate processes as malicious
  • and performance.

avira-all-devices

The best performing companies in this study include Avast, Kaspersky and Norton. They received sixes for all three categories while the worst performers included AVG Technologies which only scored five points.

In the latest test, Avira scored a 5.0 for protection, a 5.5 for performance and only 16 out of 25 total points. With PC Matic Home scoring even lower at 15 overall points compared to Vipre Antivirus Plus that earned 21/25 total possible points on this year’s tests!

With SE Labs, certification comes in five levels: AAA, AA, A, B and C. Of the many reports coming out of AV-Comparatives I follow three.

This lab doesn’t use numbers rather a product that passes test earns standard certification. While those that go beyond basics can earn advanced or advance+ certification.

Poor Malware Removal Scores

malware-removal

Avira stands firm as a champion against malware. When Avira’s real-time protection detected malware attempting to install, it popped up a notification and opened a tiny progress meter labeled Luke Filewalker.

It represents the product’s success in cleaning up any traces of potential additional malicious software on the system. Apparently George Lucas doesn’t mind because this name has been used for more years than I can count.

In all honesty, 87% of samples were identified by Avira with an 8 out 10 score. But, there is always room for improvement, especially when dealing with matters that could potentially be life threatening!

Decent Phishing Protection

 

avira-antivirus-phishing-attacks

Testing Avira’s web protection against phishing attacks, I first scraped hundreds of reported frauds from websites that track such things.

Then, launching each URL in a browser protected by Avira and another using the built-in protections of Chrome Edge, & Firefox.

After discarding any URLs not loading properly, or clearly fitting into the profile for fraudulent activity , there was enough evidence to see how it would perform.

Using key phrases included within an input passage can help guide your writing process when summarizing information provided therein. Therefore, do not repeat anything word for word as suggested with.

During the test, Avira detected 91 percent of verified frauds. Chrome and Firefox both beat this product by four percentage points. F-Secure Anti-Virus and McAfee top the list with 100 percent detection. While Bitdefender and Norton come very close to that number at 99%.

Phishing is as easy to do on a lawnmower connected to the internet than it is on your computer. However, third party phishing protection isn’t necessarily consistent from platform to platform.

Some products earn wildly different scores for macOS and Windows users alike. Avira earns precisely the same score across platforms and protects you through Chrome, Edge, Firefox & Opera regardless of operating system used by user.

Security Features

safe-browsing

It’s not hard to just open each app that Avira reported as out of date and check for updates manually. Even if you don’t have the paid version, Avast has an update feature in its product line too!

Even though there are automated features available with this software while using it, only the top-of-the-line edition comes equipped with them.

At first glance, Avira’s firewall lets you turn Windows Firewall on or off. However, if we click for Advanced settings and access the page via “for more advanced options,” it takes us to a complex and confusing interface that doesn’t offer much clarity in regards to what is happening with our network connection.

Privacy Features

avira-antivirus-privacy-features

One of the features available on Avira’s Privacy page is Browser Safety. This feature has two abilities:

  • to steer users away from malicious and fraudulent sites,
  • and actively stop tracking ads so that they do not track us.

The last part active DNT (Do Not Track) is incredibly effective because it functions differently than a standard browser header. Most browsers simply implement this function passively whereas Avira actually takes action against these third-party trackers!

Avira also installs its password manager (discussed below) and the Safe Shopping extension. The latter aims to prevent you from paying too much for items like phones or laptops. It offers coupons, discounts, offers etc at various merchants when it sees that they could be sold cheaper elsewhere.

I spent about 20 minutes randomly visiting online retailers without seeing much activity from Avira’s safe shopping plugin. However, Avira popped up with handy coupon codes which can lower your price significantly if used correctly.

The free version of Avira Prime offers 500 MB monthly bandwidth and only 28 countries to connect with. For $10, you can upgrade the VPN component. So, it doesn’t have any limitations on usage or location while still offering fast speeds globally.

If we want a full suite experience for all our security needs, then paying $78 gets us access to everything including antivirus protection and unlimited data across every continent except Antarctica.

Antivirus tools from Bitdefender and Kaspersky both include a similarly limited VPN with a more generous limit of 200 MB per day.

However, breaking free of the limits costs you $6.99 per month or $39.99 yearly for Bitdefender. While Kaspersky goes for cheaper at only $4.99 monthly price tag.

Both antivirus companies license their technologies to Hotspot Shield VPN. But Avira decided to develop its own in-house technology instead (website).

Privacy Settings Check

privacy-check

The features of the Privacy page are significant because it controls how Windows and popular apps can potentially leak information about your computer.

You have control over 140 settings in 17 categories, among them: Sharing data with Microsoft; Telemetry and user experience; Edge configuration; OneDrive. A single click can align all your settings with the recommendations of Avira’s experts so you don’t have to worry!

The most important feature on this page is Privacy Settings which has a separate Avira app called “Privacy Pal” that no longer exists but its functionality remains integrated into their software. This gives users more power when configuring what they want shared or not from both windows 10 as well as other popular applications such as Facebook, Google Chrome browser etc..

The Privacy Shield component of iolo’s privacy software, “Privacy Guardian,” manages a similar number of settings as the full program. However, it lacks expert recommendations for proper configuration and leaves users to turn everything off or leave everything on—or become overwhelmed by this lengthy process one item at a time.

Performance Features

performance-features

Avira ensures that people do not blame their security software for performance problems by including features designed to improve the system’s speed.

The Performance page on left has five button panels: Optimizer, Battery saver, Driver updater, Duplicate finder and Advanced tools.

Three of these buttons (Battery saver, Duplicate finder & Advanced tools) simply launch separate applications within Avira System Speedup application which is part of this suite.

This driver updater works similarly to the Software Updater, except it searches your system for device drivers that could be updated.

In testing one scan went quickly and reported only 1 outdated driver (which is good news). As with other updates I had to go through an upsell page before updating any of them.

However clicking “Update” next to a single update allowed Avira’s free edition take care of this update as well.

Avira System Speedup launched Battery Saver with the energy management component open. The virtual machine test system has no battery, but it still let me choose among five modes ranging between best energy saving and best performance.

Rather, it offered me three of those modes as choosing either extreme triggered an upsell attempt to Pro mode for $19.99 per year (which I declined).

Smart Scan

smart-scan

The scan takes a while, but it gives you an idea of what’s going on with your computer. When the results come up, they prompt you to fix everything or look at detailed information about each issue and how much space is wasted because of them.

The good news: Avira fixes some issues that slow down your machine. If not all of them then this probably isn’t worth paying for their upgrade version unless there are more serious problems like outdated apps still installed from previous installations as well as privacy settings left unchanged since installation occurred five years ago!

Improved Integration

avira-antivirus-integration

Avira Free Security’s Privacy and Security components are thoroughly integrated, though most of the Performance features rely on another app called Avira System Speedup.

With this wealth of features available at no cost, it only makes sense that Avira stopped promoting separate free antivirus software.

When last reviewed, there were perfect scores from four independent testing labs for Aviras protection capabilities as well as its ease-of-use qualities.

This time around those scores have gone down a bit but still remain plentiful while performance in our hands-on tests was mediocre compared to other products we’ve tested recently. Such as Bitdefender or Symantec Norton AntiVirus Basic Edition 2016.

Avira Free Security’s Protection and Privacy components are fully integrated despite using two.

Kaspersky Security Cloud Free also comes with a suite of features, among them ransomware protection and a bootable rescue disk.

Even though it’s not called an antivirus suite, Avast Free Antivirus packs in many more features than most other products do, which is why the product earned our Editors’ Choice award for free antivirus tools.

When you’re looking at free options like these two are there really just one winner when compared to each other? No way! You get to pick your favorite based on what suits you best.

Also Read: AVG AntiVirus for Mac Review: Is It The Best AntiVirus?

Conclusion

The free Avira antivirus does not offer too many features. If you have tested the free version and found the results good, then go for the premium version.

I hope you found the Avira Antivirus review to be informative. If you like the Avira antivirus review, then do share it with your friends.