Avira Free Anti-Virus

Category: Anti-Virus , Security

I'm confused by all the free antivirus products. I've read in some forums that Avira is the best, others claim that AVG or Avast is definitely the way to go. Which one do you recommend?

avira antivirus

Free Anti-Virus Software: Avira

Avira is a yet another free anti-virus tool that starts with "A" and claims over 50 million users. Avira's AntiVir Personal is free to download, and will protect your system against viruses, trojans, worms, dialers and rootkits. It also includes anti-phishing protection. Avira provides real-time scanning and will run on a schedule to suit your needs. It will then quarantine files that it finds harmful so that they cannot cause damage to your computer.

According to AV-Comparatives, an independent organization that tests antivirus products, Avira detects 99.8% of all malware as of this writing, has a faster scan speed than many of it's competitors, and does well at avoiding false positives. You can see the latest antivirus test results and compare Avira to the others.

Avira excels at anti-virus protection, but the free version of Avira does NOT have spyware/adware protection, detection of malicious websites, or an email virus scanner.

Avira for Professional and Business Users

If you're willing to pay a little, Avira Premium offers those features, as well as AntiDrive-by that prevents malware from auto-downloading while you are surfing. WebGuard will check if there is a virus on a web page you're visiting. And in the event that your system chokes on a virus and won't boot up, there is a RescueSystem CD which will boot up your computer, and clean up any nasties it can find. Available for Windows 2000/XP/Vista, Avira's Premium software comes at a modest price of US$27.

avira security suite Move up another step and look at Avira Security Suite. In addition to everything featured with the basic Premium, you get the added features of a firewall, AntiSpam for email protection, and protection against pop-ups when you are playing games in full screen mode. Avira recently added a complete Backup System and AntiBot, which will prevent your computer from joining a bot network without your knowing about it. The Security Suite is priced at US$54. Businesses can lose both time and money if their computers become infected, so it may be well worth the moderate expense to consider Avira's elite Security Suite. The software is available for Windows 2000/XP/Vista and 64-bit versions of Windows. Both paid versions include 14-day of free tech support.

It appears that a mandatory donation to the Auerbach Foundation (named after Avira's founder) is required in order to purchase the Avira antivirus software products. It's an actual line item on the order form, with quantity "1" and cannot be changed or deleted. The Auerbach Foundation (named after Avira's founder) helps needy children in Germany. While that's quite noble, I'd prefer to see a checkbox on the order form that gives customers the option to donate or not. Or just charge a set price, and say that "a portion of our profits will go to help needy children." People like choices...

Avira has several free tools on their site for their users. Their removal tool eliminates viruses or spyware that has been located on your computer. They have a new tool that can detect and remove boot sector viruses under DOS with their VDF and user interface. Finally, Although Avira no longer supports the tool, their UnErase utility can recover deleted files, but you'll use it at your own risk.

Take your time before deciding on any anti-virus software and compare products to see which best meets your needs. Read the AV Comparatives reports, and decide whether to go with an all-in-one package that includes spyware detection, firewall, and anti-spam, or go ala cart. Personally, I prefer to avoid bundled solutions, and recommend that you go with separate tools for anti-virus and anti-spyware protection. My article Should I Buy Anti-Spyware or Anti-Virus Software? details my recommendations and offers some advanced tools for malware removal.

What's your anti-virus solution -- Avira, Avast!, AVG, or something else? Post a comment below...

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Most recent comments on "Avira Free Anti-Virus"

Posted by:

21 Oct 2008

Hello bob, I think I prefer kaspersky after all. But for free version, I like AVG.

Posted by:

23 Oct 2008

Avira didn't work well with my PC .... After trying several , I settled on NOD32. It is wonderful. It updates several times every day. Truly is "set and forget "

Posted by:

23 Oct 2008

I started out with McAfee about 4 years ago in XP.

They used to have Just AV and Firewall. Not too much of a system drain and good detection but now it's all or nothing so, I didn't renew.Went with AVG 7.5 Free but got infected.I then tried Avira AntiVir Personal and really like it's ability to protect along with fast scans. The updater has a "Nag Screen" but, I don't mind it because I know it has updated the definitions. keeps your mind at ease.

For antispyware, I use SUPERAntispyware Professional with real time shields. PC Tools Firewall rounds out my main protection package. This configuration does not take allot of resources and protects my interests for an enjoyable web surfing experience. Thanks Bob for taking the time to talk about Avira.

Posted by:

23 Oct 2008

Hi Bob,I bought a Packard Bell PC 4 years ago with Norton pre-installed for 3 months.I took the simplest line and renewed it when it expired. However, I found it a "resource hogger" and had to increase my RAM to keep up a reasonable speed.In its favour, I didn't get any viruses etc. so I purchased Norton 360. What a difference from Norton 2006 & 2007 !

It no longer slows things down, as it scans when my PC is idle - unlike Avast etc. which tend to scan at "Start up" and bring proceedings to a crawl unless you have loads of RAM.

Posted by:

24 Oct 2008

Its Avira personal for me.From what I'm reading It has a detection rate as high as the highest rated commercial antiviruses.

I really like Avast and the way it updates does a boottime scan etc but its detection rate was a lot lower than Avira,last time I checked anyway.If I buy a commercial version I will buy Avira because of the good results with the free one.

Posted by:

24 Oct 2008

I find it frustrating when techs suggest free malware software, but never tell which ones can work together on the same PC. I understand there are two different types of free malware, and there can be conflicts.

EDITOR'S NOTE: But I *did* tell you! At the end of the article, I said "My article 'Should I Buy Anti-Spyware or Anti-Virus Software?'(http://askbobrankin.com/should_i_buy_antispyware_or_antivirus_software.html) details my recommendations."

Posted by:

Beau Basin
24 Oct 2008

Stuart .......... Avast only "scans at startup" if you configure it that way either during installation or via Options once it's installed. It will either Scan on demand or can be configured to scan all/part of your machine at a time of day set by yourself. Spyzooka's supposed to be the "bees knees" of protection, the developers offer a 100% money back guarantee if you're not totally satisfied.

Posted by:

24 Oct 2008

I connect to the internet through a adsl router with hardware firewall and NAT enabled. Do i still need anti virus/spam/malware software?

EDITOR'S NOTE: You don't need a software-based firewall, but the router will do nothing to protect you from viruses and spyware.

Posted by:

25 Oct 2008

For all those great comments, with all due respect, from what i understand, rating an antivirus is not made by the promises which are made by the manufacturer or the mind blowing tech features with hi tech words naming them(features).

Its all about your computer and security, for many people a good AV is an AV software which works without errors and if there is a slight glitch due to something else on the pc they blame the AV program for it. And mind it; there is a lot of differences between anti virus and anti spy ware. AVG & Avira are the good ones with a high detection index... i've seen known good programs taken in by some "great" security suites as generic trojans.. in short catching the wrong guy.. there is a lot of logic to apply in that case.

Posted by:

28 Oct 2008

I like avira,avast,asquare,malwarebytes,prevxcsi and ad-aware... Use them all... Avira is my favorite...Avast does a boot scan... None of these caused any conflicts on my hp laptop(4yrs old)... Also use advanced windowscare... I scan with one and then another,etc... Works for me...

Posted by:

29 Oct 2008

>>Avira's Premium software comes at a modest price of US$27

Of course it does, it mostly programmed by people from "second hand" countries, like Romania (eastern Europe), if you understand what I mean.

It's really simple and it's common among today's businesses. The brains of the company stays in Germany, while most of programming division is moved to Romania and India. It costs less because, the salaries are low in those part of the world, and of course, people work minimalistic (if again, understand what I mean). Anyway, I installed this product some years ago and it sucked. I installed it some days ago and it also sucked. So, in conclusion, a definitive NO for AVIRA Antivirus. Use AVG, it's better and doesn't consume all your PC resources.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Yes, some companies do hire computer programmers in Eastern Europe, India and other places. But the money those programmers are paid is generally FAR beyond what they could otherwise make by working in their own country. Seems like a win-win to me.

Posted by:

new virus anti avira
22 Jan 2009

so far so good but there seem to be a new virus that takes control of the avira anti-virus, then it sets the avira antivirus to detect all .exe and .com files as virus even though they are not.

EDITOR'S NOTE: And the name of this new virus is...? The URL for more info...?

Posted by:

26 Feb 2009

Due to this article, I tried Avira and wasn't pleased with it. Oh, it worked but didn't have aspects to the program that I personally like, email scanning with notice at the bottom of the email, routine daily scanning of computer looking for viruses and etc., and for some reason, I just didn't feel 'safe and secure' with the overall program.

Yes, I know that many people don't like 'change' and I tend to be one of those types of people. But, I just didn't feel comfortable with what Avira had to offer, on their FREE version.

As for Eastern Europe being the place for good Anti-Virus programs, it makes sense to me. So many of the latest Viruses, Worms, Trojan Horses and etc., come out of Russia and China. Europe frequently gets them first and gets a 'handle' on it to update their virus databases. They have been doing a great job, in my opinion and I commend them.

The biggest problem Netizens face today, is getting 'zapped' with a Virus or Trojan Horse or Worm while on the Internet. These use to be only acquired by emails, not anymore. So, it is important that the Anti-Virus software program you use, has a 'Resident Shield', that watches the Internet while you are surfing.

Posted by:

20 Nov 2009

About Avira As, I understand, It pre-screens everything that is written to or read from the Hard drive this is what a realtime Guard is suppose to do, So if this is the case then Anti-Viruses boosting about having a separate E-Mail scanner are just window dressing because there is no way a virus can get onto the hard drive without being detected. If you download your E-mail it gets written to your hard drive therefore the guard should screem it, therefore it should protect you from E-mail viruses

Posted by:

emu boots
26 Jan 2010

As for Eastern Europe being the place for good Anti-Virus programs, it makes sense to me. So many of the latest Viruses, Worms, Trojan Horses and etc., come out of Russia and China. Europe frequently gets them first and gets a 'handle' on it to update their virus databases. They have been doing a great job, in my opinion and I commend them.
emu boots

Posted by:

30 Mar 2010

For the record, I've used AVG Free for 5 years and have had no problems whatsoever (OK, so maybe it's just luck - whatever). It works in the background and gives me great peace of mind.

But, every now and then one hears a good report about another AV program, and being human and inqusitive, you want to compare. So you come over to Ask Bob R. and what do you find ? A comparative table dating back to 2008 - 2008, for goodness sakes!!! C'mon Bob, let's get a new show on the road, please. For instance, why not compare AVG with the new Avira 10 ? Go to it, Mr.R.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I don't produce the reports. But other articles on this site reference http://www.av-comparatives.org which I recommend for the latest comparative reports.

Posted by:

06 Sep 2010

Do you have any suggestions for a free anti-virus program that doesn't take up too many resources on the computer? I tried Avast/PCTools/and the worst of all AVG. AVG used to be GREAT but now it's awful! You can't shut it down completely (yes, i've unchecked resident shield, etc..also tried unchecking all services, etc). I liked the OLD version that you could just turn on when you wanted. 80% of what I do is OFFLINE, so I don't want anything else running and slowing down my computer uselessly. Most of what i do online is email and a little FB. I only surf a little. Thankyou in Advance
unhappy :(

Posted by:

29 Sep 2012

im trying to find out if avira will work with avg, and not cause the computer to slow down more than it is. i run a scan daily with avg but i find out its missing alot. so i want a secondary anti virus, if avira will not work with avg can u suggest any thank u

Posted by:

10 Dec 2015

Avira link to upgrade is broken. The new price is $45, not $27.

Posted by:

10 Dec 2015

How do we DONATE? Your site is wonderful Bob!

EDITOR'S NOTE: Thanks for the kind words. On each article page, you'll find a link to my "Buy Bob a Snickers" page. The URL is http://buybobasnickers.com/

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