Avira Free or Paid - How About Neither?
Like most security software developers, Avira has evolved to include far more than detection and eradication of viruses (self-replicating destructive malware). That’s why I now prefer the term “security suite” over “antivirus” when discussing such products. In this article, I'll give you my advice on the wisdom of upgrading from a free to paid version of the Avira security software...
Is Avira's Paid Version Worth the Price?
Recently I began a series that compares the free and paid versions of popular internet security tools. The first installment covered Avast Antivirus Free and the paid Avast Internet Security edition.. Today we'll do likewise with Avira's free and Prime offerings.
Modern security suites protect against viruses, phishing, keyloggers, drive-by downloads of malicious software, zero-day exploits, man-in-the-middle attacks, ransomware (the scare-word du jour), plus everyone’s favorite, “and much more.” Security software developers are locked in an ever-escalating war against bad guys - and each other - creating more elaborate protection against more elaborate security threats.
Security software developers also push back against competition from “clean and optimize” software developers who invade the security firms’ turf, blurring the line between the two territories. For example, iObit’s Advanced System Care roots out spyware, and Avira counters with “Free System Speedup, which is ASC’s forte.
In fact, Avira’s all-in-one Prime package consists of eight separate programs that provide the benefits of antivirus, driver and app updating, password management, safe shopping, privacy protection, safe search, anonymous browsing via VPN, the aforementioned system speedup (cleaning and optimization), and browser hijacking security.
Avira Antivirus is free forever; the other modules are free for thirty days. What happens after the trial period ends is for the curious to find out; I am not going to read Avira’s lengthy terms of service. Unlike many other firms, Avira does not require a credit card number at the time its “premium trial” software is installed, to be charged automatically if you forget to cancel your trial Presumably, the software just stops working until you pay for it. It’s almost as if we are back in the 1990s when “demoware” took the place of true “shareware.”
Avira offers three subscription packages in addition to the free Antivirus: $44.99 for Antivirus Pro, $57.99 per year for Internet Security, and $99.99 per year for the all-inclusive Prime bundle. I won’t go into the differences between them because my recommendation is to avoid all paid Avira products.
SAAS = Software-As-A-Suffering
I spent four hours trying to compare the free versions of Avira antimalware products to their subscription counterparts. It took seven minutes to determine there is no difference between them that is worth buying. The rest of my time was wasted on installing and uninstalling this new type of SAAS (Software-as-a-Service) which I've decided to call “Software-as-a-Suffering.”
Even the free antivirus module is not worth its cost in terms of service vs. suffering. This article would be three times longer if I detailed all the ways in which its installation alone made me want to cry. It is better to rely on Windows 10’s built-in Windows Defender than to install the even more limited Avira Antivirus. Spare yourself my suffering!
The trial version of Avira Prime was infinitely worse. Its installation was a nightmare I had to re-live twice to fully complete. I uninstalled it first with Avira’s uninstall utility, which had to be run on each of eight separate programs; at the end of each uninstall, up popped a survey asking why I uninstalled the thing. It took over one hour just to uninstall Avira Prime - and when I rebooted, it came back!
I turned to iObit’s powerful Uninstall utility, which revealed that the “Avira” app occupied 2 GB of disk space and added over 400 keys to my registry. Even after uninstalling “Avira,” there remained six more Avira apps taking up 2.9 GB of space (for a total of 4.9 GB with “Avira,” whatever that was) and cluttering my registry with over 200 more keys.
When I thought I was finally rid of Avira, I rebooted my PC. Moments after I logged in, all of Avira’s apps appeared again, along with four startup processes that ran in the background. I finally gave up and used System Restore to return my PC to a time before it was traumatized by Avira. Always create a safe Restore Point before installing any new software!
Have you tried a paid version of Avira? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 4 Jun 2018
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Avira Free or Paid - How About Neither? (Posted: 4 Jun 2018)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved