Avira makes award-winning antivirus software with top ratings from the likes of AV Test. It provides excellent free antivirus software packages alongside premium products that offer exceptional value.
What We Liked
- Comprehensive free package for PC users
- Smooth, unobtrusive performance and top-notch protection
- Impressive value, especially on the Prime package
- 30-day free trial
What We Weren’t So Sure About
- No live chat support
- You need to pay extra for a multi-device licence on cheaper plans
With a 100% detection rate for both known malware and zero day attacks in AV Test’s latest round of independent testing, it’s safe to say antivirus protection doesn’t get any better than Avira.
Even better, scanning is smooth and unobtrusive.
You can run a quick scan in under two minutes. And while a more thorough scan does take a while — a lengthy one hour and 17 minutes, to be exact — you can keep using your device without any noticeable glitches or impact on performance. When we ran a deep scan, we continued to browse and stream to our heart’s content without any problems whatsoever.
Alongside quick and deep scanning, you can also run custom scans. You can scan a specific drive, folder or file as well as removable devices such as USB sticks and external hard drives. Top notch protection all round.
Setting up Avira is a bit fiddly. You’ll need to go into your system preferences and change a few things around before it’s ready to go. Luckily, a guide with screenshots and fairly clear instructions help you get going in no time.
Once that’s done, though, it’s smooth going all the way. The app is silent and unobtrusive, with no annoying pop-ups or alerts. It also automatically starts scanning your device when you launch it for the first time, which means you can quickly set your mind at rest that there are no nasty surprises lurking on your system.
The app itself is well-designed. When you run a scan, it opens up a new window, which we found a bit unnecessary. But this is a minor quibble. There’s lots of negative space and big, bold icons. And navigation is quick and easy. We especially liked being able to scan individual files just by dragging and dropping them into the app — a super-simple and useful feature.
Features and Add-ons
When it comes to features and add-ons, Avira punches well above its weight even on the free tier.
While Mac users are only able to get a basic antivirus for free, PC users are in for a treat. Alongside its top-notch antivirus, the free Security Suite includes a VPN with a generous 1GB of bandwidth (more than enough for general browsing, email, online shopping and other light internet usage), a basic password manager and a basic version of Avira’s Home Guard, which scans the smart devices around your home for vulnerabilities.
You won’t be surprised to hear though, that it’s on the Prime package — Avira’s most expensive plan — that users hit the motherlode. You’ll get an unlimited VPN, a premium password manager and apps for your iOS and Android devices alongside features such as a premium version of Home Guard and an ad blocker.
To be fair, Avira does lack some features we’ve seen on other comparable packages. Case in point, there are no parental controls. And, features such as data shredding, encryption and system tune-up only work on PC.
The upside is that Prime will grant you free access to all of Avira’s future product releases, which is a benefit you won’t find anywhere else at this price point.
You can get in touch with Avira tech support by email or by phone, but not via live chat. Seeing as this has become many customers’ preferred method of contacting support, this is a bummer.
To get a hold of a live agent, you’ll also need to have purchased one of Avira’s paid products. Prime customers get VIP support, which means you’re always at the front of the queue, even during peak times.
While you won’t be able to speak to a human if you’ve downloaded Avira’s free antivirus or Security Suite, there’s a wealth of information at your fingertips on their website. There are troubleshooting articles with easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions and screenshots, tutorial videos and a wordbook — or glossary — that puts technical terms in simple language.
And if you’re technically-minded, you can download Avira’s product documentation and troubleshoot in more detail yourself.
Avira stands out from the crowd by having not one, but two free packages — a basic antivirus for Mac and PC and a more comprehensive Security Suite, though the latter is only available for PC.
There are also three competitively-priced premium packages to choose from: Antivirus Pro, Optimisation Suite and Prime. At $99.99 / €99.95 / £85.99 for up to 5 devices and free access to Avira’s future product lineup, the top-tier Prime package is probably one of the best-value anti-virus packages on the market today.
Here’s a summary of Avira’s product lineup, the cost of a year-long subscription and a roundup of what you get for the price. The prices for Antivirus Pro and Optimisation Suite include one device license. You can also pay extra for a 3 or 5-device licence. The price of Prime includes a license for up to five devices.
|Antivirus||Security Suite||Antivirus Pro||Optimization Suite||Prime|
|Free||Free (PC Only)||$44.99 / €34.95 / £29.99||$57.99 / €44.95 / £38.99||$99.99 / €99.95 / £85.99|
|Antivirus protection for PC and Mac, plus:||Antivirus protection for PC plus:||Antivirus, anti-malware, ransomware and phishing protection for PC and Mac, plus:||Antivirus, anti-malware, ransomware protection for PC, plus:||Antivirus protection for PC, plus:|
|Trojan, adware and spyware protection||VPN (1GB a month)||Ad blocker||Everything on the AntivirusPro package||Everything on the Optimization Suite package|
|Tune-up utilities starter kit||Premium version of Home Guard (Windows and Android only)||Password Manager||VPN|
|Basic password manager||Software and driver updater||iOS and Android apps|
|Privacy assistant||Data shredding and encryption utility (PC only)|
|Basic version of Home Guard|
While it does lack a few features offered by its competitors, it’s hard to argue with Avira’s quality performance and array of add-ons.
Its free package is exceptional value, especially if you’re a PC user. But, even better, you can get access to its new products and future-proof your devices for under $100 / €100 / £100 a year. If you’re serious about your online security, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better bargain.