Review: Avira Free Antivirus | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Review: Avira Free Antivirus

Avira keeps security easy with Online Essentials, an online management dashboard.

The latest update to Avira Antivirus adds Online Essentials, Avira's Web dashboard, a more approachable, more modern, and more encompassing way to manage security across your devices. While Avira Free Antivirus looks and runs the same as prior versions, the integration of Online Essentials redefines how you scan and protect your computers.

Pros

Basic UI: The old tweaks and settings are still there, but you probably messed with them just once a year, and then by accident. Now, Avira directs all management functions to the Online Essentials Web dashboard, greatly simplifying the primary user flow of running scans and managing devices.

Online Essentials: Avira Online Essentials is the new Web dashboard that makes managing Avira on your devices one consistent experience. Your novice friend might have trouble protecting their computer, but with Pilot, they might never have to.

Performance:Avira ranks relatively high on the detection scale, scoring above the industry average in detection of malware from the AV-Test reference sets.

Design: Avira Antivirus's design has started to reflect the Online Essentials dashboard, and the results look great. Design assets and direction, such as icons and avatars, are distinct, bright, fun, and -- most importantly -- consistent. The prominence of the new design will drastically reduce surprises and confusion when you switch between devices.

Cons

Subscriptions: Avira automatically signs you up for e-mail notifications by default, so make sure to tweak your account options.

Bottom Line

There's a lot to love about what Avira has done to its flagship product. Online Essentials shows that the free and premium versions of Avira's Antivirus line are part of a greater vision of security management. That vision conceives device protection not as task but as a lifestyle, and encourages security management through leaps in improved usability. By combining Free Antivirus with the Online Essentials dashboard, Avira has transformed its app from a PC utility to a cross-platform security solution.

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