Avira Free Antivirus 2013

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CNET Editors' Rating 3.5 stars

Very good

Average User Rating stars

out of 4,182 user reviews

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  • 3.0 stars

    "a once respectable company goes to the dark side"

    April 3, 2013  |   By cnetguy7

    Pros

    -very good signatures, probably THE BEST amongst real time free protection
    -decent web blocking
    -light, doesn't get in the way
    -set it and forget it. No silly yearly registration like Avast requires.

    Cons

    -poor at removing malware
    -not the best performer. Avast!, Panda cloud, MSE are all significantly lighter on the system.
    -limited configuration.
    -Installs ASK bar which upon uninstallation results in minimal web protection.

    Summary

    Very competent, effective anti-virus against widespread and known malware. Good for senior citizens who don't browse the seedier parts of the internet, don't do much P2P, don't want additional complications and don't mind the ASK bar.

    For years AVG got slammed by free AV users for its toolbar. For the last two years at least, AVG has been offering to *not install the toolbar. Having the toolbar or not doesn't affect the suite's security capabilities. In stark contrast, unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Avira. Removing the toolbar results in web browsing security holes.
    Why did Avira forge this relationship with ASK? Couldn't they just offer a superb free product and hope that some would actually pay for their premium services? many security suites designate toolbars as PUPs(potentially unwanted program). Avast! actually has PUP detection options in its file guard section.
    rating criteria -
    5/5 in malicious file detection
    4.5/5 in web blocking
    3/5 in malware removal
    3/5 in interface that's barely changed over the years
    2/5 in configurability
    3/5 in features
    0/5 in consumer trust (installing PUP aka toolbar)
    3/5 in performance
    overall rating - 2.9/5 rounded up to 3/5.
    This isn't a personal attack against Avira. I do feel I have been fair and unbiased. The reason in bringing up Avast! all the time is that in every way, they've knocked the ball out of the park.
    I don't work for them nor am I a blind fanboy. please go to my past reviews and you'll see I gave AVG a 5/5 in september, 2012 and wasn't all that impressed with Avast 7! until much later which I gave a 3/5 in Aug, 2012.
    For most of last year, I championed AVG. Now Avast! is number 1.
    If Avira regains my trust and ups its game, I hope to give it a 5/5 and rate it THE BEST. It's still in the top 4 free.
    Peace.

    Updated on Apr 8, 2013

    I also want to mention that shortly after my review, I gave Avira another chance and installed the ASK bar as well. Guess what? The web blocking was off. I searched google and stumbled upon the Avira forums where I learned that I had to run cmd prompt as an admin, enter some commands, restart the computer in safe mode, click on run and make changes to Avira web blocking. Even after diligently following the instructions, the web blocking didn't work. Also, the ASK bar installed itself on IE but not on FF and Avira didn't offer web blocking on either.

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4 replies to this review

  • Reply by londongirl06 on May 1, 2013

    I like your review and it was very helpful. Now how would I uninstall this program. I tried but nothing seems to works. Can you please inform me on what works.

  • Reply by cnetguy7 on April 8, 2013

    @musicman, you're a rare specimen who finds Avira lighter than Avast. You know people who turn off Avast! shields? Well, that proves how flexible Avast! is. you want Avast! to reduce their bells and whistles? Avira's model is outdated and old.
    I also want to reply to your complaints about "google chrome". I've installed and uninstalled Avast! many times and not once was I naive enough to install Google Chrome. the installation instructions are very clear. I do not work for Avast! nor am I some fanboy. I say it like I see it. Who has more downloads on CNET and the location of downloads is totally irrelevant to me and has no bearing on the effectiveness of the suite.

  • Reply by musicman4you on April 6, 2013

    Oh I almost forgot.Why is AVAST the most popular and at the Top of the list on most Downloads on CNET ? Do a Google search for AVAST Free and on the Avast website they tell you to come here and download it.They want you to come here and Download it.They Love it.They want to get a high Ranking on Cnet and more people may buy their Antivirus.Sad you can't download their Antivirus from their own website and while you are there they recommend other Downloads like Google Chrome.You might not be able to download AVG from their website.I haven't checked in awhile.

  • Reply by musicman4you on April 6, 2013

    Avira still works great without the ToolBar and is lighter on my PC than AVAST will ever be with all of those Shields and other things running in the background.LOL I look for AVAST to add a registry cleaner a defrag tool and other things you should use something else for.You are right many people don't need all of the Shields Avast has running.If they would just stick with a basic Antivirus without all of the Bells and Whistles and other stuff it would be good.Oh and impove their Detection Rates.I know people that just use the main shield and webguard with Avast and turn all of the other Shields off.

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