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Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus

Download Editors' Rating:
4.5
Outstanding
Average User Rating:
4.0
out of 4209 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    10.0.0.561
  • Total Downloads:
    146,522,208
  • Date Added:
    Mar. 22, 2010
  • Price:
    Free
  • File Size:
    4.55MB
  • Downloads Last Week:
    9,247
  • Platform:
    Windows
  • Product ranking:

Editors' Review

+

Avira's AntiVir has been a player in the security world for some time; however, in 2008 its status boomed because of its remarkably strong detection rates. It still remains near the top of independent antivirus efficacy tests, but while the 2009 version more or less kept pace with the competition, the 2010 edition isn't quite as good as it could be.

Both longtime and new users alike will note the pop-up ad that appears whenever a program update is downloading; it has been the unaddressed focus of critical and user dislike for several years. While the occasional ad that interferes with a user's work flow used to be considered tolerable for effective free security, that's no longer the case. Avira's lack of a silent-running entertainment-gaming mode is also noticeable, since so many free and paid competitors now offer the mode.

Except for the most cosmetic of changes, the app's interface is unchanged from version 8. There are new icons on the program's toolbar, a new static image background, and that's about it. The main window offers a left-side navigation menu with drop-down menus and a central pane to see more detailed information. AntiVir opens to the Status menu, informing you of your last scan, your last definition file update, whether the real-time guard is active; however, Avira removed the premium upgrade link in this version. The Events screen logs changes to the program and the Reports tab keeps a history of threats--information from both sections can be exported.

New features are a bit thin in the free version of Avira 10, too. A new generic-repair mode really just takes the choice out of how Avira tells you about the threats it has discovered. In version 9, you could be informed about them in the middle of a scan or at the end; however, now only the latter is available. Windows 7 users now have the capability to run a scan as an administrator directly from the interface, which is a smart, but minor improvement. Avira's installation sequence has been revamped, and now only takes users through five windows. Theoretically, this means it's a five-click installation, but new users will have to complete the registration form. However, its installation file unpacking process appears faster, and you no longer have to reboot after the install.

This isn't to say that AntiVir Free 10 isn't stuffed with robust features. The program offers a wide selection of scan customization, letting users fully scan both internal and external hard drives, run a preloaded scan--for rootkits, for example--or customize a scan. On a real-world computer, the full scan took about 1 hour and 12 minutes, which is average. Avira includes antispyware protections, scanning tech that can crack open "locked" files, improved internal security to prevent AntiVir's files from being maliciously altered, and one-click threat removal--baby-sitting was taken out in the last version.

The Local Protection and Administration navigation options reveal the Scanner, Guard, Quarantine, and Scheduler features. Combined with the Configuration button located at the top of the central pane, users can customize scans as necessary. When Avira quarantines a file, its information is on display along with options to scan it again, restore, delete, and e-mail the file to Avira. The apps rebuilt heuristic engine retains the same choices from the previous version had, and it can be turned on or off in part or in full and offers three intensity levels. Not counting the lively user forums, Avira's included help features are good for a free antivirus app, with mouse-over information on each feature. The scheduler, once a major Avira selling point because it was light-years ahead of other free security suites, has now been caught up to by its competitors.

AntiVir 10 doesn't require a special uninstallation tool, unlike many competitors do. In the end, Avira's free suite makes for an excellent backup suite, but its competitors have since caught up with or surpassed what it can do.

This review will be updated with CNET Labs benchmarks and third-party efficacy scores as they become available.

 
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Publisher's Description

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User Reviews
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  • Current Version

    4.1

    out of 159 votes

    • 5 star 76
    • 4 star 51
    • 3 star 14
    • 2 star 8
    • 1 star 10
  • All Versions

    4.0

    out of 4209 votes

    • 5 star 1984
    • 4 star 1167
    • 3 star 394
    • 2 star 219
    • 1 star 445
  • My rating

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Results 1–10 of 159

4 stars

"works just fine"

June 29, 2010  |  By wallron

 |  Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.0.0.561

Pros

easy to use and very dependable and has kept my computer safe

Cons

i have no cons to report

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4 stars

"Reasonably good and effective."

May 11, 2010  |  By salmope

 |  Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.0.0.561

Pros

Easy to use and simple instructions

Cons

Limited on some applications

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1 stars

"CNET: Stop Distributing Avira 10 !"

April 29, 2010  |  By Dodson1947

 |  Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.0.0.561

Pros

nothing at all: it doesn't even let you uninstall it, even using the manual uninstallation instructions

Cons

intrusive: corrupted Registry Windows XP Home special edition for EeePC 900
destructive: changed User hive, so no "administrative account" and no System Restore, boot to SAFE MODE had no GUI

Summary

I have had Avira 9: I went to the forum offering to pay for the free version to eliminate the intrusive "nag screen" that interrupted my concentration on my own upkeep for my "dot info" website explaining that I am handicapped, and I use "adaptive technology" and I have a firewall I like, I use online email only, I have no passwords kept in a cache on my computer and I really like Spyware Search & Destroy (good guy) so I don't want the full product. I just don't want the "nag screen". No response. No accomodation. Updates are frequent: no notification of Avira 10 or of "major changes". Bottom line: Avira has no business making changes to my Registry, turning ON Windows Security Center I had turned OFF. I take my Windows updates from Microsoft Tech Net. I have Windows Security Center really shurdown, because it interferes with m,y "adaptive technology" software. For emphasis, Avira has no business interferring in my Registry and no business turning Windows Security Center ON and thereby destroying my EeePC 900 netbook I have no money and no means to repair.

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4 stars

"Unattended updates protect despite haphazard operator"

April 28, 2010  |  By Cycler

 |  Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.0.0.561

Pros

Nags are well timed, not a mid-project distraction, and generally informative while doing their job of trying to be a profitable operation. Free is relative. No cost to me, but very good protection from hazards I can not even define well.

Cons

Update process doesn't notify the windows security watchdog that update is in progress, so I get a Windows nag screen telling me I may not have anti-virus protection enabled. I avoid clicking any links while update is completed.

Summary

After some experience with a number of anti-virus programs, Avira is my choice for new computer/internet users. Simple to use, with most of the serious business taken care of without user attention. Choosing what to do with a threat can be intimidating for a computer newbie. Forum-support is available for more advanced users. Of the many anti-virus products with free versions and paid versions, Avira is in my Consider the Paid Version catagory.

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5 stars

"Good antivirus program!"

April 26, 2010  |  By Eduardo0104

 |  Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.0.0.561

Pros

Does what it's supposed to do.

Cons

Nothing wrong so far.

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4 stars

"fast, effective, free"

April 26, 2010  |  By drpiparsania

 |  Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.0.0.561

Pros

fast, effective, free

Cons

need to look hard to start scanning,

Summary

please make it work more simple

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3 stars

"Reviews are all good. Effective"

April 19, 2010  |  By woodcarver13

 |  Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.0.0.561

Pros

Seems to be very effective. It's free.

Cons

Hate the huge pop-ups. I am not going to buy anything so enough with the pop ups.

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4 stars

"Very good program"

April 18, 2010  |  By cjame1220

 |  Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.0.0.561

Pros

This free program caught two trojan files and a malware file that my CA anti-virus software didn't catch (which I paid for), so I'm very, very, pleased with it.

Cons

What's not to like?

Summary

I will buy a licence for this software if it's required for me to have a good, effective anti-virus, anti-malware program. This one's terrific!

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5 stars

"Best freebie and best free or pay for heuristics"

April 18, 2010  |  By the_mick

 |  Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.0.0.561

Pros

Very high detect and remove scores and top heuristics [detect/remove new viruses by telltale actions] scores (AV-Comparatives.org, AV-Test.org) -use most sensitive setting.
Doesn't slow computer down as much as others.
Fairly user-friendly interface.

Cons

Program navigation and selections could be more straight forward and less "tech-speak".
Doesn't check email like AVG does [but usually your ISP does].
Nag-screens when it updates files - once per day and tolerable for me.

Summary

I checked test sites (AV-Comparatives.org, AV-Test.org) and magazines (PC World, etc.), and liked the Avira results better than Avast, Panda Cloud or AVG -which I also tried.
In general, it's very comparible to or just a tiny bit below Norton in detection/removal and above McAfee, except Avira is unsurpassed in heuristics (detecting new, unreported viruses by their telltale activities) according to the tests.
It runs compatibly with Spybot (great for monitoring registry changes).
It does NOT slow my 1.8 Gz, 512 MB RAM computer like those other freebies.
It has quickly caught and removed several viruses that tried to climb aboard my computer and has NOT generated any obvious false detections despite highest sensitivity setting.
It has intercepted several websites on its bad site list for me and blocked them when an action on one site caused them to pop up.
I have NOT had trouble with updates with version 10 as another rater has. Once it said it failed to get an update [a small popup tells you when it's done updates, scans, etc.], but I had no trouble doing it manually just after the notice.
My one real gripe: when looking into settings, it's not as clear and easy as it could be. First of all, "Configuration" is listed under the "Extras" tab - something not intuitive. Most reviewers stress selecting "heuristic", "high detection level".
There is a choice in "Configuration" under "Scan" of "search for rootkits before scan" that is by default NOT checked, and the "help" file confusingly says: "This process does not scan your computer for active rootkits as comprehensively as the scan profile 'Scan for rootkits', but it is significantly quicker to perform." The 'Scan for rootkits' must be automatic because there's no check for it anywhere! It's this kind of "tech speak" and "geek layout" that creeps into an otherwise wonderful freebie that's the only drawback I see.

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3 stars

"Finally worked after it kept locking up"

April 17, 2010  |  By RDCruz

 |  Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.0.0.561

Pros

Better than nothing. Works.

Cons

Have issues every time it updates. It keeps locking up.

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Results 1–10 of 159

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Full Specifications

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What's new in version 10.0.0.561
Version 10.0.0.561 has a new redesigned interface and includes GenericRepair feature--automatic repair of your PC and ExpressInstallation feature--installs Avira in just five clicks.
General
Publisher Avira
Publisher web site http://www.avira.com
Release Date March 22, 2010
Date Added March 22, 2010
Version 10.0.0.561
Category
Category Security Software
Subcategory Antivirus Software
Operating Systems
Operating Systems Windows 7/XP 32-bit/Vista 32-bit/Vista 64-bit/XP 64-bit
Additional Requirements None
Download Information
File Size 4.55MB
File Name avira_en_av___dlc.exe
Popularity
Total Downloads 146,522,208
Downloads Last Week 9,247
Pricing
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free

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