Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.0.0.635 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus

CNET 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.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    4.0 stars

    out of 4,167 votes

    • 5 star: 1972
    • 4 star: 1160
    • 3 star: 387
    • 2 star: 218
    • 1 star: 429
  • Current version:

    4.0 stars

    out of 49 votes

    • 5 star: 18
    • 4 star: 23
    • 3 star: 3
    • 2 star: 1
    • 1 star: 4
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 49

  • 2.0 stars

    "Avira Is Not So Great Anymore"

    June 29, 2011  |   By Several9920

    Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.0.0.635

    Pros

    At least its still free although i have a few gripes.

    Cons

    My online protection says disabled after forced reboot.

    Summary

    This morning i clicked update and was forced to reboot my machine in order to apply the update, I thought to myself that's strange but i followed through anyway. After the reboot a popup window stated to install some new tool bar, It gave me a choice to install now or install later i chose install later. But honestly i have no intention of installing it. Avira software seems to be in the beginning stages of changing, and normally when software does that it will then become trial ware soon there after. I hope this isn't the case with Avira, I've been using Avira for years and would hate to switch to something else but like a marriage gone bad i will divorce. I just checked my status window its saying online protection disabled. I will leave an update on what i will decide to do going forward but it looks to me like me and Avira will soon part!

    Updated on Jun 29, 2011

    I went ahead and just installed the new tool bar, and everything is great so far. Even the Avira software itself is back to normal. My suggestion to everyone is to just go on and install the new tool bar if you don't feel like going through the tedious task of looking for another anti virus software.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Today's UPDATE FORCES TOOLBAR"

    June 28, 2011  |   By GlamourDomme

    Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.0.0.635

    Pros

    none so far

    Cons

    Cannot tell if full protection enabled & after following instructions to activate Online Protection via control panel, protection wavers on & off!

    Summary

    What a disappointment! Used to LOVE this program until today's update forces you to install a toolbar via Popup which disappears when I clicked more info. Then, NO option to install toolbar thereafter (even after reboot) and unclear whether I am fully protected. Also, after following instructions to activate Online Protection via Window's control panel, online protection wavers on & off when I check on it via the Avira control screen! This is confusing & disappointing. I don't like being hijacked!

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Top Pick Among Free Anti-malware"

    May 1, 2011  |   By AJ North

    Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.0.0.635

    Pros

    Personal experience with several Windows boxes (XP to Win 7) shows consistently high-levels of protection with low system resource requirements. But remember: THE most effective security is a 'layered' approach - coupled with safe-user practices.

    Cons

    For the highest level of protection, default configuration settings must be changed (see below).

    Summary

    Yes, it IS a jungle out there, and one is well advised to use appropriate defenses against the Goths and Vandals waiting at the gates.

    Avira AntiVir 10 (v10.0.0.648 - CNET haven't updated their database to this incremental update yet) is a highly-effective anti-malware application. Depending on the testing lab, recent results range from good to quite excellent. AntiVir can be relied on to protect a clean system to an exceedingly high degree; personal experience with several different Windows boxes (XP to Win 7) show a continuing perfect score (as determined by second and third opinions from on-demand scanning with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and SUPERAntiSpyware); an infected system should be rescanned by at least one of the aforementioned applications to be on the safer side. (To be fair, to date, nothing detected by AntiVir on any of these systems has been beyond its capabilities to remove.)

    Worst-case, as measured on an ancient system (by current technology standards), a laptop with a P-4M (single core; no hyper-threading) and one GB of DDR (at 133 MHz) running XP Pro SP3, AntiVir slowed boot-time by a mere fifteen seconds. In quiescence, its real-time scanner barely registered any CPU cycles and occupied 9.5 GB of RAM; updates, however, consumed almost full system resources (which did not occur on any of the more modern systems, each with at least two GB of RAM). On the ancient laptop, scans also consumed virtually all system resources, essentially requiring that scans be performed manually (on-demand) while the machine was not being used for other purposes - again, a situation not encountered on more modern rigs. Scan times averaged on the order of twenty minutes (depending on the size and contents of the HDD); on more modestly endowed machines, closing non-essential applications which load with Windows and are running in the background will noticeably speed things up).

    Recommended settings for scanned detections: R-click tray icon, L-click "Configure AntiVir" --> Expand "Scanner," then "Scan" and highlight "Action on detection;" set Primary action to "repair," Secondary action to "delete" and tick the box "Copy file to quarantine before action;" click "Apply" in bottom panel, then "Okay".

    By default, AntiVir Personal updates once per day, but can be programmed to update as often as one chooses: Main Panel --> Administration --> Scheduler --> Insert new job; add as many updates (or scans) as desired, at any interval (or update manually at any time: R-click on the Tool Tray icon, L-click on "Start update"). As an update may require a system restart, under "Update" --> "Product update" select "Download updates. If a restart is necessary..." (Under "Update" --> "Restart settings," select "Show reminder message for 'Restart' every" - and define an interval; 120 sec. is default); click "Apply" in bottom panel, then "Okay".

    Based on the latest testing by AV-Comparatives, the Heuristics settings for both AntiVir's Guard and Scanner should be set to their highest level: R-click tray icon, L-click "Configure AntiVir," tick "Expert Mode" box; then expand "Scanner," "Scan," highlight "Heuristic" and set to "High detection level;" repeat for "Guard." Click "Apply" in bottom panel, then "Okay."

    No matter what security software one employs, a system not properly updated (both its Operating System AND applications) cannot be successfully protected; couple that with poor user practice, and you have the recipe for virtually guaranteed disaster.

    Two free utilities to help ensure that all recommended security patches are installed and functioning (Win 2k through 7) are the Secunia PSI, to monitor and advise not only when security patches from Redmond are available, but also a wide range of various additional apps one might have (such as the ubiquitous Java Runtime Environment and Adobe Flash Player) - http://download.cnet.com/Secunia-Personal-Software-Inspector/3000-2162_4-10717855.html and and the Belarc Advisor, which can detect whether security patches are properly installed and provide assistance to correct any deficiencies (as well as provide a wealth of other useful information) - http://download.cnet.com/Belarc-Advisor/3000-2094_4-10007277.html .

    There is no perfect security software; therefore, a 'layered' approach will greatly enhance system protection.

    Highly-recommended is the free WinPatrol (http://download.cnet.com/WinPatrol/3000-8022_4-10129149.html?tag=mncol;1), which monitors Windows and allows the user to intercede directly before a wide range of undesirable things can happen. It is highly-configurable, places few demands on the system and plays well with others.

    A good firewall is HIGHLY recommended; my top pick is Comodo - http://download.cnet.cbsi.comodo-Firewall/3000-10435_4-75181464.html?tag=mncol;3 .

    For an excellent overview on various security measures and practices (as well as many other issues site-wide), see http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/how-block-bad-websites.htm .

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Seems to work well"

    May 1, 2011  |  

    Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.0.0.635

    Pros

    Has good reputation and doesn't use much resources

    Cons

    Doesn't scan mapped drives. I wanted to use it to scan my son's computer, wich had a virus and I couldn'nt for this reason.

    Summary

    Good to prevent viruses, not good to clean already infected machines acroos a network. (unless you remove the hard drive from the infected machine and install it in the machine with avira.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "the best among all free antivirus program"

    April 30, 2011  |   By einerccat

    Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.0.0.635

    Pros

    performance guaranteed!!!!!

    Cons

    the scan speed is to slow than avast and avg. but its detection is much better than the 2...

    Summary

    in general.... avira is the best free antivirus program...

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Better than AVG"

    April 27, 2011  |   By bacon365

    Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.0.0.635

    Pros

    -Detection
    -Fast Updates
    -Fast Scans
    -Scheduling
    -NOT a system hog

    Cons

    -Extra Windows

    Summary

    I got a bad update from AVG that caused my Windows 7 x64 bit system to crash on startup. I have had no problem with Avira since I have been using it. I don't like that it opens a new window every time you click "update" or "scan now", but that's is a minimal concern because it packs a punch under the hood. The scans are fast and the heuristics make detection even better. When paired with MalwareBytes' Anti-Malware, your system is completely safe.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Best free AV"

    April 26, 2011  |   By Utkarsh88

    Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.0.0.635

    Pros

    Avira free antivirus is Number 1 antivirus in the category of free antivirus.
    It doesn't slow down system and its guard is very good. Its interface is very simple.

    Cons

    False positives and slow scanning.

    Summary

    Avira AV personal provides good protection if it is updated daily.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Better than others I've tried"

    April 25, 2011  |   By NHow

    Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.0.0.635

    Pros

    Caught some nasties that Avast missed

    Cons

    Haven't found any yet

    Summary

    I used Avast for several years, also Malwarebytes. A tech friend recommended Avira and I installed it. Right away it found some trojans that Avast had missed (sadly not until someone managed to steal my cc details). Malwarebytes crashes my pc every time I use it (even after reinstalling) so now I depend on Avira and SuperAntiSpyware. Together Avira and SAS seem to be keeping my computer clean. Fingers crossed that it continues thus.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Rock Solid Protection!"

    April 25, 2011  |   By MeerkatTec

    Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.0.0.635

    Pros

    Great detection and protection!

    Cons

    To many Ads!

    Summary

    Great Free AV choice!

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Works quitely with no fuss"

    April 24, 2011  |   By keve1357

    Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.0.0.635

    Pros

    Works silently in the background protecting my system with active guard.Very light on resources,does not slow my computer down at all.Have not had any viruses or infections since downloading Avira from C NET.

    Cons

    Full scans are a little bit slow,but not to bad.

    Summary

    I highly recommend avira anti virus.I have been using it for 2 months now with absolutly no problems at all. Its light on resources,easy to use,and my computer is malware and virus free.This is a 5 star product and its free.

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Results 1-10 of 49

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