Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.2.0.696 - 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 4,166 votes

    • 5 star: 1972
    • 4 star: 1160
    • 3 star: 387
    • 2 star: 217
    • 1 star: 429
  • Current version:

    3.3 stars

    out of 35 votes

    • 5 star: 12
    • 4 star: 8
    • 3 star: 3
    • 2 star: 3
    • 1 star: 9
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 35

  • 1.0 stars

    "Would not install free and premium versions"

    August 3, 2011  |   By harrysg

    Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.2.0.696

    Pros

    Didn't cause my system to crash

    Cons

    Failed to install after multiple attempts even though previous installed virus scanning software had been uninstalled successfully. I reinstalled my previous virus software and have abandoned the idea of using Avira.

    Summary

    Useless if it won't install.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (1)

  • 4.0 stars

    "Great Product"

    August 3, 2011  |   By edinathens

    Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.2.0.696

    Pros

    Consistently high detection rates compared to competition. Incremental virus sigs updates insted of "whole hog".

    Cons

    Updates a bit slow but a small penalty to pay for high detection rates

    Summary

    Nothing fancy but focuses on what it's primarily suppose to do.

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

    Was this review helpful? (2) (0)

  • 5.0 stars

    "Great Detection Rate Better Than The Others!"

    August 1, 2011  |   By Gold Dust

    Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.2.0.696

    Pros

    Detection rate, you can setup the time that you want to run the scans and the updates.

    Cons

    None......

    Summary

    Great detection rate better than the others, you can setup the time that you want to run the scans and the updates. I do not know anything about the ask toolbar that a lot of people are complaining about, never seen anything at all about it. Everything works great no slow downs or anything else. Love Avira!

    Reply to this review Read replies (2)

    Was this review helpful? (3) (6)

  • 3.0 stars

    "Fairly happy"

    July 31, 2011  |   By limazon

    Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.2.0.696

    Pros

    I've been running Avira as my main anti-virus software for years. During the last 5 years I had one Trojan and a virus slip through (there is no such thing as 100% safety) - and I perform regular checks with other software.

    Cons

    It does use a lot of resources. The pop-ups are a real pain and it does slow things down.

    Summary

    A great tool - I'll continue using it. I only realised how good it was when my daughter managed to disable all the anti-virus software on an old computer - to make it faster. Once I noticed it was riddled with trojans and malware.

    I now have dual-boot with Linux (my daughter only has Linux ;-) ) and I prefer using Linux online (for obvious reasons) - but I still use Windows occasionally and Avira (along with other security programs) is certainly my choice.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Superb Product - One Exception"

    July 31, 2011  |   By AntivirusGeek

    Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.2.0.696

    Pros

    Excellent in detecting and removing malware. adware, trojans etc.

    Cons

    Updates very slow. Only area that needs a major improvement and possibly a new interface

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Best in detecting virus,maleware which avast,avg failed"

    July 30, 2011  |   By sajib801

    Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.2.0.696

    Pros

    it have really good detection rate .while avg ,avast sit there doing nothing .it can really get those trojans which hides in your system volume

    Cons

    yet didn't find any .but it lacks some guard like p2p ,im ,web shield

    Summary

    avg and avast free score poorly in detecting virus,maleware,trojan .maybe avast free have more guard but it will do to your pc nothing good if that can't detect virus or other harmful programs

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  • 5.0 stars

    "the best one"

    July 29, 2011  |   By qodfjhfxx

    Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.2.0.696

    Pros

    I think it the best program among others I have used before,it has so many options that it can meet every needs during my work,if you have one,you will like it very much

    Cons

    nothing at all

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Very weird!"

    July 23, 2011  |   By Junttiboy

    Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.2.0.696

    Pros

    First Avira was quite good, but then it started hesitate, and changed weird. Avira didn`t protect my PC anymore!

    Cons

    It only pointed to register software!

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (3) (3)

  • 5.0 stars

    "The #1 Free Antivirus Software on this Planet!!!"

    July 23, 2011  |   By vishwaskamath

    Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.2.0.696

    Pros

    1.Light on system resources 2.Superb virus and malware detection 3.Its FREE and better than any paid Antivirus.Believe me i have tried most of them.

    Cons

    NONE really except for the AD screen which pops up which can easily be disabled(Google:disable avira antivir popup)

    Summary

    I have tried so many Antivirus programs in the past few years.Paid and free.Not Torrents for the paid ones but legally purchased ones.But since i have used Avira Antivir i have stuck to it.You will see for yourself the detection rate.KEEP IT UP AVIRA!!!

    Reply to this review Read replies (3)

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Good protection, system friendly"

    July 20, 2011  |   By nrocpop

    Version: Avira AntiVir Personal - Free Antivirus 10.2.0.696

    Pros

    Highly rated over the years, does not slow down system, false positives are rare. I find it better than the Premium version.

    Cons

    The new Ask-install-toolbar is a disgrace and a big step backward. Avira you have stepped over to the dark side. You have lost a lot of credibility by allowing this crapware to be bundled with your AV

    Summary

    Still one of the best/system friendly. Advice: do not allow the Ask tool bar to install. It does nothing but slow you system down and is difficult to remove once installed. Just keep on clicking the install-later option when asked to install on each startup. I have stopped it from popping up by blocking avhlp.exe and apnstub.exe in the firewall (Private firewall) and then deleting apnstub.exe from the prefetch in windows XP3 Pro. What a pain in the AZ.

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Results 1-10 of 35

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